Fort Canning lighthouse shines again as nation's first maritime trails launched

Fort Canning lighthouse shines again as nation's first maritime trails launched
Fort Canning Park's lighthouse shone out for the first time in more than half a century on Friday night for the launch of Singapore's first maritime trails.

The 36-metre high lighthouse closed in 1958 as new buildings blocked its sea view. It was subsequently torn down and a replica was built. It will now remain lit at night.

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The Singapore Maritime Week (SMW) 2014 culminated in the launch of the Singapore Maritime Trails and the Maritime Corner at Fort Canning Park on Friday, 11 April 2014.

SMW 2014, which took place between April 6 to 11, 2014, attracted some 20,000 industry and over 120,000 public participants to its 29 events and functions.

Mr Andrew Tan, Chief Executive, Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), said, "The Singapore Maritime Trails and Maritime Corner@Fort Canning are some of our efforts to revive interest in Singapore's rich maritime heritage and excite the young in the maritime sector. We are confident that the trails will appeal to both youths and adults alike, as well as visitors to Singapore. I hope it will inspire our schools to promote more of our local heritage and our cosmopolitan society."

Maritime Corner@Fort Canning

MPA adopted the replica of the Fort Canning Lighthouse and Flagstaff from the National Parks Board (NParks). The area around these two maritime structures was converted into the "Maritime Corner@Fort Canning" to tell the story of Fort Canning's importance to Singapore's early maritime trade and its significance as an important navigation point for guiding ships into our port.

Mr Kenneth Er, Chief Executive Officer, said, "We are delighted to work with MPA on the Maritime Corner and welcome this new addition that enhances the visitor experience to the park. With an illustrious history that includes being home to kings and dignitaries, Fort Canning has several fascinating historical elements such as site of Singapore's first botanical and experimental garden started by Sir Stamford Raffles in 1822, and the Archaeological Dig and Exhibition Museum which showcases historical artefacts from the 14th century. The Maritime Corner complements these offerings at Fort Canning and enriches the interpretation for visitors to learn more about the history of our maritime trade."

From 11 April 2014, MPA will be re-lighting the Fort Canning Lighthouse with solar-powered incandescent light to mimic the kerosene-powered light that shone from the lighthouse from 1903 to 1958.

The Maritime Corner@Fort Canning consists of 14 exhibition panels around the Flagstaff and Lighthouse, providing details on the history of Fort Canning, the Flagstaff, the Lighthouse, as well as information on the modern day lighthouses maintained by MPA.

Singapore Maritime Trails

In the coming months, MPA will also be stepping up its outreach efforts, with a view to changing perceptions of the maritime industry and attracting more people to join the sector.

Starting from 12 April 2014, MPA will be organising the Singapore Maritime Trails to tell the story of the progress of Singapore's maritime industry through a series of tours. The first trail launched today focuses on Singapore's maritime heritage through visits to Fort Canning, Boat Quay, Waterboat House, and other historical maritime landmarks.

Complimentary guided trails will be held every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday until 30 April 2014. Subsequently, complimentary guided tours will run every first Saturday of the month, from 9am to 12pm, until December 2014.

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