Yes, you read it right. This is the old Town Hall…in Taiping 🙂 We think this photograph was taken in the early 1900s (we could be wrong). Anyone from Taiping reading this? We’d like to know what’s become of this building.
Believe it or not, this is what Ipoh’s first railway station looked like in the late 1800s (before the present Taj Mahal-like structure).
Amazing isn’t it? It is interesting to note that:
“…the first section [railway construction in Perak] was an eight-mile line running between Taiping and Port Weld….[which] opened for traffic in June 1885. The construction was carried out by two divisions of Ceylon Pioneers, lent by the Government of Ceylon.
The first through passenger train from Perak was that conveying H.H. the Sultan of Perak and suite from Kuala Kangsar to Kuala Lumpur on July 17th of that year  to attend the Conference of Chiefs of the Federated Malay States.”
The above quote and picture were taken from the book Twentieth Century Impressions of British Malaya: Its History, People, Commerce, Industries and Resources.
Click here if you wish to see a coloured postcard and short history of Ipoh’s first railway station.
I discovered when I attended that the citizens of Taiping, through the United Nations Development programme (UNDP), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Taiping Municipal Council and Taiping Tourist Association, decided that Taiping should contribute to peace and harmony in the country and the world by launching The Taiping Peace Initiative back in 2001.
So they set up the Taiping Peace Initiative, an innovative partnership between civil society, local government and the private sector to promote, through practical action, a holistic concept of a “triple” peace- inner peace, social peace and earth peace.
To this end, part of the Lake Garden, approximately 1.6 acres was transformed into a Peace Park with a peace pole and the words “May Peace Prevail On Earth” in the world’s major languages. Over the 10 years since then much effort has been made to educate people in promoting peace, an activity backed by UNESCO.
This was indeed an eye-opener to me and worthy of more research.
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.
This is Taiping resident – Lee Eng Kew, better known locally as Ah Kew, freelance writer and field historian who explores temples and grave yards to archive epitaphs, trace lineage and record oral history. For over ten years, this man in the street has carried out extensive research on the illustrious history of Taiping, a town of many firsts in Perak, Malaysia – focusing on the Chinese immigration and contributions to the town and state.
Not content with that, in 2004 he made a video about his hobby in which he was the narrator Lee Eng Kew, assisted by Producer Khoo Eng Yow, Director of Photography, Lim Chun Piao and Lam Yek Wah, Sound, Lee Wei Ching & Sylvia Lim and Editor, Khoo Eng Yow.
Such was its success it was selected for Jonio International Film Festival, Italy, the IV International Audiovisual Festival, Azerbaijan and the 2nd Golden Apricot Film Festival.
Search Google – “Ah Kew the digger”, to find out more.
The picture of Humber Pulman was taken in Taiping during 1950s. It was a Standard Vanguard for Officers of the Command, who used having arrived by helicopter to travel around the area. Besides that, several armoured Scout Cars also used to escort the Humber Pulman during the visits.
Such a beauty! Dont you agree? Please drop by if you know about this car, registration 27BC24.
The 11th Independent Field Squadron Royal Engineers was building a bridge in a kampung, in 1958, as one of their Malayan Emergency operations in Taiping. The villagers were looking on curiously, wondering what was going on.
Nothing has changed in 50 years – Malaysians still love to watch what is happening, particularly road traffic accidents of which we have far too many.
The picture shows an old , open cast, tin mine in Taiping during 1958. We are wondering what had happened to this mine. Can you help us ?
The scene is of course very typical of an abandoned mine with the mine itself now full of water and the sheds falling down. However the Palong still stands proud against the skyline.
This picture shows three “young at heart” Europeans enjoying the slide into the top pool of three that made up the Taiping Club’s swimming pool in the 1950s. It is still there but sadly overgrown and in a serious state of disrepair. Of course the club now has a new pool.
A user of the pool in 1959, Isobel Hatherley, recalls:
“This afternoon we went to the Taiping Swimming Club – very different from Ipoh. It is quite a drive up the hill through the jungle to a delightful waterfall that feeds the baths. It is much more primitive than Ipoh, with rather murky looking water, but it is really cold and refreshing, whereas at Ipoh the water is usually tepid. I had decided to give up swimming when we left Ipoh, but there were so few people up there I couldn’t resist it.”
Does anyone out there have more memories of this unique recreational facility?
More information about the pool may be found on our database.
POLICE LIEUTENANT M R LIVINGSTONE
KILLED IN AMBUSH IN TEMENGGOR
25 DECEMBER, 1950
At approx 10.00 a.m. on the 25th December, 1950, a party of seven police constables of the Police Frontier Force under the command of Police Lieutenant. M R Livingstone proceeded from Kampong Temenggor to the Temenggor Tin Mine in the Grik area of Perak to investigate a report that the mine had been destroyed by fire.
About 1½ miles from the tin mine the police party was ambushed by an armed gang of bandits estimated at fifty to seventy strong. During the subsequent engagement Livingstone was shot in the head and killed instantaneously. Two police constables were also killed and the remaining four others wounded. A follow-up party of Police and Royal Marines were unable to locate and recover the body of Livingstone until 27th December, 1950.
The funeral of Livingstone took place at a jungle patch near Kampong Temenggor one and a half day’s walk from Grik at 5.15 p.m. on 27th December, 1950. The funeral service was conducted by ASP P J D. Guest of District Police, Grik. The Form of the Service had been sent to ASP Guest, by wireless, by the Church of England padre of the Royal Marines.
The simple but impressive service was attended by members of the Police and the Royal Marines stationed in the vicinity for operations. A salute was fired at the graveside by a Royal Marines guard of honour.
Livingstone had served with the Police Force for only three and a half months but during that short time he had won for himself the respect and confidence of his subordinates and superiors alike. His devotion to duty was of a high order and would have assured him a very successful career in the Police Service.
With the aid of the Military Authorities, the remains of the late Police Lieutenant Livingstone were recovered from his jungle grave and re-interred in the Christian cemetery in Taiping on 8th December, 1954.
The recommittal ceremony was conducted by the Rev. Lewis, Chaplain to the Forces and Vicar of All Saints Church, Taiping. Present were OCPD Taiping and Mrs. Turner, Police Lieutenant J W Wells and a contingent of rank and file. Wreaths were laid by the OCPD on behalf of the Perak Contingent, Federation of Malaya Police, and by Mr. Wells on behalf of Mrs Livingstone, the mother of the deceased, now Mrs E Wharton of Upton, Wirral, Cheshire.