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.
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.
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).
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?