The Church of the Immaculate Conception Parish began in Phuket Thailand, from where the remnants of the Thai-Portuguese Catholic Community (the parishioners of the Church of Our Lady Free From Sin, a reference to Mother Mary which the Pope later changed to The Immaculate Conception) fled in 1811 when the massacre of Catholics extended to the island. Under the leadership of their Parish Priest Father John Baptist Pasqual, the Catholics made their way to Pulau Tikus. In his own handwriting from his church records entitled Liber Defunctorum, Ecclesioe, Districtus Pulo-Ticus Ad Anno 1811, Father Pasqual testified that as a result of war and its devastations, he was moving his parish to ‘Civitate Pinang’.
Pulau Tikus was an excellent site for Catholic Missionary endeavors then, and Archbishop Luigi Bressan (2000) described it as a site “which was both peaceful and central… at Pulau Tikus, the missionaries were granted freedom to minister, as well as other conveniences.”
The Bicentennial Celebrations of the Church of the Immaculate Conception (CIC), themed Faithfulness—200 years and Beyond, were observed with a series of activities by Catholic parishioners from around Pulau Tikus and up to Telok Bahang, which constitutes the parish. The contents of the souvenir book feature all the parish priests connected with the CIC, starting with the Founder Father, John Baptist Pasqual, right up to the present. The book is lavishly illustrated with old and rare maps, handwritten notes, and many photographs of the past and present.
The bicentennial marks a tremendous milestone for ClC parishioners and others, and one that they can “look back in thankfulness and appreciation to God who has led them over the years in ‘Faithfulness’. Of course we were not here when it all began, but we have been privileged to be placed as ‘trustees’ for the church at this point, and we are believing that God will help us to continue being faithful to His call to service.”