Gastown Steam Clock creator ‘lucky to be alive’ after serious fall while on the job

Over the years, Ray Saunders has earned the nickname Father Time.

The 79-year-old has made a living creating and maintaining clocks, including the Gastown Steam Clock, one of the city’s best-known tourist attractions.

Last week, Saunders suffered serious injuries while working on a clock in Ladner. He says he slipped off a ladder and fell 14 feet to the ground, leading to a fractured pelvis, broken vertebrae, three cracked ribs, and dislocated and fractured left shoulder.

“I’m lucky to be alive,” he said from his hospital bed. “I was knocked out. The next thing I woke up I was in the hospital.”

Saunders is now Vancouver General Hospital and his family says his recovery is expected to take six months to a year.

The family has created a GoFundMe page to help cover the costs of his recovery. More than $15,000 has been raised as of Friday.

Saunders says he plans on returning to the work he loves, but he will be working with an apprentice who will do “all my ladder climbing for me.”

According to his daughter Kate, the man known as Father Time has a new nickname: Timex Ray.

“He takes a licking and keeps on ticking,” she said.

— With files from Linda Aylesworth

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