Regular readers of the Echo will know that I often voice my concern over the lack of interest in Perak’s heritage, tangible or intangible. We seem to be losing our trees, limestone hills, culture, buildings and genuine history faster than ever, despite the cries in the wilderness that come from the different heritage organisations. Soon there will be nothing left of these things but faded memories.
It is therefore with great pleasure that I picked up Areca Books’ latest publication, Perak Postcards 1890s to 1940s as this is a mighty volume of 336 pages, sturdily bound and beautifully presented. The book leaves no doubt in anyone’s mind that at one time Perak really did have an amazing array of heritage buildings, streets, public gardens, recreation areas and a wide array of grand landscapes. Anyone who buys this book will therefore have no need for faded memories as it covers all that anyone could wish for regarding our heritage.
Co-authored by Abdur-Razzaq Lubis and Khoo Salma Nasution, prolific authors and publishers from Penang, and Malcolm Wade, soldier, teacher, technical author and avid collector of Malaysiana, the book is supported by Kementerian Penerangan Komunikasi Dan Kebudayaan Malaysia (KPKK). Featuring the largest collection of postcards ever assembled into one volume, with more than 500 picture postcards contributed by several collectors, this is a masterpiece of design. Aesthetically reproduced cards, with just enough information about each one, present the facts in an interesting and entertaining way.
Introduced by a short history of Perak, the Abode of Grace, there follows a chapter on Perak’s postal history. Then, for the real postal enthusiast there is also a chapter on Perak Post, detailing the Post Offices, illustrated Postmarks and concluding with a list of publishers and retailers of Perak postcards. These valuable, introductory pages makes this book a complete record of Perak and its postcards and a “must-buy” for students, authors, teachers and indeed anyone who has the slightest interest in Perak and its history.
We expect the official launch of the book to be in March this year, but in the meantime it is already available from local bookstores at a cost RM120.00. I recommend this volume to Perakeans far and wide. — Ian Anderson