Monday, September 22, 2008

History - Sarikei Cantonese Association. Part IV.

Extract from previous blog posts (updated):

Khoo Peng Loong 邱炳浓 (the Cantonese kapitan after Chan Wei) initiated a donation drive of $50 each to reach a final sum of $1000. This sum was used to purchase a piece of land at 2.5 mile Repok Road from 鐘海松. Chan Wei 陳偉 the Cantonese kapitan and the Hokkien kapitan, Ling Zhao Bian 林昭邊, (note: of Chop Lim Heng Teck 林恒德, No. 4 Wharf Road) applied to the government to get approval for this piece of land at 2.5 mile Repok Road to be designated as the Cantonese and Hokkien cemetery in the 1930s.

Source: Sarikei Cantonese Association, 122th Anniversary issue, Dec 2007

1973: Buying land for new cemetery
The land at the Chinese graveyard (2.5 mile Repok Road) had started to be scarce. Chan Tong Seng 陳同盛, the Cantonese Association chairman, bought a 42-acre land at Bulat 巫叻 and obtained government approval to use 25 acres as a cemetery.

The cemetery was split into 5 sections for easier management. A cemetery committee was formed. A golden pavilion, a rain shelter and a hall were then built.

1979: Building a Branch
In 1979, a 2-storey building was erected as a branch office at the entrance of the Bulat cemetery to cater for the poor and old homeless. The top floor was the residence of the old folks and the caretaker. The ground floor was for mourning. Initially three old folks stayed there and the ground floor did a few mourning sessions. Later it was left empty and slowly lost its original purpose. (Not surprising since it must be depressing for the old homeless folks to stay next to the cemetery). Termites infested the building and it was torn down for safety reasons.

Source: Sarikei Cantonese Association, 122th Anniversary issue, Dec 2007

1975: Building a Scholarship Fund
The Cantonese Association placed strong emphasis on the education of its members and started a scholarship fund in 1975. (Every year they gave ang pow of cash to Form 5 graduates. My individual photo (receiving a red packet) and group picture appeared in See Hua Daily News. This news clipping is still treasured by me.)

1980: Completing construction of new Premise
In 1975, the government approved the ownership of the land at No. 3 Merdeka Road. A fund raising committee and a construction committee were formed. In 1978, construction of the 5-storey building started and it was completed in 1980 with a grand official opening. (This is at the Payang Puri Hotel Block).

Cantonese Association Chairmen. Can you recognise them?
Source: Sarikei Cantonese Association, 122th Anniversary issue, Dec 2007

1981: Setting up a Library
Since the restructuring of the secondary school system, the exposure to Mandarin had been reduced and naturally the standard dropped. A library was built in 1981 (at the first floor, enter via the stairs next to the 1st coffeeshop). To date, ten thousand plus Mandarin books had been bought. Though it's not perfect, it will help to advance the learning of Mandarin.

How many of you have been there?


Daniel Yiek said...

Is there a Hokkien Association? I recall seeing a Foochow Association somewhere along Central Road.

45rpm said...

Hi Daniel,

I notice you repeat the mistake Khoo Peng Loong 邱炳浓 (the Cantonese kapitan before Chan Wei).

Khoo is the Kapitan after Chan Wei and before Kapitan Chan Ko Ming.

Chan Wei is much order and he passed away in 1940s if I am correct. He was the Kapitan in the 1930s, Kapitan Khoo of the 1940s - 1950s and Kapitan Chan Ko Ming from the 1950s - 60s. Kapitan Chan Wei is also the father-in-law of the 4th Cantonese Association Chairman Temmenggong Chou Pak Ming as should in the picture.

45rpm said...

Chan Wei is much "older" - sorry for the typo error.

Daniel Yiek said...

Thanks for the catch and correction. Will update all the posts with Chan Wei on this.

As requested before, pls send me any pics or info on Khoo Peng Loong. I have some good content & 1 pic but there's always room for improvement.

I think that the Cantonese Association went off on a better start than other dialect group because its initial few batches of leaders were very strong and later became community leaders, lawyers/judge and politicians. Of course this point is open for debate.

Daniel Yiek said...

I just checked the Chan Wei blog post - correct to say that he's kapitan from 1930s. He passed away in 1947.

Nelson said...

hokkiens are represented by chiang chuan association.

45rpm said...

The setting up of the library in 1981, the chairman of the Association was Chan Hon Seng 陈同盛the towkay of 廣合興 Kong Hup Heng No 5 Wharf Rd. Mr Chan approved the trip of the association secretary 赵文佑 to Hong Kong on a mission to acquire books for the setting up of the library and hence a lot of books in the library were purchased from Hong Kong. 赵文佑 was known to the local folks as Yow Siang the Iron chief of old Sarikei. Yow Siang was familiar with Hong Kong having traveled on holidays and also his brother was a doctor in Hong Kong. He was from a wealthy family in his home village in Canton and as a young man migrating to Binatang and started his food store selling curry rice. He moved from Binatang to Central Rd Sarikei and later opened the famous open market store selling his famous fried noodle with the unique Hong Kong taste "Fire smell". Yow Siang was a small build slim gentleman and was an excellent Mahjong player. I think every Sarikien who make the pilgrimage home will not forget to eat the Yow Siang Fried noodle prepared by his grandson now.

Daniel Yiek said...


Can Hokkien and Foochow readers dig into your association's magazines and email me contents? The contents here are very skewed towards Cantonese as this is waht I have access too.

Still waiting with anticipation for your contents on Sarikei from the magazine you mentioned.

45 rpm,
Pls advise which fried noodle shop is the grandson of Yow Siang operating at?

45rpm said...

I found in your Blog under Sat Nov 03, 2007 heading: Food - Sarikei Fried Noodle and Bee Hoon.

Click on the side labels under Hawker.

easechen said...

I'm sending some articles on Khoo Peng Loong taken from "Who's Who In Malaysia" & "Who's Who in South East Asia."

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