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Han Chin Pet Soo is open! Book now at www.ipohworld.org/reservation

September 2010

“Look at ME….”

By |2010-10-06T17:10:40+08:00September 29th, 2010|Categories: Identify Photographs, Memories, People|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Here’s one for the album!

This picture was given to us by our friend Charlie…..yes, that’s Charlie on his tractor ūüėČ

As children, we played with toy soldiers, match-box cars, teddy bears, dolls, board games, etc. But I do wonder: how many of us had such toys (picture above) when we were little? Certainly Leong Cheok Loong had a mobo bronco, and Ong Wei Mei had a triang jeep.

Care to share your sweet memories with us? Or, perhaps…some of you out there ‘improvised’ cardboards and other stuff for amusement?

The Scorpio Books – True Stories from the Special Branch

By |2010-09-28T12:23:22+08:00September 28th, 2010|Categories: Books, Memories, People|Tags: , , |

This series of four books has just been reprinted and they are now available direct from the author singly or as a set of four. They cover, in fascinating detail, the Special Branch activities during the first and second Malayan/Malaysian Emergencies and in China thereafter.

The first book¬† “Communist Eraser” is a 366 page¬†personal story of the author who served in the Special Branch of the Royal Malaysian Police Force for a third of a century and from where he retired as its Deputy Director of Operations. A full review may be found¬†here. The¬†book costs RM55 plus RM5 post and packing within Malaysia.

This is followed by ‘ Against the One-Eyed Dragon”. Among the insurgents was a central committee member – the highest rank in the communist hierarchy – known only as the “One-Eyed-Dragon”. This is the true story of how Scorpio, leading 12 Special Branch Officers, tracked him down and eliminated him. A full review may be found here. The¬†book (167 pages)¬†costs RM25 plus RM5 post and packing within Malaysia.

Next is “On the Dragon’s Trail”, 259 pages which relate Scorpio’s operations against the Communists after they assassinated the Inspector General of Police in 1974,¬†while being driven to his office in broad daylight.¬†There are detailed descriptions of the planning and execution of all his operations in the jungle, estate areas or the streets and alleyways of a big city,¬†A full review of this book may be found here¬†and it costs RM40 plus RM5 post and packing within Malaysia.

Finally “In the Dragons’ Playground” relates an entirely different but true story.¬†After the second Malaysian Emergency, Scorpio’s duties included organising the briefing and debriefing of visitors to China and when he learned that a Malaysian Trade Mission was to pay an extended visit to China he managed to get himself included in it, suitably disguised as an official in the Ministry of Primary Industries. Before leaving he was asked by his father to trace his relatives in South China and a Commonwealth liaison officer asked him to try and find a ‘mole’ with whom his Embassy in Beijing had lost contact.¬†He succeeded. To read more about the story click here. Again this book of 261 pages costs RM40 plus RM5 post and packing within Malaysia.

The books may be ordered from the author Datuk Dr. Leong Chee Woh, contact 0193124759 or ahwohtoi@yahoo.com.  For a full set of books there will be a reduction in postage costs. Payment vide his Maybank account, details being provided when you place the order. For overseas purchasers please enquire about the postage to the above email.

These books are recommended as easy reading, true history of Malaya/Malaysia’s fight against the Communists over¬†more than 30 years. They should be read by young and old. Leong Chee Woh is a¬†great author and he knows the truth for¬†HE IS SCORPIO.¬†¬†

” Mo Gao Jin, Sharpening Scissors, Mo Gao Jin …….”

By |2010-09-27T00:15:45+08:00September 27th, 2010|Categories: ipoh, People|Tags: , , , |

Suddenly one day last week we could hardly believe our ears. Was that really a scissor sharpener’s call just¬†outside our gate? As we rushed outside there he was, riding away on his battered bicycle with his, just as battered, hat on his head. Of course my wife and I ran after him and caught up with him at a neighbour’s house. “Quick, the camera!” my wife shouted after me as I was running home to get it.

 So here he is, Ah Tuck, possibly the last mobile knife and scissor sharpener that Ipoh will ever see. He was born in Ipoh in 1935 and learnt the skill from his father. There was no sophistication about his technique, just a range of sharpening stones, from course to fine, a couple of wooden blocks, a hammer and pliers. But he soon got down to work.

He spent quite some time on this one knife which had a kink in the blade, but when he had finished it was as straight and as sharp as new.

My wife could not resist employing him as well – 3 knives sharpened for RM10, including a repair to one handle and so he settled down to work in our driveway.

Finally, before he left, he gave us three tips for keeping knives sharp:

1. Never use hot water to clean your knives. 2. Always wash a knife with the sharp side upwards. 3. Never scrape your chopping board with the sharpened side of the knife.

Now Ah Tuck is a far cry from the old travelling scissor sharpeners who used pedal power to rotate a grindstone on their bicycles, but the job was done, the knives were sharp. What more could you want for RM10?

Apparently, at age 75, he will also paint your house or mend your leaking roof, but quite how we would find him again I don’t know. Has anyone else seen him?

‘Forest Lodge’, Ipoh

By |2010-12-08T15:18:34+08:00September 24th, 2010|Categories: Identify Photographs, ipoh, Memories, Natural Heritage|Tags: , , , |

Eu Tong Sen and Chung Thye Phin (two of Ipoh’s many Towkays) once built a weekend retreat, Forest Lodge,¬†at Gopeng Road. It had a large stable – befitting the common interests of these “blood brothers”, which included motorcars, racehorses, and country houses. Later, when Eu Tong Sen was appointed to the Federal Council, Chung Thye Phin sold his half-lot to Eu Tong Sen – thus a much grander accomodation was built.

(Front view)

(Side view)

During the Japanese Occupation, this building served as an army base. Sometime in 1949, the building was taken over by the Perak Islamic Mission Association. ‘Forest Lodge’ then came to be known as Pusat Rawatan Islamar-Ridzuan, which was a medical centre for Muslims.

Although it’s not the ‘Forest Lodge’ anymore, the unique structures (the arches and windows) have remained the same. Also notice the crescent and the star, something not usually found in such heritage buildings.

From what we’ve heard, the Islamic Medical Centre will be moving out from this place. What’s going to happen to it? We hope it won’t be demolished or left to wither…..

A Curious Shophouse in Falim

By |2010-09-22T09:09:52+08:00September 22nd, 2010|Categories: Identify Photographs, Memories, Natural Heritage|Tags: , , , |

While in Falim some time ago, our friend Charlie stumbled upon this curious building (picture above).

Not to be confused with the ‘lions of Hugh Low Street’ – but they DO somehow look similar.

These ‘lions’ have been ‘living’ in Falim since 1906. We wonder what this building was BEFORE it became Syarikat Electrik Kong Ah. Anyone knows?

Perhaps someone out there used to live here? We await your thoughts and comments…..

1Malaysia Lantern Festival 2010

By |2010-09-20T09:59:26+08:00September 20th, 2010|Categories: ipoh, Ipoh Town|Tags: , , , , |

This Friday (24 September 2010), there will be a Heritage Unity Walk – starting out at the Ipoh Railway Station. It’s a special¬†event for 700 underprivilaged Perakian children; these children will be treated to games and a food carnival prior to the walk. And¬†since it’s the Mid Autumn Festival,¬†we’ll be carrying lanterns while we walk the¬†heritage trail.¬†The schedule for this event is as follows:

¬† 6.30pm –¬† Arrival of participants

¬†¬†7.00pm –¬† Arrival of Children & Guests
                  Games for Children & Food Carnival

¬† 7.50pm –¬† Arrival of YBhg Datuk Bandar Ipoh & EXCO Tourism

¬† 8.00pm –¬† Arrival of Menteri Besar Perak

¬† 8.05pm –¬†¬†Welcoming speech by MC
                  Welcoming Dance
                  Speech by Organising Chairman
                  Speech by Menteri Besar
                  Official launch of the celebrations by Guest of Honour

¬† 8.30pm –¬† Start of Heritage Trail of Unity Walk (with Lanterns)

¬† 9.45pm –¬† End of walk
                  Supper for VIPs

10.30pm –¬†¬†End

All are welcome to join this event – bring your own Lantern!

It’s Those Twins Again ……

By |2010-09-19T11:48:39+08:00September 19th, 2010|Categories: Memories, People, Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , |


Yes it is John De Lucy and his twin brother having fun in their garden pool under the supervision of their Amah, but of course this was during the Malayan Emergency and so the ever-present armed guard is also in the picture. As John himself relates in our earlier blog, eventually they had to leave Malaya (in 1952) as the Communist attacks became too strong to ensure these youngsters safety.

This second picture again shows the twins happily posing for their photograph, but in this case the ominous feature is the armoured Ford V8 car that they are sitting on at the entrance to the estate.

Now for our younger readers who enjoy the security and good living in today’s Malaysia I would ask you to consider how different your life would be if the communist threat had been allowed to have its way and turn us into a communist satellite of China, back in the 1950’s. Should you not be too aware of what happened in those times then I would suggest you click here to find out a little more about the Malayan Emergency and those that saved our country from the Communist threat.

For those who wish to know more of the detail of the Emergency thre are over 300 historical entries, the majority with photographs, that may be accessed from our database here. Many of these have come from those who fought in the jungle for the future of our country as a democratic entity.

We thank John De Lucy for sharing these photos with us.

Mystery Solved!

By |2010-09-17T09:16:26+08:00September 17th, 2010|Categories: Memories, Natural Heritage, People, Restoration|Tags: , , , |

We refer to a previous posting about a traditional Malay-type house in Gopeng (here).

Our good friend Charlie brought to our attention the following NST article, as an update on this Gopeng mystery (see pictures below).

Azim Abdul Aziz, an architect, had decided to restore his grandfather’s 80-year-old house. Since the main road was being widened, the house had to be moved – hence, it was taken apart tile by tile, plank by¬†plank, and moved deeper into the family’s durian orchard.

Azim’s grandfather was a rubber tapper, who built this traditional Malay house; “a post and lintel timber structure with a thatched gable roof….a roof of clay tiles imported from India”. It was rather tedious, but the hard work paid off (see here for pictures of the house’s interior).

Work began in September 2002 and about 2 years later, the house was given a new coat of yellow (like the original). The only change perhaps was the adding of the lanai (a platform, overlooking the orchard), which was built at the back of the house. Azim and his family “intends to use the lanai for outdoor dining and seating” – since it ‘opens’ the area and provides a scenic view of the orchard and a stream.

So, restoration MAY take up a lot of time and money, but the end result is worth it! To Azim and his team – 3 cheers for you, for a job well done!

Ipoh-Born Joan Marjorie Joseph ……

By |2010-09-15T11:25:18+08:00September 15th, 2010|Categories: Identify Photographs, ipoh, Memories, People, Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , |

We received the following email and a number of family photographs recently from a lady named Judy and, as we usually do, would very much like to help with this enquiry which reads:

“I am researching my family history and trying find out as much as possible – of whatever type, good and bad – about my mother’s family.¬† She was born Joan Marjorie Joseph(e) in 1930, in Ipoh, one of 13 children to a family of, I believe, tin miners. Amongst her siblings were Clarence, Clive, Kenny, and Patricia. ¬†In 1957 she married James Gardner, a rubber planter who had managed plantations in Ipoh and later at Rasa.¬† the family may have, let us say an ‘interesting and colourful’ history and would be most interested – as I said, good or bad – to learn whatever I can.”The above photo is described by Judy as:

“The Gardner-Joseph wedding photo is, of course, my parents wedding.
You’ll see that my Aunty Pat has been scratched out – my mother’s doing, I’m afraid! I would be particularly interested in identifying the other people shown and where it took place.”

These additional photographs feature Vivian and Joan Joseph (left) and the wedding of brother Kenny to a lady named Helen.

Finally we have a single photo of “Auntie Girlie” as an¬†officer in the Malaysian prison service, in Ipoh in 1967. Her badge of rank is one pip on her shoulder. Recognise her? If so please let us know.

All together we have 9 old photographs of this family and if anyone believes they know anything about them we shall be happy to email more to help with identification. We look forward to your help.  

The Beautiful Dressmaker

By |2010-09-15T08:23:29+08:00September 13th, 2010|Categories: Identify Photographs, ipoh, Memories, People|Tags: , , |

This is Ms Chung Lai Leng – a pretty Ipoh girl, who gave up selling welfare lottery tickets to become an apprentice with a dressmaking firm.

She was photographed by Francis Lee; her picture, along with several other Ipoh beauties, appeared in the 1960s magazine “Ipoh: The Town that Tin Built” (published by the Ipoh Local Council).

We are grateful to Sundra for providing this photograph.

Wonder where she is now…..maybe some of you out there have met her?

The ‘Residents’ of Leech Street, Ipoh

By |2010-09-10T12:24:43+08:00September 10th, 2010|Categories: Identify Photographs, ipoh, Ipoh Town, Natural Heritage|Tags: , , |

These ‘friends’ live at Leech Street – opposite the low cost flats, next door to the old Kinta Aerated Water building.

Who owns them now, we wonder….and what’s become of them? We see the one on the extreme right has been painted pink; which now sells groceries (at wholesale price). What about the others?

Anyone with more information, do let us know.

Rare Gems in Ipoh…

By |2010-09-08T13:37:30+08:00September 8th, 2010|Categories: Identify Photographs, ipoh, Memories, Restoration|Tags: , , |

You don’t see beauties like these anymore! Houses like these are hard to come by; the few that are left either go through EXTREME renovations, or they just end up being torn down and a modern structure replaces them.



A little patching up here, some painting over there – and there you have it! A nice cosy abode for the family ūüôā . Incidentally, these houses are almost all that remain in Ipoh of the dozens¬†designed and built by the well known architect C H LaBrooy . They stand behind the shops in LaBrooy Road¬†which at one time was lined on both side by houses of similar, LaBrooy,¬†design. Now there are only¬†these three left. We are gratefull to the LaBrooy family , for the assistance they have given us with their family photographs and information about thise old days when they¬†lived at Dulcieville Lane – where Parkson Ipoh Parade is now.

Anyone lived in such a house before? Do share your memories with us….

Do you know them?

By |2010-09-06T09:05:17+08:00September 6th, 2010|Categories: Identify Photographs, Memories, People|Tags: , , , , |

Noting the response to our previous posting, we’ve decided to put up two more pictures of the said family:

Peranakan or Chinese? We don’t know…maybe someone out there knows….

Here we have a better view of the house. Note also the number plate on the vehicle – PK 3226. That should give you a rough guess as the when the picture was taken.

We await for your comments / feedback ūüôā

A Baba-Nyonya Family in Perak

By |2010-09-03T12:17:00+08:00September 3rd, 2010|Categories: Identify Photographs, Memories, People|Tags: , , , |

To what we know, this family used to live at Simpang Pulai, Perak. Surprised? So am I…never knew we had Peranakan families here in Perak! Notice how the women are dressed, compared to the Western suit worn by the man (probably the husband of these two women).

Maybe someone out there knew them? Or, perhaps one of the children in the picture here is still around? Do share your thoughts with us.

The Batu Gajah Kindergarten

By |2010-09-01T09:42:00+08:00September 1st, 2010|Categories: Identify Photographs, Memories|Tags: , , , |

Here we have a picture from the 1970s, showing the Tadika Batu Gajah (Batu Gajah Kindergarten).

To what we know, this kindergarten was housed in¬†a wooden shed, within the compound of St Joseph’s Church.

The shed can be seen in the picture (above)¬†on the left; the long, wooden structure on the far left, which is painted yellow. This shed was also once known as St Joseph’s School, somewhere in the mid 1940s. The girls from St Joseph’s School were later moved to Jalan Pusing – the present location of St Bernadette’s Convent!

The picture on the right shows the front of St Joseph’s Church, which was built in the late 1920s. The church is near the Batu Gajah Hospital.

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