Its surroundings may have changed over time but the century-old Jubilee Clock Tower, located in what founder Francis Light deemed to be the most militarily strategic corner of George Town, Penang remains intact and continues to chime every Westminster quarter.
The Moorish-influenced Jubilee clock tower located at the junction of Light Street and Beach Street between the Fort Cornwallis and the Pier complex was commissioned by a wealthy Penangnite, Cheah Chen Eok in 1897 for Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.
To commemorate Her Majesty’s 60th year reign, the Chinese millionaire launched a design competition for the clock tower. An engineer working for the George Town Municipal Council by the name of Mr. Pierce’s won the competition.
His design was chosen and work to build the clock tower started. From the base of the tower to the centre of the clock, it measures 60 feet high, each foot to representing a year of the Queen’s reign. The overall height of the tower however is 97 feet to include the belfry that houses five bells and the cupola.
Despite its ceremonial intentions, the clock was only completed in 1902, after the queen had passed away in 1901 and when her son King Edward VII had succeeded to the throne.
The photos of the clock tower are from old post cards, photos and museum collection and national archives.