web analytics

Noonday Gun - An explosive reminder of Hong Kong's British heritage

Hiong Kong Noonday GunThe firing of the noonday gun in causeway Bay is one of the very few British traditions that is continued up to this day in Hong Kong.  In fact, it has become some sort of a tourist attraction where shoppers from nearby malls go out to watch the gun go off at noon.

The historic gun, which is a Hotchkiss three-pounder mounted on a small enclosed site near the Causeway Bay Typhoon Shelter, is owned and operated by Jardine Mathesonis.

According to stories, the tradition of firing it is said to have started when a Jardine employee fired a one-gun salute when the head of the company sailed into port.

The Governor, who has the sole privilege of gun salutes, was so enraged by this break in protocol that he ordered the gun be fired every day as penance.  The firing also serves as a time signal to help ships at the bay set their clocks to the correct time.

The daily firing event gathers a small crowd composed mostly of tourist who want to witness the short ceremony which commence with a Jardines guard marching up to the site in uniform.

The guard then rings a bell to signal the end of the fore-noon watch, a practice which dates from the time when Jardines' main offices and warehouses were located at East Point, and marches up to the Noonday Gun and fires it.

The guard then rings the bell again, locks the chain blocking access to the gun and goes off.

 

You might also like:

Leave a reply