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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

East Care Group aka Eating Group Reunion

East Care Group before

East Care Group now

The East Care Group (ECG) was born in 1990 when the Peninsula Evangelical Free Church (PEFC) was worshiping at the Ebenezer Chapel. ECG had bible studies at member’s house on rotation. After the bible study session yummy food was waiting at the table. There was feasting and fellowship which usually ended late at night. Incidentally, most of us are food lovers. We live to eat and not eat to live. But ECG has been branded as ‘eating group’. We were not offended but instead took the comment as a compliment for we are connoisseur of food delicacies. The group bonding grew stronger with each passing year.

Members were nostalgic and wanted to walk done memory lane. Mary had it organised. She got a 15 seatter commuter van last week-end for ECG reunion in Melaka. There were twelve of us altogether for a 2 days and 1 night trip. We missed those who were not with us.

Day 1 (Saturday 21 Nov 2015)
There were 3 pick-up points – Tampenis, Marine Parade and Commonwealth Avenue. Our day started at 5.15 am. We cleared Johore Immigration at about 7.30 am and proceeded to Jalan Tun Aminah Johore  for breakfast. We had Dim Sum by the roadside which reminded me of Singapore in the1950/60. I also had yew chia kway dipped  in Kopi O.

                                       Breakfast at Jalan Tun Aminah

On our way to Melaka we stopped at Yong Peng for local goodies.

          Factory selling local products inside the building

We arrived at Melaka just in time for lunch as arranged with Restoran Alantic One. We had excellent nyonya  cuisine and everyone showed thumbs up!!!

                                         Recommended for Nyonya Cuisine

              Food: Ayam Buah Keluak, Chap Chye, Steam Fish, 
              Pineapple Prawns, Sambal Lady's Fingers, etc. etc

                              Desseert: Chendol with gula Melaka 

Next we went shopping for local manufactured food. The sales girls were on festive mood.

Not satisfied with local products, we went to shopping mall near the hotel
                                       Shopping Mall

There was sales in the Mall and Emily bought bed sheets made in Japan and got a 10% discount. Later she discovered that on Sunday at 'Happy Hour' the discount would be 10% + 10%. 

                               Portuguese Village dinner

Dinner at the Portuguese Village was a disappointment. Curry devil was their best dish but it was tasteless and not spicy at all. It is needless to talk about other dishes. James put up both hands that he had enough. He suggested his 'lau di fang'  for satay chelop. 

                               Look at the smiles on their faces

We ended the night walking through the pasar malam at Jonker Street. It was good for sight seeing but nothing to buy although the things on sale were cheap.

Day 2 (Sunday 22 Nov ) 
Breakfast was at the hotel Nyonya Restaurant. The group had two school of thoughts. The younger ones wanted to bring the shopping mall home because of the ‘Happy Hours”. The older ones opted for the wet market. So we went our separate ways after breakfast.

                                                   Central Market Melaka

It was bed sheets, pillows etc from the Mall versus salted fish etc from the Sentral market. 

We met at the hotel and went for lunch at a seaside restaurant. The place was very quiet as it was hidden from the main road. The sea was in front of us and the breeze was fantastic. Food was good too. 

There was a ‘Husband Day Care Centre”. The men were tempted to stay back after the meal, but unfortunately the joint was closed. It opens only at night. Lucky for the wives.

Chendol was at one time famous in Melaka. Now it is  'coconut shake'. We went to the hawker stall by the roadside but was put off by the long queue. We went to the hawker's home nearby. It was worst. Inside the building was like a mad house crowded with people. We saw a long line of customers waiting to be served. The parking area was overcrowded with parking and moving vehicles. We agreed, "let's get out".

            Coconut Shake shop. It was peaceful outside but a mad house inside. 

We went back to the hotel to rest and also to get ready for departure. Check out time was 12.00 pm. 

Dinner was at a Chinese restraurant. After dinner, Andy suggested we go for 'teh tarek'. So, we had a 'teh tarek' party before heading home. 

            We traveled by this 15 seatter commuter van. It was quite comfortable. 

All of us enjoyed the ECG Reunion trip to Melaka. We hope more can join us the next time. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Peninsula Evangelical Free Church

The Church

Peninsula Evengelical Free Church had its first official service on Sunday October 11 1987 at the Crystal Ballroom, Peninsula Hotel. Our church had a humble beginning. It started without a Pastor. Preaching of God’s words were given by guests speakers each Sunday. Nevertheless, the church grew and the Crystall Ballroom was filled to capacity. I remembered the back partitioned wall was moved backwards to make space for the worshippers. In 1988 a young couple got married at the church. 

In February 1989, God sent Pastor Ong Seow Heng to shepherd His sheep. The congregation welcomed him and gave him much encouragement. The elders and deacons worked closely with him. In his own words “…………my ministry is strengthened by this group of dedicated and committed people God has given me to work alongside with.” 

Pastor Ong Seow Heng

After the church service we had fellowships outside the sanctuary. There were coffee, tea and cakes for all. There were  many baptisms including my family.

 Crystal Ballroom Peninsula Hotel

On August 5 1990 the church moved to Ebenezer Chapel at Dempsy Hill (39C Harding Road). It was an old chapel with wide open space outside the building. I liked the fresh air with plenty of greenery. There was a church wedding in 1991.

The church building is on the left background

                           Ebenezer Chapel
                            Photo credit to

The church next home was the Methodist Girls School auditorium at Upper Bukit Timah Road. It was a quiet place on Sunday with ample parking lots and a canteen with large refreshment area for fellowships, discussions and other activities. I remembered a young couple from China who came to our church got married there. Alice Rogers, Magdelene Ng, Katherine Cox and many others helped them to make their marriage a memorable one. There were flower arrangements, buntings, decorations, buffet lunch etc. Soon after they left for US to further their studies.

School canteen

East Care Group 

The church had four cell groups in different part of the island. I was in the East Care Group (ECG). Majority of our members lived in the east with a few exception. We met regularly for bible studies and was very close  to each other. Two young mothers got their first born child and experienced mother went to assist.  ECG organised their own retreat in Malaysia in addition to our church camp.

Here are some pictures of the church camp as well as ECG retreat in Malaysia.

                             Church Camp

 Genting View Resort 1994

Meleka Park Plaza Resort 1995

Fraser's Hill 199?

East Care Group Retreat

Tanjong Puteri Golf Resort Johor

Century Mahkota Resort Malacca

One of the church's memorable event was Easter Sunrise Service and pot luck at East Coast Park. Having church service in the open air and by the sea was a blessing. Many believers got their baptism by immersion. Every year we looked forward to Easter. All good things never last forever. The authority stopped giving permits for such gathering. 

Easter Sunrise Service on Good Friday 24 March 1989

East Coast Park

Christmas Eve
Another memorable event was celebrating Christmas eve at the American International School. We sang Christmas hymns followed by skits depicting the  birth of Christ  from the children.

Christmas dinner was catered by the school chef. We had traditional roast turkey with chestnut stuffing, honey baked ham, cranberry sauce, log cakes and many more yummy items.

                                 Christmas eve bulletin cover 

Worship bullutin for Christmas eve

Christmas Eve Celebration 1990

American School at King's Road

Above pictures were taken more than 20 years ago. Small boys and girls then are now young adults. Tony and Lay were not married during PEFC early days. Now they are grand-parents. Time and tide wait for no man.

Hope you enjoy the PEFC story.