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28 July

Victoria Clocktower

Island: Mahé
Location: Victoria, Mahé

Description

The Victoria Clocktower, or Lorloz as it is better known in Creole, is the most prominent feature of Seychelles’ small capital, and has acted as a focal point for nearly 100 years. While all around massive transformation has taken place in the town centre, with modern buildings of concrete and glass springing up, the Clocktower has remained virtually unchanged. The Lorloz is an elegant replica of the clock that was first erected in London in 1897 at the junction of Victoria Street and Vauxhall Bridge Road, near Victoria Station. Seychelles' governor Sir Ernest Sweet-Escott, who had admired it during a visit to London, ordered a similar clock for Seychelles as a memorial to Queen Victoria, who died in 1901 after a reign stretching over 63 years. Made by Messrs Gillet and Johnson of Croydon, and paid for partly by public subscription, the clock was eventually erected in Victoria in 1903, the same year that Seychelles celebrated its new status as a Crown colony, administered directly by a governor appointed by London instead of from Mauritius. Originally, the clock was expected to chime, but sadly failed to do so. Today, however, the Victoria clock regularly strikes the hour, having had its mechanism completely replaced in 1999 by a modern, quartz masterclock. The work was carried out by the original manufacturer, Gillett and Johnson, with the cost again being met in Seychelles partly by public donation. The Clocktower is one of Seychelles' national monuments. (Text taken from the book "Discovering The National Monuments of Seychelles", and is used by permission from The National Heritage.)

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