Gopeng is a small town about 25 minutes’ drive from Ipoh. Although small, did you know that Gopeng was developed at a faster pace than Ipoh, now the capital city of the state of Perak, thanks to large and rich tin deposits? Many tin mining companies, including those owned by the British, found their “pot of tin” in Gopeng. Tin was to Gopeng what gold was to San Francisco in the old days. One could safely say that without tin, there would be no Gopeng.
However, the devastating world tin price crash in the early 1980’s wiped away the fortune of many, causing most tin mines in Gopeng to close. Even though the price of tin ore exceeds USD32,000 per tonne today, as far as I am aware, the State Government has yet to allow miners to take advantage of this surge in global demand for tin ore.
Even so, a new generation of the sons of Gopeng is trying to preserve the history that is Gopeng. Hence, the birth of Muzium Gopeng. Muzium Gopeng is actually a house built by Eu Kong (the founder of the company we know as Eu Yang Sang, specialist in traditional Chinese medicine) in 1882. This property was purchased by Bernard Yaw in 1999 whose family, five generations of it, call home.
Muzium Gopeng is a private initiative where all four founders donated their personal artifacts and antique collections to realise this dream of sharing the past with the future generations. The museum, although only comprises the ground floor of the house, finally opened its doors on World Heritage Day, 18th April, 2009.
First generation leaders from Gopeng:
Kapitan Chung Keng Kwee (1821 – 1873)
Eu Kong (1853 – 1891)
Imam Prang Ja Barumun (1873 – 1903)
Eu Tong San, OBE (1877 – 1941)
Second generation leaders from Gopeng:
Yong Weng Foo (1889 – 1978)
Chong Sing Hing
Third generation leaders from Gopeng:
Dato’ Seri Hj. Abd. Aziz Shamsuddin
Tan Sri Dr. Ting Chew Peh
Dato’ Seri N.S. Selvamany
Ho Ching PNN, AMN
Chan Cheong Wai PJK, AMN
Fong Chong Hon
Founders of Muzium Gopeng:
Bernard Yaw Ban Yew
Tan Yoke Chun
Wong Kuan Cheong
Phang See Kong, AMN
Muzium Gopeng (Gopeng Museum)
Address: 28, Jalan Eu Kong, 31600 Gopeng, Perak, Malaysia.
GPS Coordinates: N 04 28.432′ E 101 10′
The museum opens daily except Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Opening hours: 9am to 5pm
Lunch break: 12noon – 1pm
Admission is free. Donations and sponsorships are welcomed and greatly appreciated.
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