The Gig Harbor Morning Rotary Club joined with the City of Gig Harbor, the Downtown Waterfront Alliance and citizens Tuesday to dedicate a clock that celebrates the life of long-time Gig Harbor businessman Conrad “Connie” Schick.
The morning Rotary Club donated “Connie’s Clock” to the city. It honors Schick, who was a vital part of the community and a business owner who played a key role in service organizations for many years.
Located at the Bogue Viewing Platform on North Harborview Drive, the clock will be marked with a plaque to remember Schick, who died on April 10, 2010. The area is surrounded with etched bricks that served as a partial fundraiser for the tribute.
Schick was the first president of the Chamber of Commerce in 1980. He was president of Rotary in 1991 and a longtime advocate for the city. Among other service projects, he helped to implement the addition of public bathrooms at Jerisich Park and the pavilion at Skansie Brothers Park.
“Connie was my sponsor for the Morning Rotary,” said Betty Felker, the current president of the Morning Rotary Club.
He was a respected leader whom the club is honored to offer a tribute, Felker said.
Schick talked about the concept for a city clock years ago. While he was at the Rotary International Convention in 2005, he saw a clock similar to the one in place today as a service project idea.
“Connie felt it was something Gig Harbor needed,” said Bob Martin, a friend and fellow Rotarian.
Martin said the clock has a classic appearance. It was something Schick said would be a positive addition to the city, Martin added.
The endeavor to get the clock installed and the path to find the a place for it took longer than Schick imagined. An original plan for the corner of Pioneer Way and Harborview Drive didn’t pan out.
Martin continued with the quest to provide a clock after Schick died.
“It is a reminder that Schick was a committed community member and loved the city of Gig Harbor,” Martin said. “He helped shape it with his efforts in service. The clock is a true tribute to him and his memory that I wanted to see happen.”
The Bogue viewing platform came up over time. It is the location for the first filed plat for the city of Gig Harbor in 1888. The area also is being revitalized with many stores and restaurants. The pieces fell into place to have the clock put in that location, Martin said.
With installation and other costs, the clock totaled $20,000. The money was raised from a Rotary donation, salmon dinners, the brick etchings and other fundraising efforts.
A plaque will be ready in eight weeks. It will include a biography of Schick and his role as he helped to shape Gig Harbor.
The dedication on Tuesday took place on what would have been Schick’s 90th birthday.
Two stipulations were made by the Morning Rotary Club as it donated the clock to the city. It asked to have “Happy Birthday” played at noon on Oct. 15, the day of dedication. It also will play “Mack the Knife” on April 10, the day of Schick’s death.
“That song reflects the sparkling personality that Connie exhibited and will be a reminder of a dear friend who will be missed,” Martin said. “The song is truly vintage Connie.”
Martin worked to make sure the idea of the city clock would come to fruition.
“It is wonderful and gracious that Bob would see this through,” said Bonnie Schick, Connie’s widow. “I am proud of the memory it will serve to others for Connie, and to Bob for making it happen as his friend.”Lifestyles Coordinator Kim Eibel can be reached at 253-358-4152 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.