On the second day of our Penang trip in December 2010, we had an hour to spare in the early evening, so we went for a leisurely drive along the Esplanade. I notice that there are many different types of buildings, old and new, vintage and modern next to each other. They look like new after being given a fresh coat of paint.
The Queen Victoria Memorial Clock Tower in the picture above is located at King Edward Place (Pesara King Edward) which is just next to the Penang Port Commission. This 60 ft tall tower is a famous landmark in George Town, Penang. It was built in 1897 by a Penang Chinese tycoon, Cheah Chen Eok to commemorate the diamond jubilee of Queen Victoria's reign. He had spent 35,000 Straits dollars to complete this clock tower in 1902. Sadly, Queen Victoria (24 May 1819 - 22 Jan 1901) had already passed on by then, so she didn't get to see this clock tower.
Malaysia is among one of the many commonwealth nations around the world with memorial places dedicated to her.
Just next to the historical clock tower is the modern Inland Revenue Department (IRD) or Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negeri (LHDN) buiding. The metal sculpture in front of the IRD Building is the shape of a betel nut. A betel nut is called 'buah pinang' in malay language and it is from this that Penang got its name.
“Queen Victoria Memorial Clock Tower - Penang Heritage Trail”, a copyrighted post, was written for Klang, Malaysia Daily Photo blog by Autumn Belle @ http://mymalaysiadailyphoto.blogspot.com on March 27th, 2011.
When you are visiting this landmark, look out for the following
a) Words inscribed on the base tier of the clock tower that says, 'This clock tower is presented to Penang by Cheah Chen Eok in commemoration of Her Majesty Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee 1837-1897'.
b) If you take a good look from a short distance away, notice that this clock tower is slightly leaning, probably due to the bombings suffered during the World War II and also due to the ravages of time.
c) Count the steps of the staircase leading up to the main door. There are 6 steps in total, indicating the number of decades of Queen Victoria's reign.
d) This tower is 60 ft tall, each foot for each year of her reign.
e) The architecture is Moorish and it has 4 tiers. The top tier is rounded off with Roman pillars and a domed cupola. The next 2 tiers are decorated with 4 working clocks, balconies and windows. The base tier is octagonal.
f) If you are taking pictures, you will notice that the colour tones of the building changes according to the time of the day.