Last Updated on Monday, 12 September, 2016 10:31:18 AM

The Only Survivor
BELL TOWER of Tawau
...the only historical building in Tawau to survive World War II...

http://en.wikipedia.org  /  http://firstworldwar.com


BELL TOWER of Tawau in 1949

Bell Tower of Tawau in 1949 after WWII


Bell Tower at the Tawau Town Padang  was erected by the Japanese after World War I. Hours are rung at intervals by the police guard in those days.

There is no bell in the bell tower now.   The where about of the bell remain unknown.  During World War II, a  lot of pre-war records has been destroyed.

THE MISSING BELL OF TAWAU BELL TOWER
The wooden structure of Tawau Bell Tower may be the only survivor of World War II in Tawau but the bell went missing since then. It is not a Bell Tower without a bell.

Where has the bell gone? No one in Tawau seem to know the where about. The missing bell became a mystery in Tawau history.

THE LEGENDARY STORY OF THE MISSING BELL
When ever there is a mystery there is a legendary story. So as this missing bell of Tawau Bell Tower.

.....Once upon a time in Tawau there was a tower with a bronze bell with a sound that touch the heart of every one when every it sound. But World War II did not spare this unknown town and soon the war reached Tawau.

....To protect the bell from our enemy and looter, we decided to hide this bell. But where could be a safe place when during the war all historical building face the risk of destruction?

....... 1 kilometre away from the bell tower was a church. Perhaps God can protect the bell. The resident decided!

The war is long over. Bell Tower survive Japanese destruction. Today Tawau is in the process of fast development. The old Bell Tower also went through an restoration work in 2006 when it looks as new as it was newly built.  And out of sight out of mind, no old folks seem to remember the bell. No young generation seem to have the logic to ask "Since there is a Bell Tower, there must be a bell"

...... Where is the bell?




"The six-sided structure with a cone-shaped roof looks unmistakably oriental and had been built by a local Japanese businessman to commemorate the signing of the Armistice following World War One in 1918 when Japan was an ally of Great Britain."

Rotary Club Of Tawau President 2006
Mr. Arulananthan Thambirajah



Historical Tawau site restored

Published on: Tuesday, June 13, 2006 Daily Express


Tawau: The historical 88-year-old Bell Tower or the Belfry received a new lease of life with the completion of restoration works costing RM23,000 initiated by the Rotary Club of Tawau (RCT) here.

A ceremony to mark the auspicious occasion was held Monday when the Club officially handed over the restored Belfry to its caretaker, the State Museum.

RCT President T. Arulanathan said Rotarians here were proud to have completed the mission who had their share of hard times like when they had to convince the Forestry Department that they were transporting timber for the restoration works.

"It took us a few months to get clearance from the Forestry Department just to transport timber from Tingkayu Kunak to Tawau sawmill in spite of showing proof that the timber was for the purpose of this building," he said, wishing that government departments and agencies would be more responsive and cooperative towards initiatives by NGOs in making contributions to society.


The Bell Tower built by war prisoners in 1921 with funding from Japanese businessmen is a significant structure to the district since it is the only building that had survived World War Two.


Among the features of the Belfry was the Bench Mark under its foundation, which shows the town's elevation above sea level, apart from being the starting point of the distance to every place.

The East Direction to Dunlop Street, Kuhara Road, Sin On Road and Apas Road; South direction faces the sea; West direction to Tg Batu Road; North direction to North Road and Merotai Road.

Arulanathan said over the years people tend to forget about old things and the Belfry was no exception as it was getting into a sorry state and near collapse.

He attributed Past President of the Club, William Tully, as the person responsible of bringing up the matter to the club's attention and started the ball rolling by donating RM5,000 to shoulder part of the restoration cost.

In July 2004, the State Museum gave the Club permission to rebuild it back to its original design and specifications, which "was quite difficult, as they had to get the same type of materials as well as needing human and financial resources."

"Luckily, among our members there were a few who with their good office offered good response (as seen from the result of the effort today)," he said.

Names of those who had assisted in kind and cash, as well as efforts were also mentioned, including names and organizations of those had contributed in the restoration works besides Tully.

They were Duta Plantation management and General Manager Kanan Kutty for the sawn bilian timber, Datuk Quah for donating RM4,000 worth of singles for the roofing, Pang Pak Lok for sawing the billian timber according to the specified sizes in his factory, Mattais Chin for the architectural drawings and design advice, William Cheong, Patrick Chin, Nicholas Chung for the historical records, Municipal Council and Rotarians for their cash donations.

In the ceremony also attended by MP Shim Paw Fatt and Sri Tanjung Assemblyman, Samson Chin, Arulanathan officially handed over the Belfry to the State Museum represented by East Coast Regional Museum officer-in-charge, Juanis Ogok and representatives of State Museum Director, Datuk Joseph Pounis Guntavid.



 

*BELL  TOWER *

BELL TOWER OR BELFRY BUILT IN 1921 WITH FUNDS PROVIDED BY LOCAL JAPANESE BUSINESSMEN. CONSTRUCTED USING PRISON LABOUR AND THE ONLY HISTORICAL BUILDING TO SURVIVE 2ND WORLD WAR. BUILT TO COMMEMORATE SIGNING OF ARMISTICE FOLLOWING 1ST WORLD WAR IN 1918 WHEN JAPAN WAS AN ALLY OF GREAT BRITAIN. A BENCH MARK UNDER THE FOUNDATION SHOWS TAWAU'S ELEVATION ABOVE SEA LEVEL.

THIS BELL TOWER WAS RESTORED WITH DONATIONS IN CASH OR KIND BY THE
ROTARY CLUB OF TAWAU. DISTRICT 3310, COMPLETED IN EARLY 2006. HANDED BACK TO JABATAN MUZIUM SABAH ON 12TH JUNE 2006.

     

WELCOME TO PEACE MEMORIAL

THANK YOU FOR YOUR COOPERATION TO PRESERVE. PROTECT AND KEEP THIS HISTORICAL MONUMENT/SITE FREE FROM DAMAGE, DISTURBANCE, DIGGING OR DEFACING SO THAT IT CAN BE PRESERVED AS PART OF OUR STATES CULTURAL AND HISTORICAL HERITAGE.

WE HOPE YOU ENJOYED YOUR VISIT TO THIS HISTORICAL MONUMENT/SITE.

DIRECTOR,
SABAH MUSEUM AND STATE ARCHIVES


扶輪社耗二萬三千令吉修建湖和平紀念鐘樓移交博物院
2006-06-13 17:18:50

扶輪社耗二萬三千令吉修建湖和平紀念鐘樓移交博物院

华侨日报斗湖十二日訊】由斗湖扶輪社耗二萬三千令吉修建的斗湖和平紀念鐘樓,今日由主席阿如南那旦移交給沙巴博物院的管理者朱安里士。


在移交儀式上,阿如南那旦致詞時指出,由於森林局的刁難,由於必得由古納的丁加友運載部份建築木料前來斗湖,得向森林局申請批准,結果申請被拖了幾個月才批准,因此,原在二零零四年七月獲沙巴博物院批准修建,卻因此拖延至今才完工,但也幸好其他有關政府部門卻給予合作和方便。


他說:「不管如何,斗湖扶輪社能完成此任務是值得我們驕傲和高興。」


他指出,今天的移交儀式也是歷史性的一刻,該和平紀念鐘樓建於一九二一年,由日本商家資助。


他說,八十年來,人民忘了舊事物,此鐘樓也不例外,已接近要倒塌邊緣,該會的一位前會長威廉杜里(Tully, William)發現了此事,把修建計劃帶入扶輪社而獲接納此計劃。威廉為讓事件順利進行,本身先捐出五千令吉作為部份經費。


他指出,由於該鐘樓是由沙巴博物院管理,得向該院申請批准,當然獲批准,但條件是一定要在設計形狀及高度上保持原狀。


朱安里士在其簡單致詞中表示,該院歡迎非政府組織的類似保護歷史文物的協助計劃。
至於在保管方面,該院會盡力去做到最好。

Related Links :  Rotary Club of Tawau

historical building in Tawau


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Photo Gallery #2 : Welcome to our Parks

Tawau Hills Park

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۞ Other attractions in Tawau 


 

 September 12, 2016 10:31:18 AM

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