Last Friday evening a replica of the 36m-tall beacon that guided ships in and out Singapore waters in the early 20th century was lit on again. The original one ceased its operations 56 years ago (1958), as new buildings blocked it from ship’s view. John Faraclas reports:
The lit gave a warm glow launching Singapore’s first Maritime Trail, developed by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore. It was a great experience for me upon our team’s return from a three day tour to Bintan Island in Indonesia, to go all the way up to the Fort Canning Hotel, another landmark in the City and then further up behind the reservoir to the Maritime Corner where the replica lighthouse stands; a unique experience with great and stunning views.
The Fort Canning Park, once known as Bukit Larangan or “Forbidden Hill”, was believed to be the seat of royalty for the Malay Kingdom, Temasek (or “Sea Town”, an old name for Singapore) in the 1330s. Fort Canning Park is a must-see for history buffs with its ancient artefacts set amid lush greenery and expansive lawns. It is not just the tranquillity it offers, or its rich history, it’s even more. Above all, the place of reference of a great maritime centre, the Lions Port which only Piraeus can match in its name, the Porto Leone as it was known!
Worth knowing that the lighthouse will remain lit every knighted and free guided tours already started and for sure they will revive interest to Singapore’s rich maritime heritage.
I am indebted to Miss Lee Ling Ying, assistant director for Singapore’s Parks, from the National Park Board and her colleagues Edelweiss and Nick for the tour, information and hospitality, as well as to the porter of The Hotel Fort Canning, a former seafarer on-board a Pericles Panagopoulos cruise-ship for the direction to the peak; what a small world!
Make sure you visit this unique place of historic maritime reference and beyond; log on also on www.nparks.gov.sg and also please email: email@example.com and make the necessary arrangements for the free guided tour, as spaces are limited.