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I think Ipoh Baptish Church is on Chapman Street (Jln Raja Eram), adjacent to Jln Dato’ Cheang Lee and parallel to Jln Lau Ek Ching.
In the 70′s opposite the church there was a famouse dried curry noodle stall underneath a huge tree. My Father took us there during weekend and we have to wait quite a while as the ‘cheong sam’ lady took her time to prepare the curry noodle.
My first encounter with Ipoh Baptist Church was when I got enrolled at the kindergarten at the age of 3. The then teacher was Mrs Paul Leong, a very kind lady who was from Hong Kong, and who drove a black Mercedes Benz saloon. The year was 1955, soon after the church building was completed along Cowan Street.
We used to have a great time under the big tree shown on the left side of the picture. In those days, kids were encouraged to play with dirt (i.e. earth); and toy buckets with shovels were given to us to do just that! Nowadays, parents would sue the kindergarten for exposing their kids to this kind of play.
In between classes and play, kids were plied with Milo and Marie biscuits. Believe me, I still remember how those Milo drinks and biscuits taste like even today!
The kindergarten classes were conducted in Cantonese with some English thrown in now and then. In our final year, English was emphasized for those of us destined for English medium schools. Even though my parents were English speaking, I remember that it was tough going for me at the time… but the little English I had then held me in good stead when I entered the ACS.
The church building is still standing proud today along Jalan Raja Ekram, with its extension standing at where the big tree used to be. I believe the church continues to house a Chinese-speaking congregation. The English-speaking congregation moved to Canning Garden in 1960s.
Kit & Merrill, thanks for sharing your fond memories with us
What a coincidence! This Baptist Church was my ‘Alma Mater’ too. In fact, if my memory did not fail me, the congregation used to meet in a house at Jalan Seenivasagam when this church was under construction. The kindergarten was first started in the Jalan Seenivasagam location and when the construction of this church in Cowan Street was finally completed, the classes were moved to the new premises. Mrs. Leong was a gentle and soft-spoken lady and she was assisted by another woman, a teacher’s aide of sorts. Every day, we looked forward to those Milo beverage that washed down the Marie cookies, a flavorful treat for the average 5-year kid in the mid 50′s. After snacking, it was nap time. While most of us would obediently dozed off into slumberland, some daredevils would defy the teacher’s instructions when she was not looking. The sand pit was located on the right side of the building and during playtime we used spades and pails to build sand castles, a good alternative to doing it on the beach, which Ipoh had none. The medium of instruction was a mixture of Cantonese and English, and I remember singing along when Mrs. Leong played the piano. Isn’t it amazing how selective our memory can be. These events took place more than half a century ago but this very shot helped to turn back the pages of time and allow me to re-visit my childhood days again. Thanks for tweaking the memory of this aging baby boomer.
I followed my parents to worship here in 1978. At that time there was one Pastor William Tan who preached in Cantonese. Sunday worships were held upstairs and the church office and hall were downstairs.
The church extensions came about in the year 1981-1982.
welcome back, Ken Chan! and thank you too, Ah Lai
HI Merrill and Ken, Unfortunately, Mrs. Paul Leong had passed away several years ago in Boston where her daughter Peggy was the Assistant Dean of Harvard School of Dentistry. Her two daughters have now moved to San Francisco where Peggy is a lecturer at UCSF and Susan works in the preservation section of San Francisco Public Library. Paul Leong, my uncle was the grandson of Leong Fee.
Thanks for the interesting update on the late Mrs. Paul Leong and her two daughters. While I myself have settled in Chicago for a good 30 years, most of my relatives from my mom’s branch of the family tree are in the Boston area. As for San Francisco, my nephew did his PhD in UCSF and was mentored by Prof. Elizabeth Blackburn who won the Nobel Prize in 2009. Many of Ipoh’s residents are dispersed all over the world but when we start tracing our origins, our roots ultimately lead us back to our beloved hometown.
Thanks for the update too on the late Mrs. Paul Leong and her daughters. I know Peggy well as we were both members of the Canning Garden Baptist Church. Would love to catch up with her. The last time I saw her was more than ten years ago when she visited me and my late wife at my house. If you are in contact with Peggy, please ask her to contact me through Ipohworld.
Merrill, could you get my contact from Ian or from someone in Ipohworld. I have lost yours. I remember having spoken or written to you concerning your family. I spoke to Peggy last night and she would love to hear from you.
Sybil, I have sent Merrill your email as requested.