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

April 2011

A Walk Back in Time – Time Tunnel

By |2011-04-29T13:25:35+08:00April 29th, 2011|Categories: Memories, Museums|Tags: , |

Last week I had a meeting in The Cameron Highlands and took time out to visit a rather special place called “Time Tunnel”. Branded as “The Local Museum” this attraction features the personal collection of Mr. See Kok Shan – a fascinating collection of almost everything old found locally. Long and wide it is just like a tunnel and it is soon to become even longer.

As you can see it really is like a tunnel but completely stacked from wall to wall and floor to ceiling with fascinating collectibles.

Originally Mr. See came from Ipoh and would like to do something similar here – as we at ipohWorld would also like to do – but we all suffer from there being little or no interest in Ipoh for such attractions, even though we claim we want to expand tourism!

So next time you are in the highlands why not pay Time Tunnel a visit. Entrance is only RM 5 and it is well signposted just north of Brinchang by Kok Lim Strawberry Farm.

Don’t Miss “The Battle of the River Plate”.

By |2011-04-23T09:48:37+08:00April 23rd, 2011|Categories: About Us, Ipoh Town, Memories|Tags: , , , , |

Ruth Rollitt was so incensed by the multicoloured Cathay that we featured, she sent us this photograph of how the Theatre looked when it first opened in those days of Movies and Mercedes. She included a newspaper article from 1958, the first part of which is inserted below. The whole article will appear on or database archive before too long. Unfortunately we received it to late to catch the movie! Did anyone out there see it?

“Special  Cathay Supplement

A Milestone in Cinema Entertainment


Ipoh’s New Cathay Theatre


To build a luxury theatre in Ipoh has long been a wish of the Cathay Organisation. This is in keeping with their policy to provide the best that there is available in cinema comfort and entertainment.


Costing over $600,000 their new Cathay, Ipoh will be officially declared open by His Highness the Sultan of Perak, Raja Sir Izzudin Shah ibni Almarhum Sultan Abdul Jalil, KCMG, OBE, before a distinguished and cosmopolitan gathering at 8 pm tonight, the eve of  Chinese New Year.


Out of a piece of rubber estate land there has risen a handsome steel and concrete structure housing one of the best equipped theatres in the state of Perak.


Among the guests who will attend tonight’s opening ceremony will be State and Town Councillors, community leader, heads of Government and other personalities.


Cathay Organisation personalities include Mr Loke Wan Tho, Head of the Organisation, whose inspired leadership and farsightedness has provided Ipoh town with the handsome and imposing entertainment landmark.


Mrs Loke will accompany her husband and Mr John Ede, Director and General manager of the Cathay Organisation will also be present.


This new theatre – a worthy acquisition to the large number of theatres already controlled by the Organisation – was designed by Mr B M Iversen, the well-known Ipoh architect.”


More about the Cathay can be found here.

Episode 6: Schooling in Ipoh

By |2011-04-19T09:17:55+08:00April 19th, 2011|Categories: About Us|

Here it is, the long awaited Episode 6 by UV. He describes the photo thus:


The photo of the Methodist Youth Felllowship of Ipoh Wesley Church is made up of members from my class and those my senior and junior with Dr. Lee Poh Ping (Former teacher in ACS Ipoh and later Lecturer of History in University Malaya) who was then the counsellor.  The girls were from MGS and Convent Ipoh.



In Episode 5, I stirred the emotions of many who had experienced some form of abuse by their teachers or had someone close to them  abused by teachers.  If one is not seriously affected, one may take it as part of the learning process but should abuse change the lives of those affected, it could be rather traumatic!  That is why, today, teachers are challenged when they become abusive.


Let us hope that this episode will not bring back such a lot of unpleasant memories of schooling in Ipoh in the late fifties and early sixties.  In the late fifties when we crossed the hurdle of the Lower Certificate of Education (LCE) we would either be sent to the Science or Arts Stream.  If one has taken Mathematics 2 and passes Mathematics 1 and Science, one can be assured of a place in the Science Stream.  People tend to look upon those in the Science Stream as the cleverer students.  This is not absolutely so.  Many Arts Stream students are also very intelligent but they just do not have an inclination to the scientific field.


I was selected to do Science and sent to 4 Science A, among my old friends form the A class again.  Somehow, I tend to do better during examination years!  Maybe it was my approach to examinations that brought about such results.  Many students drop all non-academic activities during examination time and just concentrated on the academic aspects.  I did not do that.  I continued my extra-curricular activities as before but I do spend extra time in ensuring that I master all that was taught and spent time preparing summaries of important facts for each subject so that I could do a quick revision near examination time.  Nobody taught me how to do this.  I just did it as a matter of fact.  I would use little sheets of rough paper and put down in point form all the important facts I need to remember whenever I read a text book or go over the notes my teachers gave me.  I continued this all my life, even now!


Science subjects like Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Additional Mathematics were really tough.  I enjoyed Biology but couldn’t get the hang of Physics.  Mr. Tan Chin Huat taught me Physics for a while and then Mr. Boler took over.  I remembered the first lesson was about specific gravity and we had to do experiments using a special glass bottle and a weighing machine encased in glass placed in a special room beside the Physics Laboratory.  Then we had to record each experiment in a particular way!  Here my new friend who came from Teluk Anson (now Teluk Intant) Lee Cheow Pheng was my savior.  He joined us a couple of year earlier and was also a member of the Boys’ Brigade and the Intermediate MYF and continues to be in both all our school lives together.  I would telephone him each day to ask for help, usually in Additional Mathematics and I could not make out head or tail what my Additional Mathematics teacher was teaching.


Once in class, I had to peep at the answers to solve a problem and Mr. Loh Swee Kee caught me doing it and immediately demanded that I cut out all the answer pages!  Guess what?  I did it!  It did not help me turn into a Additional Mathematics genius but really made me hate that subject!  I struggled on for a year and continued being in 5 Science A the following year.   However, I was about to make the decision of my life pretty soon.  After a few weeks in Form 5 Science A and as we approach the day we had to dissect a frog, I decided to leave for the Arts Stream.


I walked in to see the Senior Assistant, Mr. Balraj and told him I wanted to switch to the Arts Stream.  He looked at me with unbelieving eyes.  He asked me whether I had consulted my parents.  I told him I had not but added that my parents knew I was struggling along in the Science Stream and that they had never interfered with my studies before.  He then decided that I could go and gave me a note to my current class teacher and another to the 5 Arts A teacher.  I hurriedly went to class, said goodbye to my classmates, took my bag and walked to 5 Arts A and presented my note to the class teacher.  My life changed from that moment.

I was seated next to a tall skinny Indian Boy at the very last seat of the class.  He was none other than Mano Maniam (as he is popularly known today) but we called him Manogaran then.  Our favourite pastime was to punch each other on the upper arm!  I still could not think of the rationale for this, but it sort of bound us and we remained close friends even till now.  In front was another Indian boy, Mani.  He came from a poor family and had to work as a petrol station pump boy after school to support his mother and sister.  He passed his SC  (Senior Cambridge) and MCE (Malayan Certificate of Education) and worked as a clerk for some time but unfortunately was killed in a road accident at a very young age.


In my class too there were famous sports figures like Cheah Tong Kim (Olympic Swimmer), Chong Fah Chong (goalkeeper for State and Nation), Looi Loon Teik (Footballer – Qualified for Olympics but we did not go because we boycotted the Olympics that year).


Our English teacher was Miss Tye Soh Sim (later became Mrs. Eddie Chin) who just graduated from Singapore University of Malaya.  In addition, she taught us Religious Knowledge (Christian).  She was the one that ensured our grammar was perfect.  However, in addition to that, she ensured that we were creative in our writing.  Fierce as she was, her lesson was enjoyable and most of us looked forward to her classes.


During Religious Knowledge class, I pity the student who could not repeat St. Paul’s speeches for her.   She would walk into class start two line from one of St. Paul’s famous speeches and then point to one of us to continue!  Many would fail, but some do succeed.  To those who succeeded, a distinction was the end reward when the SC results come out!  Such was her method of teaching Christian Religious Knowledge that many did score an A.


I always pride myself in being good at Elementary Mathematics and General Science as I was from the Science Class.  I was good at drawing maps, so I thought I would easily score in Geography.  Health Science would also be another subject I would scare in.  Well, Religious Knowledge was already a foregone conclusion; I would definitely get an A.  Of the subjects I obtained A in that I was confident of was Religious Knowledge.  All the others I merely score a C3 (the strongest credit).  I was able to score As in History and English Literature, too, to my surprise!


Being in the Arts Stream took out a lot of pressure.  I could do all the other activities young boys my age then would like to do.  Play games, join societies, meet up with girls.  When I was in Form 4 Sc. A. a girl already joined out class.  Remember up to Form 5 then, ACS Ipoh was a boy’s school.  However, that year, an exception was made by Mr. Ram for this girl to join the Form 4 class.  In Form 5 Arts A, 2 more girls joined us!  So I starred co-education rather early in life!


During my time, to get to Form Six we had to sit for the Form Six Entrance Examination.  This was an external examination conducted by the Ministry of Education as there were limited places for students.  We sat for three papers and the result would come out soon after we finished our SC examinations.  I came out second best after Manogran and was placed 12th in the State of Perak.  Only a few of us got through from the Arts Stream.


When we joined the Lower Six Arts Class the following year, there were hardly a dozen of us from ACS Ipoh.  There were girls from MGS Ipoh, Convent Ipoh, a few from smaller towns near Ipoh like Batu Gajah, Tronoh, Kampar and even as far as Sitiawan.  Boys came from other schools that had no Sixth Form and outstation too.  We were joined a bit latter by a boy from Royal Military College and today he is the famous lawyer Datuk Cecil Abraham!


(Next Episode: Life in Form Six)

New Book Hot Off the Press – “Tin Mining in Malaysia: the Osborne & Chappel Story.”

By |2011-04-17T17:10:18+08:00April 17th, 2011|Categories: Books, Heritage Books, Museums|Tags: , , , , , , |

“Tin Mining in Malaysia: the Osborne & Chappel Story” was launched today by YB Dato’ Sri Dr. Ng Yen Yen, Minister of Tourism Malaysia, in conjunction with the opening of Gopeng Museum’s second premises, the Heritage House, Gopeng. 

The book, written by David Palmer, who was part of O & C in Malaysia from 1960 until he retired, and Michael Joll, also an O & C employee for many years, covers tin mining in Malaysia over 200 years, with a short history of the mining industry from the early Colonial days until tin was no longer important in the 1990’s.

It also covers the span of O & C’s long and important involvement in the tin industry of the Kinta tin fields and the towns of Gopeng and Ipoh and tells what happened when the tin mines closed down.

For the technically minded a section of the book describes the various mining techniques.

With 352 pages, hard covered and featuring a wealth of original illustrations, the book is priced at RM100 / GBP20 (excluding packing and postage). It is available direct from the Gopeng Museum or can be ordered by email to mataniph@yahoo.com.

I have got my copy so make sure you get yours. It is good value and will make a darn good read as well as a definitive reference book for those who do not remember the tin mining heydays of the Kinta Valley.

‘Japanese Curios’ – in Ipoh!

By |2011-04-15T11:04:19+08:00April 15th, 2011|Categories: Identify Photographs, ipoh, Ipoh Town, Memories|Tags: , |

Back in 1919, there was a terrible flood in Ipoh town (as you see in the picture here, sent to us by Nicholas Jennings). This part of Ipoh is just off Panglima Lane (or Concubine Lane, as it were). What we’re curious to know more about is the name of this particular shop in the background – Japanese Curios. I believe the building is still there today (though I could be wrong); I do wonder what’s become of it?

NTPS Jalan Pasir Puteh – VI A, 1966

By |2011-04-13T09:35:08+08:00April 13th, 2011|Categories: childhood, Identify Photographs, ipoh, Memories, People|Tags: , |

We have here a 1966 class photo from the National Type Primary School of Jalan Pasir Puteh (NTPS JPP). Our donor, Rosebud, told us that Chan Wan Seong (featured in a previous blog – ‘Badminton Hero from Ipoh’) can be seen standing in the back row, 6th from the left.

Can you spot anyone else in this photo? Perhaps one of you might have been in this photo too….. 😉

“Odissi Stirred – from Tradition to Transformations”

By |2011-04-12T10:03:29+08:00April 12th, 2011|Categories: ipoh, Natural Heritage|Tags: , , |

Persatuan Pemulihan dalam Komuniti Buntong & Sutra Foundation proudly present ODISSI STIRRED – from Tradition to Transformations.

Odissi Stirred explores the 3 different choreographic styles of: Sharmila Biswas (Kolkata), Madhavi Mudgal (New Delhi) and Ramli Ibrahim and Guna (Malaysia). These 3 styles will give the audience a ‘glimpse of the power and dynamism’ of Indian Classical style – which in turn ‘transcends national barriers in its trans-cultural journey’.

This event will be held at the Dewan Banquet Bangunan Setiausaha Negeri Perak (Banquet Hall, State Secretariat Building), on Friday 15th April 2001, at 7.30pm. Attendence is by invitation only.

Those interested kindly call Mr Subain Singam (012-5056049) / Ms Saras (012-5150805).

Another Monday Mystery!

By |2011-04-11T12:11:39+08:00April 11th, 2011|Categories: Identify Photographs, Memories|Tags: , |

Recognise this place? Here we have a van advertising Sam Poh Medicated Oil – if you look closely, this same van was in the picture of the ‘Mercedes Hill’ (which was featured in an earlier blog post).

The van here is seen parked outside an unknown shop. Next to this shop is Sharikat Kin Wah Motor. Does anyone recognise the place? Perhaps there are other clues as to which street this is and as it also came with last Mondays “Mystery Street” blog it could be the same place?

Looking forward to your comments 😉

…once a famous ‘landmark’….

By |2011-04-06T09:35:26+08:00April 6th, 2011|Categories: Identify Photographs, ipoh, Memories|Tags: , , |

Notice the hill in the background? Yes, this is the SAME hill which once ‘advertised’ the Mercedes symbol 🙂

Of course, now the symbol is gone….apparently it’s been replaced with 4 large white letters which spell out IPOH – almost similar to the famous HOLLYWOOD sign in California!

But I will always remember the Mercedes symbol which once stood proud on this hill – it was a unique landmark in a way. Does anyone have a picture of this hill with the Mercedes symbol? We’d like to hear from you….perhaps there’s a little story that goes with it as well 😉

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