SHS will continue to raise awareness on heritage conservation through talks, says executive committee member

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Khoo delivers his opening remarks.

KUCHING (Aug 26): The Sarawak Heritage Society (SHS) will carry on having a cross-spectrum of topics to heighten the public’s awareness of heritage conservation, said its executive committee member William Khoo.

He said SHS is a non-profit organisation but remains committed to organising heritage talk series to engage the community in the conservation of heritage and old buildings.

“We try to have a cross-spectrum of topics for the public. This is the sixth talk we have organised so far this year and we have three amazing and talented speakers today,” he said in his opening remarks for its Heritage Speakers Series ‘A New Lease on Life — Repurposing the Old’ at the Borneo Cultures Museum auditorium here today.

The speakers were Datin Rosemarie Wong, who is owner and key designer of the Ranee Boutique Suites and SHS president; Shin Tseng, an architectural designer and creative entrepreneur as well as co-founder and managing partner of REXKL; and Shin Chang, who is co-founder and architect of Mentahmatter design and REXKL.

Khoo said SHS aims to increase public awareness of heritage conservation through its Heritage Speakers Series.

He said some buildings may not be considered heritage status but are old enough to be well-preserved.

“Apart from bringing awareness, SHS also plays an advisory role in the preservation of old and heritage buildings. We hold talks and site visits aimed to help bring awareness to the public.

“In terms of advocacy, SHS highlights issues on heritage conservation or matters of heritage significance. We also encourage community participation, which then generates points of discussion,” he said.

He added they also encourage discussions of difficult heritage questions and develop solutions.

On SHS’ advisory role, Khoo said the society acts as a trusted advisor to owners of heritage assets.

“We selectively commission research into areas of heritage preservation and also help build a collection of heritage resources. We also engage local students from Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) to carry out some form of documentation.

“We are more than happy to collaborate with Unimas and its students join us to visit some heritage sites and come up with drawings,” he said, adding they had done documentations on the Ting & Ting Supermarket, St James Anglican Church, Punjabi Barracks and Marian Boutique Lodging House.

“The architecture students from Unimas have visited and photographed for documentation. We would like to continue to do so,” he said.

Khoo said SHS also organised heritage site visits and in June this year, one such visit was carried out at Yu Lin Art Gallery.

He also extended appreciation to the Sarawak Museum Department for being supportive of SHS by providing the Borneo Cultures Museum auditorium as the venue for the talk.

He also appealed to the public to donate to SHS through its Maybank account (5112 3411 8858). For more information on SHS, call or WhatsApp 018-988 2343 or drop an email at [email protected].