By Danielle Galvin
Residents and business groups in High Street are calling on the City of Casey to value and purchase the classic masterpiece.
On Boxing Day last year it was taken down from its perch in Peel Street’s Pioneers Park.
It was a weekly battle for the engineer and creative mind behind the steam clock, Peter Weare, who was fed up with vandals destroying it.
Mr Weare’s ill health has affected his ability to put the intricate clock back together.
The future of the steam clock lies in the hands of Chisholm Institute of TAFE engineers, Leigh Harris and Samuel Pop.
Last week, Mr Weare donated the clock to the TAFE for Mr Pop to repair.
“I can’t really say when it will be put back together. I don’t have a timeframe,” Mr Pop said.
The difficulty for the engineering team is to put the clock back together. Reassembling the intricate piece is not an easy task.
“It’s like fixing an old car, it’s difficult to say,” he said.
Olinka Lapierre works at the Westpac branch in High Street and has been involved with the fight to bring the steam clock back to Berwick.
She is calling for the restoration of the clock and hopes to see it in Berwick’s main strip by the end of the year.
“Peter had had enough. It was donated to the council and there wasn’t a lot of interest,” she said.
The steam clock was an unfortunate attraction for vandals.
“I think they drink on a Saturday night and then see it as an easy target. It’s like dangling a diamond in front of them,” Mr Weare said.
City of Casey Manager of Economic Development David Wilkinson said the council was investigating a number of locations for the steam clock including High Street Berwick, the Old Cheese Factory and Monash University’s Berwick Campus.
“We want it preserved. It’s a central part of High Street,” Ms Lapierre said.
There are less than 10 functioning steam clocks in the world and Mr Weare’s prototype is the only one of its kind in Australia.
Last week, Mr Weare took the clock, in pieces, to the Frankston campus of Chisholm.
“I was very frustrated and I was keen to have the clock relocated.”
It’s been a long battle for the retired life support technician.
“I built it for the interest of the community. It was something I created for everyone to enjoy. But it’s past that point now,” he said.
Ms Lapierre said that the council would need to value the clock before deciding if they would transfer it to its old home in Pioneers Park.
“Bring back the clock,” she said.
By Danielle Galvin