Feast of St. Anne 2004

The old St. Anne Church

For as long as I can remember, Mum would always make a pilgrimage to Bukit Mertajam for the Feast of St. Anne at the St. Anne Church. When Dad could drive, he would take us, although he was not a Christian. We would clamber up the granite steps worn smooth by the feet of millions of faithful who had gone to pay their homage before us. Many pilgrims, some from as far as Singapore and Brunei, would devotedly come with their petitions or to give thanks for prayers answered.

The new St. Anne Church

I do not know what petition Mum gave to St. Anne but I guess when I was young, she would have prayed for my safekeeping and good health for the family. When I grew up, I think she would have prayed for me to do well in my studies. After my accident, she prayed for my recovery. After saying her prayers, she would light a few candles just before the altar and then at selected spots all the way up to the top of the hillock where the shrine of St. Anne stands. As a tradition, Mum would always take some blessed salt and holy water from the well beside the church home.

Mass in the new church

St. Anne is the mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Although she is not mentioned in the Scriptures, the Catholic Church has acknowledged her as the wife of St. Joachim and mother of Mary. The Feast of St. Anne falls on July 26, which is celebrated together with St. Joachim’s. We would usually go a few days before the feast proper to avoid the ocean of people. The compound of the church would be packed to the brim with people holding candles and flowers joining in the procession. Peter had planned to make two trips this year, one especially for Wuan and me on July 24. I almost did not make it as I had an upset tummy. I was struggling with whether I should risk it and possibly mess up whatever I was sitting on. As I sat there weighing the odds, I was touched and the worries disappeared just like that.

The Crucifix behind the altar

We started our journey at 8.30pm, reaching the church just after nine. We had not planned to participate in the Mass but as it was just beginning, we followed the proceedings from outside for a while before getting a place near the entrance. It was in Mandarin. The new church is a magnificent structure that is truly awe-inspiring. One can only experience the ambience by being there. No words can explain how I felt, especially since this is the first feast that I am attending since Mum passed away. Throughout the years, all the feasts that I attended were with her.

Statue of St. Anne.

While we were in the church, Wuan took the camera and traipsed all over the church grounds. There were many places that I could not access because of the hilly terrain and the images that she took will complement her description of those spots. She also took the little container for Holy Water that Mum bought while she was there a few years ago for filing up. After Mass, we browsed around at the makeshift stalls that had been set up in the church compound to sell religious items. I bought one five-decade rosary, one one-decade rosary and a rosary pouch. Wuan and I each also got a Divine Mercy pendant.

St. Anne’s Water Fonts

We left the church at around eleven. Traffic was heavy but it was moving. I cannot imagine how congested it would be on the Feast Day. We had our late dinner at the coffee shop that was just a hop away from the apartment before going back. Just as I entered my apartment, my tummy started to rumble again. Call it coincidence or call it anything you want. The timing could not be more perfect. A little earlier and everyone in the car would have had a very unpleasant experience. Someone up there really likes me.

Author: Peter Tan

Peter Gabriel Tan. Penangite residing in the Klang Valley. Blissfully married to Wuan. A LaSallian through and through. Slave to three cats. Wheelchair user since 1984. End-stage renal disease since 2017. Principal Facilitator at Peter Tan Training specialising in Disability Equality Training. Former columnist of Breaking Barriers with The Borneo Post. This blog chronicles my life, thoughts and opinions. Connect with me on Twitter and Facebook.

48 thoughts on “Feast of St. Anne 2004”

  1. Sweetspirit,
    Yes, I had an exceptional evening. And I am getting better. Thank you.

  2. peter, you should get better after your visit to st anne. st anne see to that.

    well i would be going to the feast on 26 july, which is the exact day of the feast and might be going on 1 aug. too.

    many people believe in the power of st anne including non catholics. and of course many people had favours granted from st anne. i do hope st anne’s feast won’t become commercialised. (actually it is beginning to be that way).

  3. Hello Peter
    Thank you so much for sharing your story and pictures with us. I was at Bukit Mertajam once for St Anne’s feast — this was in the early 80s. Indeed, she is an efficace intercessor.

  4. Hi Peter,
    It was such a coincidence for me to have come across this wonderful blog of yours. Currently in Australia and missing BM a lot, I suddenly realized half an hour ago that it was 26th July, the St Anne’s feast! So I logged on to the internet – again, after numerous times tonight – and typed in St Anne’s Church Bukit Mertajam. And there it came into sight – your webpage, full of touching articles and nice shots of the church that I miss soooooo much. I have to say that I don’t normally leave any comments online – have always preferred to be a silent observer; but this time I’m not going to. Well done, Peter. It’s not only the articles and the shots that amaze me, it’s your preseverance and strength in life that keep me in awe! Keep it up, and keep it going! 🙂

  5. Lucia,
    From what I understand, St. Anne can only intercede to Jesus on our behalf. By herself, she cannot grant favours.

    Indeed St. Anne is well-known for petitions fulfilled as evident by the crowd of pilgrims from all over the region.

    Thank you. I am where I am because of all the good people that God has sent and keep sending my way.

  6. yes of course, peter, all saints only intercede for us on behalf of jesus. you go to st anne’s feast, surely you pray to st anne, right, and surely st anne will understand your situation and will pray to the lord for you to get better… that was what i meant, not that st anne made you better… indirectly yes, but ultimately it is all jesus’ work.

    well i will try to blog on my visit to st anne’s feast yesterday tonight if i’m free.

  7. Lucia,
    I cannot wait to read your blog about the feast. I am sure it will be full of interesting insights.

  8. Dear Peter,

    I visited St. Ann’s church in 1999 and i also feel that she intercede’s for us beautifully and answers our prayers.

    I am praying that i will visit the church again by this year, am in KL so we as a family will visit the Port Klang church.

    Please Peter we are waiting to hear all abt the feast from u.

    Jesus Bless ur work

  9. Grace,
    That was my story of the feast. Visit Lucia’s blog for her story of this year’s feast. Stay blessed.

  10. Glad to have stumbled into your site. I am an ardent devotee of St Anne. Yesterday 31 july 2004 I made it to St Anne’s Port Klang. Although i could not make it for the mass but still I was glad I made it at least to be at the site of a sacred place where St Anne is honoured by an ocean of people.

    Seeing all those people fervently praying brought so much inspiration to me and as I prayed and raised my petitions I felt very comforted.

    I am glad that there is such a site where we could discuss St Anne and pray that all those beautiful novenas raised will be answered in one way or the other through the intecession of St Anne.

  11. Joseph,
    It is show of faith like this that helps strengthen mine. I, too, am inspired when I see so many faithful praying fervently for the intercession of St. Anne.

  12. Hi there Peter, came across your photographs of St Anne`s church in BM. Throughout my childhood and as a teenager visited every year with lots of prays said and some answered. Have been living in the UK for the past 15 years, the pictures that you have posted of the new church are amazing.
    Keep up the good work.

  13. Desmond,
    Thank you. I did not take those images. Wuan took them. Like you, that little church on the hillock bring back many memories of my childhood.

  14. Dear Peter,
    I am trying to get in touch with Fr. Cheah pls.I went to the webpage but could not find the email addresses of the priests.Perhaps you can give me his email address?
    I am supposed to contact him about 2 mths back. Just mention to him about the birdman and that should catch his attention.
    I have been to Penang so many times and this year got to visit the church at last for the very first time.
    I am overwhelmed by the “holiness feeling” at the church grounds.Nowhere have I experienced such sanctity in my 40+ years on this god created earth.
    U have a wonderful web site.
    Pls give Fr. Cheah my email address.
    Thanks for your time,
    Angels Among Us and God Bless,
    alfie cheah.

  15. Alfie,
    I am sorry. I am not acquainted with Fr. Cheah. Besides I am in Penang and he is in Bukit Mertajam. Maybe you can contact him via the phone number given in the webpage. Hope that helps. Have a nice day.

  16. Peter, Do write to me, as I am from Bukit Mertajam, and lived very close to the new St. Annes church in Kulim Road. I now live in Canada, but would love to hear from you. I used to be an alter boy and always participated in the St. Annes celebrarions in July at the old Church. Write to me. I love to hear from you. Ozzie

  17. Peter, How are you? I wrote in your web-page sometime in September 2004 about St. Annes feast. Do write to me and tell me what’s going on with you and your family up-to now. Have a very Merry Christmas from Canada, from me ,my wife and family. Love Oswald. Looking forward to hear from you soon. Bye for now

  18. peter,
    It`s a pity the pictures were not taken in the daytime because it would really show the unique architecture, a fine blend of minaangkabau roof and comtemporary masonry wall building. I used to drive past the church during construction on my way to Cherok Tok Kun forest reserve. Have a peaceful Christmas and Happy New Year.

  19. Rick,
    Yes, that is a beautiful church. I was awed the first time I saw it. Have a Blessed Christmas.

  20. To all my fellow friends in Christ,
    I am a former parishioner of St Anne’s Church, BM and now am residing in the UK. My most recent trip to BM during Xmas 2004 was most rewarding as I received a copy of the St Anne’s Sanctuary keepsakes book written by Fr. Michael Cheah from him personally. I still consider myself a distant parishioner of that church as I am very proud of the church after having spent most of my youth days in various aspects of church activities. As much as possible I try to go back during the feast and help out in any way I can. The effect is as always….selfless thanksgiving. One really has to know St Anne personally to appreciate her intercessory powers. I went back to the feast in 2003 to ask her to intercede for me and my husband for a child and what I received was amazing as right in the middle of the 9 days novena (4th day to be precise) I was told that I was 5 weeks pregnant ! In appreciation, my little girl is called Annaise which is Anne in Hebrew.

    God Bless.

    Btw, Fr Michael Cheah is now at St Micheal’s Church, Ipoh.

  21. Hi Peter – was browsing with anything to do with BM and came across your website. I visit Malaysia 2-3 times a year – miss the food and te tariks. Was scrolling down this page and came across an Oswald Scully – Ozzie used to live across the road from me in Jalan Harapan and would dearly love to get in contact with him as I live in Canberra, Australia since 1974. I met his brother Willy during St Annes Feast about 6 years ago and lost touch. Hope you can help me get in contact with him.


    Jessie Boudville

  22. Jessie,
    Oswald’s email is hidden behind his name under his comments. I hope both of you can get in touch again. It will be such a beautiful reunion.

  23. Dear Peter, You have no idea what your web page have done for me. Ever-since I found your web-page, there has been a tremendous change in my life, spritually and mentally. I have very often looked it up for some up-dates of the town and the feasts and the forums, and gained so much from it. About 2days ago I got a message from Jessie Boudville from Australia and was so thrilled to hear from her as we all grew-up togather and have not been in contact for some 30 years, and if that’s not telling one how powerful St. Anne is, I don’t know what is. Anyway will keep you posted as to how we are going to reminis old times. Thanks again Peter, you have been my inspiration. God Bless you and your family Peter. Ozzie (Oswald Scully)

  24. Oswald,
    I am glad Jessie and you are able to get in touch again. Praise God for that.

  25. Dear Peter
    As you can see by the name I’m another one of those Scully’s from B M ( Ozzie’s sister Dot) Just like to pass on to Jessie Boudville that her Grandparents, (Aunty Darling, and Uncle Joeboy) were sponsers at our wedding, who we loved dearly and have very fond memories. Yesterday 2nd May was the 46 year Anniversary of our Wedding held at St Anne’s Church. Anybody remember dear Father Mourgue? he was so helpful to us.By the way, we too live in Canada and would love to hear from you Jessie. Dorothy

  26. My dear Mr. Peter Cheah,
    You have no idea of what an overwhelming effect you have created by you posting a website about St. Anne’s church. As you must have noticed, I am also another SCULLY from B.M. To make a long story short, I served as an alterboy, born and raised in B.M. We lived behind the Kim Seng High School (hope it is still there). My whole family attended masses in the new and old churches. Fr. Chin was my mentor through out the years. I also now live in Canada and hope to visit (home) soon. You have a very nice day and hope to get more contacts from the Bukit soon. your truly, Reggie Scully.

  27. Dear Mr Peter Tan,
    YOu have no idea what an overwhelming effect you have created when I discovered your website about St. Anne’s church. I am another Scully that have moved away for 30 yrs. and now reside in Canada. That community bring back alot of very good memories that I will never forget. I was alterboy like my brother Oswald as the rest of the other boys in my family. I sure would love to hear from anyone from B.M.and about St. Anne’s church. God bless you Peter. Yours truly, Reg (Reggie) Scully

  28. Dorothy and Reg,
    Wow. This is really interesting. I hope you guys and gals can get in touch again. I am glad that I could help in some little ways. God bless.

  29. Dear Peter Tan
    Your web page and pictures of St Anne’s Church, evoked long forgotten memories of my life in Bukit Mertajam, the town I left in fifty seven to persue nursing in S’pore, UK and eventually settled in Canada.You faith and spirituality is awesome and must serve as a source of strength and comfort for you. I fully understand your physical condition and will pray for your health at the St.Anne’s Church I attend here in Canada. My nane is Evelyn, Dorothy is my sister and my brothers are Reggie, Ozzie, Willy, and the rest of the Scully Clan.
    God Bless you Peter and keep you well Evelyn

  30. G’day Peter – I sent you an email – hope you get it – I sudah tua lah. Thanks Peter I did get in touch with Ozzie and his brother Willy and exchanged pictures. Dot nice to hear from you and do send me your email so we can gossip about the good old days. My email is jessie.boudville@dotars.gov.au



  31. Evelyn,
    Thank you. Peace be with you.

    Yes, I received your email. Peace be with you too. You guys ar having fun here huh! 😀

  32. Dear all,

    At last we are all getting togther by the power of St. Annes. I am the youngest of the Scully family from B.M. Anyone out there that know me please be free to write to me.
    Will Sully AKA Jonah

  33. Dear Peter,
    I do hope that you are feeling well today. Thanks to your site that we were able to contact old friends and family. How this site has brought back memories of my childhood, I could not put down in words! St. Anne is great, me having been brought up in B.M. and being an altar boy like my brothers and knowing the Boudvilles who live across the road from us!!! Need I say more! I reside in the UK now and refer to this site regularly! I am going to be there this year so if we could meet, it would be a bonus. Take care and God Bless.

    William Scully

  34. Gday Willy and Peter – I will be meeting up with Peter when I get to BM and he kindly gave me his mobile number so maybe we all can meet up – maybe we can make a day/time closer to our BM visit – whatcha think!!

  35. jessie,

    Yes, it would be great as specially when norman is gonna be there too!
    See you all!


  36. Gday Peter – I did make it to St Anne’s this year and the crowd must have doubled coz it was jam packed up to the other church near Kim Seng School. Time got away from me and never got to meeting up with you but a bonus when Willy Scully from London, Norman Cornelius from Melbourne Australia and Agnes from UK came to visit me in BM was a great reunion.

    Take care


  37. Taking about St Anne… incidentally does anyone have a picture of how St Anne’s front gate looks like? If you do please e-mail it to me, at xlstwigi@yahoo.com Thanks!

  38. I am from BM, lived at Kulim Road near Mobil Gas Station and attended Kim Seng School.
    As far as I know most people in BM prat at St Anne regardless of their religions or faiths.

  39. Hi,

    I’m Theresa Chin from Kuching. We would like to visit St.Ann church this coming 20/4 Thursday. Can you Please give me some information about the budget hotel/motel near by St. Ann church? we planing to stay one night at Bukit Mertajam. Thank you.

  40. Hi, my husband and I would like to visit St Anne Feast this year, but we are not sure which is the actual date. Can you kindly let us know when is the date and time? So we can plan our journey to BM. This Feast really mean a lot to us. Thank you.

    The Feast of St. Anne is on July 26.

  41. Hi! Peter, peace be with you! My husband, cousin and I would like to attend St Anne’s feast on the 26th. We would be grateful if you could help us with information as how to get there from KL, where to park and if we want to attend the 8pm mass followed by the candlelight procession, what time do you reckon we should be in BM? I understand there is a 6pm mass before that. Thank you so much. God bless.

    The church website (http://www.stannebm.org/) has a map and programmes for St. Anne’s Feast. I apologise for not being able to provide more information than this.

  42. Thank U Peter for this website. I wld like to write to St Anne’s Church Office where they
    could help me. I wld like to know the email address of the office Hope U will help me
    Thanks a lot Regards

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