This villa was build around 1910, by none other than Eu Tong Sen; Eu used this as an annex to his Chateau (Forest Lodge). We were also told that this Anglo-Malay Bungalow was the home of Japanese senior officers (between 1942-1945), and was where Ipoh residents queued up for rice coupons.
Garden Villa was also once a kindergarten, and a Christian Chapel. Today, after restoration works, it is a venue for exhibitions, talks, seminars, etc. (this was featured on a previous blog post).
Rumour has it that: the store room (in this bungalow) had a trapdoor leading to a secret room – which hid Japanese armaments! Also, this bungalow was once used as a brothel after the war!
Are there any other interesting stories about this place? I’m sure some of you out there have a tale or two to share….. 🙂
Eu Tong Sen and Chung Thye Phin (two of Ipoh’s many Towkays) once built a weekend retreat, Forest Lodge, at Gopeng Road. It had a large stable – befitting the common interests of these “blood brothers”, which included motorcars, racehorses, and country houses. Later, when Eu Tong Sen was appointed to the Federal Council, Chung Thye Phin sold his half-lot to Eu Tong Sen – thus a much grander accomodation was built.
During the Japanese Occupation, this building served as an army base. Sometime in 1949, the building was taken over by the Perak Islamic Mission Association. ‘Forest Lodge’ then came to be known as Pusat Rawatan Islamar-Ridzuan, which was a medical centre for Muslims.
Although it’s not the ‘Forest Lodge’ anymore, the unique structures (the arches and windows) have remained the same. Also notice the crescent and the star, something not usually found in such heritage buildings.
From what we’ve heard, the Islamic Medical Centre will be moving out from this place. What’s going to happen to it? We hope it won’t be demolished or left to wither…..
Here is one way of restoring and using a heritage building…..
Garden Villa is located at No.5, Jalan Raja Dr Nazrin Shah (Gopeng Road), Ipoh. It was originally an annex to Eu Tong Sen’s mansion (Eu Chateau-Forest Lodge). Now, this place is managed by Kinta Heritage group. This Anglo-Malay architecture can be a venue for gatherings, exhibitions, talks, seminars, etc. – given it’s suitable location (Gopeng Road), which is not far away from the city centre!
Any group or association interested should call Magis at 05-2417055 / email: email@example.com
Note: the sketch on this poster was done by Amiruddin Mohd Daud (an Ipoh-born artist); he was featured in one of our previous posts.
STOP PRESS For the convenience of those who prefer Bahas Malaysia rather than English: