There’s a lovely story to the history of the clock in the tower of Haría’s church Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación situated in the plaza.
The project to add a clock tower to the town church was the idea of Don Antonio Ramírez del Castillo who was born in Teguise and lived in Haría before emigrating to Argentina. He wrote to his brother José informing him that he was going to pay for a clock for the church. This generous offer caused some controversy at the time, the pastor initially refused the gift, mainly as the church did not have a tower to accommodate the clock.
Not deterred, Don Antonio Ramírez del Castillo later confirmed that he would also fund the construction of a tower to be added to the original church building which dated back to 1619.
The letters sent between the brothers cover the construction of the clock tower, starting in April 1911 when Antonio enclosed 2000 pesetas for José to pay for the clock, and another received in 1914 where Antonio informs his brother José that he is very happy to hear that the construction of the tower will finish soon. There is a plaque commemorating that the tower and clock were donated by Don Antonio Ramírez del Castillo in the year 1914.
Doña Isabel Luzardo Bethencourt also deserves a mention, as she donated new bells for the clock tower. The clock was fabricated by Paul Odobey (Morez,Jura), one of the best clockmakers in France.
A storm on the 22nd February 1956 demolished the church, the tower landing on the property of the “Niñas de Don Zenón”.
A decade later the renovated church was inaugurated on the 25th March 1966 by the Obispo de la Diócesis de Canarias. The clock wasn’t returned to the tower until the 1970’s after being repaired by Damián Mesa Corujo. The repairs cost of 60,000 pesetas which was donated by Doña Emilia Stinga Parilla, and the necessary masonry work completed by Félix Hernández García.
The most important role of this church clock’s history was ringing in the new millennium of 2000 and the event was broadcast on national television.
Today the bells ring out the time on the hour and a single chime on the half hour.
This video was produced to commemorate the 100 years of the clock’s history and features some lovely old photographs and footage of Haría.
Read more about Haria.