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. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE TY
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. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE TY

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.

The series of free guided tours beginning on Saturday have been set up by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) to "revive interest in Singapore's rich maritime heritage" and excite the young about a career in the sector, said MPA chief executive Andrew Tan.

The maritime sector contributes about seven per cent to the nation's GDP. Of its 170,000 workers, 76,000 are Singaporean.

The first tour focuses on history and takes participants on foot and by coach from Fort Canning to the Singapore River before skirting by today's modern terminal port at Tanjong Pagar. It reminds them that the island's sea-faring history began centuries ago - it was already a thriving trading harbour in the 14th century, not a sleepy fishing village as myths have suggested.

They will also learn surprising facts, such as that when the Old Supreme Court was being constructed, architects had to take care that it did not obstruct ships' view of the Fort Canning Lighthouse.

Tours will be held every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday until the end of the month. They will run every first Saturday of the month until December.

For more information, email: enquiries@maritimegallery.sg

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