Introductory Note to the Microfilm: History of Saint George's, Penang  lodged at Seminari Theologi Malaysia, Seremban

Michael Poon, February 2006

The following roll of microfilm, from Seminari Theologi Malaysia (STM), contains important records of Saint George's Church in Penang, Malaysia. There is no record of the dates of its filming, except that the first frame of the microfilm gives the information of the packing list 'Rekod Membuat Mikrofom 2577.02' with the instruction 'Rush -- if possible by Saturday'.

The microfilm itself indeed reveals that it is a rushed job. The image quality of the microfilm is fair. The page orders are often reversed. The dates of the material indicated that it was microfilmed likely in the late 1960s, during a time when Malaysia was undergoing fundamental social changes. How national churches emerged in the past fifty years is an area of study that requires more attention. The history of Saint George's is a case in point in how the church moved from a (colonial) government subsidized institution towards self-support and self-government in the new nation-state.

I am grateful to Dr Ezra Kok, Principal of STM, and Miss Christabel Wong, STM Librarian for making available this roll of microfilm to the Centre for the Study of Christianity in Asia. I thank Mr Michael Mukunthan and his staff in Trinity Theological College Library, Singapore, for converting the microfilm into pdf format. I have divided the contents into five sections, and provided a guide to the contents for easier reference.

Important Dates:

  • 1826 British settlements in Malacca, Penang, and Singapore were combined to form the British Colony of the Straits Settlement
  • 1941-1945 Japanese Occupation
  • 1957 Independence of the Federation of Malaya
  • 1963 Singapore, North Borneo, and Sarawak joined the Federation to form Malaysia
  • 1965 Singapore left the Federation
  • Section Number: for pdf-download Contents
    Part 1
    • M Orsler, History of the Province Wellesley Mission Institution
    • Newspaper clipping
    • Rev. Jack Griffiths [Vicar of Penang], The Story of Saint George's Church, Penang
    Part 2
    • Ven. A C Dumper, The History of Saint George's Church, Penang
    • Lim Swee Hun [Chief Clerk, Penang Library], An Alphabetical List of Memorials and Monuments in St. George's Church, Penang, with Short Biographical Details of the Persons Commemorated
    Part 3
    • Newspaper Clipping: The Rev. Keppel Garnier [Colonial Chaplain], St. George's Church
    • An Anniversary and a Challenge: St. George's Anniversary Trust Fund (Manuscript and Printed pamphlet)
    • Newspaper clipping (incl. Xinma Jiaosheng)
    • Service Sheet of The Dedication of the Chapel of St Nicholas and the Blessing of St. George's Youth Centre 28 November 1968 Bishop Chiu Ban I
    • Newspaper Clipping 'Christian factions unite in Prayer Service' in Penang, January 1964

    Part 4
    • A Short History of the life of the late Reverend Royapen Balavendrum, 1st Tamil Minister and Missionary, S. P. G., and of the Establishment of St. George's Tamil Mission of the Church of England in Penang and Malaya
    • 140 years ago: records from the Old India Office
    Part 5
    • Newspaper clipping and photographs