The International Steam Pages


Gone but not completely forgotten, Penang 2009, Part 7

For convenience I have now grouped lifestyle illustrated features by topic:


After our visit to Burma and transit in Thailand, we had an extended visit to Penang - click here for the main index page.


While Penang was never exactly a 'hardship posting' there was a massive attrition rate among early settlers and many of them were buried in the protestant cemetery between 1789 and 1892. We had a brief visit there, but the mosquitoes very quickly discovered Yuehong and conscious that our friend Sam was in hospital with dengue fever, we did not prolong our stay. Seeing the gate on the main road locked, I vaulted the wall, but in fact the main gate was open and next to it a very helpful plan:

Naturally the five star spot is the grave of Francis Light. The 'Calcutta' reference on the plaque is a reminder of the settlement's connections with the East India Company.

Frankly, by and large the inscriptions are more interesting than the graves themselves, they give a slight but fascinating hint of what life was like long ago in Penang:

Missionaries to the island weren't eaten by cannibals, the mosquitoes and other tropical diseases got them instead:

Some of the more bizarre graves are those of Christian Chinese refugees from the Boxer Rebellion 

It was quite clear that a little bit of money is needed to conserve what is left - some 25% of the estimated 500 graves have decayed beyond recognition and identification. However, one inhabitant at least appreciates the current situation - home is under a tombstone whence it scuttled when it smelled our presence:


Rob and Yuehong Dickinson

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