Sarikei is in a dilemma as she struggles between conservation of heritage versus the constant need to progress and expand. Usually it is the latter that wins because Sarikei has not reached the level of affluence of developed cities yet where denizens fight for heritage conservation before it is too late.
Why conserve heritage? If you or your future generations have nothing left to look back on for your past except through photos, life will be less meaningful. The future generations will say things like, "Oh! It's such a shame to destroy such an important piece of history. Why didn't they conserve it?"
Next on the vanishing heritage list is the Methodist Sze Hua kindergarten that is 93 years old. In 1920, a wooden Methodist church was built by 2 gentlemen (Wong Qing Bo黄清波 and Wong Qing Chun 黄清春) with an attached Sze Hua kindergarten 泗華小學. (Source: 1).
The beautiful colonial styled church was situated between this kindergarten and the current church and had been demolished to make way for the current primary school entrance. In the late 1950s, the three buildings stood side by side as landmarks on the edge of downtown Sarikei.
The proposed new church can seat 550 people and an additional 330 with the doors opened. It will also house the office of the church, the office of the Reverend, a 30-seat meeting room, a pastory restroom, a fellowship hall, a children's room, a refreshment room, an utility room, a toilet and an underground car park with lift.
The new church will cost about RM5 million for demolition, construction, facilities, installation, renovation of the old pastory building, etc. There's a fund raising at the existing church on 31st Aug 2013 from 6am-12noon with tickets priced at RM10, 20 and 50.
Does the new church have to build on the existing premises of the crowded Methodist compound? How about new land at, say, Meranti Road area, across Sarikei River or across Nyelong River?
(1) 80th Anniversary souvenir issue of Methodist Church's Huai Ren Hall. 取自怀仁堂80周年纪念刊