In the early years of the 20' Century, nearly half the Police Force in Raub town were Sikhs. These Sikhs built their first Gurdwara Sahib in Raub near the police station on the site of the present Bank Simpanan National building. Due to the Gurdwara Sahib's location, the road leading to the District Officer's bungalow and other senior government officers' houses was at one time known as Temple Road. The actual year in which the first Gurdwara Sahib was built is not available as there are no existing records.
In the late 1920's, the Raub Australian gold mine was opened in Bukit Koman. Many Sikhs were employed at this gold mine as watchmen and general workers. The bullock cart was an important mode of transportation and as such, many Sikhs became bullock cart owners. Dairy farming was also carried out, as fresh milk was an essential necessity to the Sikhs. This increase in the Sikh population necessitated the construction of a bigger Gurdwara Sahib building.
The present site of the Gurdwara Sahib in Jalan Lipis, which is 1/4 acre in size, was acquired from the Government in 1930. A single storey brick building with a tiled roof was built in the traditional style of that period. The Darbar Sahib has a few doors which all lead to a covered corridor all around. This original building has been well preserved and gives one the feeling of stepping back in time.
In the 1950's, there was a Punjabi School, which received Government aid in this Gurdwara Sahib. A qualified teacher used to teach Punjabi in this school and the Government paid his salary. This school only ran for a few years and had to close down due to dwindling enrolment as most of the Sikhs left for other areas. Presently, there are six students who study Gurmukhi from the Granthi.
In 1960, the Management Committee obtained a grant of RM20,000.00 from the Government. The money was used to replace the Granthi's quarters with a brick building, as well as build a new kitchen and langgar hall. Two rooms were also built to accommodate Sikh visitors. Minor repairs were also done to the Gurdwara Sahib building.
In 1997, the generosity of an anonymous Sikh philanthropist helped in bringing about much needed maintenance and repairs to the Gurdwara Sahib building. At the same time, the old wooden stoves were changed to modern gas stoves in the Gurdwara Sahib kitchen.
The Management Committee comprises of the President, Secretary, Treasurer and six committee members. The present two Trustees are Sardar Gian Singh and Sardar Satwant Singh. Giani Harcharan Singh served as a Granthi in this Gurdwara Sahib in the early 1950's. Giani Dheer Singh served here for about eight years from 1963 to 1970.
Presently, there are about 20 Sikh families who participate in the religious activities in the Gurdwara Sahib. The normal weekly prayers are held on Sunday morning from 10.00a.m. to 11.00a.m. Other religious programmes are held as and when required at the request of the sangat.
Sikh Gurudwaras in Malaysia&Singapore
Saran Singh Sidhu AMN,PNM,FRNS
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