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Convent, Tanah Rata

kayes



Registered: July 2008
Location: Penang Malaysia
Posts: 4,807
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· Date: July 17, 2008 · Views: 18919 ·
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blue grass

Registered: September 2008
Posts: 995
May 25, 2010 2:57am

Joe, the next time you go up Cameron Highlands, have a closer look at the Convent. This lovely building is full of history which was related to me by friends who had lived and worked in Tanah Rata many years ago. The Convent was built by French nuns in the late 1930s as a Catholic boarding school. This was short lived as during the Asian Pacific war, the Japanese in 1941 used the building as a hospital and for administration. After the Japanese surrender, the Convent became a British Military Hospital from 1946 to 1971 when the British Forces left for good. I wonder if anybody else remember the British Army camp just outside Tanah Rata. I can still see the Nissen huts, built just outside the town, in my mind's eye.
Retired Falcon

Registered: August 2008
Posts: 1,168
May 25, 2010 3:25am

Hi Blue grass,
Yes, I did go up to the convent on my last visit to Camerons. I spent a couple of hours at the convent taking pics and admiring the building. Still have those pics in my computer. I also remember the British Army Camp because when me and my bandmates were playing at the Federal Hotel, they arranged for us to stay at the camp which I will always remember. They also made us feel very welcome to spend time with them at the camp. The Nissan huts or as the Chinese refer to "Lorti Ook' (Bread house) brings back lots of memories. I wish I can spend a night there again.
Orange

Registered: February 2009
Posts: 3,163
May 25, 2010 3:27am

Hi Blue Grass,


About those Nissen huts, I have stayed there before - whole vanload of us. We have the whole dorm to ourselves. It was fun but freezing towards the early morning. We call those huts "sausages". Smile
ironhead

Registered: November 2009
Posts: 36
May 25, 2010 5:45am

Hi Blue Grass
I attended school in the Nissen huts during 59-60, dirt floors and all.
Neil
kayes

Registered: July 2008
Location: Penang Malaysia
Posts: 4,807
May 25, 2010 7:33am

Those Nissen Huts sure look like bread boxes too!
blue grass

Registered: September 2008
Posts: 995
May 26, 2010 2:43am

Hi Joe and Orange, so both of you have also stayed in these huts that became almost like ice-boxes in the wee hours of the morning. I've stayed in them too when I was young and remember the blankets piled on me! I keep thinking now, 'Thank goodness for our young strong bladders!' Imagine having to leave the nice warm bed! The temperatures then were so much lower than now. You can definitely leave your cashmere pullover at home Kayes, if you go up today.
blue grass

Registered: September 2008
Posts: 995
May 26, 2010 3:07am

Hi Neil
Thanks for all your pics of Cameron Highlands. I spent quite a number of holidays up there when young and your pics sure brought back a lot of nostalgia. If the Nissen huts were freezing at night, do you remember whether they were hot and stuffy during the day? I seem to remember though that I needed a sweater all the time while in Cameron Highlands.


There were also Nissen huts in the British Military Camp at the end of Jalan Abdul Jalil, Ipoh. A friend stayed in one as his dad worked in British army. Down here in Ipoh these huts must have been ovens during the day! However I don't think he ever complained of the heat or was it that much cooler in those days?
ironhead

Registered: November 2009
Posts: 36
May 26, 2010 4:51am

Hi blue grass
The Nissen huts were hot and stuffy however we started school at about 7.30 and school ended at about 1.00 PM.
We usually had a fire going in the fireplace during the evenings at home.
Neil
Orange

Registered: February 2009
Posts: 3,163
May 26, 2010 5:23am

Hi Blue Grass,


Whenever I pass by those Nissen huts along Jalan Abdul Jalil, Ipoh I tend to remember the time we stayed at those in Cameron Highlands. As for those Nissen huts in Ipoh, I presume they are fixed with air-conditioners. Years ago, we used to have a cabin (with air-conditioner) in our garden for our live-in maid while waiting for the maid's room to be renovated.
Jim Joyce

Registered: July 2008
Posts: 432
May 27, 2010 2:05am

Military Nissen Huts,were all hot and stuffy.It's just that nobody had the guts to complain
Orange

Registered: February 2009
Posts: 3,163
May 27, 2010 3:53am

Hi Jim,


We have several of these Military Nissen Huts in our Army Camp along Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur. Wondering why they are built in the shape of 'sausages' .....
Jim Joyce

Registered: July 2008
Posts: 432
May 27, 2010 5:47am

Hi Orange.


I think the shape may have been to assist rain run off during heavy downpours.The material,corrugated iron,was perhaps readily available.I have seen many barracks built in the style,not just British ones and no doubt still standing.The Americans called them Quonset Huts, or similar and they were not the most comfortable accomodation,in any climate
Jim Joyce

Registered: July 2008
Posts: 432
May 27, 2010 5:52am

If you wanted to annoy the people in the next barracks to yours you could run along the sides with a broom handle,then run away very quickly,safe in the knowledge that your visit would be returned the next night
blue grass

Registered: September 2008
Posts: 995
May 27, 2010 6:03am

All this talk of Nissen Huts and British Military army has stirred up more memories and this time concerning food of course. My friend whose dad worked for the British army, used to share their 'army biscuits' ration with us. I wonder if any of you ever had these 'biscuits' that were about 3"x 2" and were as hard as baked clay! They were most probably made this way to withstand our humidity and heat as soldiers took them into the jungle during their operations. However these biscuits were unbelievably quite good to eat, at least to me! After much chewing they had a milky taste and went very well with milk!
Orange

Registered: February 2009
Posts: 3,163
May 27, 2010 9:25am

Thanks Jim for the interesting info.!


Besides Nissen Huts, Bailey bridges are made of steel too.
Jim Joyce

Registered: July 2008
Posts: 432
May 27, 2010 12:36pm

blue grass,


Those biscuits also burned well as fuel for a campfire.They also went well with a drink we called Kai,which was hot thick chocolate,especialy good on a cold winters night,but very rich
blue grass

Registered: September 2008
Posts: 995
May 28, 2010 6:01am

Jim, the aroma of burning biscuits might attract uninvited guests and you would have found another use for the biscuits - lethal weapons! I do believe it would hurt terribly if a flying biscuit made contact with one's head!


Would you perhaps know if these biscuits are still being made today?
Jim Joyce

Registered: July 2008
Posts: 432
May 29, 2010 1:32am

blue grass,I don't know if they are still being made,but considering that in 1968 we were being fed canned butter(that tasted like cheese)canned in 1942.I would say that it's a safe bet that somewhere in the World someone is still using them,if only to de-rail trains
blue grass

Registered: September 2008
Posts: 995
May 29, 2010 5:19am

Hi Neil
Another place I always visited in Cameron Highlands was the Experimental Station. I don't remember much of the other things except for the pigs! They were kept in huge pens that were clean and not in the least smelly. My cousin and I were fascinated with the very fat pink pigs and often there were sows with piglets. It is a wonder I didn't turn vegetarian as the piggies were awfully cute.
I'm wondering if you happen to have some pics of the Experimental Station. If you do, would you please share them with us? I am hoping your school had organised a field trip to the farm when you were schooling in Cameron Highlands.
ironhead

Registered: November 2009
Posts: 36
May 29, 2010 10:20am

Hi blue grass
I cannot remember any experimental station in the CH at the time i was there.
As far as field trips with the school,lets just say that the Convent school was education at it's most basic unlike other schools like Slim.
Neil
Orange

Registered: February 2009
Posts: 3,163
May 30, 2010 7:05am

Hi Jim,


Someone from the Navy (not Malaysian) told my friend that while he was still with the Navy, he and his colleagues were served with frozen meat which were older than them. I sincerely hope he was just kidding .....
Jim Joyce

Registered: July 2008
Posts: 432
May 30, 2010 11:23pm

Hi Orange,


I would not be at all surprised.I have known corrupt victualing personnel on ships and shore establishments make a lot of money feeding troops sub-standard rations,whilst selling the best quality ashore to civilian business.Fortunately such schemes and crooks tend to get caught and hurt
Orange

Registered: February 2009
Posts: 3,163
May 31, 2010 8:01am

Hi Jim,


Since young, we were taught: "We Reap What We Sow!"



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