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Pykett Avenue, George Town, Penang

Pykett Avenue, George Town

Pykett Avenue is a short road off Burmah Road within the George Town city centre. It runs straight from northeast to southwest, linking Burmah Road to the north with Westlands Road to the south.

Initially named Westlands Avenue, it was renamed Pykett Avenue in the 1930s after a Methodist missionary and one of the principals of the Methodist Boys' School. However, the Pykett Methodist Primary School at the road now faces a bleak future, as its dwindling student intake has led to its planned closure and demolition to make way for urban development.

Pykett Avenue sign, George Town, Penang

A Pykett Avenue sign

In addition, the illegal destruction of the Khaw Sim Bee Mansion at the road and the proposed construction of condominiums have raised concerns amongst the residents within the vicinity.

Etymology

Pykett Avenue was named after Reverend George Frederick Pykett, a Methodist missionary and one of the early principals of Methodist Boys' School. His efforts were fundamental to the early growth of the school, so much so that Westlands Avenue was renamed in his honour after his death in 1932.

History

Khaw Sim Bee

Khaw Sim Bee was the Governor of Trang in 1890 and of Phuket in 1902. His family owned the land around Pykett Avenue until the early 20th. century.

Westlands Avenue was in existence by the early 20th. century. At the time, the area belonged to the Khaw family; Khaw Sim Bee, the Governor of Phuket in southern Siam (now Thailand), once lived in his mansion along the road in the late 19th. century.

The Pykett Methodist School was established in the early 1930s after the death of Reverend George Frederick Pykett. The Methodist missionary, who served as the principal of the Anglo-Chinese School, Penang (now Methodist Boys' School), played such a crucial role in the development of Penang's education that Westlands Avenue was renamed in his honour.

After World War 2, the Anglo-Chinese School, Penang, which had by then been relocated to its present grounds at Air Itam Road, was renamed Methodist Boys' School. Concurrently, Pykett Methodist School became a primary school, a role which it still serves today.

In recent years, Pykett Avenue has been earmarked for urban development, particularly for the planned construction of the Icon Residence condominiums. Consequently, Khaw Sim Bee's Mansion was illegally demolished in 2010.

The Pykett Methodist Primary School now faces a similar fate, as the land on which it stands has been sold to the developer, Mah Sing Group. Its dwindling student intake has also led to the school's administration stopping further intakes in 2013, in the face of its imminent closure and demolition.

However, after a public outcry, the planned condominium project has been halted as of April 2016. According to the Penang state government in 2015, plans were also afoot to relocate the primary school.

Education

Pykett Methodist Primary School, George Town, Penang

Pykett Methodist Primary School

Pykett Methodist Primary School

Political Representation

Penang State Government

N.26 Padang Kota State Assemblyman : Chow Kon Yeow (Democratic Action Party)

Malaysian Federal Parliament

P.049 Tanjong Member of Parliament : Ng Wei Aik (Democratic Action Party)

References

  1. http://www.penang-traveltips.com/pykett-avenue.htm
  2. http://www.thephuketnews.com/phuket-most-influential-governor-khaw-sim-bee-40998.php
  3. http://www.penangpropertytalk.com/2011/01/icon-residence-penang/
  4. http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2015/06/27/stay-order-on-condo-project-builder-may-only-carry-out-earthworks-for-now/
  5. http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/penang-says-could-not-stop-closure-of-missionary-schools

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