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June 2024

January 2024

Famous Names (18)

By |2024-01-18T16:06:32+08:00January 18th, 2024|Categories: history, Identify Photographs, People|

….born in Singapore in 1909, went to an Anglo-Chinese School in Swatow, China, before returning to study at the Raffles Institute at age 16. He was actively supporting the Chinese by organising relief funds and the boycott of Japanese goods after the Japanese attacked in 1937. His commitment to Chinese resistance increased with the Japanese invasion of Malaya. Just before the fall of Singapore he and other community leaders who were targeted by the Japanese sailed via Sumatra for India. There he was recruited by Force 136… (read more here)


Here’s a photo of the famous Colonel Lim Bo Seng (in case some of you were wondering what he looked like).

December 2023

October 2023

September 2023

August 2023

Perak Academy Talk: The Universal Relevance Of Gandhi As A Principle Of Life

By |2023-08-15T17:21:46+08:00August 15th, 2023|Categories: Identify Photographs, Perak Academy Talk|

Perak Academy presents: The Universal Relevance Of Gandhi As A Principle Of Life by Prof Gollanapalli Prasad.

This talk will be at Mamut Meeting Room (1st floor, no.1 Jalan Lasam, Greentown, Ipoh), at 7.45pm on Monday 21st August 2023.



For more details, please contact Perak Academy:

016-4123724   or    contact@perakacademy.com


July 2023

June 2023

“white area” ?

By |2023-06-09T16:45:52+08:00June 9th, 2023|Categories: childhood, history, Identify Photographs, Memories|

This photo was not taken in Ipoh, but it is rather interesting. I’d like to draw your attention to the sign, which simply reads as: “You are now entering Malacca Settlement White Area”.

Did we have “white areas” in Ipoh too at some point?


We thank Chee Ong Ngai for sharing this photo with us.

May 2023

Chingay Procession

By |2023-05-26T15:37:50+08:00May 26th, 2023|Categories: childhood, festivals/celebrations, Identify Photographs, Ipoh Town, Memories|

The activity appears to be centred around the England Dobi Shop where the procession may well have stopped to give a demonstration, and there are large numbers of spectators in attendance. Numerous vehicles in the street are probably being delayed by the festivities and have formed a traffic jam.


I wonder which part of town this was….

Coffee Shop Licence, from 1963

By |2023-05-24T16:06:23+08:00May 24th, 2023|Categories: food, Identify Photographs, tourism|

This is a licence from the Municipality of Ipoh to Hung Chin Ling, i.c. PK.028579 of K-2, Kepayang, Fair Park, Ipoh who has a coffee shop. The license, of course, was issued in accordance to the Sales of Food and Drugs Ordinance 1952. There were also the following conditions, which had to be adhered to:

  • This bill should be presented intact for payment to the Municipal Cashier at the Municipal Office between the hours of 8.30a.m and 3p.m on any working day except Saturday when the hours are from 8.30a.m to 11.30a.m
  • Cheques are to be crossed and made payable to the Municipality of Ipoh
  • All queries should be addressed to the Municipal Treasurer, Municipality of Ipoh,
    P. O. Box 1009, Ipoh
  • No pin tables are allowed on the licensed premises and failure to observe this condition may entail cancellation of licence by the Council. 


I wonder if Hung’s coffee shop is still in business…

The London to Sydney Marathon

By |2023-05-17T16:18:31+08:00May 17th, 2023|Categories: Events, history, Identify Photographs, Sports, tourism|

This is a photograph of one of the cars which was participating in the London to Sydney Marathon. The drivers were Rick Bates and Jenny Brittan. The cars were gathered in the centre of Ipoh, near the Municipal Building (Dataran Dewan Bandaraya Ipoh) before they took off on the next stage of the rally. One of the sponsors was Trans World Events…..(read more here)



To All Mothers!

By |2023-05-12T17:02:12+08:00May 14th, 2023|Categories: Identify Photographs|

Thank you for being a source of strength, guidance, happiness, and inspiration to our families every day.

Our world is a brighter place with you in it!

Happy Mother’s Day!

April 2023

Hello? Is it me you’re looking for?

By |2023-04-12T15:25:13+08:00April 12th, 2023|Categories: history, Identify Photographs, ipoh, Memories|Tags: |

We thank Chee Ong Ngai for sharing this photograph with us. He also gave us the names of the two pretty ladies in the foreground:

“1 November 1953 : The attractive Naseh sisters, Dewi (nearest camera) and Jamilah, “Hello Girls” in the Ipoh telephone exchange, find little time for chit-chat in their busy six-hour day shifts.”

March 2023

…that famous, tragic, romance…

By |2023-03-31T16:37:15+08:00March 31st, 2023|Categories: childhood, concerts, Identify Photographs, Memories, People|Tags: |

Some of you may have already guessed this play, merely by the “balcony scene”. ๐Ÿ™‚

This play was organised by none other than the ACS Music and Drama Society, back in 1976. Just to refresh your memories (if you’ve watched it), the leading roles were played by Tan Seow Heng (Juliet) and Emmet O’Sullivan (Romeo).


We thank Ong Su-Ming for sharing this photograph with us.

February 2023

January 2023

December 2022

Police Quarters

By |2022-12-29T11:09:49+08:00December 29th, 2022|Categories: Identify Photographs, Natural Heritage|

No, this is not an estate manager’s bungalow. Neither is it a holiday resort. This is the Perak Armed Police Commissioner’s Quarters. We thank our donor Chee Ong Ngai for this picture.

(This could be Taiping, but I could be wrong. What do you think?)

‘Mysterious’ mansion

By |2022-12-05T17:08:31+08:00December 5th, 2022|Categories: history, Identify Photographs, Memories, Natural Heritage|

We thank Harvant Lisa Harper for sharing this picture with us. She also had this to say:

This is the army regimen house by the Ipoh Specialist Center. It was at one time occupied by the British. My dad was the guard there. Then the Japanese took over. Before they got there, he told me that he destroyed all the crystals that the British left behind so the Japanese could not hear what the British were talking about and also hid a pistol that was left behind.
Just in case you’re wondering if this building still exists….we do have a more recent picture of it here.

November 2022

Guess Who?

By |2022-11-25T16:47:31+08:00November 26th, 2022|Categories: history, Identify Photographs, People|

Does he look familiar? No? What if I told you there’s a building named after him, along Dairy Road (now known as Jalan Raja Musa Mahadi)?

In case you’re still puzzled, this gentleman is none other than Prof Dato’ (Dr) Ungku Omar bin Ahmad. We don’t know much about his personal life. However, thanks to Prof Dr Zainur Rashid Zainuddin, we do have a short summary of his contribution towards the local medical field.


By |2022-11-24T15:50:09+08:00November 24th, 2022|Categories: history, Identify Photographs, Natural Heritage, People, Restoration|

This house (in Pasir Salak, Perak) was said to be built in the 1980s, to resemble the house of the late Dato Maharajalela. It later fell into a sorry state (as seen above).

But, the good news is……it was later restored!

If anyone could shed more light on this restoration project, we’d love to hear from you.

We thank Tomb Raider Hunter for these pictures ๐Ÿ™‚

October 2022

Famous Names (17)

By |2022-10-12T16:49:58+08:00October 12th, 2022|Categories: history, Identify Photographs, People|

First he practised medicine in Penang before he moved to Ipoh in 1912, becoming the first Asian with a Western medical degree in Perak. His new clinic was at Tatlock Street; two decades later, a new central market was built in the area, which helps explain why Tatlock Street is now called Hala Pasar Baru.

He then served the Kinta Sanitary Board (the precursor of Ipoh Municipal Council) before he joined the Perak Chinese Maternity Hospital as Medical Superintendent in 1922. He held that post for over thirty years and was the driving force in obtaining funds and government approval for establishing the new Perak Chinese Maternity Hospital at its present site in Jalan Kampar in 1937. (read more here)


Yes, we’re talking about Dato Dr Khong Kam Tak, CBE, JP.

An Interesting School Trip

By |2022-10-07T16:31:47+08:00October 7th, 2022|Categories: childhood, history, Identify Photographs, Ipoh Town, Memories, mission schools, People|

Is it a bird…is it a plane…..? No, they are most likely staring at the Birch Clock Tower. 

The gentleman (holding some papers) is none other than Rev J Appaduray. The boys in the background are students from St Michael’s Insitution.

Here’s another picture of the group:

(read the full story here)

September 2022

Lions Club Souvenir

By |2022-09-30T16:58:26+08:00September 30th, 2022|Categories: Identify Photographs|

Have you heard of the Lions Club? From what we know:

The first Lions Club in Malaysia, the Lions Club of Kuala Lumpur (Host), was opened on the 18th of February 1959. District 308 of the Lions and Leo Club encompasses 3 countries, namely Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei. Within the district itself, there are 4 sub-districts โ€“ 308 A1 (Singapore), 308A2 (East Malaysia and Brunei), 308 B1 (Johor, Pahang, Terengganu, Kelantan, Malacca, Negeri Sembilan and Kuala Lumpur) and 308 B2 (Perlis, Kedah, Penang, Perak, Selangor and 2 clubs in Cameron Highlands, Pahang). (read more here)

QSL Cards?

By |2022-09-28T15:28:57+08:00September 28th, 2022|Categories: history, Identify Photographs|

During the early days of radio broadcasting, the ability for a radio set to receive distant signals was a source of pride for many consumers and hobbyists. Listeners would mail “reception reports” to radio broadcasting stations in hopes of getting a written letter to officially verify they had heard a distant station. As the volume of reception reports increased, stations took to sending post cards containing a brief form that acknowledged reception. Collecting these cards became popular with radio listeners in the 1920s and 1930s, and reception reports were often used by early broadcasters to gauge the effectiveness of their transmissions.

The concept of sending a post card to verify reception of a station (and later two-way contact between them) may have been independently invented several times. The earliest reference seems to be a card sent in 1916 from 8VX in Buffalo, New York to 3TQ in Philadelphia, (in those days ITU prefixes were not used). The standardized card with callsign, freqPennsylvania uency, date, etc. may have been developed in 1919 by C.D. Hoffman, 8UX, in Akron, Ohio. In Europe, W.E.F. “Bill” Corsham, 2UV, first used a QSL when operating from Harlesden, England in 1922. [Wikipedia]


This card was produced by Sergeant Leese to mark the 300th anniversary of his regiment which was celebrated in Ipoh. A member of the Malayan Amateur Radio Transmitters Society the card records his contact with call-sign MP4BDC at 2000 on 1st October 1961.

An Old Passport

By |2022-10-03T16:05:18+08:00September 23rd, 2022|Categories: Identify Photographs|

Remember what your old passports looked like, back in the 1960s and 70s?

Now that international borders have been opened, many of you would want to travel. Make sure your passport is up to date…

‘makan’ time

By |2022-09-21T10:33:50+08:00September 21st, 2022|Categories: Identify Photographs, Memories|

I’m going to go out on a limb, and say that this picture probably dates back to the 1950s? Could be later, though.

We’d love to hear your thoughts – especially if you can translate the caption ๐Ÿ™‚

248, Brewster Road

By |2022-09-02T16:13:15+08:00September 2nd, 2022|Categories: Identify Photographs|

Here’s a receipt from Looi Teik Lan Service Station. The address is given as 248 Brewster Road, Ipoh.

A quick search on Google Maps showed that the above address is now the Petron petrol station. Does anyone know if the premise still belongs to the same owner (of Looi Teik Lan service station)? Or, perhaps the ownership changed hands?


August 2022

Goodbye to a Legend

By |2022-08-04T14:42:27+08:00August 4th, 2022|Categories: childhood, history, Identify Photographs, Memories, orbituary, People|

source: BWF Virtual Museum

With a heavy heart, we say goodbye to Dato’ Ng Boon Bee DPTJ AMN. He was a Malaysian badminton player, whose success in doubles earned him recognition as one of greatest doubles players in badminton history. 

Ng Boon Bee is probably the finest sportsman to come out of SMI, being one of the stars of the Malaysian Badminton team from 1960 onwards.

Some of you may remember that year, when the Thomas Cup was paraded through SMI.

In partnership with Tan Yee Khan and later P Gunalan, he won doubles titles in all the big national and international tournaments, including the All England Doubles title twice and the Malaysian title six times. 


Our condolences to his family, as well as his ‘family’ in the sporting arena.

July 2022

Becoming a Citizen

By |2022-07-29T17:45:05+08:00July 29th, 2022|Categories: history, Identify Photographs|

This particular document is a certificate of Registration which declares that from the 22nd of August 1958 onwards, Madam Ong would be a citizen of the Federation of Malaya under Article 17. The officer which signed this certificate on behalf of the registration authority was H. Perera as stated in the document. (more details here)

The First Battalion Perak Sikhs

By |2022-07-20T10:53:43+08:00July 20th, 2022|Categories: history, Identify Photographs, Natural Heritage|

The photograph actually shows the ‘First Battalion Perak Sikhs’, the armed military arm of the Perak Police Force.

The Battalion had its roots in the โ€˜Perak Armed Forceโ€™ which was a mix of races (Sikhs, Punjabi, Malays and Chinese), first commanded by Captain Swinburne and from 1879 by Major R S F Walker CMG.  The ‘Armed Force’ was disbanded in early 1884 and โ€˜The First Battalion Perak Sikhsโ€™, was established on 15 May 1884 to replace them. (read more here)


A Garden No More…

By |2022-07-15T16:31:40+08:00July 15th, 2022|Categories: childhood, Identify Photographs, ipoh, Memories, Natural Heritage, nature, tourism|

This was what the Japanese Garden (sponsored by the Perak Turf Club) once looked like. Of course, this picture was taken back in the 1980s. Sadly, this lovely tourist spot fell under poor maintenance and neglect over the years. It even fell prey to vandals ๐Ÿ™

I don’t know what has become of this place today. 

However, there was another Japanese Garden built at D R Seenivasagam Park (formerly known as Coronation Park). This garden seems to have survived over the years, and has also been given a ‘facelift’ of sorts. (read more about it here)


Unique Ashtray

By |2022-07-08T16:34:40+08:00July 8th, 2022|Categories: artifacts, Identify Photographs|

What’s so special about this ashtray, you ask? Well, it’s made from an artillery shell!

We believe it’s from 1942; there were some numbers engraved at the bottom, which has faded over the years.

Ahmad Noor @ Halaloedin Hamzah

By |2022-07-01T11:19:41+08:00July 1st, 2022|Categories: history, Identify Photographs, People|

Have you heard of Ahmad Noor? Perhaps you knew him as Halaloedin Hamzah?

He was a Mandailing from the Dutch East Indies who free-lanced for Kompas in the early days of his career. He fled and sought refuge in Malaya, when the Dutch authorities cracked down on railway strikers in 1929, in which he was involved, and staged a mass arrest. He later changed his name to Ahmad Noor Abdul Shukor, and had a short stint with Saudara in Penang. (read more here)

The picture (taken from the Kinta Valley book) isn’t that clear…but I believe Ahmad Noor is probably the gentleman standing in the middle.

June 2022

Canning Garden Estate Ltd

By |2022-06-22T16:56:57+08:00June 22nd, 2022|Categories: Identify Photographs|

This receipt no. 627, dated 14th June 1957 was issued by Canning Garden Estate Ltd. to acknowledge the payment of $1000 deposit for the purchase of a property Block L No. 17 Type TH2 house at Canning Garden Estate, Ipoh by Miss Wong and Madam Chang. It was signed by the manager of Canning Garden Estate Ltd. and carries a 6 cents Malaya stamp. 


Just curious….what is a Type TH2 House? (And, where was Block L?)

22 Hugh Low Street

By |2022-06-20T15:58:14+08:00June 20th, 2022|Categories: Identify Photographs|

There was once a shop called Wing Sang Hong Sdn Bhd, at 22 Hugh Low Street. According to the above receipt, a transaction took place in the 1980s. I don’t know what has happened to this business (nor do I know what business it was).

In its place today is a branch of the Sai Baba Society (picture source: Google).

Daulat Tuanku

By |2022-06-03T11:22:39+08:00June 5th, 2022|Categories: Identify Photographs|

On the occasion of His Majesty’s birthday, DYMM Seri Paduka Baginda Yang Di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah ibni Almarhum Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Al-Musta’in Billah.

May 2022

Somewhere in Kuala Kangsar

By |2022-05-16T10:34:29+08:00May 16th, 2022|Categories: Identify Photographs|

No, this is not a creepy, haunted mansion. It was once owned by Dato Setia (from what our donor tells us). It was also once used as an Islamic School (either before or after the Japanese Occupation in Malaya).

We thank Eugene Lee for this gem.

Express Mail

By |2022-05-13T11:27:27+08:00May 13th, 2022|Categories: Identify Photographs|

Not too long ago (in the 1990s), the Perak Postal Services Department started a special express letter service between Ipoh and Kuala Lumpur. There were two dispatches daily except on Sundays and public holidays and letters would reach the same day. The letters will be given special treatment and sent by the first available means. The fee charged is $1.50 excluding postage.


April 2022

Perak Acedemy presents…

By |2022-04-26T16:31:36+08:00April 26th, 2022|Categories: Identify Photographs|

Dr Wu Lien-Teh Education Society Malaysia and Wu Lien-Teh Institute, Harbin Medical University, China would like to invite you to a Zoom Webinar.

Date: Apr 28, 2022
Time:01:00 PM – 03:00 PM Kuala Lumpur
Tittle: Dr Wu Lien-Teh International Conference 2022

Register in advance for this webinar:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Dr Wu Lien-Teh International Conference 2022, which is held to commemorate the 111th Anniversary of The International Plague Conference, will be officiated by YB En Khairy Jamaluddin, Minister of Health, Malaysia and chaired by Prof. Dr Wang Chen, President of Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, China. The objectives of the Conference are to promote the legacies of Dr Wu Lien-Teh and to share knowledge on how the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic has drawn lessons and experiences from measures adopted by Dr Wu Lien-Teh in combating the 1910 Manchurian Plague.

170 years!

By |2022-04-06T10:41:27+08:00April 6th, 2022|Categories: childhood, history, Identify Photographs, Memories, mission schools, Natural Heritage|

The above badge has the words โ€œChristian Brothersโ€™ Schoolsโ€ and โ€œSignum Fideiโ€ clearly printed on it, one at the bottom of the badge and the other at the top. In between there is an image of Peninsula Malaysia as well as a figure of a Catholic Brother. At the top end of the image of Peninsula Malaysia the numbers โ€œ1852โ€ can be seen while at the lower end the numbers โ€œ1952โ€ are printed.

We’re featuring this badge, to commemorate 170 years of the La Salle Brothers‘ legacy ๐Ÿ™‚

March 2022


By |2022-03-16T15:56:37+08:00March 16th, 2022|Categories: Identify Photographs, Natural Heritage|

We thank Eugene Lee for sharing these pictures with us. This is said to be the Royal English School, in Batu Gajah. Probably dating back to 1916. In Eugene’s words, “It’s now left half abandoned and most of the building is left empty. The beams at the porch have cracks in them that need to be rectified“.

An Interesting Postcard

By |2022-03-07T15:38:21+08:00March 7th, 2022|Categories: Identify Photographs|

The picture shows a Chinese Hawker peddling medicines while sitting cross-legged in the street, in front of the 5 foot way. Behind him there is a clock shop and to his right what would appear to be a hardware shop or general store…

I wonder…was this a common sight back in the day?


A Memorable Speech

By |2022-03-03T15:30:33+08:00March 3rd, 2022|Categories: Identify Photographs|

According to The Straits Echo & Times of Malaya, dated Monday 15th of March 1954, Tungku Abdul Rahman (President of UMNO), Dato Sir Cheng-lock Tan (President of MCA), and Mr K.L Devaser (leader of MIC) addressed over 500 members of the Perak State Alliance at the Yue Hua School building in Brewster Road. (read more here)

Anyone know where Yue Hua School was?

February 2022

Travelling via Elephant

By |2022-02-22T14:43:52+08:00February 23rd, 2022|Categories: Identify Photographs|

We have here a picture from Conrad Presgrave-Payne – the grandson of Sir R G Watson. The estimated date is 1914, when Sir R G Watson was on a tour of Perak.

Anyone here travel via elephant before? I haven’t…but I have sat on a ostrich once ๐Ÿ™‚

…and on to sports news…

By |2022-02-17T11:58:12+08:00February 18th, 2022|Categories: Identify Photographs|

The Straits Times on Thursday 25th of February 1954, while covering the Hussars Cup, reported that St. Michaelโ€™s Institution (SMI) whipped visitors Guru Nanak Institution six-nil in a first round tie in the Perak inter-school knockout soccer competition. In another first round tie, home side Anderson School trounced Junior Technical Trade School five-nil.


Another British Resident of Perak

By |2022-02-07T15:51:39+08:00February 7th, 2022|Categories: history, Identify Photographs, People|

Here’s a picture of the Hon. Mr R. G. Watson, British Resident of Perak. This picture was taken from the G.C.V.O. Week booklet, published around 1914.

This booklet is an account of the celebrations at Kuala Kangsar from 21st-28th September 1913, to mark the presentation to His Highness the Sultan of Perak of the insignia of the G.C.V.O. (Grand Cross of the Victorian Order).

We thank Winson Saw for sharing this with us.

Movie Time!

By |2022-02-02T12:50:42+08:00February 2nd, 2022|Categories: Identify Photographs|

If there’s one thing I look forward to during Chinese New Year, it’s probably the Chinese movies featured on TV ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’ve not seen this movie – Pursuit of a Killer – but I’m sure some of you have.

We have here a scan of the synopsis as well as a promotional still from the movie.

January 2022

The fountain saga continues…

By |2022-01-26T11:44:26+08:00January 26th, 2022|Categories: Identify Photographs, ipoh|

As a follow-up to our previous post, here’s another picture of the aforementioned fountain – which can be found within a locked garden, at the Ipoh General Hospital (Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainun).

We thank Edwin Seibel Nathan for the above picture.

Another fountain in Ipoh

By |2022-01-21T10:39:58+08:00January 21st, 2022|Categories: history, Identify Photographs, ipoh, Memories, Natural Heritage|

We thank Anthony H S Law for sharing this picture on Facebook.

He also added: “Water Fountain …. This must be the forgotten Ipoh’s oldest, the rare and perhaps the only fountain of Ipoh city. Dated 1900 or 122 years old, the fountain was “PRESENTED BY LOW FOO ESQ TO THE IPOH HOSPITAL” Maker : Penang Foundry“.


Does anyone remember this fountain? Is it still around…somewhere in Ipoh?

Happy Thaipusam

By |2022-01-17T10:40:07+08:00January 17th, 2022|Categories: Identify Photographs|

The word Thaipusam is a combination of the name of the month, Thai, and the name of a star, Pusam. This particular star is at its highest point during the festival. The festival commemorates the occasion when Parvati gave Murugan (aka Kartikeya) a Vel “spear” so he could vanquish the evil demon Soorapadman and his brothers. It is also commonly believed that Thaipusam marks Murugan’s birthday; though some other sources suggest that Vaikhasi Vishakam, which falls in the Vaikhasi month (May/June), is Murugan’s birthday.

This festival was (according to one tradition) said to have been supposedly created during one of the battles between the Asuras (or to be more specific Soorapadman) and the Devas. At one point, the latter were defeated several times by the former. The Devas were unable to resist the onslaught of the Asura forces. In despair, they approached Shiva and entreated to give them an able leader under whose heroic leadership they might obtain victory over the Asuras. They surrendered themselves completely and prayed to Shiva. Shiva granted their request by creating the mighty warrior, Skanda, out of his own power or Achintya Shakti. He at once assumed leadership of the celestial forces, inspired them and defeated the Asura forces and to recognise that day the people created the festival, Thaipusam.

According to the Hindu Purana Skanda Puranam, the legend of Murugan, and Thirupugal which are divine verses on Murugan, adhere to Shaivam principles. Murugan is the embodiment of Shiva’s light and wisdom and devotees pray to him to overcome the obstacles they face, as He is the divine vanquisher of evil. The motive of Thaipusam festival is to pray to God to receive his grace so that bad traits are destroyed. (source: Wikipedia)


We thank Ann Kesselring Hamon for the above picture.

A Japanese Document

By |2022-01-10T16:55:38+08:00January 10th, 2022|Categories: Identify Photographs|

This document dates back to 4 January 2602 (1942). We believe it is some form of proof that the Japanese Government (in Malaya) at that time found favour with Ali Pitchay and his family. Perhaps they (Japanese) viewed the family as comrades, and may have offered protection to them. Note that this document was torn in half; it is believed that the other half was probably kept by the Japanese Government.


We thank the family of the late Mohd Ali bin Pitchay for sharing this with us. If anyone here reads Japanese, perhaps you could help us with a clearer translation.

December 2021

Happy New Year 2022!

By |2021-12-29T15:29:37+08:00December 31st, 2021|Categories: Identify Photographs|


And thereโ€™s a hand, my trusty fiere!
And gieโ€™s a hand oโ€™ thine!
And weโ€™ll tak a right guid willy waught,
For auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my jo,
For auld lang syne.
Weโ€™ll tak a cup oโ€™ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

(extract from Auld Lang Syne, a poem by Robert Burns)

Ballroom Dancing anyone?

By |2021-12-26T17:32:53+08:00December 27th, 2021|Categories: Identify Photographs|

I admit, what first caught my eye was the words “Dancing…Time for a Tiger”. Probably from one of the sponsors of the competition.

Does anyone remember this competition? Perhaps you were one of the dancers? Or maybe you know who the winners were. Did the organisers have more of such competitions after 1954?

“Angela Flair” ?

By |2021-12-10T15:27:52+08:00December 10th, 2021|Categories: Identify Photographs|

Have you heard of this company? Was it a boutique? Or perhaps a hair salon? Maybe even a tailor shop?

In case the writing isn’t clear on the paper bag, the address was 107 Jalan Lau Pak Khuan, Ipoh Garden.

Rumah Kutai

By |2021-12-01T17:02:49+08:00December 1st, 2021|Categories: Identify Photographs|

A Rumah Kutai only has one spacious room, with additional rooms being created by hanging cloth between the pillars. It is built for comfort in the Malay style and the tradition of sharing.


Have you ever seen / lived in a Rumah Kutai?

November 2021

Perak Academy Talk

By |2021-11-30T15:13:15+08:00November 30th, 2021|Categories: Identify Photographs|

Perak Academy invites you to a talk by Prof Wang Gungwu on his growing up years. The memories of his childhood and education years, that moulded the man to what he is today โ€“ renowned historian, sinologist, writer, his works on Chinese diaspora, the countless awards conferred on him for research done on particular subjects dear to his heart.

Don’t miss this webinar, on 9th December 2021 at 8pm.

Where are they now?

By |2021-11-23T13:44:40+08:00November 23rd, 2021|Categories: childhood, concerts, Identify Photographs, ipoh, Memories, People|

We received this lovely photo from Eric Low. He’s hoping for any information regarding the young people in the above photo.

In his own words:

Once upon a time there was this band in Ipoh who called themselves “The Rain People” (**) … The 1968 or 1969 picture below was taken in one of the Catholic Churches in Ipoh when and where we performed at the birthday party of Rev Bro Ultan Paul of SMI ….
Enlisting your assistance to see if any of you recognise some of the faces, for me to reconnect with a couple of them …
Left to right (standing): We were all ex-Michaelians
Michael Wong (with the drumsticks, whom I know is still in the UK; lost contact).
Next to him – David Hew (whose family owned the Orchid Farm off Tambun Road, which he took over in running; still in Ipoh I am guessing; lost contact).
Miss Wong Mei Ching (of Housing Trust, she was a 6th Former at SMI then).
Yours truly. to Mei Ching’s left ….
Guy in the glasses was my best friend, Richard Chan, who sadly passed away many yeas ago; I managed to get him Aussie citizenship in the 1970s.
And in centre frame (always wanting to be different), sitting down, is Zainal from Kampung Manjoi (someone whom I am desperately trying to reconnect with …)
I am praying that some of these innocent faces of a yesteryear ring a bell with someone out there …

Armistice Day

By |2021-11-10T17:29:23+08:00November 10th, 2021|Categories: history, Identify Photographs, Ipoh Town, Memories|

Those of you who are familiar with Armistice Day (or Poppy Day) would know that it falls on the 11th of Nov.

The Armistice, an agreement to end the fighting of the First World War as a prelude to peace negotiations, began at 11am on 11 November 1918.

Armistice is Latin for to stand (still) arms.

As such, here is a close-up of the Cenotaph (War Memorial) at our very own Ipoh Railway Station.

As a tribute to the fallen, here’s an extract from that famous poem by John McCrae

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.

October 2021

Famous Names (16)

By |2021-10-06T16:18:03+08:00October 6th, 2021|Categories: history, Identify Photographs, People|

At 21, he inherited his fatherโ€™s estate. His enterprising approach and advantageous connections combined to bring him early and continued success as a miner. In 1898 he contributed $1000 to establish the Perak Mining and Planting Association. He developed eight mines in Kinta : two at Kampar, three in Gopeng, and one each at Papan, Tronoh and Chenderiang employing 8,000 coolies in total. The richest mines were at Kampar where lit by electricity the mining could continue day and night. He became very well established in Kampar as the leading towkay, became President of the Chinese Club, built a magnificent mansion and jointly with fellow miner Chung Thye Phin he establishing a Chinese Theatre. With this friend he also built a grand bungalow on Gopeng Road named Forest Lodge…(read more here)

I think that last sentence gave it away. Yes, folks. The gentleman above is none other than Eu Tong Sen himself ๐Ÿ™‚

…Meng Lembu…?

By |2021-09-30T15:08:45+08:00October 1st, 2021|Categories: Identify Photographs|

No, I’m not making fun of the name. The original caption for the picture below actually reads as “General View of Mine at Meng Lembu”. I do wonder how this name came about…and when it changed to its present name….


September 2021

A day at the market

By |2021-09-26T18:57:24+08:00September 27th, 2021|Categories: Identify Photographs|

Thanks to Chor Seng Mun, we have a lovely photo of the Gopeng Market. From all those flags/posters above the arch, I’m sure some of you can guess what was going on at that time ๐Ÿ™‚

“Koo Hon Chok”

By |2021-09-12T18:59:18+08:00September 13th, 2021|Categories: Identify Photographs|

Why is the title of this post as such? Well, here’s an interesting story by Francis Cheah regarding his paternal grandparents – in particular, his paternal grandfather.

A millionaire building contractor, family sources said he helped Ah Cheong build the iconic Clock Tower. He was 30+yrs then. Being a successful contractor he built the Teluk Anson District Hospital in 1917 along Jalan Anson(now demolished) and owned houses in the Durian Sebatang area. Also once owned the biggest sawmill in Teluk Anson now still standing by a different name. He also built a college along Jalan Changkat Jong… But the WW1 took its toll and the building was abandoned. That much I know.
He was known to be an astute, shrewd businessman and frugal too. Story has it one day he was inspecting at the Hospital worksite.. He picked up a stray nail at the worksite and admonish the workers for wastage. Thenceforth he was nicknamed ‘Koo Hon Chok’ ie Stingy Poker. His name was Cheah Pak Chok.
He died in 1927 when my father was 13 years old. Maybe others in town may know more. He died in 1927. My father died in 1985.

Here’s a picture of Cheah Pak Chok


And his wife


Thank you for sharing the above story with us, Francis ๐Ÿ™‚

August 2021

The Perak State Council

By |2021-08-26T15:28:43+08:00August 26th, 2021|Categories: history, Identify Photographs, Memories, People|

In the early 1900s, these ten gentlemen formed the Perak State Council.

They were:

  1. Raja Chulan bin ex-Sultan Abdullah

  2. Mr R. J. Wilkinson (Secretary of the Resident)

  3. Mr E. W. Birch, C.M.G. (British Resident)

  4. Towkay Foo Choo Choon

  5. Mr C. W. H. Cochrane (Assistant Secretary to the Resident, Clerk to the Council)

  6. HH Sultan of Perak, Sir Idris Mersid-El-Aazam Shah, G.C.M.G. (President)

  7. Towkay Leong Fee

  8. Towkay Chung Thye Phin

  9. The Orang Kaya Kaya Sri Adika Raja Shahbandar Muda, Wan Muhammad Saleh, I.S.O.

  10. Towkay Heah Swee Lee


Tapah Road Station, 1893

By |2021-08-14T15:10:19+08:00August 14th, 2021|Categories: Identify Photographs|

The caption says it all, really. Special thanks to “Daerah Batang Padang” – a Facebook page, where we found this rare picture.

When was the last time you took a group photograph at a railway station platform? ๐Ÿ™‚

A 90s view

By |2021-08-09T16:11:49+08:00August 9th, 2021|Categories: Identify Photographs|

This picture was taken from a 1990 souvenir magazine. (Do ignore the red arrow ๐Ÿ™‚ )

Do you recognise some of the iconic buildings shown here? Can you identify which part of Ipoh this is?

A test of strength

By |2021-08-02T10:42:10+08:00August 2nd, 2021|Categories: Events, Identify Photographs, Memories|

We have here Mrs Southwell, ‘flexing her muscles’ as it were. She must have been really strong, to attempt pushing a Triumph Vitesse Six! Looking on is her husband R. J. Southwell.

This picture was taken back in 1966, during the Triumph Owners’ Club (TOC) Gymkhana. 

July 2021

The Other Side of Dong Hua Cave Temple

By |2021-07-05T11:55:36+08:00July 5th, 2021|Categories: Identify Photographs, Natural Heritage, nature|

A long long time ago, there was a wooden temple built onto the side of a limestone cliff. It had a zinc roof. Members of the Perak Heritage Society had visited the place in October 2007. It was located at a limestone hill halfway between Tambun town and Tanjung Rambutan.

This modern structure has since replaced the wooden one. We thank Charlie Choong for the pictures, as well as the short excerpt above. 

June 2021

The Straits Trading Company

By |2021-06-25T12:28:34+08:00June 25th, 2021|Categories: Identify Photographs|

The Straits Trading Company (STC) was established in 1886 by two partners, James Sword of Glasgow, Scotland and Hermann Muhlinghaus an entrepreneur from Wiesbaden, Germany. The partnership was formed to set up a tin smelting business in Malaya to meet the obvious demand for a large and efficient smelting business to replace all the small, inefficient smelters in use at that time. The partnership evolved successfully to become one of the largest tin smelters in the world. To raise capital for expanding the business, The Straits Trading Company Limited was incorporated in Singapore on 8 November 1887 with an initial capital of S$150,000. Their first smelting shed was in Telok Anson (now Teluk Intan), previously owned by the Shanghai Tin Mining Company….(read more here)

This picture shows the Straits Trading Company office building in Kampar, Perak. Is the building still around? Or, maybe it’s been converted into something else?

Kinta Ice Works

By |2021-06-23T12:59:36+08:00June 23rd, 2021|Categories: Identify Photographs|

Here’s a picture of Kinta Ice Works, probably taken around 1905. Shaik Adam (the founder of Kinta Aerated Water Factory of Taiping, Kampar and Ipoh) established the Kinta Ice Works. This establishment boasted a large plant which churned out tons of ice daily. It was managed by Ted Hodges, brother of the Perak district surveyor.

“everlasting peace”

By |2021-06-18T14:54:59+08:00June 18th, 2021|Categories: Identify Photographs|

We have here a 1987 article about how Taiping got its name. Special thanks to our donor Lim Bor Seng.

According to the article, Taiping was established in 1874 after the end of the Larut War which marked peace between the mining groups at war – the Hai San warriors (led by Capitan Chung Ah Kwee a.k.a. Chung Keng Kwee) and the Ghee Hins (led by Capitan Chin Ah Yam). The name means โ€œEverlasting Peaceโ€ in Cantonese.

Anyone here with a memory (or two, or more) of Taiping? We’d love to hear from you ๐Ÿ™‚

“seated in style”

By |2021-06-13T12:48:30+08:00June 14th, 2021|Categories: Events, Identify Photographs, ipoh, Memories|

Here’s another picture from a magazine. This was taken during the Triumph Owner’s Club AGM, back in 1966. The meeting was held at the Century Motors Ltd Showroom in Ipoh. Do you recognise anyone here? Guests aside, what really caught my eye were the chairs; they don’t make chairs like these anymore, do they?

“pulling a stunt”

By |2021-06-11T13:21:57+08:00June 11th, 2021|Categories: Events, Identify Photographs, ipoh, Memories|

This photo was taken during the 1980 HRH Sultan of Perak’s Castrol-TOC Motorkhana. The ‘stuntman’ is none other than Adrian Boudville, who drove his Citroen BLINDFOLDED!

For those who a suffering from boredom during this MCO, PLEASE DO NOT try this.

May 2021

The Tale of the Petition Writer

By |2021-05-24T11:35:23+08:00May 24th, 2021|Categories: Identify Photographs|

When Dad finished his Junior Cambridge Examination in ACS in the early 1930s at aged 17, he was highly educated in English in those days. He could easily get a comfortable Civil Service clerical job but he was adventurous & easy going. He got his first job as a Page Boy in a local hotel. Then World War II came & he laid low. He lost his third brother in the War.

After the War in 1945 with the British administration back in place, he would frequently be called upon by his friends & colleagues to fill up governmental forms which were all in English. Not many could read or write English in those days. Dad was in such great demand doing it for free; he decided to make a living out of it. (read more here)

We thank the Chan Family for this lovely story.

Snooker League…in Ipoh?

By |2021-05-10T14:29:38+08:00May 10th, 2021|Categories: Identify Photographs|

Engraved โ€˜Snooker Leagueโ€™ on the front and โ€˜Ipoh 1946โ€™ on the reverse, this was probably awarded to the winner of the local snooker league that year.

Have you heard of this Snooker League?

Much ado about noodles

By |2021-05-07T16:13:22+08:00May 7th, 2021|Categories: Identify Photographs|

There are different ways of cooking mee. The most common are by frying, by stewing and by steeping it in boiling water for a few minutes and transferring it to a cold bath. If we wish to have the mee fried or boiled, we add meat or fish and some spices to make it tasty. It is important to use a little pepper dust. Mee steeped in boiling water and then washed in cold is the most popular form of mee. It is generally served with hot tasty soup.

I am sure many people would like to know which is the best mee stall in Ipoh. According to my taste the best mee is sold in a stall in Leech Street, at the entrance to Panglima Lane, and by the side of a restaurant. The owner of this stall is a Cantonese. He has been selling mee the greater part of his life and his mee is very delicious. He has a wife and a son to help him and is generally surrounded with customers. [read the full article here]


We thank Kong Tet Siew for the above article, which was featured in the 1952 edition of The Michaelian. While we’re on the topic of noodles and such, does anyone know which mee stall the writer was referring to?

April 2021

A 1929 Invoice

By |2021-04-30T11:15:10+08:00April 30th, 2021|Categories: Identify Photographs|

This is an invoice addressed to Towkay Chew Chooi Kooi of Teluk Anson (Teluk Intan), showing a rough quotation for a cement foundation. Included also are charges for cement and piling. This invoice is dated 6th May 1929. Also note the unique stationery it was written on…

The Songkok

By |2021-04-27T09:49:25+08:00April 27th, 2021|Categories: Identify Photographs|

It is called “songkok” in the Ethnic Malay cultural sphere in the Malay peninsula, Sumatra, and coastal Borneo. However in Java it is called “kopiah” or “kopeah”. In Indonesia it also known nationwide as “peci”. The name “peci” was probably derived from the Dutch word petje means “small hat”. Whatever the name they are all the same shape and style. (read more here)

While we’re on the topic of songkoks, here’s an article of interest.

‘keeping tabs’

By |2021-04-21T15:16:29+08:00April 21st, 2021|Categories: Identify Photographs|

Ever since the corona virus hit our shores, there’s been a constant need to keep a check on our movements; for our own safety, of course. However, this is not the first instance where movements were monitored. Here’s a sample of a record for movement of persons, from 1956. This record was necessary to control the movement of people because of the Malayan Emergency.

Endowment Fund Receipt

By |2021-04-16T15:54:31+08:00April 16th, 2021|Categories: Identify Photographs|

This is a receipt issued by University of Malaya Endowment Fund on 11th October 1949, for the amount $1. The fund was in support of the construction of one of the first buildings in the University of Malaya. Donations were made by “buying” a building brick for the cost of $1. (read more here)

An Interesting find…

By |2021-04-08T12:10:12+08:00April 8th, 2021|Categories: Identify Photographs|

This letter was sent from S.Seenivasagam, Advocates and Solicitors Ipoh to S.A.A.Lathif, Proprietor of the Lathif Store in Batu Gajah on the 24th April 1930. 

Of course, we all dread receiving a lawyer’s letter…but this particular letter was from a very famous law firm ๐Ÿ˜‰

Have you paid your taxes?

By |2021-04-05T16:24:40+08:00April 5th, 2021|Categories: Identify Photographs|

Don’t worry. We’re not reporting you to the Inland Revenue Board ๐Ÿ˜‰

Instead, here’s an income tax receipt from 1959. I wonder if they still issue such receipts, now that everything is done electronically…

March 2021

-under construction-

By |2021-03-29T17:11:55+08:00March 29th, 2021|Categories: Identify Photographs|

Some of you may have already guessed which building this is. For those who are still wondering, we’ll give you a tiny clue: this picture was taken in 1932 (according to our donor), and it was designed by the same person who designed Lido Cinema ๐Ÿ™‚

Celebrating Women!

By |2021-03-08T15:55:10+08:00March 8th, 2021|Categories: festivals/celebrations, Identify Photographs, Memories, Sports|

Today being International Women’s Day, we’d like to extend our wishes to all the amazing women – both in and around Ipoh, as well as the rest of the planet. Our featured post today is about women in sports:


Here is S P Seenivasagam, presenting trophies to Yeow Phaik Poh and Doreen Seow. This photo was taken around 1964. (picture courtesy of Angie Yeow, Ipoh)



Pearly Tan (right) and M. Thinaah (photo courtesy of Star Online). These ladies won the Swiss Open title yesterday. 

Have you heard of the White Tiger Festival?

By |2021-03-05T14:53:47+08:00March 5th, 2021|Categories: Identify Photographs|

Apparently, devotees visit the Paloh Koo Miu Temple in what was once known as the People’s Park, Ipoh,  to pray and make offerings on the White Tiger Festival which falls on 5 or 6 March every year. The day is also known as “The day the White Tiger Opens its Mouth” and is celebrated by Taoists who pray to ward off evil and bad luck. Have you heard of this festival?

A Wedding to Remember

By |2021-03-01T15:26:20+08:00March 1st, 2021|Categories: Identify Photographs|

This completed application form, to be part of the second Perak Hakka (Khek) Association mass wedding, records that the wedding took place on 28th March 1954 at 12pm. This was the third application to be submitted for this date and it is believed that their were thirteen couples that took part in the ceremony. The applicants on this form were Chen Jiu (Male) aged 32 and Zheng Kui Lian (female) aged 21.

February 2021

Before Yik Foong complex…

By |2021-02-19T12:48:13+08:00February 19th, 2021|Categories: Identify Photographs|

…there was the Lok Lum Club. Yes, before Yik Foong complex was built there was a club house in that same premise. Undoubtedly the most prestigious Chinese club in Ipoh, it was officially registered on 12 February 1915. Perhaps some of you may remember what the club house looked like. Here’s a picture to refresh your memory.

(You can read more about it here)

Then and Now – water bills

By |2021-02-17T14:42:35+08:00February 17th, 2021|Categories: Identify Photographs|

Some of you might remember your water bills looking like this (above picture). This of course being from the 1970s or so. 

Compare this to the present water bill (sample taken from Google images). Quite a vast difference, isn’t it?

Lady Treacher Girls’ School

By |2021-02-15T14:08:50+08:00February 15th, 2021|Categories: Identify Photographs|

The Perak Government established a Girlsโ€™ School at Taiping in 1889 with 8 girls and in 1891 there were 12 girls which was followed by an average enrolment of 36 each month by 1898. The school was named Treacher Girlsโ€™ School after Mrs. Treacher because of her special interest she took in the school. (read more here)

Taking a break

By |2021-02-10T12:39:04+08:00February 10th, 2021|Categories: Identify Photographs|

We know some of you are rather busy getting ready for the Reunion Dinner tomorrow. How about taking a short break, and having a cup of tea?

PS: Any recommendation for a good brand of tea? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Weng Kwong – Watch-makers & Gramophone Repairer

By |2021-02-10T12:40:46+08:00February 9th, 2021|Categories: Identify Photographs|

This is a receipt/advertisement from Weng Kwong Watch-makers and Gramophone Repairer, issued on 19th February 1957, for the amount $53.50. It pledges 6 months guarantee to all watches sold. This receipt was issued for the sale of a Titoni Swiss watch.

Anyone remember who was the owner of this business?

Loggers’ Wine & Dine?

By |2021-02-05T14:18:31+08:00February 5th, 2021|Categories: Identify Photographs|

This advertisement from the Loggersโ€™ Wine & Dine introduces Joe Chin (formerly of the Fabulous Falcons) as the organist in their live entertainment from Monday to Saturday from 8pm to 12 midnight. This pub and grill in the late 70s was situated at 40-42, Jalan Kampung Simee at Fair Park, in Ipoh, Perak. It was a new establishment and was owned by four partners one of whom was K K Chan. However, it is no longer in business.

Have you heard of this place? Know what happened to it?

Famous Names (15)

By |2021-02-03T14:38:57+08:00February 3rd, 2021|Categories: Identify Photographs|

When he arrived in Malaya, this gentleman (pictured above) became Chief Architect to the Federated Malay States (FMS), but would later return to the United Kingdom to begin his military career. It is often said that he was the first British Architect to achieve the honour of the rank of Brigadier General. 

The following are some of his notable works:

  1. The White House of Klang (Now Galeri Diraja Sultan Abdul Aziz, under the auspices of the Sultan of Selangor)
  2. State Secretariat Building, Seremban (Now State Library)
  3. The Old City Hall, Kuala Lumpur (Now Panggung Bandaraya)
  4. Ipoh Town Hall Building, Perak
  5. The Railway Station, Ipoh, Perak

I think the last two mentions would have clued you in on WHO our featured celebrity is. Yes, folks…he’s none other than Arthur Benison Hubback.

January 2021

Famous Names (14)

By |2021-01-28T19:51:18+08:00January 29th, 2021|Categories: Identify Photographs|

Previously the Senior Assistant of Victoria Institution, Kuala Lumpur, when he came to Ipoh he brought with him one member of his Kuala Lumpur staff and 5 former pupils from his old school. A keen sportsman who had represented Selangor in both football and hockey and quickly introduced both sports to his new school in Ipoh….

Who might this gentleman be? Well, he’s none other than Lieutenant Colonel John Howard Tyte – the 1st Principal of Anderson School, Ipoh ๐Ÿ™‚

A Little R&R

By |2021-01-26T21:50:43+08:00January 27th, 2021|Categories: Identify Photographs|

Ever been to a spa? How about a massage parlour? Well, there once was a massage saloon along Jalan Tokong, Ipoh which offered the following services (see below):

If you’ve been there, we’d like to know how good the service was ๐Ÿ˜‰ We’re also wondering if this place is still in business…

For a brighter smile?

By |2021-01-25T14:21:29+08:00January 25th, 2021|Categories: Identify Photographs|

While we take extra steps wash and sanitise our hands, have you been paying attention to oral care?

Here’s a 1950s design of a famous toothpaste (or dental cream, as they call it) brand.

And here’s what the same brand looks like today ๐Ÿ˜‰


Dressing for the occasion

By |2021-01-22T10:31:54+08:00January 22nd, 2021|Categories: Identify Photographs|

Since Chinese New Year is just around the corner, let me pose this question: have you bought your new year clothes yet? ๐Ÿ˜‰

We have here a cheongsam from the 1950s, courtesy of Mdm Ko.

Compare this classic to the more modern cheongsam today (picture from Google)

Back in 1941….

By |2021-01-20T16:29:01+08:00January 20th, 2021|Categories: Identify Photographs|

….a nearby Shell Oil Depot was bombed by the Japanese. The depot was ablaze for 3 days. On that same day, an ammunition train near the Railway Station sidings was also bombed. The impact damaged this church (pictured above) and the vicarage. The explosion shattered the glass panes at the high altar; and a wheel from the locomotive hit the bell tower.

Of course, this picture was before the bombing. In fact, this picture dates back to 1912. I’m sure you know which church I’m talking about ๐Ÿ™‚

A Trishaw Procession

By |2021-01-15T16:27:56+08:00January 15th, 2021|Categories: Identify Photographs|

Do you remember a trishaw procession in Ipoh, back in 2000? The procession, in aid of the Xim Phou Moon Welfare Society’s ‘Caring Day’, took place in Ipoh in the first week of January 2000 (we believe Sunday the 2nd). It was formed by the last 10 trishaws that still existed in Ipoh, nine of them representing an Asian country. Here’s one of the photographs from that event:

Do you recognise the street? If you’re one of those who witnessed the procession, we’d love to hear from you.

“Paging for Dr Ngoh”

By |2021-01-11T16:22:29+08:00January 11th, 2021|Categories: Identify Photographs|

Dr Ngoh Lean Tuck made a significant contribution to the reform of Chinese society in Malaya in terms of education and culture. He was a Queenโ€™s Scholar from Penang graduating with the highest honours in medicine from Cambridge University.

Besides medicine, the reform of the education of girls was also important to him. He promoted debate of such issues by speaking to Ipohites in 1904 at the launch of the Perak Literary and Debating Society at the Kinta Chinese Club.

Sounds familiar, doesn’t he? You’d probably know him by the Mandarin rendition of his name – Dr Wu Lien-Teh      ๐Ÿ™‚


By |2021-01-08T16:04:14+08:00January 8th, 2021|Categories: Events, Identify Photographs, People|

This photograph, taken on 7th January 1919, shows Dr A C Kathigasu and his 19 year- old bride, Sybil Daly on their wedding day at St John’s Church (now St John’s Cathedral) in Bukit Nanas, Kuala Lumpur. The page-boy is Eric Jeremiah, the 6 year-old son of a family friend Iris Jeremiah.

December 2020

Of concerts and dramas…

By |2020-12-29T10:30:31+08:00December 29th, 2020|Categories: Identify Photographs|

The press cutting from the Japanese single sheet propaganda paper the Perak Shimbun dated December 20 2604 (1944) speaks of tickets which are on sale for the popular patriotic play, โ€œOh Chinta Yang Chantekโ€ (โ€œO Beautiful Loveโ€) which was to be staged by Sri Arjuna Bungsawan at Kyoto (ex The Capitol Theatre) in aid of the Indian Welfare Fund. Selected members of the Indian National Army will also participate in the play which is expected to draw bumper crowds. Seats may be booked in advance by getting in touch with the IIL Ipoh.

With all the restrictions on mass gatherings and such, when was the last time you attended a live show? ๐Ÿ™‚


Much ado about Bovril

By |2020-12-22T20:22:08+08:00December 23rd, 2020|Categories: Identify Photographs|

There’s Marmite. There’s Vegemite. Then there’s Bovril. Flavour enhancer, sauce, marinade…etc. Oh, so many uses!

Which is YOUR favourite? (Someone once mentioned Marmite on toast   ๐Ÿ˜‰   )

What’s brewing?

By |2020-12-18T15:22:53+08:00December 18th, 2020|Categories: Identify Photographs|

Rake from a tin mine? That’s what I thought…at first. But it’s not dirt nor tin ore that’s stuck on this rake.

And no, this man is not raking coal. In fact, he’s in the midst of roasting coffee beans. Read more here.

Teluk Anson, 1934

By |2020-12-14T12:00:26+08:00December 14th, 2020|Categories: Identify Photographs|

These photos (courtesy of Ruth Iversen Rollitt) show shop houses in Teluk Anson. Any Teluk Anson (now Teluk Intan) folks reading this? Any idea what business occupied this premise? 

The Gandhiji Memorial

By |2020-12-02T16:11:03+08:00December 2nd, 2020|Categories: Identify Photographs|

According to this Malaya Tribune article, published on 27th February 1948, a public meeting of all the communities was held at Kampar Recreation Club on Monday March 1st – to consider a fitting memorial to the memory of Mahatmaji. 

Anyone know what was the outcome of the meeting? Was there a memorial eventually?

November 2020

Syonan Times

By |2020-11-30T15:40:03+08:00November 30th, 2020|Categories: history, Identify Photographs, Memories|Tags: |

Have you heard of The Syonan Times? “Syonan” was the name given to Singapore by the Japanese (during the Japanese Occupation). The Syonan Times (printed in Singapore) acted as the local newspaper, and was also part of the psychological warfare the Japanese were using in Malaya. 

Here’s a sample of one of their editions, from 1942, (courtesy of Philip LaBrooy):

…dirty jobs…

By |2020-11-23T13:26:15+08:00November 23rd, 2020|Categories: Identify Photographs|

We salute all those who have the least-liked jobs: the garbage collectors, the road sweepers, the janitors, and of course (as seen in the above photo) the Nightsoil Bucket Collectors.

Of course, we don’t have such bucket collectors today…but imagine what would happen without them?

A Royal book…

By |2020-11-20T14:56:51+08:00November 20th, 2020|Categories: childhood, history, Identify Photographs, Memories, People|

Have you ever owned such an exercise book – with British Royalty on the front cover? Personally, I’ve never seen one so unique. Was it common stationery back then…say in the early 1950s? 



Incidentally, today also marks the 73rd wedding anniversary of HM Queen Elizabeth II and HRH Prince Philip ๐Ÿ™‚


By |2020-11-18T16:08:05+08:00November 18th, 2020|Categories: Identify Photographs, Memories|

Our previous blog entry showed an early depiction of Batu Gajah’s main road. Today, we are featuring Kampar Town. Do you know which part of Kampar this is? (if it’s still there today…)

Poppy Day

By |2020-11-11T15:43:11+08:00November 11th, 2020|Categories: Identify Photographs|

We have here an appeal letter for Poppy Day. This letter is dated 1957.

Poppy Day is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth member nations since the end of WW I, to remember those in the armed forces who died in the line of duty. Poppy Day falls on 11 November, recalling the end of the hostilities of WWI in 1918. This day was inaugurated by King George V in 1919; WW I ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on 28 June 1919. 

Read more about Poppy Day here. 

UM’s 1st Medical Grads, 1969

By |2020-11-04T15:07:42+08:00November 4th, 2020|Categories: history, Identify Photographs, Memories, People|

SMI was proud when the first group of medical students to graduate from University of Malaya included five Michaelians. They are pictured above with another Old Michaelian, Mr Vincent Ooi Eu Sen FRCS, Head of Department of Ophthalmology at the University.

They are, from left to right:
Doctors Chin Kit Kong, Ooi Eng Aun, Chong Min Sin, Vincent Ooi Eu Sen, Thong Yee Heng, Chua Chin Tong.

October 2020

Famous Names (13)

By |2020-10-30T15:56:02+08:00October 30th, 2020|Categories: history, Identify Photographs, People|

He made the best use of his time in the colony by learning Cantonese, and later Mandarin and travelled extensively in China. He held a number of Senior posts in Hong Kong, British Guiana and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), before being appointed as Governor of the Straits Settlements and High Commissioner of the Federated Malay States in November 1929, taking up the appointment in February 1930, in place of Sir Hugh Clifford who had retired due to ill-health. (read more here)

Who’s our featured celebrity today? He is none other than Sir Cecil Clementi!

Famous October celebrities

By |2020-10-21T16:04:46+08:00October 21st, 2020|Categories: Identify Photographs|

Some of you may already recognise these men, famous brothers in the entertainment world (oops, gave away a big clue there!). Coincidentally, both were born in the month of October. Have any of you had the privilege of meeting them?

Now Here is Something Different

By |2020-10-19T11:20:00+08:00October 19th, 2020|Categories: Identify Photographs|

It is in our collection, but not yet listed in the database and may be difficult to guess. So let me give you a couple of clues:

Probably unique, it came from a tin mine near Lahat and was invented by a British Mining Engineer! It dates from the days when appropriate machinery was not yet available in Malaya.

…more haunting tales…

By |2020-10-14T16:21:52+08:00October 14th, 2020|Categories: childhood, Identify Photographs, Ipoh Town, Memories, movies|

In keeping up with the Halloween theme, here’s a familiar landmark that may have had its fair share of spooky tales…

Somewhat triangular in shape the Odeon is adjacent to St Michael’s Catholic graveyard and like the post-war Rex Theatre, rumours that it is haunted abound. One popular rumour is that if you ever take off your shoes inside, you will never find them when the light comes on — even if nobody has sat in front, behind or next to you. Although the theatre was air conditioned, management would occasionally conserve energy by opening the doors on the side facing the graveyard creating a rather spooky feeling. The Theatre seated 850 on its main floor and in the balcony.


“That’s the spirit!”

By |2020-10-12T15:16:07+08:00October 12th, 2020|Categories: Identify Photographs|

Blythe Spirit is a comic play written by Noel Coward which takes its title from Percy Bysshe Shelley’s poem “To a Skylark” (“Hail to thee, blythe Spirit! / Bird thou never wert”). The play concerns socialite and novelist Charles Condomine, who invites the eccentric medium and clairvoyant, Madame Arcati, to his house to conduct a sรฉance, hoping to gather material for his next book. The scheme backfires when he is haunted by the ghost of his annoying and temperamental first wife, Elvira, following the sรฉance. Elvira makes continual attempts to disrupt Charles’s marriage to his second wife, Ruth, who cannot see or hear the ghost.

On that note, do you have any ‘memorable’ ghost stories to share? ๐Ÿ˜‰

‘chasing ghosts’ ?

By |2020-10-06T13:58:29+08:00October 5th, 2020|Categories: Identify Photographs|

Some people associate October with ghouls, spirits, and similar spooky stuff. Perhaps it’s because Halloween falls on 31st October; it could also be that we’ve just past the ‘Hungry Ghost’ month. Whatever the reason, some cinemas take advantage of the season by showing a variety of horror films.

That being said, does anyone remember this Chinese film – “The Ghost Chasers” ? It was shown at the Mayfair Theatre.

September 2020

A Trip to Thailand

By |2020-09-21T15:36:01+08:00September 21st, 2020|Categories: Identify Photographs|

This is a pass issued for permission of entry into southern Thailand, valid until 29th January 1978. The holder of the pass has used the pass several times, as can be seen from the chops on both sides of the pass, spanning the months July, August and September 1977. The pass bears the signature of the holder as well as the signature of the Officer issuing Pass (Official Post: Head of Immigration Post, Padang Besar, Perlis).

Famous Names (12)

By |2020-09-04T16:23:10+08:00September 4th, 2020|Categories: history, Identify Photographs, Memories, People|

This is part of a portrait picture of a gentleman who had the wellbeing of all people of all races at heart. This picture was taken from an article, which describes our ‘celebrity’ as “a good-hearted, unpretentious, scrupulous and honest man who led the Indians in the fight for an independent Malaya”. 

I think our history buffs are already ‘yelling’ out the answer. Yes folks, this is none other than Tun V. T. Sambanthan ๐Ÿ™‚

Coat of Arms

By |2020-09-02T16:49:59+08:00September 2nd, 2020|Categories: Identify Photographs|

This hand-carved Coat of Arms was carved by Ho Mun Wai as a school project when he was in Standard 6 in 1976.

Here’s a little quiz for you: do you remember what each section symbolise?

August 2020

“From Chinese Nationalism to Malaysian Chinese”

By |2020-08-28T12:13:51+08:00August 28th, 2020|Categories: Identify Photographs|

“The Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) was officially founded on 27th February 1949 by 16 men, two of whom were from Perak  – Tun Leong Yew Koh and Woo Ka Lim of Ipoh.” – read more at Vicinity Perak – From Chinese Nationalism to Malaysian Chinese – Volume 2 Issue 12, September 2006

The above photo shows the Resident Commissioner (left) and Tun Leong Yew Koh (right).

Beginning of the MIC?

By |2020-08-26T11:09:33+08:00August 26th, 2020|Categories: Identify Photographs|

While we’re still on the topic of Merdeka (since 31st August is just around the corner), did you know that:local Indian activism started in the early 20th century with the formation of associations such as the Taiping Indian Association, which particularly focused on the concerns of plantation workers” ? (quote from – Vicinity Perak – From Indian Nationals to Malaysian Indians – Volume 2 Issue 12, September 2006)

The above photo shows Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru (President of the Congress Party of India) speaking to the local Indian community in Kuala Kangsar, Perak in 1937.

Of Women and Merdeka…

By |2020-08-24T12:41:29+08:00August 24th, 2020|Categories: history, Identify Photographs, Memories, People|

Meeting of Kaum Ibu members in Ulu Selama, Perak (1958).

The confederation of Kumpulan Kaum Ibu into independent organisations later brought about the creation of Pergerakan Kaum Ibu UMNO (renamed Pergerakan Wanita) in 1949 when the party realised the importance of a permanent womenโ€™s auxiliary body. Its leader Puteh Mariah was a dedicated and feisty who took this body to greater heights and she fought for womenโ€™s rights thus creating new ventures for women in many areas.

Kaum Ibu also provided classes for betterment of its women and this resulted in some of them being appointed to senior party positions….(read more here)

Famous Names (11)

By |2020-08-10T15:32:55+08:00August 10th, 2020|Categories: history, Identify Photographs, ipoh, Memories, People|Tags: |

He had been part of the SMI family since 1939 and had helped to rescue vital equipment before the Japanese took over the school buildings. As a musician himself he gave personal encouragement to the Military and Cadet bands, as well as to stage productions. For more than 40 years, he served the students, the staff and the school with great respect, understanding and love. 

The Michaelians are already grinning at this entry ๐Ÿ™‚ Yes, boys (and girls), our featured celebrity is none other than Bro Ultan Paul!

Familiar artifact?

By |2020-08-03T12:00:14+08:00August 3rd, 2020|Categories: Identify Photographs|

Remember these fans? I still have one at home (which is worn, with age). But the one I have doesn’t have a motif like this one (pictured above). When was the last time you saw or used such a fan? 

July 2020

‘current affairs’

By |2020-07-29T12:36:48+08:00July 29th, 2020|Categories: Identify Photographs|

This Pamphlet, issued by the National Electricity Boardโ€™s Information Section, is all about electrical accidents and how we can avoid them. It was published in July 1967 and the pamphlet sketches were by Ibrahim Ismail.

The publication was most likely prompted by the 1966 statistics which showed that 16 people died as a result of electrical accidents and, according to the Chief Electrical Inspector, the majority of these accidents were found to be due to carelessness and faulty apparatus.

Some of the hazards, shown in the above picture, include:

  • Donโ€™t run appliances from adaptors.
  • Donโ€™t knock nails into walls above switches and socket outlets.
  • Donโ€™t fly kites on or near transmission lines.
  • Do take faulty appliances to a registered wiring contractor for repair. 
  • Donโ€™t tie clothes lines to supports carrying electric wires.
  • Donโ€™t climb electric poles.
  • Swatow Coffee Shop

    By |2020-07-21T10:37:01+08:00July 20th, 2020|Categories: Identify Photographs|

    While we’re still on the topic of coffee shops and kopitiams…some of you may have heard of Swatow coffee shop. From the picture below, we know that this coffee shop operated at No.8 Aylesbury Street in Ipoh.