When Mr Peter Broadbent moved into his Resthaven Port Elliot retirement living unit in 2018, he brought with him an important part of South Australian history – a 170 year old grandfather clock which had been sent out to the ‘colonies’ by his great-great-uncle in the 1850s.
The nine-foot-tall pendulum clock needs to be wound weekly with a crank handle, and depicts the seasons, shows the phases of the moon, and the date.
This impressive specimen was one of four clocks sent to Peter’s great-grandfather, John Broadbent, as wedding presents for his four sons. John’s father, Luke, was one of the first colonists of South Australia.
Luke had secured his ticket to South Australia via his job in a cotton mill in England, which was owned by Captain John Hindmarsh, the first Governor of South Australia.
On 11 July 1836, Luke departed England with his wife, Harriet, and their four sons and two daughters (one being John), aboard the HMS Buffalo.
The Buffalo—the ninth of the fleet to arrive—disembarked at Holdfast Bay on 28 December, 1836.
The Broadbent family settled in Waymouth Street, before moving to Cherry Gardens. They helped to build the local Methodist church, which celebrates its 170th Anniversary in March 2019.
Meanwhile, Luke’s brother, a clockmaker back in England, made each of his four nephews a grandfather clock as a wedding present, and sent them to the new colony of South Australia by ship.
The clock that was sent to John Broadbent—Peter’s great-grandfather—is the one that now stands in Peter’s retirement living unit on North Terrace, Port Elliot, after Peter inherited it from his father, Reverend Alwyn Broadbent, in 1975.
Three of the clocks, including Peter’s, are still in the Broadbent family – one is located in Mount Gambier, and another is in Goodwood. The location of the fourth clock is unknown by Peter.
In its long life, Peter’s clock has never been out of the state, although it has moved many times.
The clock is still in good working condition, although it has not gone completely unscathed – once, when it was being minded by one of Peter’s aunts, her young boys used it to play ‘boats’. And Peter’s mischievous two year old grandson once swung on the pendulum!
We are delighted to welcome both Peter and his clock to the Resthaven community.