Sat, May 06, 2017 - Page 4 News List

Port police in Kaohsiung move for pier restoration

MARITIME HISTORY:Takao Harbor was a major international port during the Qing Dynasty and was protected by British-made Armstrong guns, a Kaohsiung official said

By Huang Chia-lin and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Historic Shaochuantou is pictured in Kaohsiung in an undated photograph.

Photo: Courtesy of Kaohsiung Bureau of Cultural Affairs

The Coast Guard Administration and Kaohsiung port police will move their facilities at Shaochuantou (哨船頭) to make room for a project to restore historic piers in the area, Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Lai Jui-lung (賴瑞隆) said on Wednesday last week.

The Hsingbin Project seeks to establish a heritage site dedicated to the city’s maritime history, Lai said, adding that the project will restore the Shaochuantou piers and connect them to the former British consulate at Takao (打狗).

Shaochuantou’s name comes from an old service dock, called shaochuan (哨船), used by the Qing Dynasty navy, Kaohsiung Deputy Commissioner of Cultural Affairs Lin Shang-ying (林尚瑛) said.

At the time, Takao Harbor was a major international port and Shaochuantou was its primary dock, handling large commercial vessels and warships, Lin said.

The Northern Gate, 50m from the dock, was then armed with British-made Armstrong guns, which were supported by a gun battery on Chihoushan (旗後山), demonstrating the port’s strategic value, he said.

Urban development has destroyed much of the historical harbor and the Harbor No. 1 Safety Inspection Office building cut off the former British consulate building from the historic site, Lin said.

Negotiations with port police and coast guard officials were difficult, he said, but added that restoring the piers is the right thing to do.

Lin said he was worried that abandoning the project at this stage would kill it.

Kaohsiung Deputy Mayor Shih Che (史哲) attributed the successful outcome of the negotiations to Lai’s “superhuman tenacity,” adding that the lawmaker has held more than 20 rounds of negotiations since September last year to push the project.

The relocation of a safety inspection office was on Wednesday last week authorized by Minister of Culture Cheng Li-chiun (鄭麗君) and Minister Without Portfolio Chang Ching-sen (張景森), city officials said.

A residential building for customs officials near the former British consulate will also be relocated, Lin said.

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