Sunday, March 27, 2011

Lighthouses of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

An amazing FDC sent to me by Trudy!

The port of Hong Kong has always been key to business prosperity of the territory. It not only acts as a hub port of the South Asian Pacific region, but also an entrepot for the Mainland of China. Standing guard at the entrance of a harbour, a lighthouse serves as a navigation aid to mariners. A system of lenses at the top of the tower casts flashing light to guide incoming and outgoing vessels away from danger. This set of special stamps depicts five surviving pre-war lighthouses in Hong Kong. With clarity and realism as their themes of design, the stamps show a map and a compass in the upper half of the backdrop and the latitude and longitude coordinates at the bottom. The layout highlights the important role of lighthouses in the maritime history.

$1.40 - Cape D' Aguilar Lighthouse  - the first of its kind in Hong Kong, was lit up to help vessels navigate on 16 April 1875. The round stone tower is 9.7 metres high and white in colour. Its base, arched doorway and spiral staircase are of fine masonry. The iron door is adorned with geometric decoration at the top. The opening of Waglan Island Lighthouse years later in 1893 rendered Cape D' Aguilar Lighthouse superfluous and it became inoperative in 1896. In 1975 the latter was automated and re-lit. Cape D' Aguilar Lighthouse was declared a monument on 3 March 2006.

$1.89 - Old Green Island Lighthouse - this lighthouse began guiding seafarers across the waters on 1 July 1875. The small circular tower is constructed of granite, measuring about 12 metres in height. Its doorway features projected rough-faced quoins. The two cross-shaped openings on its wall, resembling gun-posts found in medieval European castles, facilitate ventilation and light penetration. Immediately after the new Green Island Lighthouse came into operation, the old lighthouse was decommissioned and later declared a monument on 7 November 2008.

$2.40 - New Green Island Lighthouse - standing next to its predecessor, the new Green Island Lighthouse was constructed in 1904 and completed in 1905. The circular tower, built of granite and concrete, stands 1.5 metres high with a steel lantern at the top. It is painted white for high visibility, thermal insulation and structural protection. Its spiral staircase is made of fine masonry complete with beautiful railings. The entrance and windows, in the form of segmental arches, are decorated with ornamental plaster mouldings. The tower has been fully automated since the 1970's. Both the new and old Green Island Lighthouse were declared monuments on 7 November 2008.

$3 - Tang Lung Chau Lighthouse - it commenced helping mariners navigate the coastline on 29 April 1912. The skeletal steel tower is 11.8 metres high and painted white at the top. The adjoining brick house, furnished with a bedroom, a kitchen, a latrine and a storeroom, was the living quarters of the lighthouse keeper. With no well or fresh water supply on the island, rainwater was collected from the roof and diverted to an underground tank for storage and use. The now automated Tang Lung Chau Lighthouse was declared a monument on 29 December 2000.

$5 - Waglan Lighthouse - the first flash of light was beamed from Waglan Lighthouse on 9 May 1893. Its then state-of-the-art lamp burned mineral oil and was equipped with rotating apparatus floating on mercury. During the Second World War, the lighthouse was extensively damaged and repairs began from 1945. Fully automated since August 1989, the lighthouse serves not only as a navigation aid but also an outpost for collecting meteorological data from the eastern part of the territory for analysis by the Hong Kong Observatory. Waglan Lighthouse was declared a monument on 29 December 2000.

Date of Issue:     29 December 2010
Width:                  28.00 mm
Height:                 45.00 mm
Number in set:  5
Stamp layout:    pane of 25 stamps
S/S size:              150mm x 85mm
Perforation:       13.5 x 13.25 (one elliptical perforation on each vertical)
Paper:                   paper with security fibres

1 comment:

  1. Your blog is well visited.Bravo on your work among stamps.