Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Han Chiang at Penang Teochew Association

Penang Teochew Association is located at 127, Chulia Street, 10200 Penang. It was one of the early clanhouse in Penang, in 1855 the pioneers bought the property at 381, Beach Street under the name of Teoh Chew Kongsi. This is the forerunner of Penang Teochew Association. The Han Chiang Ancestral temple was found in 1864 , and three years later the present site of Chulia Street was acquired. The temple was only built in 1870.

The photo on the left is the office of the association, the temple is next to it. The Chinese signage above the door indicated that the place was once the venue of Han Chiang School. In 10-10-1919, Penang Teochew Association found the Han Chiang School(韩江学校), a Chinese primary school. It was initially at the temple, 4 years later it moved next door when the school building was completed.

The school was named after the river, Han Chiang in Chaozhou(潮州), China. The Han Chiang or Han river(韩江) is the 2nd largest river in Guangdong (广东/廣東) after Pearl River珠江. It is actually the meeting of the three Hakka rivers, one from Fujian province (福建省) Changting county(长汀县) & Ninghua County(宁化县) called Ting Chiang(江), the other is from Guangdong Province , Zijin county (广东紫金县) called Mei Chiang(梅江) , together with another river Meitan He(梅潭河) from Fujian Province(福建平和县葛竹山). The three rivers meet at Shanhopau(三河坝), Daipu(大埔) to form one river called Han Chiang(韩江). The river then flowing down to Chaozhou 潮州(or Teochew) downstream before flow out to the sea from Shantou(汕头市). Daipu is the town where the Hakka come from, and Chaozhou is the town where teochew people come from. Both Hakka and Teochew people drank the water from the same river, Han Chiang. The river is the mother river for people whose ancestral place are located along the river(Han Chiang), they shared the same river. That is why both Hakka and Teochew can joined the Penang Teochew Association. The Hakka and Teochew are of the same family...... 潮州人, 客家人都是一家人 .

The beginning of the education involvement was from this Chulia Street clanhouse. Han Chiang School has now moved to Jalan Lim Lean Teng in 1961 , now is SJK(C) Han Chiang(韩江小学). Currently it has 884 students.

From the humble beginning at Chulia Street, it began the era of education involvement by the clan house. Later as the school was overcrowded, Mr Lim Lean Teng(林连登) donated a 33 acres of land for the school and its secondary school. Han Chiang High School (韩江中学)was set up in 1950 at the premise donated by Mr Lim Lean Teng, it moved to the new school building in 1951, at Jalan Han Chiang, road named after the school. It is one of the largest independent Chinese secondary school in Penang. The school continue its development, and offer Journalism course at Han Chiang High School in 1978, it was then upgraded to Han Chiang College (韩江学院) on 13-7-1999. Now Han Chiang School now provide of primary, secondary and tertiary education, all within one campus, a complete chain of education.

Mr Lim Lean Teng( 1867-1963) (林连登,又名林达科), is a Teochew, from Hui Lai, Jieyang, Kwangdong(廣東揭陽市惠來縣溪西镇鲁阳村). A teochew entrepreneur and philanthropist. There is a life size bronze statue of Mr Lim Lean Teng in front of the Han Chiang High School(HCHS), in remembrance of the contribution by Mr Lim to the school. The statue was opened on 11-10-1958 by the founder and the 1st Prime Minister of Malaysia , Tunku Abdul Rahman. Whoever going to Air Itam town, when by passing Jalan Dato Kramat, when look left, he will see the bronze statute. There is a road in front of Han Chiang Primary School, which is named after him, Jalan Lim Lean Teng (Lim Lean Teng Road). He was the past President of Penang Teochew Association for some time(1931-1946) and later become honorary life President until 1962. The Woodville or Lean Teng Mansion(built in 1925) is the only mansion left after the Theng Hin Mansion was turned into a new hotel. He also donated to built a clock tower in 1936 at Jalan Ibrahim, Sungai Petani, Kedah. He was the founder of Hui Lai Clanhouse in Kimberley Street,Penang(formed on 7-3-1948). In view of his contribution to the school, the Penang people strongly related Lim Lean Teng to Han Chiang High School.

The journey begin here, in a humble clan house at Chulia Street........this is the story of how Teochew people contribute to education, and how Teochew clan house played their role in Penang's education.

Note: The temple(not in the picture) , has won the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Award for Culture Heritage Conservation.

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