Hidden secrets of spiritual sites featured

“St George’s Church in George Town is the oldest cause-constructed colonial church in Southeast Asia. Its latest 200th anniversary of consecration becomes marked with the problem of a lovely Places of Worship – Series II commemorative stamp set,” remarks Dr. Chua Hock Khoon as quickly as we grow to be the church grounds from Lebuh Farquhar.

Before leaving the automobile, the famous Penang dentist who has a personal exercise in close by Lebuh Pantai arms over a folder containing several philatelic items and factors out that the church, also regarded as Parish of St George the Martyr, is the primary Anglican place of worship featured by using Pos Malaysia.

Hidden secrets of spiritual sites featured 1

“Apart from the church, different locations of worship featured are the Sultan Ismail Petra Silver Jubilee Mosque (Rantau Panjang, Kelantan), Hong San Si Temple (Kuching, Sarawak), Sri Karthivel Murugan Maha Parasakthi Patchai Amman (Taiping, Perak) and Gurdwara Sahib (Labuan),” he provides even as commenting that the general shade aggregate and design make the 5 stamps worthy keepsakes.

A character who has lived in Georgetown for most of his lifestyle, Chua is a wealth of facts on all things associated with his birthplace. His sizeable information on Penang history comes to the fore as we stroll the grounds of one of the most lovable British colonial historical past buildings in the core region of George Town’s UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The foundation of St George’s Church can be traced all the way back to the time while Captain Light took possession of Penang on behalf of the British Crown and the British East India Company (BEIC) in 1786. The colonists’ spiritual care at the new buying and selling put up to become taken care of by using the Church of England chaplains connected to the BEIC. During one’s childhood, spiritual services were held either at the Fort Cornwallis chapel, the Court House, or the Governor’s house.


Proposals for an everlasting church on the site recognized then as Company’s Square was submitted sometime in 1810 but become most effective acted upon two years later after the passing of the East India Company Act 1813, which essentially prolonged the BEIC constitution for a further twenty years. Construction started in 1815 based on plans drawn up through the Governor of Penang, then known as the Prince of Wales Island, and advanced upon by using Lieutenant Robert N. Smith of the Madras Engineers.

Smith became a colleague of Colonel James Lillyman Caldwell, leader architect of St. George’s Cathedral in Madras, and it’s a concept by way of many that the architecture of St. George’s Church is based at the cathedral itself.

Featuring an aggregate of Neo-Classical, Georgian, and English Palladian architectural styles, the church turned into built absolutely by using Indian convict labor to use brick and lime mortar on a stable plastered stone base that becomes reduce via hand from the hills of Penang.

Senegal mahogany bushes were introduced by way of delivering in 1816 from India, and they’re wooden used to fill the numerous Grecian columns and to offer stability. Today, the solitary tree in the church’s front is the remaining surviving one from that cargo.

Amongst those consulted all through the church’s creation changed into the Reverend Robert Sparke Hutchings, the Prince of Wales Island Colonial Chaplain. Hutchings was, but, away in Bengal whilst the building became finished in 1818, and the primary Christmas carrier needed to be officiated by Reverend Henderson.

The general cost of construction becomes an astounding 60,000 Spanish dollars, six times the yearly quantity given to the Sultan of Kedah in change for Penang and same in sum to what Thomas Stamford Raffles negotiated for the entire island of Singapore later in 1819!

The first wedding ceremony was held between Governor William Edward Philips and Janet Bannerman, the daughter of his successor, Colonel John Alexander Bannerman, on June 30, 1818. A 12 months later, the church changed into consecrated by the Bishop of Calcutta, Thomas Fanshaw Middleton, on May eleven, 1819.


Philips became the person who took over the lands planted with pepper from Light’s property whilst the present-day Penang founder died in 1794. The purchase got here with a simple construction built in the style of an Anglo-Indian lawn residence that had earlier served as Light’s house.

That shape, constructed of timber and attap, changed into called the unique Suffolk House. The Suffolk House, as we realize it these days, came into life when Philips set plans in the movement for the development of a grand Georgian-styled mansion in 1805.

In making his dream a truth, Philips became also making an ostentatious declaration of his wealth and competencies in a fledgling agreement that had a hundred and twenty European residents slightly, a lot of whom were traded human beings and traders.

The mansion subsequently served as a residence for numerous extra early governors and has become the venue for plenty of crucial social and authentic features, such as vital discussions with Raffles regarding Singapore’s founding.

Shifting my attention to the church and gesturing towards the pinnacle of an enforcing Doric column portico that would have been gaily embellished for the duration of celebratory events within the beyond, Chua well-known shows that gables topped by way of an octagonal-fashioned steeple were brought in 1864 when the unique flat roof become discovered to be incorrect for tropical climate.

“Heavy torrential rain took its toll on the authentic roof which started leaking significantly,” he adds before pointing to the memorial pavilion built in reminiscence of Captain Light throughout the founding of present-day Penang centenary celebrations in 1886.

The next 55 years turned into a period of relative calm for St George’s Church and Penang. Apart from marriages and service, the church held at least 24 memorials commemorating crucial humans who died in the 19th century, each with its very own extraordinary monument and wordy inscription.

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