My late MIL's family root can be traced back starting in Duyong Island, Terengganu. Mr O's great great great great grandfather is Tok Sheikh Duyong, a highly respected Muslim scholar and the founder of the island. OK, to be precise.... I dunno how many great great great actually. But I know their ancestors can be traced back to the man.
Anyway, some interesting info that I got from here.
Their ancestors migrated from Champa to Pattani, in present-day Thailand, some time in the late 18th century. They were ethnic Chinese who converted to Islam. When Malay rule of Pattani came to an end in 1808, many Muslims moved south to Kelantan and Terengganu, including the then six-year-old Tok Sheikh Duyong with his father, a Muslim scholar and teacher.
The family settled on Pulau Duyong Kecil, on the estuary of Sungai Terengganu, where Tok Sheikh Duyong's father provided religious teaching. This was followed by Tok Sheikh Duyong, who became such a famous Muslim scholar, that Pulau Duyong Kecil became a centre of Islamic education, and was known as the "Tongue of Terengganu".
And if u still wonder why my kids (and most of Mr O's clan) look so Chinese or Siamese, reading their family history will help u understand why. And yes, I think that Siamese Chinese gene is mighty strong.
Duyong Old Fort @Kota Lama Duyong was built during 1919 and 1920 by Dato Biji Sura (Nik Mohamad Hitam) who was the great grandson of Tok Sheikh Duyong.
I don't really know how many Dato Biji Sura were around. I used to think Dato Biji Sura was Mr O's grandfather coz that's how the uncles and the aunties refer to his late grandfather. Then I figured out there were many more Dato Biji Sura. It can be confusing as they were all referred as DBS. I think it's a title that is still given out until today.
After his death, the house slowly descended into disrepair. It was already in a dilapidated state when the massive flood of 1986 destroyed what was left of it. In the late 1990's, a committee was formed to restore the building. It received the blessing of Dato Biji Sura's descendants to carry out the job.
Despite its name, Old Fort Duyong was not a military fort. It was actually a residence. And a place where lots of students come to study the religion.
Pictures of the restoration & reconstruction work in the ground floor.
Intricate carvings on the verandah gives the building the feel & look of several types of traditional Terengganu Malay homes known as "Bujang Berepeleh", "Lima Bungkus" and "Potong Belanda".
I love the windows ;-)
Mr O & the museum man. Tracing his family roots.
Despite its age, the white walls hardly showed any sign of wear. My kids were wondering...what happened to all the egg yolks??
A Cantonese sculptor from Singapore was hired to work on the masonry, arcades, columns and walls. Which explained the Corinthian & Egyptian influences on the designs.
Inside the house, there were some exhibitions on artifacts and things related to Duyong Island..
Inside of the house. There were lots of long corridors.
The kitchen area.
Room adjoining the kitchen. Pantry??
Outside the kitchen.
Duyong Island is also famous for boat building. We went here.
But there was nobody there. Only boats. And some animals.