Inner Circle

Living Legend

Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa, Maldives reconnects with its historical roots.

Living Legend

Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa, Maldives celebrates 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 he was based there during his military service.  Guests who stayed at the resort between 18 to 23 May 2014 followed in Hawes’ footsteps as he brought 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 beyond Villingili beaches, British history is waiting to be uncovered.  During his visit, Hawes hosted a meet-and-greet session, participated in corporate social responsibility initiatives, led guests on an excursion to Gan while providing historical insights and concluded the visit with a dinner and presentation.

Within Addu Atoll, the picturesque island of Gan played host to a British Naval base, RAF Gan, during the war.  Its 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 personnel and British flying boat patrol bombers to Ceylon.

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