OUR MEMORIES
Monumental Obelisks


 

INTRODUCTION

 

There were 2 Monumental Obelisks as landmarks related to Happy Valley and Hong Kong Racing History.

 

 

BACKGROUND

 

Obelisk Monument (from Greek ὀβελίσκος – obeliskos, diminutive of ὀβελός – obelos, “spit, nail, pointed pillar”),
it is a tall, four-sided, narrow tapering monument which ends in a pyramid-like shape at the top.
These were originally called “tekhenu” by the builders, the Ancient Egyptians.
The Greeks who saw them used the Greek ‘obeliskos’ to describe them, and this word passed into Latin and then English.
Ancient obelisks were often monolithic, whereas most modern obelisks are made of several stones and can have interior spaces.

It has three different purposes: religious (ritual), monumental (year reign) and decorative.

 

 

HIGHLIGHTS

 

1847 Vestal Obelisk Monument
This obelisk originally stood at the junction of the original Sports Road, WongNeiChong Road, Queen’s Road East and Leighton Road.
The obelisk was erected by Captain Talbot and the officers of H.M.S. Vestal in memory of colleagues who had died in March 1847.
Between 1845 and 1847, the warship fought in Ceylon,Madras, Hong Kong and Brunei. While in Brunei
H.M.S. Vestal had taken part in operations against pirates.
The obelisk was dedicated to soldiers killed in the various battles as well as those died of sickness or accidents while stationed in the various cities.
1847-04-01 Sam HULLOTT A.B. Died at Sea, the last date of name among those found on the ObeliskMonument to the men of HMS Vestal.
1858-05-15《The Illustrated London News》 published a sketch of Vestal Obelisk Monument at Sports Road and Wong Nai Chong Road.
1858-05-15《The Illustrated London News》 published another sketch of the Vestal Obelisk with passers-by, sedan carriers, riders, hawkers and children.
1958-08-08《The China Mail》 depicted a photo and article about Vestal Monument beautifying.
1968-11-13《Wah Kiu Yat Po》confirmed that moving of Vestal obelisk was commenced on 1968-11-12.
1969-02-21《Wah Kiu Yat Po》reported that after the dispute, Vestal Obelisk was moved to where it stands today in the Hong Kong Cemetery.
1970s, the original location was used to know as near the former building of the Hong Kong branch of New China News Agency.

 

1855 Kuhlan obelisk Monument
1855-08-04 American and British fleets launched a joint campaign from the Gao Lan Island off the southwest of Macao to fight against pirates.
1855-10-06《The Illustrated London News》reported the combined operation involving HMS Rattler.
Kuhlan obelisk was erected to commemorate four British and five American sailors killed in the campaign.
The obelisk bear witness to the rampancy of piracy in the vicinity which greatly affected the development of maritime trade in the early years of Hong Kong.
1898-04-30 《An American Cruiser In The East》described that the Kuhlan monument stands: “In a gloomy spot, at the foot of the hill where begins the deep cut to the Happy Valley“.
1934-07-06 《Hong Kong Telegraph》reported that Kuhlan Monument was planning to moved due to the expansion of Wanchai Road Market.
1934-09-03 《Hong Kong Telegraph》recorded that Kuhlan Monument was moved from Wanchai Road to the junction of Morrison Hill Road and Leighton Road.
1937-09-02, a newspaper photos showing Kuhlan Memorial (opposite to the former Police Recreation Club) standing next to an overturned tree caused by the passage of a typhoon that hit Hong Kong on 1 September.
1950, Kuhlan obelisk originally stood at the junction and was planned of moving again, to Hong Kong Cemetery this time.
1969-02-21《Wah Kiu Yat Po》reported that Kuhlan obelisk was moved to where it stands today in the Hong Kong Cemetery.

 

 

 

SUMMARY

 

Those two monuments had long been landmarks of Happy Valley, Paau Ngoh Districts and HKJC racecourse.
Reasons of their moving were mainly due to traffic considerations.
It being thought that they obstructed road changes to facilitate traffic movement.
There were loud objections at the time, not because it was thought the monuments should not be moved.
But because it was thought that their occupation of scarce grave sites in the Colonial Cemetery was totally unjustified.

 

 

 

REFERENCE

 

Hong Kong Cemetery which is the oldest one in Hong Kong, also named as Colonial Cemetery or Red Hair Cemetery.
1845, it was moved from its original site near Daibutsu in WanChai to the present the area in Happy Valley.
In the Hong Kong Cemetery, the third one on the right erected on 1908-05-15 is the monument to the sailors from the Fronde, commemorates the typhoon victims on 1906-09-18.

 

 

 

RELATED LINK

 

Video Showcase

 

Photo Gallery

 

《An American cruiser in the East》 -Text File

 

 

 


 

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