KOTA KINABALU: The newly-opened Hotel Sixty3 at Gaya Street here will be
unveiling Sabah’s biggest graphic mural of the Atkinson Clock Tower for a two-day exhibition to be held in conjunction with the “Bonding with Gaya Street” event this weekend.
The 8’ x 48’ graphic mural, depicting KK city’s oldest landmark, the Atkinson Clock Tower, will be the highlight of the exhibition that will be placed in the atrium of the hotel.
The mural will be an artwork collage of various old photographs of Jesselton township combined to create an image of the clock tower. It will be the largest graphic bunting ever produced of the 107-year-old historical lock tower that
has now become the most important historical marker for the city of Kota Kinabalu.
The Atkinson Clock Tower (ACT) exhibition will showcase the importance
of the Atkinson Clock Tower as KK city’s historic landmark with old photos taken over the past 107 years of its existence by the past and present residents of Kota Kinabalu (then known as Jesselton).
Richard Nelson Sokial, a local heritage advocate who is assisting in curating the ACT exhibition together with Sabah Museum, praised the hotel management for its interest and support in promoting the event.
Sokial is also a member of the “Bonding with Gaya Street” organizing
committee under the North Borneo History Enthusiasts (NBHE) group that is aiming to bring the local community together in rediscovering the history of KK city’s early town centered around the activities of Gaya Street — then known as Bond Street.
“The graphic mural of the Atkinson Clock Tower is a huge and generous
gesture by Hotel Sixty3 in support of promoting our local history,” he said. Sokial is confident that with ongoing efforts to create awareness of the importance to preserve heritage in the city, more and more local business establishments are seeing the potential of heritage as a branding and tourism product by supporting the preservation of existing historical structures and their immediate surroundings.
Lisa Sabrina Ambrose, general manager of Hotel Sixty3, said the hotel is excited to be involved with a project that is so close to the heart of the Gaya Street community.
“We hope that this exhibition will encourage the public to learn more about the city, so that when they walk along Gaya Street they can retrace the history of Kota Kinabalu,” she said.
Formerly known as Nosmal Court, the premises of Hotel Sixty3 was renovated and completed early last year and is one of the few examples of architectural readaptation projects in Kota Kinabalu that have mostly kept the character of the original building’s modernist architecture from the early 1960s.
Apart from rare old photos and information about the Atkinson Clock Tower and heritage preservation efforts, a multimedia presentation will also be shown about the Atkinson Clock Tower as an effort by Sabah’s younger generation to preserve their local history.
In support of the Atkinson Clock Tower exhibition, Hotel Sixty3 will also display its own private collection of old photos taken during North Borneo’s
colonial era along its hotel’s corridors.
The Atkinson Clock Tower exhibition will be held at the first floor atrium of Hotel Sixty3, located in front of the Sabah Tourism Corporation building on Gaya Street. It will be open from 8.30am to 6.30pm as part of the “Bonding with Gaya Street” event.
Early birds visiting the exhibition will also be able to redeem free cups of coffee sponsored by Cap Kuda Coffee Company at the first floor atrium. The coupons will be distributed along Gaya Street during the two-day event.
A coffeetable book titled “Colonial Towns in Sabah: West Coast” by PAM
Sabah Chapter will also be on sale at the exhibition featuring 12 colonial townships in Sabah’s west coast.