Navy basin hosts last ship
By ANDY GILBERT
THE former Royal Navy basin at the Prince of Wales barracks in Central hosts its last visitor today before it is filled in as part of the Wan Chai reclamation.
The privilege of being the last ship to dock inside the basin will go to the Australian destroyer HMAS Brisbane.
The Brisbane, accompanied by four other ships, will spend a week in the territory for recreation and routine maintenance following manoeuvres off the coast of Malaysia.
Only the Brisbane will dock inside the wall for ease of manoeuvring.
A spokesman for the Australian Consulate said it was nice to be a part of the history of Hong Kong.
As Australia only sends about four ships a year to the territory, he said it was ironic that one of their ships would be the last to be hosted there.
The Brisbane will dock inside the north arm of the basin with the tanker support ship HMAS Westralia outside the arm. Frigates Adelaide, Melbourne and Newcastle will dock alongside the west wall outside the Prince of Wales Building.
The basin, built in 1906, forms part of the eastern part of what used to be HMS Tamar, which is being handed back to the Hong Kong Government as part of the defence lands agreement.
The west part of the site, including the Prince of Wales Building which currently houses the British force's headquarters, will be handed to the People's Liberation Army (PLA) in 1997.
A new naval base and basin will be built for the PLA by 1997 at the south side of Stonecutters Island.