Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Fast forward to the present. It's 10 September 2008 and I am sitting in my office @THSH trying to figure out how I am going to go about this entire tribute. It has been very busy for me since coming back home as we are also involved in other community works via our other blog In actual fact, I have been talking to a number of people with regards to The Hubback Brothers, but many seem to be disinterested. Is it actually possible that the people in Malaysia do not take an interest in History? Or could it be my presentation? I wonder.

As the saying goes, every cloud has a silver lining. In my respect, I do believe its true as support for this project initially manifested in a very strange form. My partners from the other community project @THSH, namely En. Ismail Hashim, Mr. John W. Ishii and Mr. Tommy Yap actually volunteered their services at no cost. The Team @THSH has also been very supportive of this project and more importantly my wife. This actually gave me the strength to carry on.

Of course, I will have to look for patrons and corporate sponsors as I nor @THSH has the means to go it alone. So no point in procrastinating. Let's get the ball rolling. After all, one of my primary goals is to be able to record part of Malaya's history for our future generations. Is it really possible to chronicle such events here? There are a lot of questions running through my mind.

Today I sat down and wrote a total of five official letters to various organizations in anticipation that they will agree to provide us with support for this 'historical project'.

One of our official letters that were sent out to potential supporters/sponsors via email and post,
depending on the availability of their address. You can view our letters by clicking on the photo above.

To protect their privacy and as we have not revealed all on
The Hubback Brothers, we have blurred certain portions of text.

I am beginning to wonder if the Malaysian Public in general are really interested in History at all. Students that have come to @THSH doing research on the buildings, well, let's just say not many of them are actually interested, it's just a term paper research anyway... however, on rare occassions, I do bump into 1 or 2 that impresses me. With the announcement of Penang and Malacca as 'Heritage Cities' under the auspices of UNESCO, do we not want to do more for our other Buildings and Natural Heritage in other states? I do believe, and I may be wrong, that many people may just adopt the attitude of, let's leave it to somebody else, or the Government, for that matter. Well, I am of the opinion that the Government is already doing all they can, so we should lend them a helping hand, at our best efforts too! However, I do hope to get the endorsement of certain Government Agencies, like Kementrian Perpaduan, Kesenian, Kebudayaan dan Warisan (KEPKKWA - Or, in English, Ministry of Unity, Arts, Culture and Heritage).

Rewind to the past, it's now 19 August 2008 on this blog. It's about 3.30 pm in the United Kingdom. Yvonne tells me that her neighbours, Douglas and Lesley have asked us over for tea. After brief introductions, we settle in to their lovely living area. A nice fire is going, and I gaze in awe at an actual fireplace! They are very nice, and offer me wine, but I would actually prefer a cup of tea, which Lesley graciously brews for me in the kitchen. We began talking and they are very curious to know what I plan to do. After a long chat, Douglas passes a comment to me; "Lloyd, it seems like you are a 1 man army". I understand his statement and I take it in, without offence, as I believe in this project and the passion has grown prior to my trip to the UK. I will do my utmost to make sure this project runs as far as I can make it.

To Douglas and Lesley, thank you so much for your hospitality! I hope you are keeping well! Lets all get together for another spot of tea soon! Oh, by the way, I forgot to take a picture of your famous doorway!


"While convalescing from an illness in Port Dickson, Sultan Idris Murshidul-adzam Shah (1887-1916) made a vow to build a mosque at Bukit Chandan, Kuala Kangsar, when he fully recuperated.

After his return to Kuala Kangsar, he commanded Colonel Huxley of the Public Works Department, Kuala Lumpur, to design a mosque which he wanted to build. Architect A.B. Hubback designed the mosque by adopting Moorish architecture in his design. Mr. Caulfield, the State Engineer then, was responsible for the construction. The unique Moorish design by Mr. A. B. Hubback has made Ubudiah Mosque one of the buildings which attract tourists for its interesting architectural features.

On September 1913, Sultan Idris Murshidul'adzam Shah laid the foundation stone for the mosque but its completion was delayed due to damage to imported marbles from Italy brought about by elephants owned by the Sultan and Raja Chulan.

According to the story.....One day, during a ceremony and a feast to celebrate the circumcision of Raja Khalid, a son of Sultan Abdul Jalil, suddenly His Highness' elephant named Kulub Chandan and its mahout, by the name of Kulub Said fought another elephant named Kulub Gangga with its mahout by the name of Uda Debok. The latter belonged to Raja Chulan.

In the ensuing battle the elephants came to the palace where the marbles and materials for the Mosque were kept and totally destroyed them. The battle lasted for several hours until Raja Chulan called his elephant by name and commanded it to stop fighting. The two elephants surprisingly obeyed his command and stopped fighting. Previous attempts made by other people to stop them from fighting were in vain.

As the marbles and materials for the Mosque were destroyed, fresh order was placed with Italy again. By this time the World War I broke out and the materials arrived very late as it had to travel via Cape of Good Hope.

However, in 1917, the construction of the Mosque was completed, and it was officially opened by Sultan Abdul Jalil Karamatullah Shah (1916-1918) who succeeded Sultan Idris I, who passed away in 1916. "

Source : The Office of His Royal Highness, Sultan of Perak, Perak Darul Ridzuan's Official Website.

Note : Construction actually began in 1910, but was delayed due to the damaged tiles and the advent of World War I. Masjid Ubudiah, Kuala Kangsar, Perak was designed by Arthur Benison Hubback. Kuala Kangsar is located in Perak, Malaysia and is The Royal City of Perak.


Anonymous said...

Hi there

I am one of the editors of SembangKuala, a non-profit blog/website that compiles various form of items (stories, photos etc) pertaining to the Royal House of Perak, and the history of the state in general. Looks like you are not alone in having an interest in history. Come along and have a gander - we did a post on Ubudiah, too, and a mention of of Arthur Bennison Hubback can be found.

The Lab Ratz said...

Hello sembangkuala, thanks for dropping by! It's good to hear that I am not the only one alone on this. Would definitely drop by your site as well! Thanks for the encouragement!

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