The Dutch Balcony

Melaka

A public balcony is left by the Dutch when they ended their rule in Melaka in 1825, one year before Malacca High School was founded. Hendrik S. Van Son was the last Dutch Governor for Melaka. The siege of Melaka from 1606 let the Dutch ruled Melaka for 183 years. Said to be brought from the Netherlands, they built the wall that border the Church lane high and thick. If you go there, it is red in color but in the past it was white. The Stadhuys was the official residence of the Dutch Governor.

The red building displays common features of the Dutch colonial architecture which includes solid chunky doors with wrought iron hinges and louvered window. Sturdy is the red building as you see you feel. Get your selfie there once in a lifetime for the Dutch Square is the most picturesque probably being the oldest remaining Dutch colonial building left in Southeast Asia.

There too, stands the grand and majestic balcony. Most balconies are extended from windows or doors but this one in Melaka is connected to two sturdy stairways, one on the left and the other on the right. Thought balcony was a stage-box in theatres, sometimes public viewable balconies are adapted for ceremonial purposes. I was holding my Sony cyber-shot DSC-TX100V directing to the Christ Church while staring far across the Queen Vitoria Regina fountain onto the Quayside Road, now changed by the city council as Jalan Laksamana.

The flag was swaying and the non-stop light current of air flow gently as I stood on the balcony. I dreamed awhile. I recalled last year incident while I was recording the Merdeka Parade video on the end of Jalan Laksamana near to the Pigeons Corner in front the Public Bank Berhad. I imagined the contigents of the Merdeka Parade or Perarakan Kemerdekaan, marching through the Dutch Square. The reminiscence of the Merdeka Parade and the heritage at the Dutch Square behold me. The next Merdeka Parade is another 102 days from now. The sky turned gloomy and I quickly walked down on the right stairway. On the street of Church lane at the edge of the stair, some beautifully decorated trishaws wait for passengers.

I moved on to the Queen Victoria Regina’s fountain, a fountain erected by the People Of Malacca in memory of a Great Queen in 1904. There, newly married couples would pose to their photographers for their wedding albums. I did that too on the eve of Christmas, in 1988. The Roll Of Honor 1941 – 1945 stood proudly right below the balcony. Towards the left, the Dutch heritage, the red sturdy wall give the Church lane a contrast. The red wall is standing in vivid contrast with the black narrow tar lane.

I could remember the bullock carts appearing from the far end. It was all white through the window of the Fiat Car that droved me to Banda Hilir English School or Sekolah Rendah Banda Hilir in 1967. I could see the white wall tapering toward Jalan Kota or Banda Hilir Road where the Aldy Hotel is. Not far from there, our Fiat would bypass the Coronation Road that branches by the Straits Of Melaka. The left branch had a huge field for rugby and football of the left and the sea on the right and the road turns left on the corner of Dataran Pahlawan where OCBC (Overseas Chinese Banking Corporation) stand today, and it head towards the Melaka’s old Road Transport Department or Jabatan Pengangkutan Jalan, now the Equatorial Hotel.

As the Fiat was droved through the side of the A’Famosa Fort, my school come to sight after the Sacred Hearts Convent.

 Once I climbed up the stair to enjoy the scene of the Dutch Square from the balcony, today was my 2nd time to do that. A heritage value of love is attached to this balcony.

Daniel, Wednesday 14 May 2014 10.32 a.m.
The exact time, this photograph was taken with the SONY Cyber-shot DSC_TX100V

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