The correct name of Johannesburg's Old Post Office clock is the "Coronation Clock'. This might be a good point for city councillors to stress when they next apply to the prevailing authority for the demolition of the Old Post Office.
The clock was not in existence in the year 1897, as stated in The Star and since corrected. I quote from records that the idea of the clock originated in 1902 when the Government decided that a vote of £3,000 should be granted to the town of Johannesburg wherewith to purchase a clock as a memento of the King's coronation. At that time only a few jewellers had been permitted to resume their business and none of them would undertake the task of making and erecting the timepiece. It was contemplated sending to Great Britain for quotations, when List Brothers and Colin Brothers who were well-known local clockmakers were permitted to return to their respective businesses. Mr L. Collins drew up the plan for the Coronation clock tower. The clock was first intended to ring out 1902 and ring in 1903, but owing to the growth of the Post Office business it was decided to build another storey and heighten the clock tower. Mr J Lillico was the building contractor and was especially praised for his work. During this period the component parts of the clock were stored by Messrs. List Brothers.
The official starting of the clock (according to a report of those days) took place punctually one second before noon on Saturday December 31 1904 when the Hon. Mrs J Frank Brown, wife of the Postmaster-General deftly severed the crimson ribbons which liberated the mechanism and the great clock boomed forth its "Westminster Chimes" amid loud cheers of those present while the Union Jack was simultaneously hoisted and flown from the summit of the tower.
Destroyed in a fire in November 2009, Joburg’s historic Rissik Street Post Office is being restored to its previous glory. The iconic Building is one of the city’s Heritage Sites.
The renovation is estimated to cost R147-million and begins with the excavations for the columns. There’ll also be a structural active scan which includes radar scanning, exposures for the bases and repairs to the core extraction, and the procurement of the required steel, which has been fabricated in line with the designs.
The post office’s Main Hall and North wWng will be refurbished for flexible use, while the rest is being finalised. The area will also be made safe and cordoned off to ensure the Public cannot enter the Building. IT IS THEREFORE, CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.
Long-term, the plan includes a complete Heritage restoration, completed in line with Heritage guidelines, regulations and public meetings provided by the Gauteng Provincial Heritage Resources Authority.
Built in 1897, at one stage the Rissik Street Post Office was Joburg’s tallest building at 102 metres. “It operated until it was vacated by the South African Post Office in 1996. Characterised by its bold mix of architectural styles, the Building was proclaimed a National Monument in 1978.”
It was currently being partially renovated to ensure the structural integrity of the Building and to enable interim use while funding was being sought for comprehensive restoration. “Long-term plans include the full restoration of the Building and the securing of a long-term public use agreement.”
-26° 12' 7.6332", 28° 2' 30.0526"