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

March 2013

Earth-Hour Ideas!

By |2013-03-15T16:00:06+08:00March 15th, 2013|Categories: festivals/celebrations, nature, tourism|Tags: , , , |

EH@ECPoster Sm

Want to do something different this year for Earth Hour? How about joining this fund-raising event?  (click poster above to enlarge)

Part of the proceeds of the ticket sales will be donated to the WWF-Malaysia. Your generous contribution will also pay for 40 underprivileged children from various charitable organisations – who will be able to participate in 6 “adrenaline-pumping zip line rides”.

For more information, do call Nomad Adventure  at 03-79585152 or email them event@nomadadventure.com

April 2011

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.

September 2010

Mystery Solved!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

December 2009

But There’s No Mystery About This Man’s Pride in his Heritage.

By |2009-12-20T08:32:40+08:00December 20th, 2009|Categories: Memories|Tags: , , , |

Not only did our owner of the missing house care for the building itself, but just look at these photographs. He carefully saved everything that was there and after restoring his old home, he faithfully replaced the contents. That’s dedication, but more importantly it is “Pride in One’s Heritage”.

Family photographs on the wall, books and ornaments neatly blending with period furniture and a modern (ish) desk lamp.

What a great place to come home to after a week of pressure in Kuala Lumpur!

The Mystery of the Missing House

By |2009-12-19T02:13:40+08:00December 19th, 2009|Categories: Memories|Tags: , , |

As you can see from the picture there is a set of traditional steps leading to the front of a Kampung House that is not there! Then at the back is a small building, clearly the kitchen of the missing house. So what happened? Well do you see the yellow house behind the trees? That is the house that used to fill the space between steps and kitchen. Today it looks like this.

Yes, the whole house, lock, stock and barrel was taken to pieces, each piece numbered, recorded and where necessary carefully restored and then rebuilt further away from the road. It cost a small fortune to do this, but the owner, an architect and descendant of the original owner thought that at whatever cost his family home was worth saving. What a great example to set to our people who own similar homes that are simply left to rot. They wouldn’t need to go this far, but with some TLC (tender, loving care) they could keep their ancestors homes together, couldn’t they? Many would make perfect country retreats from our bustling, polluted cities, either for the family or as homestays. Think about it!

Mystery solved!

Some internal pictures of the house will be posted tomorrow.

Soya Sauce the Traditional Way

By |2009-12-02T00:55:29+08:00December 2nd, 2009|Categories: Museums, People|Tags: , , |

This little environmentally friendly Soya sauce factory lies just behind the police station in Gopeng. Here the elderly couple have been producing thick and thin sauce and fermented bean paste for most of their lives, but sadly have no children to take over this thriving business. However, there is hope that it will continue as a neice has recently joined them although when asked if she planned to continue the business, she was noncommittal.

Clearly another Gopeng tourist attraction (Gopeng seems to be doing well in this area) as well as a valuable asset to the community, one hopes that she will carry on the business which is effectively, already a working museum.

Above I mentioned ‘environmentally friendly” and that is because one can see at a glance that there are no waste products lying around polluting our world like most factories do. Secondly their bottles are carefully collected (discarded second hand sauce bottles from a multi-national company) and instead of wastefully being thrown away, they are thoroughly washed by the same small team of two (now three) and reused for their products, without unnecessasary paper labels. Sure, they do use a wood fire to boil up the beans, but only common wood not that from the rainforest which so many people are exploiting to line their own pockets.

If you have not found this little heritage gem then do make a point of visiting if you are in the area – and while you are there buy some sauce – you will not get better.

November 2009

Capitan Ah Kwee – Leader of the Hai San Secret Society

By |2009-11-30T13:46:52+08:00November 30th, 2009|Categories: People|Tags: , , , |

This photograph hangs on the wall in a Gopeng Association House. It is of course of Capitan Chung Ah Kwee.

Chung Ah Kwee was born as a Chen Sang Hakka in Guandong Province, China. In his late teens, he was sent to Malaya by his mother, to look for his father and brother. Ah Kwee found his brother in Larut as a wealthy and well known man known as Lui Kung Seng  (God of Thunder Seng). Ah Kwee later became the head of the Hai San Secret Society and led the first batch of Chinese miners to work at Long Jaafar’s mine in Klian Pauh in 1848. Tensions arose between the Hai Sans and Ghee Hins who were mining at Klian Bharu (Kamunting). War ensued between these two secret societies and was only stopped by Captain Tristam Speedy.

Captain Speedy made the Hai Sans work the mines and live in Klian Pauh which he later renamed Taiping, (everlasting peace). The Ghee Hins meanwhile were given Kamunting and mined a less richer area. Capitan Ah Kwee practically became the founder of Taiping and owner of the largest alluvial mine in the world employing 5000 coolies. He died at his residence in Penang on 13th December 1901 and his personal estate in Penang alone amounted to seven million Straits dollars.

June 2009

A Second Visit to Gopeng

By |2009-06-17T04:48:41+08:00June 17th, 2009|Categories: Museums|Tags: , , |

Our last Gopeng post related to the new museum there and also remarked that parts of the town were falling down. For those of you who do not know the place, here is a photograph of a row of houses just a few yards from the museum. What a dreadful sight to greet the visitor to the beautifully restored museum premises.

KINTA Almost 120 Years Ago – A Very Different Place

By |2009-06-02T11:14:44+08:00June 2nd, 2009|Categories: Memories|Tags: , , , , , |

by Sir George Maxwell, KBE, CMG.

When Sir George first travelled from Taiping to Batu Gajah by gharry, sampan and pony in 1891 most of the Kinta Valley was under primeval forest. Sir George who retired as Chief Secretary to the FMS Government in 1926, celebrated his eightieth birthday in 1952, but like all men great or not so great, it was eventually time for him to pass on – but not before he left us this memory:

“…the general transport system of Kinta at that time. Everything brought into the district travelled from Teluk Anson in large houseboats poled up the river by Chinese or foreign Malays, and all the tin ore and other produce went down river. Kota Bahru was the lowest landing station..The first metalled road in the district ran from Kota Bahru to Gopeng, which was then by far the most important mining centre. Batu Gajah was the next landing station. Then came Pengkalan Pegu, which served Lahat and Menglembu. Finally there was Ipoh, where all navigation ended.

Above it, there was a shallow stream of pure mountain water ………

Much of the tin ore from the mines and the provisions for the miners was carried by elephants: and every day half a dozen or more of them were standing outside the shop houses in Ipoh, Sungei Raia and Gopeng.”

May 2009

A Glimpse of Gopeng’s New Museum

By |2009-06-01T01:10:55+08:00May 31st, 2009|Categories: Museums|Tags: , , |

Click on Picture to Enlarge

For those of you who do not get the Star Northern Edition or the Ipoh Echo, here are some glimpses of Gopeng’s Own Hometown Museum.

Opened on 18 April, World Heritage Day, the museum is downstairs in the ancestral home of Bernard Yaw. The upstairs remains as accommodation.  There are over 300 exhibits on display plus a wealth of photographs and the museum is run on a daily basis by a long-term Gopeng resident Phang See Kong.

The photographs above show the mining display in the entrance, one of the two walls of historic photographs and part of the back room area. There is much more to see than these so why not go along. Entrance is free, but they do welcome donations.

Well done Gopeng!

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