Celluloid memories: a family portrait of Almarhum Sultan Idris I

Almarhum Sultan Idris and his consort, Tengku Permaisuri Uteh Mariah, posing for a family portrait. Standing from left: YAM Raja Abdul Rashid ibni Sultan Idris, YAM Raja Harun Al-Rashid ibni Sultan Idris and YAM Raja Shuib ibni Almarhum Sultan Idris. Standing to the left of Almarhum Sultan Idris is YAM Raja Shahruddin ibni Almarhum Sultan Idris and Almarhum's grandsons - all issue of YAM Raja Harun Al-Rashid, from left: YM Raja Aman Shah, YM Raja Ariff Shah and YM Raja Shahar Shah.

This is a photo of Almarhum Sultan Idris I and his consort, Tengku Permaisuri Uteh Mariah (seated leftmost), and their sons and grandsons. The year when the photograph was taken is not known but a best estimate (based on the appearance of Almarhum’s grandsons) may be circa 1910’s.

This photo was kindly shared by YM Raja Nur Jannah Raja Hirdan, from a collection belonging to Raja Fauziah (Ku Diah) binti Raja Shoran, grand-daughter to Almarhum Raja Bendahara Abdul Rashid ibni Sultan Idris I.

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DYMM Raja Perempuan Khadijah

Potrait of DYMM Raja Perempuan Khadijah. (Source: YM Raja Kobat Salehuddin ibni Almarhum Raja Muda Musa)

Y.A.M. Raja Khadijah was born on 3 March 1895 in Kuala Kangsar, the daughter of Almarhum Sultan Idris Murshidul Azzam Shah and Tengku Permaisuri Che’ Uteh Mariah[1]. Raja Khadijah was married to a young Raja Abdul Aziz ibni Almarhum Raja Muda Musa I (later Sultan of Perak) in 1911. The couple had one son, Raja Musa, who was later the DYTM Raja Muda of Perak from 1963 to 1982. On 4 March 1939, she was styled Raja Perempuan Khadijah following the installation of Raja Muda Abdul Aziz as the 31st Sultan of Perak (1938-1948).

Unfortunately, Raja Khadijah was Raja Perempuan for only seven months as Tuanku mangkat after suffering from typhoid on 1 October 1939 at the age of 44 and was interred at the Al-Ghufran Royal Mausoleum on Bukit Chandan.

Footnote:
[1]Her immediate siblings from the same mother included Raja Kechil Sulong Harun Al-Rashid, Raja Bendahara Abdul Rashid, Raja Puan Muda Teh Kalsom (wife of Raja Sir Chulan) and Tengku Ampuan Raja Fatimah (wife of Sultan Alaeddin Sulaiman Shah of Selangor).

Victoria Bridge, Kuala Kangsar

Victoria Bridge, Kuala Kangsar.

The Victoria Bridge is a single railway bridge that crosses the Sungai Perak at Karai and is one of the oldest railway bridges in Malaysia. It is located about 4 km from the Iskandar Bridge.

Official opening plaque. (Source: http://www.malaysiasite.nl)

It was opened on 21 March 1900 by Almarhum Sultan Idris Murshidul Azzam Shah at a ceremony which was also attended by Sir Frank Swettenham, the Resident-General for the FMS, and Sir John Pickersgill Rodger, the acting British Resident for Perak. The ceremonial opening of the bridge comprised unlocking of a bar traversing the portal with a silver key.

The bridge was constructed between December 1897 and March 1900 by the Perak State Railway and comprised iron lattice girders over a thousand feet long, resting on six brick piers, with the roadway 40 feet above the ordinary level of the river. Seen from the bank, the mighty Victoria Bridge bridge is a handsome structure which spans the wide Sungai Perak. The bridge has been erected at a cost of over $300,000. The construction of the bridge was under the supervision of Mr. Happlestone while C.R. Hanson was the chief engineer. Sir Frank Swettenham in his speech during the opening of the bridge regarded Victoria Bridge is the largest bridge in the East outside India.

Queen Victoria. (Source: Google images)

The bridge was named after Queen Victoria[1] on two considerations. Firstly, when the construction began in 1897, it was the year of Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. Secondly, the bridge was completed at moment when her authority was being triumphantly vindicated in South Africa.

The bridge at her peak was an important structure during the boom of the tin mining industry as well as linking the western Malay states with each other and the port of Penang. The bridge is said to be similar to the “bridge on the river Kwai” and Guillemard Bridge in Kelantan.

(Source: Google Images)

The Victoria Bridge is now no longer in use since 2002, as a new concrete bridge has been built some 15 metres away and parallel to her to take over the role of handling rail traffic. While Victoria Bridge is closed to rail traffic, its adjoining footbridge is still publicly open to motorcycles and pedestrians.

Footnote:
[1] Queen Victoria was the Queen regnant of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. She was dubbed as the “grandmother of Europe” where her 9 children and 42 grandchildren were married into royal families across the continent, tying them together.

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Reference:
1. Asiaexplorer.com. Victoria Bridge.
2. Malaysiasite.nl. Forgotten Bridge.
3. Wikipedia. Victoria Bridge.
4. The Straits Times. 1900 March 26. p3.