Before visiting the Museum, a preview of the following explanation may help to understand and appreciate the history of the building.
During our secondary education, we are taught of Malaya history about the famous Larut War between the two Chinese Societies, Ghee Hin 义兴and Hai San’s 海山struggle for their interests.
After the dispute, the leaders of the two parties had become close friend. Leader of Ghee Hin, Kapitan Chin Ah Yam became the godfather of Leader of Hai San, Kapitan Chung Keng Quee’s fourth son, Kapitan Chung Thye Phin.
连本屿义兴街的“前义兴总部”也让甲必丹郑景贵以“五福书院”交换，成为其“海山总部” 。 为避免闲扯，在正门挂置“海记栈”门扁。 隔邻建了间“慎之家塾”, 原为间家塾，开放给各籍贯的学童入学读书，后改为家祠。
Kapitan Chung Keng Quee had even exchanged his owned school (the Five Luck Villa also called Goh Hock Tong) for the Ghee Hin Headquarter located at Yee Hin Street. To avoid gossip, the building was renamed as Hye Kee Chan. A private family school, Shen Zhi Jia Shu, 慎之家塾was built besides Hye Kee Chan and later converted to family temple of Kapitan Chung.
Today the new owner of the building has renovated the building by maintaining the appearance of the entire building and set up a display on the cultural heritage of Straits Settlements’ Baba and Nyongya .
所谓峇峇娘惹, 前期是指首初南来马来亚的中国人与马来妇女生下的子女, 以华人方式抚养长大的, 称第一代峇峇娘惹。
The early reference of so-called Baba and Nyongya were the children of the early migrant of Chinese who married the Malay women and grew up in the Chinese family.
后期则指在海峡殖民地时期出生长大, 受的是英文教育, 学上一口马来话, 接触的又是英国与西方的世界和文化 。血统上是华人, 国籍上却自认是英籍, 而在感情上绝对亲英, 这就是峇峇娘惹。
The later referred to those who were born during the period in the Straits Settlements. Though descended from Chinese, they were English educated and would only have contact with the Western world and culture. Thus, they were emotionally preferred to be English.
这个族群在马来亚独立后, 正宗后代越来越少, 逐步消失在人们的记忆里了。
After Malaya’s independence, this ethnic group in Malaya become lesser and gradually disappeared in the memory of the countryman.
由側门进入“海记栈”,一眼望去, 院内楼房梁栋, 极其华丽富贵, 室内陈设了许多根据不同主题的名贵珍宝物品。
Entering by the side door into “Hye Kee Chan”, the mansion was built of eclectic design and architecture. Lot of valuable treasures and items are displayed in this building.
两层中式楼房, 中庭有个明亮的天井。 建筑材料拥有英国进口的瓷地砖, 苏格兰生铁铸造的雕樑, 木格窗户上搭配镶嵌着欧洲风格的玻璃窗花, 融合了东方品味与西方时尚之美 。
It was a double storey Chinese typical building having an atrium in the middle yard. The construction materials were composed of imported English floor tiles and Scottish ironworks. The wooden lattice windows were built by Chinese carved-wood panels inlaid with the European style of glass. A combination of the beauty of East and West fashion tastes.
The refined classic elegance of house furniture, screens, ceramics, crafts are displayed.
在展列上有歐洲入口的餐桌及餐具, 卧房寝室的家用具与陈设, 梨花木鸦片床, 连整套抽吸鸦片用具等古董文物。 另有民间用品包括描花的饭格、嫁女的礼饼篮、竹篓等等, 。
Exhibition in the list of European imported table and cutlery, bedroom appliances and furnishings. The wooden opium bed packed with suction appliances and other antique opium heritage. Also, traditional cake basket used for marriage function and bamboo wares.
馆内展出的峇峇娘惹文化的遗产, 让我依稀看到亡母穿出娘惹服装的神韵。那极具娘惹特色精细绣花的轻衣卡峇亚(Kebaya), 扣针哥罗双(Kerosang), 锈珠拖鞋(Manek slippers) , 发针, 凤冠霞披, 还有许许多多各种各样的娘惹装饰品。
The display of Baba and Nyongya’s cultural heritage let me recalled vaguely the apparel nuances of my late mother. The highly characteristics of the fine embroidery of light clothes ,the Kebaya blouse; the brooches that used to fasten the Kebaya blouse, the Kerosang; the rust beads Manek slippers; the nyongya’s wedding crown together with numerous and varied decorations.
满橱的粉彩娘惹瓷器,是峇峇从中国景德镇专门订制。 采用鲜黄,蓝,红色，和独特的凤凰牡丹图案花纹, 色彩亮丽。齿形花边，或弯出的皱褶，是娘惹瓷器的独创。
Cabinets full of porcelain ware. In yellow, blue, red and unique pictorial Phoenix Peony patterns with folding edge were imported from Jingdezhen, China.
海记栈隔邻那看似庙宇, 外貌堂皇富丽的慎之家塾, 是当年甲必丹郑景贵所建的家塾 。 家塾也就是今天的学校, 供本姓和旁姓子弟读书。
The building besides Hye Kee Chan was originally built for a private family school named as Shen Zhi Jia Shu, 慎之家塾 .
后来重修改为家祠, 奉供郑家宗主牌位 。慎之家塾院内还按有一座郑景贵站立铜像, 让我们瞻仰甲必丹的风貌。
Later the school was converted to Kapitan Chung’s family temple. The soul tablets of past clan generations are arranged along the altars. We pay our respect to the bronze statue of Kapitan Chung Keng Quee.
今天历史课本编写得非常浅薄, 若带子弟来参观, 将有助於促進他们對甲必丹郑景贵家族和峇峇娘惹文化的认识。
Today our textbooks are prepared in a very brief and incomplete history education. Taking our children to the mansion may help their understanding to our local history of famous personalities, customs and traditions.
I strongly recommend the following websites to have a deeper understanding of these two historical and cultural backgrounds:
甲必丹郑太平在槟城湖内公园（Metropolitan Park, Relau）遗留一栋附有露天淡水游泳池的西洋古典式的房子
Kapitan Chung Thye Phin left a Western classical-style villa with swimming pool in Metropolitan Park, Relau, Penang.