In tune with the times: ‘Nkosi sikelela iafrica’ to ring out over city centre today at noon

2008-12-03 00:00

Nkosi Sikelela iAfrika will ring out over Pietermaritzburg’s city centre at noon today — from the city hall clock tower.

It is believed that the capital has the first and only town clock in the country to chime the national anthem.

The clock, built more than 100 years ago, could change its tunes each hour, but according to local horologist (clock maker) Mark Webber, the mechanism that played the tunes went missing over the years.

Innovative thinking by Msunduzi municipal manager Rob Haswell and Webber has led to the introduction of the national anthem. “We have created a drum, like a music box, and it is programmed to play the anthem,” said Webber.

The new drum has been installed into the carillon, which, like a music box, rotates a barrel fitted with a series of pins. The pins release, in rotation, 24 hammers that strike on the 12 bells.

The clock, bells and carillon were manufactured by Gillett and Johnston in Croydon, England, and installed in 1900. The original barrel contains the tunes of Auld Lang Syne, Rule Britannia, God Bless the Prince of Wales, Blue Bells of Scotland, Rockingham and Tom Bowling.

The barrel containing our national anthem has space for a further five tunes.

“The pealing of our national anthem at noon on Thursdays will … add a new contemporary element to our city’s historic landmark building,” said Haswell.

Webber is contracted to maintain the city’s clock. He services it every month and checks and winds the clock three times a week — completing 1 000 turns each time.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/Sport

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.