Thursday, September 25, 2008


Many individuals whom I have come into contact with in these past few weeks have asked me, why are you doing this? If you are aware of what we are doing @THSH, you will actually realise that we are trying to get more people aware in the need to preserve our National Heritage in all sense of the word, namely our Buildings and Natural Resources. We do not do this via donations currently, but by organizing activities and trying to revive interest in our National Heritage, through friendship, education and active participation. Of course, our reach at current is very limited, but I am also pleased to note that more and more individuals are beginning to take notice of what we are doing. The process is extremely slow, but we will continue to march on.

And this is where our Historical Project, The Hubback Brothers; draws some parallel, they believed in what they were doing, even though it meant forking out their own monetary resources. They had a vision and a goal, and yes, they may have stepped on a few toes along they way, but they persisted and in the end prevailed in their pursuit of their goals.

An this was true about Theodore Rathbone Hubback. According to the book Nature and Nation : Forest and Development in Peninsular Malaysia by Jeyamalar Kathirithamby Wells, (ISBN:997169302X, 9789971693022) printed in the year 2004, she describes Theodore's early life as follows, of which I have extracted;

Hubback [Theodore] arrived in Malaya in 1895 and, having served in the Public Works Department both there and in Borneo, turned to rubber planting in Negri Sembilan. By this time, his love of wildlife and his truculence were recognised hallmarks of his personality. Following a spell after World War I studying a rare sheep. Ovis dalli, in Alaska, he settled in 1920 as a planter in Pahang.

Despite his difficult personality, his unrivalled knowledge of Malayan Wildlife and unstinting devotion to the cause of its preservation, won respect and admiration. His perception of conservation in terms of protecting the forest habitat as a whole was evident in his campaign for national parks, game reserves and wildlife sanctuaries for the preservation not only of large mammals but also birds and river fish. Unlike Forest Reserves,nurtured to enhance economically valuable species, Hubback pressed for park sanctuaries 'for preservation of the natural features of the primeval jungle'. Such areas, he argued, would also offer protection for Orang Asli, specifically the Negritos, untainted by civilization.

Hubback's residence in Pahang became the headquarters for a historic campaign for wildlife preservation, which swept the Peninsula into the mainstream of the international movement for nature conservation, In 1921, Hubback succeeded in having the Federal wildlife laws upgraded. The new law provided for State Game Wardens, but in the absence of salaries appointments, members of the hunting fraternity served in a voluntary capacity. They included besides Hubback and Banks, K.P. Reynolds, R.R. Hartley and A.T. Edgar. A salaried Game Warden was appointed only in Johor where Sultan Ibrahim, a keen hunter, lent his wholehearted patronage to game protection.

So, can you guess what Theodore Hubback did for Malaya?


The Society for the Preservation of the Fauna of the Empire was based in London. There was a local chapter called the 'Society For The Preservation of the Flora and Fauna of Malaya' made up by Theodore with his hunting fraternity members as so aptly described by Jeyamalar Kathirithamby Wells above. Unfortunately, the locals perception as the society was comprised of game hunters in a 'guise' of preservation and conservation, they coined the name 'Society of The Pertinent Butchers' (Information provided by the Hubback Family, United Kingdom)

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