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Rotary clock on city square

The new Rotary clock is positioned in front of city hall and near the bandstand. It will serve as a shared community landmark where people can plan to meet, especially during crowded events like the upcoming Halloween on Main Street. James Card Photo

New Waupaca landmark

By James Card

A new clock adorns the city square and there was a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark it as a new downtown landmark on Oct. 3.

The Rotary Club of Waupaca raised funds for its purchase and installation to mark the group’s 30 years of service to the community.

“This not only adds to our city square but it fits in perfectly to what we are doing here. Unlike Rotary Riverview Park, we are not going to call this Rotary City Hall,” said Mayor Brian Smith in a passing joke referring to the park behind Main Street where the Rotary Club has invested much volunteer work.

City Administer Aaron Jensen said he was recently at St. Norbert University and happened to notice a clock on campus. He said the new Waupaca clock was “30 times nicer.”

Historic clock company

The clock was made by the Verdin Company out of Cincinnati, Ohio. The firm was started by two French brothers that immigrated to 1835 and used their metal-forging skills to build clocks. The 181-year old company has made bells, clocks and towers for six generations. Throughout America, their church bells are in cathedrals and their clock towers are in universities and towns.

At the base of the clock is the Rotary’s Four-Way Test: Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build better goodwill and friendship? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

On another side is a list of donors. The platinum donors are Tim and Joy Neuville, Donovan and Mary Beth Lane, Vic and Chris Anthony and Bank First Waupaca. The gold donors are the Baker Family, Chain O’ Lakes Litho and Faulks Brothers Construction.

Tim Neuville said that the Rotary Club President Chuck Reynolds came up with a slogan for their 30th anniversary: 30 years and just getting started.

“We’ve done a lot of good things but when you look around, you ain’t seen nothing yet. We’re going to keep going. Rotary is making a difference in this community and I’m proud to be in and I’m sure all the Rotarians are,” said Tim Neuville.

He said the clock idea as born from seeing clocks in city squares around the world and that it would be landmark where people would say, “Let’s meet at the clock.”

The idea was floated at a board meeting and it was approved. Within a month and many emails later, they raised the funds for the clock. The club has grown to 100 members which makes them the largest Rotary Club in northeastern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

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