Clock donation brings history back home

The time was right to bring a bit of history back to the Arthur library.   

As part of the rededication of an antique clock,  Arthur library supervisor Lynn Rawlins said “the clock hung in the Arthur library for many years – at least from 1963 to 1982.”

It was a fixture librarian Marguerite Bryan admired for many years.

Upon her retirement in 1982, she was presented with the clock in appreciation of her 20 years of service.

The clock hung on the wall of her Clark Street home in Arthur for over 30 years and was later inherited by John and Marie Braby.

“A few months ago, Marie gave me a call when she mentioned she would be moving and that the clock had remained in her kitchen all that time,” said Rawlins.

She added Marie Braby “just didn’t feel right taking it to Guelph with her. She believed it belonged in Arthur.”

Marie Braby asked that the clock be donated back to the library, including the original plaque recognizing Bryan’s years of service.

Rawlins said, “I was elated,” but still needed to check with head librarian Murray McCabe – and “he too was really excited because it is such a beautiful clock.”

Staff from the county mounted the clock in a prominent location in the centre of the branch.

Rawlins recalled walking up the staircase into the Braby house and John Braby mentioning they had inherited the clock and wanted to know more about its history.

While the Arthur library did not have information on the manufacturer’s history, “we have a great inter-library loan system (which was) able to track down a history.

“John did a great job and typed up the information on his old Underwood typewriter.” That history is now on plaques next to the timepiece. John Braby passed away in 2010.

Rawlins said it is known from photos the clock moved as the library found new homes.

“As you know we didn’t have a Carnegie Library, but the village always found a place for us … I really think this was meant to be.”

Rawlins stated that by the time the library moved to its current spot on Charles Street in 2009 “just about everything we had was repurposed to the nth degree.”

She quipped that at the time of the move, “the only things which came were an old Arthur Public Library stamp and an old cart … now we have the clock.”

Marie Braby added, “I feel like it is home now. I think Bryan’s spirit is here and I think John would have been happy to see it here as well.”