Fort Margherita marks 140th anniversary with The Brooke Gallery’s reopening

Salliza (left) showing an ornamental oar that was given by the local communities from the upper river of Sarawak, to Sir Anthony Brooke in 1920, during his visit to the upper river areas.

KUCHING, July 13: The iconic Kuching landmark, Fort Margherita celebrates its 140th anniversary with the reopening of its Brooke Museums’ flagship museum, The Brooke Gallery, after the Movement Control Order (MCO) period.

Brooke Museums manager Salliza Sideni said since its opening to the public in 2016, tens of thousands of visitors have passed through its doors to be taken on a journey through Sarawak’s early years.

She said while foreign guests, dignitaries, politicians and royals have all supported the museum over the years, the overwhelming majority of its visitors are local people from Sarawak: the heart of everything Brooke Museums do.

“After a challenging four months (under the MCO period), ‘holding the fort’ with great passion and dedication, the Fort is reopen to the public today (Monday, 13 July 2020),” she said during The Brooke Gallery & Fort Margherita’s reopening and 140th anniversary ceremony held at Fort Margherita, in Petra Jaya, today.

Some of the display items at The Brooke Gallery.

Salliza noted that Sarawak’s attractions, museums and galleries will depend for their survival on domestic visitors, including local community members getting out and supporting local amenities, after sharp decline in international visitors following the global pandemic.

According to her, the gallery collection “don’t just tell an inspiring story, they breathe life into historic buildings, celebrate community, employ local people, train local interns, commission local produce for the gift shop and use local suppliers to maintain all that they do”.

Display items at The Brooke Gallery.

She pointed that it is essential, as a community, that the public support them now and ensure their survival through this challenging time.

“With a packed programme of activities lined up for solo visitors, groups and families, there is something for everyone at Fort Margherita as it relaunches to the public.

“Support local arts and culture by visiting the Fort in the coming weeks. For up to date info please be sure to follow @brookemuseums on IG and @thebrookegallery on FB, or visit,” she added.

The Brooke Gallery in Fort Margherita is open to the public from Monday to Sunday, including on public holidays, from 9 am to 4 pm daily. An admission fee of RM10 will be charged for the locals, while RM20 for foreign tourists (global), including RM5 concession, and free entrance for children under aged 7 years. –DayakDaily.