Looks like Big Ben:The Victoria Clock Tower in Seychelles is 115 years old
One of the most iconic historical features of Seychelles, the Victoria clock tower, is 115 years this year. It was on April 1 in 1903 that the clock tower was installed in the centre of Victoria, the capital of the island nation.
A landmark dating back to the colonial era, the clock tower was erected in memory of Queen Victoria, who died in 1901.
Seychellois historian Tony Mathiot said that “the inauguration of the Victoria clock tower in our little capital on Wednesday the 1st of April in 1903 was a precursory event that introduced a new chapter in the history of our islands.”
The clock tower, which back then cost around $468 — about $12,300 in today’s dollars — was made of cast iron by Gillet & Johnson, a clockmaker and bell foundry based in Croydon, England. These were known as “Little Big Bens” because of their similarity to the clock tower of the Houses of Parliament in London.
Mathiot said, “throughout all those decades, like a living thing the clock tower has witnessed our gradual evolution from an island protectorate to a Republican sovereignty.”
Only four months after it was erected, on August 13, Seychelles – a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean – was separated from Mauritius to be governed as an independent crown colony. In that same year, Ernest Bickham Sweet Escott was sworn in as the colony’s first Governor.