THIS a campaign to restore the symbolic building at No. 7 Jermyn Street in Liverpool that had been serving as a Malaysian community club since 1960 until it became derelict. The house started as a gathering centre for Malay seafarers who came to Liverpool to work and since then operated as a local community club for Malaysian community who work and live in Liverpool.
The history of the seafarers settling in British ports such as Liverpool and Cardiff could probably be traced back to the early 20th century where many of the seafarers from States such as Malacca and Terengganu went to Singapore to register with captains on board British Merchant Navy ships which docked in Singapore, to work as deckhands.
Many sailors made Liverpool their home in the fifties; and with no permanent place to gather, they bought the three storey building at No 7 Jermyn Street, in Toxteth, Liverpool in the early 60’s .
According to Pak Cik Md Nor, 85, one of the oldest surviving Malay sailors, the house was bought from an Arab and it became a meeting place for sailors not only from Malaysia but also from Indonesia and Singapore. Indeed, it was known as the Malaysia and Singapore Community Association and was registered as a charity organisation for use by the old sailors and their families.
Malaysian students who studied in the universities nearby and naval officers doing their training there also frequented the place where old sailors such as Pak Cik Arshad, Pak Cik Fadhil and Pak Cik Ngah Musa who have long left us, regaled the young students about their adventures at sea and about their travels in far away land. Pak Cik Md Nor still remembers the time he was swept out of his ship by a giant wave but was swept back in by another giant wave. He survived to tell the story.
The house holds many memories and untold stories. It’s sad has been left in derelict condition and now efforts are being made to restore it and make it into a place where Malaysians and friends can gather again. It has potentials to be an activity centre for classes, cultural activities and even as cheap accommodation for visitors. En Jantan Lisot , another former sailor, had been doing some repairs but it has proven to be costly.
The recently formed trustee has re-registered the house as Malaysian House Limited (non-profit organization) and has decided to restore this historic building to preserve Malaysian history abroad. A lot of work needs to be done and to do that would cost a lot more money.
The house needs a boiler, heating and other utilities to be fitted in before the house could be used again. It is estimated that repair work would cost around £30,000.00. We have managed to get some fund from Liverpool City Council under Council Regeneration Project and some fund donated by Malaysian community in Liverpool and UK but obviously it is not enough to cover the entire cost.
We are appealing for funds to make this a reality.
En. Jantan Lisot
Malaysian House Ltd
+44 7597 305052
En. Abu Dzar,
Malay Speaking Circle,
Liverpool, United Kingdom
+44 7718 700845