Newly restored temple reopens


The purifying ceremony of the clan house at the Boon San Tong Khoo Kongsi in Victoria Street, George Town. — Photos: GARY CHEN/The Star

The purifying ceremony of the clan house at the Boon San Tong Khoo Kongsi in Victoria Street, George Town. — Photos: GARY CHEN/The Star

THE ancestral temple of the Khoo sub clan — Boon San Tong Khoo Kongsi — has finally been restored.

The RM2mil restoration project which began in March this year saw repairs and repainting works carried out on the temple’s carvings, roof tiles, ridges, columns, doors and the windows in Victoria Street, Penang.

The restoration was the third carried out by the clan house since 1878 to preserve and retain its colonial hybrid architectural style, which has local and Southern Fujian elements incorporated into its design.

Clan house trustee Khoo Kah Chuan showing the commemorative stone of the Khoo sub clan history at the temple.

Clan house trustee Khoo Kah Chuan showing the commemorative stone of the Khoo sub clan history at the temple.

Boon San Tong Khoo Kongsi trustee Khoo Kay Liang said the clan house carried out minor repairs and repainted the carvings with faded paint to preserve its original design.

“We only did minor repairs to the roof, restored the broken ridges in the main hall and did some repainting because we want to keep everything as it is.

“The clan house is recognised as a Unesco heritage building; so we want to do our best to preserve its historical value and story.

“Its decoration and intricate carvings on the ridges, altars, columns and doors are all significant features, representing the original architectural expertise of the Fujian community.

“We did not add anything new,” he said when the temple reopened on Monday.

The repainted column of the clan house.

The repainted column of the clan house

After the restoration, the clan house also held a prayer session for the clan members to pay their respects to celestial beings such as the White Tiger housed by the Khoo Kongsi.

Two Taoist monks from China were invited for the purifying ceremony of the clan house.

Some 60 other clan members from China, Myanmar and Singapore, together with 50 local members were also present during the ceremony.