Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Dr. Peter Barbor Visits Malaysia!

From Left to Right : Dr. Peter Barbor, Mrs. Patricia Barbor and Commander (R) Ian Anderson from Ipoh World gather at M Boutique Hotel Ipoh.

It was a really good meeting. Sometime during May 2014, I had the opportunity to meet and welcome again Dr. Peter Barbor and his charming wife, Patricia. In case you are wondering, Peter is the maternal grandson of Arthur Benison Hubback. I had the great privilege of meeting of meeting Peter's mother, Yvonne Barbor (nee Hubback) when I first started this project and during my visits to her home in Somerton, I was introduced to Dr. Peter Barbor. I consider it a blessing to be able to have met them again but this time in Malaysia and for the event A. B Hubback: An Architectural Celebration in Malaya which was organized by PAM Conservation Committee, under Ms. Mariana Isa, which I will be forever grateful too as well.

When Mariana told me that Dr. Barbor wanted to visit Ipoh, coincidentally I was also toiling my wares in Ipoh, so I jumped at the opportunity to return what was given to my by Dr. Peter Barbor's family. More importantly, I began to realize that I had achieved my goal and promise, and it felt as if a huge burden have been lifted off my shoulders. When I did this project, my ultimate goal was to try and ensure that a bit of our Malayan History would be carried on by our younger generation. Unfortunately many were of the opinion that I was looking for fame. Fame? What fame? I am not even an architect or a historian! I am just your average person who is working in the Hotel Sector.

Curiously, I was invited to be one of the speakers at the exhibitions event, and was seated together with Dr. Barbor and A.R. Rosli Mohd. Ali. One of the things that irked me (reflecting upon it I feel a little bad) was when a student asked us, the panel, to go do research on another architect based in Ipoh. I was like what??? It seems to me, just me, that people these days love the just "copy and paste", expecting others to go do "their jobs". Hurm... well, I didn't do too good a job too when I took up this project, but after some years, the right people were kind enough to take over. Yes yes, everyone says I'm stupid, other will get their 15 seconds of fame (printed scholastic articles, books, etc), but let's face it, I ain't no scholar. Like I mentioned, I did this because I wanted to give back to my own country, to let the younger generation have more solid facts when looking at our buildings of national heritage .... it's that simple. I just hope they won't adopt the "cut and paste" culture. I would encourage them to explore, research and find! Never be contented with what you have, as in history, you'll never know what you'll find....

Anyhow, I introduced Commander (R) Ian Anderson from IpohWorld.org, which by the way, does a very fine job of preserving Perak's History (I would say they have been really diligent about acquiring photos, text, exhibits, etc.) to Dr. Barbor and we all sat down for a bit of chat on Malaya's Past. I did learn alot from just that small meeting and began to wonder, why is all this oral/written history not being properly recorded or stored? Is it because of our historical bias??? Hurm. Food for thought. Anyhow, I am very happy to have met both Dr. Peter Barbor and Mrs. Patricia Barbor personally (in Kuala Lumpur first, and laater in Ipoh) and would like to thank you once again for your graciousness in sharing and providing all of us here, in Malaysia, with the relevant information that had culminated in the Exhibition of A.B. Hubback. Truth be told, there is also an Exhibition on T.R. Hubback as coincidentally they contact us when Dr. Peter Barbor was in KL! What luck!

1 comment:

Dylan said...

Hi there! I'm currently writing a visitor's guide to Taman Negara for the wildlife department, and of course there must be a short section on Theodore Hubback. Wondering if you have any photos of the great man that you can contribute. Hope to hear from you soon. Please drop me a line at dylan.j.ong@gmail.com. Btw I had the pleasure of guiding Peter and Patricia Barbor on a boat trip up Sungai Tahan when they visited Taman Negara (after they visited Ipoh, I think).

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