Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Bagan Ajam, Butterworth Revisited.

Bandar Sungai Petani,Kedah (Photo 2010).

On the October 18, 2010 at time 1100 hours, I was driving from Sungai Petani to Bagan Ajam, Butterworth. As  I was passing by the RMAF Base main gate and proceeding straight for Bagan Ajam, I found out theres a lot of changes on both sides of the main road compared to fourty years ago. Theres new buildings erected and  roads built and some still under constructions and while road driving may add you with a little confusion.

Approaching RMAF Base Butterworth's main gate (Photo 2010).

Entrance to Bagan Ajam Residential (Photo 2010).

Bagan Ajam Residential (Photo 2010).

Bagan Ajam residential areas which at one time rented by the British and Australian personnels way back  in the 1960s to 1980s. Mr.Ramli my uncle, lived in these area too and bought his semi-detached house for around RM26,000 in 1966 and his neighbour was a British and they became good friends. I used to keep my uncle accompanied during the school holidays prior joining the RMAF in February, 1970. My uncle passed away somewhere in 1980s and several years later my aunt sold the house. It was a sad thing to experience and by the way I still remember and thanking them for bringing me up within the European environment.

Gerai Makcik at Bagan Ajam (Photo 2010).

Side view of Gerai Makcik (Photo 2010).

On returning home, I stopped over at the "Makcik Stall". Today "Gerai Makcik" is still doing business for more than three decades despite Pakcik and Makcik has passed away and may God bless their souls. Now their sons and daughters continue running the business. Their nature of business is selling "Nasi ala Kampong" and of course hot and cold drinks available on request. Its airmen's favorite spot since 1970s and that included some Australian personnels too. I used to drop in for lunch with friends quite often here during my aircrewman days dated back in 1970s and the food were delicious.Well! I still visits the "Makcik Stall" for a drink whenever I am in Butterworth.

PERNAMA Butterworth (Photo 2010).

Not forgetting Butterworth's PERNAMA. As an ex-servicemen I used to shop for my household need at PERNAMA (Perwira Niaga Malaysia) formerly known as NAAFI (Navy,Army,AirForce Institute) whenever I am in Butterworth. I missed NAAFI  and somehow or rather it was not the product that matters but friendly environment that counts. Most of the NAAFI salepersons whom I knew years ago, must have already retired or left the services by now, except Mr Krishnan still known to be around. He was a young NAAFI saleperson when I knew him around 1977. Buying and window shopping at the NAAFI was a great thing to do. The good old NAAFI days.

Taman Wira formerly known as Taman Tan Sai Gin (Photo 2010).

 Taman Robina formerly known as Robina Park (Photo 2010).

Former Sheriff Stores closed (Photo 2010).

Taman Robina October, 2010.

Taman Robina October, 2010.

Robina Park 1969 (Now Taman Robina).

Passing by the Taman Wira(Taman Tan Sai Gin) and Taman Robina(Robina Park) once became the common residential areas for the British and Australian personnels in the 1960s until late1980s. Their children used to be seen cycling, strolling and happily playing within their house compounds and today they are all gone. The Aussies are not aliens to the Sheriff Stores as they knew him well, the main supplier of their household goods, newspapers, magazines, books and publications etc. While living at The Sergeant Mess in 1978, I used to cycle to his stores at Robina Park  in order to get hold of my latest copies of  foreign  magazines ordered such as  modern photography and Gun and Ammo. It was in 1980s where the Australians began leaving for homeward bound, Sheriff Stores businesses had to close down and later learnt that he had moved to Penang island. As a customer I missed the Sheriff Stores and coincidently with the Australian withdrawals signified the slowdown of other businesses around the Robina Park. It was a melancholic felt as I was about to leave Butterworth for Kuching, Sarawak in 1989, and those were the days and the memoir lingers on. 


Mej (B) Nor Ibrahim Bin Sulaiman said...


Gerai Mak Chik...itulah restoran 5* untuk kami dari No 10 Skn ketika membuat detasmen di TUDM Butterworth sebelum penubuhan Skn Komposit.

Mohd Ismail Bin Mohd Hashim said...

Waalaikumsalam Tuan,

Terima kasih di atas komen yang diberikan. Saya pernah singgah di restoran tersebut apabila lalu di situ.

ChrisCanberra said...

Hello from Australia.

I lived at Tan Sai Gin (Taman Wira) from 1971 to 1974 as a young man, with the Australians. RAAF. Hello. I like your pictures. I used to spend much time at Sherrif's Store too. Chris.

Mohd Ismail Bin Mohd Hashim said...

Hi Chris,
Thank you for your comment and the said place has tremendously change a lot these days.

Anonymous said...

I lived at 922 Jalan Aman in Robina Park. I loved Sheriffs store......comics and fireworks were the orderof the day for me and Mr Ong with his makkan cart on a Saturday was awesome!!!!

Narelie said...

Hello from another Australian viewer, Thank you for the wonderful photo's and sharing your memories. My family lived in Bagan Ajam from 71-74. My father was the CMC of the Sergeants Mess. I remember the NAAFI and all the fun we had at the swimming pool and along the beach. It was such a long day for the children who went to school on Penang.

Mohd Ismail Bin Mohd Hashim said...

Hi Narelie,

Thank you for sharing your sweet memories with me and I regards this as my birthday present that falls on March 10,and I will never forget it.


Mohd Ismail Bin Mohd Hashim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kerry B said...

Thank you for your photos. I lived in Tan Sai Gin 1971-1974 and went to RAAF School Penang. We RAAF School Penang kids have been back to Penang and Butterworth for Reunions, our second home.

Mohd Ismail Bin Mohd Hashim said...

Hi Kerry B,

You are most welcomed.

Mohd Ismail

Lynette G-P said...

Thank you so much for the walk down memory lane. My family lived at 937 Robina Park from December 1969 until December 1972 when we travelled back to NSW Australia. A most cherished time of my life. I took my husband back 'home' to Butterworth in 2005 & 2010 to try and explain to him what life was like in this very different country. Words could not describe the feeling of my return, but he saw the emotion in my face. I am sure many other 'RAAF Brats' (as we are affectionately known), would agree. Butterworth/Penang was a very special time in our life's journey!

Anonymous said...

We lived at 973 Robina Park from 1979 to 1981 while I served with 3 Sqn RAAF. Heading back to Penang for a visit this weekend for the first time since then.

Sab 사브리 said...

Wow!!! Good entry, lot of memories.. thanks for sharing.
Have a nice day!

Sharm said...


Whose dark green 120Y is that, that appears in two photos at two different places?