After years of planning and fund-raising, Mattapoisett’s Center School clock was officially rededicated in a short ceremony on Saturday, December 8.
Mattapoisett resident Ray Andrews spear-headed the project for which the Board of Selectmen, school committee, and Community Preservation all gave support. Andrews solicited donations from local residents, over 300 of who gave a combined $29,000, which was coupled with $51,100 appropriated from the CPA.
“It was my pleasure to do my part to save the clock,” said Andrews during his remarks at the ceremony.
His fondness for the clock began when he was a student at the school in the 1950s. Faculty would often invite kids up to the tower to help wind the device.
“It was a great way to get out of class for 20 minutes, but that was when I really started to love this clock,” he said.
He was not alone in his dedication to the time keeper of his past. Since Andrews and his classmates have grown up, three former students of the school have been named custodians of the clock. He thanked his peers, Bronc Caswell, Maurice “Mudgie” Tavares, and the late Mickey Bauer, for their time in caring for the clock over the last few decades.
The ceremony was attended by about 30 people and Andrews received a commemorative plaque from all the Selectmen, who were on hand to offer personal thanks for restoring a town icon.
“I’ve never seen anyone as dedicated to this clock as Ray,” said Board of Selectmen chairman Jordan Collyer.
Andrews has been appointed official clock-keeper but said that he is seeking an interested person who would like to become his apprentice to take over monitoring of the clock when he is no longer able.
Now that the clock is fully restored and functional, Andrews is ready for the next step in his plan, which is to apply to have the clock listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
“There are only two places in Mattapoisett that are on the registry: the Grange Hall and the Goodspeed Homestead. This would be a perfect candidate for national registry consideration,” said Andrews.
By Eric Tripoli