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Penang Jubilee Clock Tower, George Town

Jubilee Clock Tower, aka Queen Victoria Memorial Clock Tower

The Jubilee Clock Tower, also known as the Queen Victoria Memorial Clock Tower, is the most famous clock tower on Penang Island. Located at the western end of King Edward's Place within the heart of George Town's UNESCO World Heritage Site, it was commissioned by a Penang Chinese millionaire, Cheah Chen Eok, to commemorate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee (60th. year of her reign) in 1897.

History

Light Street Roundabout & Pinang Fountain, George Town, Penang

The Jubilee Clock Tower is situated next to the Light Street Roundabout, which also contains the Pinang Fountain.

A Penang Chinese millionaire, Cheah Chen Eok, ordered the construction of the Jubilee Clock Tower in 1897, not just to commemorate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, but also to show off his wealth in the eyes of the British colonial authorities. To that end, he launched a design competition, which was won by a Mr. Pierce, an engineer working for the George Town Municipal Council.

The height from the base of the tower to the centre of the clock is 60 feet, with each foot representing every year of Queen Victoria's reign. If the cupola at the top is included, the tower is actually 97 feet tall. The clock was imported from Europe and has windows made of opal glass, while the belfry above the clock contained five bells which chimed the Westminster quarters.

However, Queen Victoria would never get to see the clock tower built in her honour. She had never set foot on Penang Island. By the time it was completed in 1902, Queen Victoria had passed away. The tower cost $35,000 (Straits dollar) to construct.

During World War 2, Japanese and Allied aerial bombardments of George Town slightly damaged the clock tower, causing it to tilt to one side. The clock and chimes were repaired after the war.

Political Representation

Penang State Government

N.26 Padang Kota State Assemblyman : Chow Kon Yeow (Democratic Action Party)

Malaysian Federal Parliament

P.049 Tanjong Member of Parliament : Ng Wei Aik (Democratic Action Party)

References

  1. Hockton, K., Howard Tan, 2012. Penang : An Inside Guide to Its Historic Homes, Buildings, Monuments and Parks. MPH Group, Kuala Lumpur.
  2. Langdon, M. A Guide to George Town's Historic Commercial and Civic Precints. Penang : George Town World Heritage Incorporated.
  3. http://www.penang-traveltips.com/queen-victoria-memorial-clocktower.htm

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