Archive for May, 2014

Taiping’s Old House Museum

Text and photographs: Law Siak Hong

The Old House Museum in Taiping is intriguing, to say the least.

It has not been that long since the former owner passed away and the building sold. But in that short time, antiques and curios dealer, Mr Tan Kok Siew, the curator of Old House Museum, has managed to turn it into an Aladdin’s cave. The large townhouse is filled with his impressive collection, comprising furniture, kitchen utensils and wares, period paraphernalia, household items, and some rare historical prints and artifacts.

Shining silver trophies from a sporting life; a vintage lantern with decorative etched glass.

There are plenty for everyone to like and admire. In the rooms, the displays go by theme. The passages are not spared; interesting framed and flat items are judiciously grouped and arranged. It reminds me of The Time Tunnel in Kea Farm, Cameron Highlands – this is another must-see.

Portraits from the family album; old, decorated glass oil lamps with hood illuminated by a spotlight.
Colourful tiffin carriers in the kitchen; back windows of the house looking out to the stable below.
This passage way is a gallery of pop icons and movie stars as well as photographs of 1950s and 1960s.

It is commendable that Tan has left the house as found but had it cleaned from corner to corner. Pulling him aside, I suggested that he should investigate the heritage of the house and tell the story of the generations who lived there. It would be quite a riveting story, a part of the tapestry of Taiping’s social history.

Lim “Ji You” built the house, probably the first three-storey townhouse in Taiping; historical items hang in the passage way.
Out of bounds to visitors, the jaw-dropping wooden spiral staircase can only be admired.
Freshly-painted brick column and the original terracotta floor.
Wouldn’t it be better if the hall is fitted out as original as possible to tell the story of the Lim family?
A welcome speech during the briefing session.
Go admire the beautifully preserved screen behind Sharon Chan and Tan Kok Siew.

Organised by Sharon Chan for the Taiping Heritage Society, the group visit attracted over 30 members and their family, who were taking photographs with great enthusiasm, posing with the myriad of artifacts on display and sharing memories evoked by the place and its display. When all’s done, we were treated to an afternoon snack of delectable nyonya kueh, provided by the Taiping Heritage Society.

By the dining table is an ornate ancestral altar which faces the main road, Jalan Kota.

Ever the hospitable smiling host, Tan must be congratulated for a job well done.

Located at 2A, Market Square, the Old House Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Entrance fee is RM5 per person. For further information, phone 019-5513058 or email tpgkapitan@yahoo.com.

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A New PHS Committee is Born

Photos by Law Siak Hong and James Gough

The spacious hall – setting the mood for smooth proceedings at the Annual General Meeting

The 11th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Perak Heritage Society (PHS) went smoothly and the new committee for 2014-2015 duly elected. For those who missed it, here’s a summary, and some photographs of the proceedings.

As members and guests arrived, the atmosphere of anticipation was palpable. The AGM got underway soon after the appointed time. Because of the lack of quorum, the meeting was adjourned and, accordingly, reconvened half-an-hour later.

James, Phillip and Mohd Taib – duties at the registration table

Browsing at the table books produced by the Department of Town and Country Planning

In his address, out-going president, Mohd Taib bin Mohamed expressed pride in PHS winning the state Tourism Award. But it was Advocacy, the keynote of his address which resonated.

“… Advocacy is an eight-letter word. It is disheartening that it is not only the community and government who lack understanding of heritage but we, members of PHS sometimes overlook the tenet of heritage. As such the new PHS committee will need to look seriously at heritage advocacy… For three years I have attended the state’s pre-budget dialogue sessions. Proposals for the state to provide incentive for heritage building owners and to create fund for heritage conservation works and research into our heritage had all fallen on deaf ears.”

Left: Mohd Taib delivering committee report. Right: Votes counted.

Sook Mei taking count of votes during the election of committee members

After both the management report and the financial report were adopted, the old committee stood down. The election followed. Out of twelve nominees, eleven were voted in, while the remaining was designated Honorary Auditor. Immediately after the AGM was adjourned, the new committee met briefly to appoint the office bearers. By consensus, status quo was maintained. For the names of the office bearers and committee members, see Information at the end of this summary.

As the hanging of the exhibition at Sepaloh Art Centre was still in progress, the preview had to be cancelled. We could not risk taking the heritage walk while rain threatened to fall. We wish for understanding if there was any disappointment.

As we were preparing to leave, Liz Cardosa of Badan Warisan Malaysia walked into the hall, having come straight from a meeting in KL. She might be late but her effort said much for her support for PHS.

A final word about the venue for our AGM: Sarang Paloh Event Hall is housed in the historic Bank of Malaya, built in 1920. The spacious hall was well presented for the AGM and, somehow, the sandwiches and cup cakes matched the feel of the place.

Information:

Attendance: 23 members & 7 guests/observers:
Life members = 6
Ordinary members = 16
Associate member = 1

Committee office bearers and members (2014-2015):

President: Mohd Taib bin Mohamed

Vice President: Law Siak Hong

Honorary Secretary: James Gough

Honorary Treasurer: Phillip Pu Yoke Loong

Committee Members:

Charlie Choong (new)
Peggy Lim (new)
Mohd JakiMamat
Jayakumary ap Marimuthu (new)
Gurmail Singh
Tajuddin bin Tahir
Sam Tan Seong Yeow (new)

Honorary Auditor:
Iris Cheng


Perak Heritage Society

Persatuan Warisan Perak
(Reg. No. 1254) was registered with the Registrar of Societies in August, 2003.

Office and Postal Address:
85C, Jalan Sultan Abdul Jalil,
30300 IPOH, Perak, Malaysia.
(opposite the Syuen Hotel)

Fax: 05-253 5507

E-mail:
perakheritage36@gmail.com
Website: https://perakheritage.wordpress.com

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