Reminiscing Forgotten Treasure – Simanggang

KUCHING: Sarawak Heritage Society (SHS) will be organising a follow-up site visit to Fort Alice, Sri Aman on May 26, 2-3.30 pm. The number of participants is limited to 30 with priority given to participants from previous workshops.

 

This time around, John Ting, SHS’ project historian, will be on-site to share his research on the reconstruction of the fort’s interior. Ting will share rare, old photographs that have not been published and give a preview of the Heritage Museum to be set up in the conserved fort.

 

Parents are encouraged to join the site visit, previous participants are required to wear their limited-edition project T-shirt. For safety reasons, participants must wear proper shoes with thick soles, long trousers, and bring along umbrellas and water bottles of their own.

 

Fort Alice is a 145-year-old fort which has been listed as a historical monument. It is located on a strategic hilltop and served to defend against piracy and invasions from the Lupar River and was used as an administrative center for Charles Brooke, the second Rajah of Sarawak.

 

Prior to its reconstruction, the fort had fallen into ruin and has since become a historic preservation success under SHS’ community-based cultural heritage conservation programme ‘Reminiscence Forgotten Treasure… Simanggang’.

 

This is their second series of the much acclaimed community programme first implemented in Siniawan called ‘Reminiscence Forgotten Treasure… Siniawan.’

 

Architect, Mike Boon, will show the old and new technologies being used, and give participants the opportunity to examine traditional hand tools that workers used in the reconstruction.

 

Since the programme started on May 28 last year, participants to previous site visits saw the fort in its dilapidated condition before the fabrics were carefully dismantled. They have witnessed the processes of the structural ‘skeleton’ being reconstructed from ground zero.

 

Previous participants also got to see the unsatisfactory experimental results of coatings on belian, where different bonding agents (such as melted cowhide, soap and starch) were added to lime wash. The used of cylindrical dowels made from the Belian wood on the reconstructed structures were also pointed out to participants on the site.

 

The participants were also taken to first floor Fort Alice, where they were taken in by the panoramic view from the fort; a perfect reason why Charles Brooke had chosen this vantage point to keep surveillance on the Lupar River.

 

They also learned to identify roof framing components, such as roof beam, tie, King post, rafter, batten etc. and were pointed out the elements of Chinese and Malay carpentry traditions incorporated in the fort structure.

 

The community-based project aimed to promote the awareness in cultural heritage conservation in Sri Aman. It is a community based project organised through Non-Government Organisations (NGOs), professional bodies, local community organisations and individuals, and is solely funded by SHS, Co-Organiser Malaysian Institute of Architects Sarawak Chapter (PAMSC) and their Corporate Partner NS Bluescope Lysaght (Sarawak) Sdn Bhd (Lysaght).

 

Simanggang Soon Heng Society (SSHS) as the local partner plays an important role in programme implementation and logistic coordination and this project is also supported by Jabatan Muzium Sarawak (JMS) and The Talents and Arts Performing Group (WuJiaoJi).

 

The site is covered by Public Liability Insurance, however the organiser shall not be held liable for any accidents that may occur during site visit.
For further inquiries and to register, email Mike Boon ar.mikeboon@gmail.com.

 

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