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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 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
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! So the bell was moved to the church the safest location can find in the town.
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.
SABAH MUSEUM AND STATE ARCHIVES