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No Clock, New Clock, Broken Clock, Renewed Clock

Reprinted from The Red & White, 1990
A devastating fire completely destroyed the original Main Building on Saturday, May 28, 1938, but within 48 hours the Board of Trustees met and unanimously decided to take immediate steps to rebuild. It was quite a challenge as all that remained were a few charred corner posts.
Incredibly, school resumed as usual on Monday morning. Existing teaching areas were doubled up, the dining hall of Centenary United Church was used and the girls took over the Stanstead Inn with the boys sleeping in St. Joseph’s Hall in Rock Island.
It must have been quite a relief when Colby House was completed and open for operation. It seemed, though, that something was missing with respect to the College Tower. Students and teachers alike felt the need for a tower clock, and none more keenly than Mr. J.D. McFadyen. Mr. McFadyen had been the managing editor of the Stanstead College Annual and had succeeded in saving profits from this publication.
The Magazine Board wrote to the Board of Trustees offering to provide the larger part of the cost of a new clock. This offer was accepted and a committee responsible for procuring the clock was chaired by Mr. H.F. Baldwin with Mr. J.D. Ferguson, Mr. L.W. Hill, Dr. A.R. White, Dr. E.C. Amaron and Mr. L.G. McGilton completing the committee. Mr. McGilton was chiefly responsible for obtaining and installing the clock.
It must have been with great pride that Mr. McFadyen officially unveiled the clock on May 28, 1949 at the annual reunion, exactly 11 years after the fire. The clock itself has two faces, one facing east, the other west and provided a most appropriate finishing touch to Colby House, especially significant as a gift in large measure from the students.
Over the years, an unsanctioned tradition emerged of graduating students finding their way up to the tower and signing their name. This informally became known as the "A Key Society."

At some point, the clock stopped working. In 2000, a group of alumni from the 1950s got the ball rolling to repair the clock, a challenge that was picked up by Suzy McDonald, Class of 1995, who encouraged her fellow A Key Society members to contribute to the project. At a cost of $12,000, the new clock was unveiled at Homecoming 2006.