Malaysia, formerly known as Malaya
Malaysia was formerly Malaya. The Federation of Malaya achieved independence on August 31, 1957. On September 16, 1963, the independent Federation of Malaysia was formed following the merger of Singapore, Sarawak and North Borneo (Sabah) with the Federation of Malaya. Singapore was expelled from the Federation and became an independent country in August 1965.
When did the workers first arrive? 1932
Who were the first brother workers? Lindsay Stratford and Bert Cameron (from Australia)
Who were the first sister workers? Unknown if any before WWII. After the war: Norma Loechel (1946) and Daphne Bonney (1948).
Who was the first to profess?
Who was the first native to go in the work?
When & Where was the first meeting?
When & Where was the first baptism?
When & Where was the first convention?
Where have subsequent conventions been held?
Where is the convention currently held? In 2020: Port Dickson, Peninsular; Kota Kinabalu, Sabah; Bintulu, Sarawak; Kuching, Sarawak.
Who have the Overseers been? Alex Mitchell was the Overseer of Singapore, Malaysia, Borneo, Thailand and Vietnam until 1974 when his memory failed. He returned to New Zealand where he died in 1980, aged 84. Les Hawse, from Victoria, Australia, went to Malaysia in 1947 where he was overseer.
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In 1932, Lindsay Stratford and Bert Cameron (from Australia) were the first Workers to arrive in Malaya. Arthur Shearer (from Australia) arrived in 1937 and Archie Wilson (from New Zealand) in 1940. When the Japanese invaded Malaya in January 1942, Lindsay Stratford was in Singapore. He attempted to escape by ship, but unfortunately, the ship was sunk and those on board were presumed drowned.
Lindsay Stratford from South Australia was a brother to Reg. He started in the work in Queensland in 1928 and went Malaya in 1932. In January 1942, in the face of Japanese onslaught, he attempted to escape by ship from Singapore. Unfortunately, the ship was sunk and those on board presumed drowned.
Bert Cameron born in 1883 in Tasmania, professed through Adam Hutchison in 1915 and went into the Work in 1923. In 1932 he went to Malaya and was there in 1942 when the Japanese overran the country.
Overseer: Alex Mitchell was born in Scotland, immigrated to New Zealand, professed in 1921 and entered the Work in 1922. After a year in Victoria, Australia, he and Jack Trigg pioneered Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) in 1927. He then went to Singapore in 1936 (possibly the first Worker to go there), where apart from home visits, he spent the rest of his days in the Work. From 1942 to 1945, he was interned in Changi Camp, Singapore. He was the Overseer of Singapore, Malaysia, Borneo, Thailand and Vietnam until 1974 when his memory failed. He returned to New Zealand where he died in 1980, aged 84.
1937. Arthur Shearer, from New South Wales, Australia, entered the work in 1925. In 1929, he went to Sri Lanka. In 1937 he crossed over to Singapore and Malaya. He was there at the time of Japanese invasion of January 1942, and with his companion Archie Wilson was interned with Alex Mitchell and later Bert Cameron in Changi Camp until mid 1945. After he was liberated, he returned to NSW, AU, to recuperate. In 1946, he returned to Sri Lanka where he was the Overseer until 1973 when he returned to NSW. He was succeeded by Harry Morgan. Arthur remained active in the work until 1977; he died in 1983, aged 86.
1940 & 1947. Archie Wilson, from New Zealand, started in the Work in 1938 and went to Malaya in 1940. With several other workers (Arthur Shearer, Alex Mitchell and later Bert Cameron), he was interned by the Japanese in Changi Camp from early 1942 to mid-1945. After a year home in NZ in 1947 he returned to Malaya. In 1962, he went to Thailand where he continued in the work until he died of leukaemia in 1971.
After WWII (1939–1945), Workers from Australia and New Zealand resumed missions in Malaya. Edgar Bell, Dan McNab and Norma Loechel arrived in 1946. The following year Archie Wilson, Arthur Lomas and Daphne Bonney arrived. Fred Allen was there from 1954 to 1957.
1946. Norma Loechel started in the work in Australia in 1933, went to New Zealand in 1939, then to Malaya in 1946 where she continued to labour for 35 years until 1981 when she returned to South Australia.
1946. Edgar Bell, from Australia, started in the work in 1936. In 1946 he went to Malaya and in 1956 to Thailand where he and Ralph Joll became the pioneers of that country. He continued there until 1986 when he was no longer able to preach and returned to South Australia where he died in 1991.
1946. Dan McNab, from Australia, started preaching in 1936, and in 1946, he went to Malaysia. He spent some time in Sabah and the Philippines.
1946? Lucian Garth, from Sri Lanka, went in the work in 1938 and to Singapore that same year, where he remained throughout the Japanese occupation but was not interned. Apart from home visits to Sri Lanka he continued laboring in Malaysia.
1947. Arthur Lomas, from New Zealand, started preaching in 1939 and went to Malaysia in 1947. He returned to NZ in 1982 where he continued laboring.
1947. Les Hawse, from Victoria, Australia, started in the work in 1927. He went to Malaysia in 1947 where he was overseer.
1947. Susan McCall, from Australia, started in the work in 1929, went to Malaysia in 1947 and returned to Victoria, AU, in 1955 where she continued to preach until 1984.
1948. Daphne Bonney, from South Australia, started in 1946 and in 1948 went to Malaya.
1946? Maurice Bowyer, from Australia, started in the work in 1939. He and Stan Berriman went to Burma after the war, but they were unable to stay. After a year in India, he preached several years in Malaya followed by a time in Sarawak.
1950. Cooper Sandosham, from Malaysia, started preaching in 1950. He studied dentistry before going in the work. He labored in Indonesia and Sabah (North Borneo) and died in 1981, aged 64.
1953-56. Ralph Joll, from New Zealand, entered the work in 1950, went to Sabah in 1953, and to Malaysia in 1956.
1954. Fred Allen, from Australia, went to Malaya in 1954, and from there to Vietnam in 1957 where he pioneered the Work until 1975, when all foreigners were evacuated due to the VN war. He returned to the work in Australia.
1957. Jean Hogg, from Australia, started in the work in 1944 and went to Sri Lanka in 1947. In 1957 she crossed to Malaysia where she spent the next 20 years. In 1976 she returned to preach in Victoria, AU.
1962. Jean Gordon, from Australia, entered the work in 1951, went to Malaysia in 1962, then returned in 1975 to the work in South Australia.
1966. Gladys Randall started in the work in South Australia in 1961. In 1966, she went to Malaysia where she preached for nine years.
1970. Ray Cruickshank, from Australia, started in the work in 1966, went to Malaysia in 1970, then to Indonesia in 1987 but was unable to stay in the country. He returned to Victoria, AU, where he continued in the work.
1978. Alan Ritson, from Tasmania, started in the work in 1970. In 1978 he went to Malaysia. In 1991 he returned to Tasmania. In 1992, he went to preach in Ohio, US.
1980. Graeme Thompson, from New Zealand, entered the work in 1977, went to Malaysia in 1980, then to Australia in July 1990 when his 10 years expired.
Additional or corrected information on this country will be very welcome.
TTT Editor's Note: In the absence of a written account, the above information has been compiled by the TTT Editor from various sources. Corrections or additions are most welcome; as well as other historical accounts for this country Email TTT