Tuesday, April 23, 2024
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Brunei Town

Building almost gone, memories remain

Lyna Mohamad

Demolition works on a historic building from the 60s and 70s in the heart of Bandar Seri Begawan is almost complete, with the building partially left on the grounds.

In a photo taken yesterday, only a part of the William Jack building on Jalan Pemancha (formerly known as Jalan Chevalier) is left to be demolished.

PHOTO: MARUL69

“It is sad to see but it is also good to see progress, finally. I hope they’ll build a new landmark in the capital – a commercial hub with event spaces, multi-storey car parks and an international hotel chain,” said Marul (pic above), who took the photos on his way to work. One of the many who have fond memories of the building, he remembers shops like Jetsin and Ayamku when he was working in the capital in 2010. He used to walk past the building from the car park to his workplace five days a week.

Siti Abidah also spent most of her childhood there as she frequented her late aunt’s home in Kampong Sultan Lama, just behind the building. She remembers going to Jetsin to get school supplies as well as buy from hawkers doing businesses during celebrations in the capital.

“I would walk there with my cousins during hari perayaan and we would go from one stall to another to sample different foods as they were quite cheap back then, before going to Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien to see performances. It is really sad to see the building gone but I guess it is for the better.” The demolition works began earlier this year as the building was found to be unsafe due to neglect over the years.

The building had housed the offices of several banks, as well as travel agencies and restaurants such as the popular Ayamku fast food outlet.

Other buildings along the road have also had their time in the sun, like the old cinema – which was destroyed during the war and rebuilt as Boon Pang Cinema – now replaced by the Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam.

The demolition will make way for a new building and memories.

As the saying goes, fond memories are there to stay, especially for the many who had theirs on the William Jack building.

Iconic 60s to 70s William Jack building on Jalan Pemancha (formerly known as Jalan Chevalier) in the capital has been demolished. PHOTO: MARUL69
ABOVE & BELOW: Photos show the partially demolished William Jack building. PHOTO: MARUL69
PHOTO: MARUL69
PHOTO: MARUL69

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