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 2012

….what it USED to look like….

By |2012-04-30T09:41:56+08:00April 30th, 2012|Categories: history, Identify Photographs, Ipoh Town, Memories, nature|Tags: , , |

A while ago, we featured a post about the on-going ‘renovations’ of the Station Gardens. So far, we’ve heard no news about what’s going on behind those boards. Has there been any progress lately? If anyone has noticed anything, do let us know.

In the mean time, here is a 1950s picture of what the gardens used to look like. Picture by Ruth Iversen Rollitt.

The Game of Marbles as Played in Ipoh & Surrounds c1950s

By |2012-04-29T12:33:11+08:00April 29th, 2012|Categories: childhood, games, ipoh, Memories|Tags: , |


 As we do not have any photos of Ipoh youngsters playing marbles to illustrate the following text from ipohbornkid, I have used this one courtesy of wwwyeohongeng.blogspot.com. Perhaps some of our readers can help us out with similar photos from Ipoh or Perak. And how about some stories about other childhood games please.


Marbles – made of clay and fired in an oven with average diameter of 2-2.5 cm.  Average cost 12 marbles/10 cents

Glass marbles – made of glass and with cat eye inside win average diameter 1.2 cm-1.5cm. Cost 20 marbles/10 cents.

Goondo – Your top shooting marble usually twice the diameter of your ordinary marbles.

HL- A longer horizontal line drawn in the sand with a stick. Usually, HL is drawn parallel to a wall in front of it so the marbles cannot travel too far.

SL – The starting line where all players shoot with their goondos.  The SL is about 1 metre away from the HL and parallel to it.

TM – Targetmarble.  This marble is nominated by other players (in a consensual way) for the shooter.  It is the targeted marble and you need to hit it to win.

Shooter –  A player who is allocated the chance to shoot his goondo towards target marble.

In this article, the game involving horizontal lines game with HL & SL, is described.

HL game – The HL line, about a metre long, is drawn on the sand and is closed by two vertical lines at the ends.  Another shorter line is drawn about a metre down from the HL and is the starting line where the shooter’s foot should not cross.

The game starts when each player puts in one marble into the pool and each player has a “goondo” (slightly larger than the pool marble) but it is his top shooting marble.

This is followed by a group determination of the order of player’s turn to shoot.  The first shooter then takes all the pooled marbles and placed in the palm of one hand, kneels with one foot and places his front foot behind the SL.  He then throws the marbles with the aim to get a good spread of marbles above the HL.  Marbles straying out of the boundary defined by HL vertical lines is re-launched singularly.Some marbles may fall behind the HL.  When the launch is complete, the other players get together and make a decision about the target marble and the shooter has to strike that nominatedtarget marble) with his goondo to win the pot.  Sometimes, the use of a small marble is allowed. However there are complicated rules to observe before he can win the pot.  On striking thetarget marble with his goondo, the main rule states that there shall be no collision with any marbles in the pool by either the goondo or the target marble.  A penalty is applied and when that happens, the player pays a penalty of one marble and loses his turn to shoot.  If he wins the pool he continues to be the shooter.The game continues then with the next shooter after a penalty is paid.

Tactical hint:  The target marble is chosen by the other players and usually has a high degree of difficulty in avoiding the penalty.  You will be surprised who much Physics can be applied in this game.  Seasoned players intuitively know the angle of attack and can predict which direction the marbles can go (just like shooting pool).  Hence, the shooter has to decide the launch direction of his goondo (using his left or right hand and stretching his arm to form a wider angle of attack;  the elevation of launch is another factor whether it is necessary to hit the target marble from the top. Finally, the force applied (the inertia) for the launch is an important factor.  In summary, the direction, height and force of the launch is calculated in your brain and this information is transmitted to the arm as instructions for the required trajectory..  So, don’t for one minute think that those boys playing marbles all the time are not academically inclined but they are a bunch of de facto little scientists calculating complex equations forthe required trajectory.

The naming of the target marbles can have their roots in Malay and English languages.  For example the word “Yau” (Malay – Jual, pardon my Bahasa) describes the target farthest from the HL.  For younger players this is a difficult task because of the distance and the power of the shooter’s trajectory.

The targetmarble that fell below the HL is usually called “rue” (English “roll”).   A target marble can also be sitting on the line.  In these types of targets, you will have to “roll” your goondo and hit the target.  If the shooter rolls his goondo and collided with the target marble, he wins the pool when the collided marbles do not cross the HL.  It can sit on the line.  When either marbles cross over the HL or hit another marble in the pool, the shooter incurs a penalty of one marble and loses his turn.

The game becomes more interesting when the target marble is slightly positioned above the HL.  The opponents can then place one goondo on the line but not touching the target marble.  To win this game, you need to strike the target marble without colliding with the opponent’s goondo on the HL and other marbles in thepool.  When the target marble is slightly above the HL, the opponent can put his goondo on the line without touching the targeted marble.  Thus the goondo can be placed just in front of the target marble or adjacent (left or right) of the target marble.   The shooter has to strike that marble without hitting the opposition goondo and not colliding with any other marbles in the pool.

There are other difficult targets to shoot at.  For example, when two marbles on the ground are vertically aligned or closed to  each other, the marble nearest to the shooter becomes a difficult target.  Under the circumstances, it is highly probable that the target marble would collide with the marble in front of it.

The winner can take home 30-40 marbles in a game.  If you do not have a pouch, you will damage your pockets as they are heavy.  Many trouser pockets were damaged by holding too heavy winnings.

There is second variation to this marble game where a circle is drawn in the sand. There is also a third game where players chase each other’s marbles.I would like readers to fill in these variations with their memories and also comment on the major marble game.

Spinning top game is very rich in language especially in Bahasa.  There are also complex rules and Bahasa phrases to learn when you want to play spinning tops with a circle drawn the sand .  The game of “Konkey”  (English – Donkey) was played with long and short sticks. This was a popular game then in 1950s.  The game of Bat and Ball required an empty lot among residential houses.

The reasons for the wide popularity of these games in the 1950s were the availability of sandy patches of land (or vacant land) surrounding residential houses (particularly in the new villages), it did not cost heaps of money and you have no shortage of players.

Training Lotion?

By |2012-04-27T13:59:46+08:00April 27th, 2012|Categories: Identify Photographs, Memories, People|Tags: , |

Have any of you seen this product before? I wonder if such products are used by Martial Arts students/instructors today – perhaps they use a different brand? This one was produced and distributed by F & L Medical Hall and the bottle bears the warning.

“For external use only.
Keep away from

This is a close-up of the man featured on the box of the training lotion. What interests us as the pictures were in the Foo family album. Could this have been our donor’s father from Pasir Puteh?

We thank Shuen Huey for these pictures 🙂

Indoor Games

By |2012-04-25T09:49:22+08:00April 25th, 2012|Categories: childhood, games, Memories, People|Tags: , , , |

Remember these tiles and the hours of fun you could have with them? It is believed that this game originated in China, during the 12th Century. In the early 18th Century, it was introduced in Italy and eventually the rest of Europe became engrossed in the game. Dominoes are played today all over the world – there are also annual tournaments held in certain countries too!

This game needs NO introduction! I was told that playing this is almost similar to Gin (but I stand corrected, since I’ve never played Mahjong before). What kind of indoor games did YOU play?

We thank Thomas Lee for these lovely pictures 🙂

Scorpio on the Dragon’s Demise – The True Stories of the Special Branch During the Second “Emergency”

By |2012-04-24T09:02:08+08:00April 24th, 2012|Categories: Books, Heritage Books, history, People|Tags: , , , , |

This, the fifth book in the Scorpio Series covers the period of the second Malaysian “Emergency” from 1970 to 1990 and Special Branch operations that not many people are aware of. By 1970,  the Communist Party of Malaya had re-grouped in southern Thailand and trained about 2,400 reserve troops. They were ready to make a return to Malaysia.

But the Government was ready for them, having received information about their plans and the Special Branch put into place eight schemes to counter the communist terrorists, one of which was Operasi Bamboo to curb their influence among the orang asli.

The author of this, and the earlier series of four books is the former Special Branch deputy director of operations Datuk Dr Leong Chee Woh, who retired from the police force in 1984 after 44 years of service. Thus the stories come direct from the horse’s mouth as he was directly involved in the planning and execution of the various Special Branch projects that culminated in the collapse of the CPM in 1989.

This book may be ordered from the author Datuk Dr. Leong Chee Woh, contact 0193124759 or ahwohtoi@yahoo.com at RM50 per copy plus postage and packing (RM5.00 to Malaysia). Payment vide his Maybank account, the details being provided when you place the order. For overseas purchasers please enquire about the postage to the above email.

You may also buy his other books: Scorpio the Communist Eraser, Scorpio Against the One-Eyed Dragon, Scorpio on the Dragon’s Trail and Scorpio in the Dragon’s Playground at the same time when postage charges will be much reduced.

These books are recommended as the true history of Malaya/Malaysia’s fight against the Communists over more than 40 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.

‘Pejabat Pos Besar’, Ipoh

By |2012-04-25T09:31:16+08:00April 18th, 2012|Categories: history, Identify Photographs, Ipoh Town, Memories, Natural Heritage|Tags: , , , , |

Here’s a rare picture of the former Post Office (behind the Ipoh Town Hall). Notice the stalls beneath the shady tree – and the crowd of patrons too!

We thank Ruth Rollitt for this gem 🙂

Charlie reminds us (#13 below) about Savings Stamps and immediately Hasbi sent us these scans. Thank you both so much.

I never cease to be amazed and fascinated by how well our readers support us. We are so glad to have you all with us. Thank you.

Two Memorable Reunions

By |2012-04-16T14:22:27+08:00April 16th, 2012|Categories: festivals/celebrations, Identify Photographs, ipoh, Memories, People|Tags: , , , , , |

These pictures were sent to us by Lam Lai Meng, an Alumni of MGS.

This first picture needs no explanation.

The second picture was taken at the Regal Lodge, Ipoh. This large group met on 16th of February 2010, during the Chinese New Year period.

Lam had this to say about this picture:

“CNY 2010 photo – no. 4 and 5 are husband and wife teachers Mr and Mrs Ho Ho Chuen.  Mr Teh Chin Seong is no 6 and his wife is no. 7.  This could possibly be one of the last photos of Mr Teh before he passed away a few months after Feb 2010.”

Are you somewhere in any/both of these pictures? Do point yourself out….and DO tell us about this reunion!

Here’s (yet another) Mystery for You!

By |2012-04-13T11:59:30+08:00April 13th, 2012|Categories: history, Identify Photographs, ipoh, Natural Heritage|Tags: , |

In a previous blog, we mentioned the Ipoh Tutorial Institute. When Ruth Rollitt sent us this picture (below), we couldn’t help but wonder: Were these institutes one and the same? If so, when did they move to the bigger building?

In case some of you are wondering, this building is STILL THERE today…but it’s not the Tutorial Institute anymore.

The MGS Mural

By |2012-04-11T08:31:27+08:00April 11th, 2012|Categories: childhood, Identify Photographs, Memories, People|Tags: , , , , |

Lam Lai Meng sent us this 1967 picture of some MGS girls painting a 3-panel mosaic like mural, on the wall above the Principal’s office. The mural is said to depict women in various occupations. The Teacher standing on the far left is none other than Mrs Vivian Chong.

To the MGS Alumni reading this: Recognise yourself in the picture? For those who have not seen the aforementioned mural, here’s a preview (picture below).

Another Side of Ipoh

By |2012-04-06T12:34:14+08:00April 6th, 2012|Categories: Identify Photographs, ipoh, Memories, Natural Heritage|

We received this picture from a STAR Alumni. The donor of this picture also gave us a list of the marked places in this picture.

Marked in green:
1. Tiger Lane (Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah)
2. Dairy Road (Jalan Raja Muda Mahadi)
3. Sekolah Izzuddin Shah
4. Pejabat Kaji Bumi & Minerals
5. Canning Garden

Marked in red:
A. Entrance to STAR at Tiger Lane
B. Administration office, Hall and Class rooms
C. Industrial & Science Labs, Library
D. Sixth Form hostel
E. Remove Class hostel
F. Green House hostel
G. Blue House hostel
H. Black House hostel
I. Red House hostel
J. White House hostel
K. Yellow House hostel
L. Dining-hall

Those of you who pass some of these roads/places often can testify that SO MUCH has changed over the years 🙂

The Opening of Hock Wah Tin Mining Co

By |2012-10-15T09:24:10+08:00April 4th, 2012|Categories: history, Identify Photographs, Memories, People|Tags: , , , , |

These pictures were taken at the Opening Ceremony of Hock Wah Tin Mining Co. in Sungkai, Perak. The opening was on 23rd February 1967; seen here cutting the ribbon is none other than HRH Sultan Idris Al-Mutawakkil Alallahi Shah, the then Sultan of Perak.

Our donor, Emily Lowe (www.emily2u.com/), gave us some names. In this second picture, from left to right are: Ho Mee Wan (the girl in the white dress), Ho Choon Wah; Dato Shaari bin Haji Wahab (Comptroller of the Royal Household, Istana Iskandariah, Kuala Kangsar); HRH Sultan Idris, and his consort Che Puan Negara Perak (carrying a checkered handbag). Standing behind the royal couple is Dato Ron Boxall (a Planter who worked in Sungkai).

Update: Emily sent us another picture taken at the opening of the mining company. back in 1967. This picture shows Dato Ron Boxall bidding goodbye to the Royal Couple – Sultan Idris and his consort Che Puan Negara Perak.

More of the famous car driven by Sultan Idris. Special thanks to Emily for the latest update 🙂

Sekolah Tuanku Abdul Rahman (STAR)

By |2012-04-02T16:16:45+08:00April 2nd, 2012|Categories: history, Identify Photographs, ipoh, Memories, People|

This is the front cover of the STAR school commemorative book – published by the Old Boys Association of Sekolah Tuanku Abdul Rahman, Ipoh. This book came out in 2007, to mark the school’s 50th Anniversary.

This picture shows the very first batch of teachers – way back in 1957!

STAR alumni out there, we’d like to hear from you! 🙂

We would like to express our thanks to the STAR Old Boys Association for gifting this book to the ipohWorld library.

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