Jason Brooke and volunteer Dylan Lai visited Fort Alice in Sri Aman (or Simanggang as it was known) where Rajah Charles felt most at home for almost 50 years. The fort itself is a fine example of what architect Dr John Ting refers to as 'syncretic architecture' during the Brooke period, a fusion of influences from the diverse communities that made up Sarawak, 'an architectural reflection of [the Brookes'] unusual approach to governance'. An impressive restoration project was completed earlier this year, marked by an extensive community engagement programme and employing the skills of Iban, Chinese and Malay just as with the original. Now open to the public, the interior, arranged as during Charles Brooke's reign, helps visitors immerse themselves in the heritage of this historic town. This looks certain to set an example for future community heritage projects in Sarawak.
2 April 2015