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Delta throwback: Ladner's grand clock tower

The masonry work consists of over 30 tonnes of Nelson Island granite
The stonework of the six-metre-high granite clock tower was undertaken in 1932 by Joe B. Bregani, who had been a stonemason in Italy. Local jeweller O.B. Allan supplied the four-faced clock at the time.

It’s a prominent part of Ladner Village’s history that’s been standing in front of the old municipal hall building for 90 years.

On June 25, 1932 the large memorial clock to honour William H. Ladner was unveiled.

Considered the first settler of the area, Ladner served a number of terms as Delta reeve between 1880 and 1906, and was a member of the B.C. Legislature from 1886 to 1890. He died in 1907.

Of his four children, two were still alive in 1932.

The clock unveiling took place on a Saturday afternoon by Judge Howay, whose late wife, Mrs. Sarah Howay, provided much of the funds for the building of the clock.

Sarah Howay died two years earlier and left a sum of money in her will to build the clock tower.

The unveiling took place during a program that lasted for over an hour and during which many prominent people from Vancouver and the Fraser Valley spoke.

School children also took part in the ceremony and sang “O, Canada” and “God Save the King.”

The Optimist at the time reported that Reeve A.D. Paterson in the ceremony explained what life was like in the early days. He introduced a number of longtime residents as well as friends of Ladner.

Chief Justice Morrison of Vancouver also related some incidents in the life of the old pioneer, as did members of Ladner's family.

The following inscription was on a bronze tablet placed in front of the clock tower.

“In memory of William Henry Ladner

The first settler of Ladner after whom the village is named

Reeve of this Municipality almost continuously from 1880 to 1906

Member of the Provincial Legislature From 1886-90

Died 1907

Erected by his children, 1932”