“Have you noticed the sound of a gun going off every day in the city at noon? I’m the guy firing it! I was part of the Royal Hong Kong Regiment back in the Nineties, so I know a thing or two about artillery. My day job was quite different - I worked in IT for many years. After I retired in 2008, I took on this very unique job of firing the Noon Day Gun. I get in early and raise the flags at 9am, polish the gun and prepare for firing. At 11:30am, I will change into my smart uniform and make some final preparations, before firing the gun at 12 noon - sharp! We have tourists and locals alike visiting the site and taking pictures of the gun every day. I’m proud to be doing this job - it is such a quintessential part of Hong Kong.”
“Did you know that firing of the Noon Day Gun has been going on for over a hundred and fifty years in Hong Kong? The story goes something like this. The gun used to be fired every time our tai-pan was seen to be approaching from sea - not just to salute and welcome him, but also to alert people that the boss is back! One time, a British naval officer got offended by the loud noise, as the practice was normally only reserved for army or government officials, not tai-pans. As a result, Jardines was given a penalty to fire the gun every day at noon, in perpetuity - and so the tradition carried on!”
“We fire the gun rain or shine, even in the middle of a typhoon - as long as it is safe to do so. I have many fond memories from my army days. We would do ambush and surveillance training out in the mountains - in Sai Kung, Hoi Ha, Pat Sin Leng. I remember so clearly the first time I got to go on a helicopter - the cabin door was not fully shut and I was so terrified that I would fall out! We would also catch smugglers at the border with Mainland China. My day to day life is a lot more relaxed and low-key these days. I like to go to Ap Liu Street Market in Sham Shui Po to look at second hand goods, and generally take things easy. I love my job and I want to be carrying out this duty for as long as I can!”
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