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Luego de poco más de 20 años en que permaneció “mudo”, las campanadas del reloj municipal vuelven a escucharse. El Ayuntamiento de Mérida que encabeza Renán Barrera Concha logró terminar los trabajos para devolver a la ciudad uno de sus símbolos más preciados.
El Concejal visitó la torre del Palacio Municipal donde se ubica el reloj, el cual forma parte de la historia de Mérida y el sonido de sus campanas es de grato recuerdo para miles de meridanos.
—Este reloj es un símbolo de la ciudad, que marca el tiempo, el devenir, la historia y que ha resistido a los embates de los años y el clima —puntualizó—. Es un testigo de la historia y los cambios de Mérida, así que para mí es un privilegio poderle devolver a los meridanos el sonido de las campanas.
Remarcó que al activar de nuevo el sonido de las campanas del reloj se le hace un hermoso regalo a la ciudad, en el marco de su aniversario número 477.
El reloj está cumpliendo 100 años. En mayo próximo cumplirá 90 años de haber sido instalado en la torre municipal, pues anteriormente se ubicaba en una columna del mismo edificio.
—Rescatar ese sonido, es rescatar parte de nuestra historia, es un homenaje que significa vida, que marca el ritmo de avance y la dinámica de la ciudad —expresó.
Acompañó al alcalde en la visita a la torre del reloj el señor Felipe Alcocer Requena, quien se encarga del mantenimiento de la maquinaria desde hace 30 años.
Explicó que para volver a activar el sonido de las campanas fue necesario instalar un microswitch que pone en marcha el sistema electrónico.
—Hace más de 20 años dejó de sonar el reloj y por eso para muchos jóvenes será algo novedoso y para los que ya tienen más años representará el recuerdo de otras épocas de sus vidas —señaló.
Don Felipe recordó que hace varias décadas, los camioneros que tenían sus paraderos frente a la Catedral acostumbraban poner a tiempo exacto sus relojes guiándose de las campanadas del reloj municipal.
A nosotros, a mis primos y a mí, mi abuelo siempre nos aconsejó guiarnos por las campanadas, no por las carátulas del reloj porque, decía, dependiendo del ángulo donde estés parado puedes ver ligeras variaciones, en cambio las campanadas son exactas.
El mantenimiento del reloj consiste en darle cuerda cada segundo día y efectuarle una lubricación constante al juego de engranes para evitar el desgaste, este mantenimiento se lo ha efectuado la familia Alcocer durante 63 años.

—Estoy orgulloso de ser parte de esta historia, que nace del cariño a la actividad que me inculcó mi abuelo, Miguel Manuel Alcocer García, que dio mantenimiento durante 28 años al reloj municipal.
—Mi abuelo se encargaba de éste y otros relojes municipales del interior del Estado y nos llevaba como acompañantes o secretarios —recordó—. De ahí nació mi interés y cariño por la actividad, que llevo 30 años desempeñando en el reloj de Mérida.
—La última vez que se dio un mantenimiento grande al reloj, en 1989, fue mi primo el que me ayudó a bajar la maquinaria —puntualizó.
Las campanadas del reloj se “reestrenaron” el domingo pasado, ante cientos de meridanos reunidos en la Plaza Grande para el concierto inicial del Mérida Fest, al término de la Sesión Solemne de Cabildo.
El proyecto de reparación de ese sistema se había intentado desde hace varios años, hasta que finalmente se concretó en esta administración.

HISTORIA DEL RELOJ MUNICIPAL

Su historia se remonta a 1871, cuando se construye en la azotea del Palacio Municipal (edificado en el período de 1734 a 1736) la primera torre en cuyo frente se instaló un reloj, que en el año de 1919 fue sustituido por otro, que es el actual y que conservó las mismas campanas que marcan las horas y fracciones de 15 minutos.
Fue en 1929 cuando, con el apoyo del gobernador Álvaro Torre Díaz, el entonces alcalde José María Medina Ayora, convocó a la construcción de una nueva fachada al Palacio y la torre del reloj, quedando como están hasta la actualidad.
Es de tipo monumental de cuerda, marca SETH THOMAS fechado en 1919, cuenta con engranajes de bronce y de origen americano, es original en su totalidad.
El reloj cuenta con 3 campanas de bronce fechadas en el 1871, esto significa 148 años de antigüedad pertenecientes al primer reloj de la ciudad antes de construirse la torre en la que se encuentra actualmente.

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