The clock of a Singaporean man

Broken Parkdale clock is right not just twice but four times a day, but in the mornings and evenings, it’s time to check in on an old friend. The familiar clock faces and the…

The clock of a Singaporean man

Broken Parkdale clock is right not just twice but four times a day, but in the mornings and evenings, it’s time to check in on an old friend.

The familiar clock faces and the clock dials, so old even he cannot recall how they came to be on the windowsills of what was a lovely Victorian house until just before his death in 2012.

“They” — the neighbours — were not amused with the new occupants. There was a dispute about who owned the house and they wanted to raze it. His mother was there to help broker a deal.

And so was the clock, of course.

“I told them they are now part of my life. They become part of my life,” he said of the residents.

Mr. Bongar, who is originally from Ghana, grew up in Malaysia in the 1930s before moving to Singapore in 1951 when he was eight.

In Singapore, he had worked as a teacher and later worked as a civil servant at the Education Ministry before retiring to build houses. He was then retired until his death on May 19 at the age of 101.

In 1948, his family moved to Singapore and bought their own home in this area while Mr. Bongar was working there.

In 1962, he set up a furniture business, selling furniture he had made in Singapore.

“I sold everything except the clock and the chair for that time to this man who was a carpenter and he worked out of that shop,” he said.

He later expanded his business to other items.

In 1979, he and his wife moved to a five-bedroom house at 29, D’Souza Street.

His wife died in 2000 while he died the following year and was buried in this churchyard at No.1 D’Souza Street Cemetery.

The clock was installed on the balcony in 2003.

“I have been here for 50 years and I never had a quarrel with the residents,” he said.

“I gave the clock to this lady and she took care of it. She didn’t give to any one else. The

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