ย 

Darbar Hall

๐ƒ๐ข๐ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ค๐ง๐จ๐ฐ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ฌ ๐จ๐ซ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ž ๐›๐ฎ๐ง๐ ๐š๐ฅ๐จ๐ฐ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐ ๐ซ๐ž๐ž๐ง ๐ฐ๐ข๐ง๐๐จ๐ฐ๐ฌ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐›๐ž๐ฅ๐ข๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ ๐ญ๐จ ๐›๐ž ๐ฅ๐ข๐ง๐ค๐ž๐ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐‚๐จ๐ง๐Ÿ๐ž๐ซ๐ž๐ง๐œ๐ž ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐Œ๐š๐ฅ๐š๐ฒ ๐‘๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ? ๐‘‡โ„Ž๐‘’ ๐ท๐‘Ž๐‘Ÿ๐‘๐‘Ž๐‘Ÿ ๐ป๐‘Ž๐‘™๐‘™ ๐‘Ž๐‘™๐‘œ๐‘›๐‘” ๐ฝ๐‘Ž๐‘™๐‘Ž๐‘› ๐ต๐‘ข๐‘Ÿ๐‘š๐‘Ž ๐‘–๐‘  ๐‘›๐‘œ๐‘ค ๐‘ ๐‘’๐‘Ž๐‘™๐‘’๐‘‘ ๐‘ โ„Ž๐‘ข๐‘ก ๐‘Ž๐‘ค๐‘Ž๐‘–๐‘ก๐‘–๐‘›๐‘” ๐‘–๐‘ก๐‘  ๐‘“๐‘Ž๐‘ก๐‘’.

Current photo of Darbar Hall.

Along the busy Jalan Burma stands a bungalow painted orange with green windows that is slowly falling into disrepair. Looking at the tired old building surrounded by an overgrowth of trees and plants and partially hidden by metal hoardings, one would never have guessed that this used to be Darbar Hall and a school. [1] The two-storey Straits Eclectic style bungalow is believed to have been built at the turn of the 20th century. [2]

Not much has been known about the bungalowโ€™s earlier history, except that the original owner is believed to be linked to the Conference of the Malay Rulers, which explains its name, Darbar Hall.

Darbar or durbar refers to the Conference of the Malay Rulers. [1]

An old postcard with the image of Darbar Hall. Credit: Penang Heritage Trust

While efforts to research the first owner are underway by heritage conservation NGO Penang Heritage Trust (PHT), the NGO uncovered interesting historical records. Darbal Hall was used by the Lasalle Brothers of St. Xavierโ€™s Primary School as a boarding house for an extensive period until 1977 before Uplands School occupied it until 1987. Then, when the growing number of students called for a bigger space, the school moved to another location at St. Joseph Novitiate (now part of Gurney Paragon) at Jalan Kelawai. [3]

Then, sometime in the late 90s to the early 2000s, the site turned into an eatery known as Safari Food Court.



Old photo of Darbar Hall. Credit: Penang Heritage Trust

In 2011, Darbar Hall was threatened by demolition when its owner submitted an โ€œapplication for planning permission to demolish an existing buildingโ€. PHT voiced its disapproval and wrote that the NGO โ€œis gravely concerned with the application". [3].

There was supposed to be a hearing on the application to demolish the bungalow, but it was canceled when the owner withdrew the application. [1]

Today, the heritage bungalow is still standing, awaiting its fate, saved from being knocked to the ground for now. Special thanks to Tan David for inspiring this post.

๐‘ณ๐’Š๐’Œ๐’† ๐’๐’–๐’“ ๐’‘๐’๐’”๐’•? ๐‘ฏ๐’†๐’๐’‘ ๐’–๐’” ๐’•๐’ ๐’๐’Š๐’Œ๐’† ๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐’”๐’‰๐’‚๐’“๐’† ๐’•๐’‰๐’Š๐’” ๐’‘๐’๐’”๐’•! โค๏ธโ€๐Ÿ”ฅ Sources: [1] https://www.malaymail.com/.../after-runnymede.../1064297 [2] https://www.penang-traveltips.com/457-burmah-road.htm [3] https://pht.org.my/proposed-demolition-of-457-burmah-road/

34 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
ย