Sunday, September 7, 2014

Visiting Louise

View from the winding driveway

Last Sunday, I finally had the chance to visit the Segu Bungalow when Louise invited USK members for sketching and morning tea.
I have passed this building many times as I was growing up – it is at the midpoint of my journey from my grandmother’s house and the basketball court at SUPP. Perched on a hill, the house itself is not very visible from the road (then called Pig Lane – recently sterilized to Park Lane) but its most arresting feature can be seen from the road, the ceiling covered with dozens of colourful native art murals.
Its most arresting feature is the ceiling covered with dozens of colourful native art murals.

Members of USK showing their completed sketches, our host Louise is seated far left
This historical building was originally located near the Segu River in the Padawan area; built as a holiday house for Rajah Vyner Brooke by Tan Sri William Tan, a former speaker of the Sarawak Assembly. In 1936, it was dismantled and relocated to its present location.

Since then, the bungalow has been the residence of Tom Harrison the former curator of the Sarawak Museum and many other expatriates including our friend, Louise who heads the non-profit, Friends of the Sarawak Museum.

I found two articles relating to the ceiling murals - one claims that they were painted by Tusau Padan, a Kenyah from Ulu Baram and Harrison cohort while the other by a member of the Sarawak Heritage Society informs that the murals were originally painted on paper and glued to the ceiling. Since the second article makes no mention of Tom Harrison as an inhabitant of the Segu Bungalow, I am going to discount it. 

The front verandah opens out onto a secret garden not visible from the road

The main house is linked to a servants' quarters

View from the top of the drive

The floor plan reveals that half the house is a covered verandah

No comments:

Post a Comment