8 May 2014
Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa, Maldives reconnects with its roots to celebrate the island’s exciting past with a dedicated historical programme led by ex-Radio Officer Tony Hawes, who returns to the Gan RAF for the first time in 56 years since being based there during his military service.
Guests staying at the resort from 18 to 23 May 2014 can follow in Hawes’ footsteps as he brings the island to life with his memories, providing a vivid insight into the island’s colourful past as a British Naval Base during the Second World War.
The Maldives is traditionally associated with white sand and turquoise blue sea, but little do people know that beyond Villingili beaches, British history is waiting to be uncovered.
Within the Addu Atoll, the picturesque island of Gan played host to a British Naval base, RAF Gan, during the course of war. It’s strategic and secluded location, with a deep and calm anchorage, made it an ideal vantage point from which the allied campaign based in Singapore was supported. The base served an important purpose in the war and was integral to the detachment of RAF personal and British flying boat patrol bombers to Ceylon.
During his visit, Mr Hawes will host a meet-and-greet session, be involved in corporate social responsibility initiatives with the Resort staff, lead Resort guests an excursion to Gan providing historical insights and concluding the visit with a memorable dinner and presentation.