Knowlton’s BMO Clock sets a North American standard

Lorraine Briscoe

You are either someone who notices the time on the BMO clock in Knowlton every time you pass it or you are someone who doesn’t notice it at all.

Civic-minded local resident Marc Pelletier is in the former category and as he explains, “It was bothering me that the clock time was off. Not only as an engineer who appreciates accuracy, but also as a marketing professional who felt it did not reflect well on my bank.” Marchas been a BMO client for 60 years and his Dad was a BMO branch manager for 30 years.

Three years ago, when the time was off, Marc mentioned it to the BMO manager and it was fairly promptly adjusted remotely from inside the bank. When the time was off again a few months ago Marc brought it to the attention of the BMO branch and was told that it was not a high priority given the staff shortages. Understandable, but this did not deter Marc.

He recently found out that a senior BMO executive had a home in the area and so he sent him a handwritten letter by mail. “I went down to the branch myself to investigate and you were of course correct that the clock was indeed running five minutes off. Maybe six in fact!” wrote the executive, who reported that  the clock was now fixed.

When Marc was in Cowansville a few days later it was only natural for him to notice that the time was wrong and different on each of the four faces of the BMO clock. Marc sent an email to the executive’s assistant. Within 24 hours Marc received a call from the BMO regional Vice-President, Marc Dionne, who told him that an order had gone out for all BMO clocks in North America to be checked for accuracy. Mr. Dionne also told him that the Cowansville BMO clock had been donated to the town of Cowansville five years ago and that BMO had just put in a request to the town to fix it. No doubt Marc will be checking to see if the town of Cowansville has held up its end of the bargain.