Our next destination is the St. Michael's and All Angels Church located near the Sandakan town. It is one of the oldest building in Sandakan dated more than 100 years and had survived from WW II in 1940. In fact, it's first construction began in 1893 and took almost 30 years to complete. The designer was Mr B. W. Mountfort.
The church was recognised as one of the world's heritage since 2005. One word when you arrive at this church is beautiful. You won't be seeing any other alike structure in Sandakan. This stone building was in fact underwent revolution from timber, brick and finally stone upon completion.
The main entrance or the Western porch was not completed until 1925 which was 32 years from the initiation of the construction. The church is among the very few stone buildings in the whole Sabah that remained and survived from major destruction due to war.
Upon stepping into the church, one will be amazed with the interior design inside. The church though dated more than 100 years, still look brand new, clean and well maintained. In fact, it was our first time stepping into a church (for most of us) and we were delighted by the environment here.
The brown, shiny benches were said to dated more than 100 years and part of it were actually survived from destruction during the war time. That was indeed so amazing! I never thought that Sandakan town was under Japanese occupation previously. Sandakan itself has a lot of stories to offer but our History book did not provide extensive coverage of foreigners' occupation in Sabah and Sarawak in pre-independence time. That's pretty sad.
To commemorate the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II, the Australians had donated the beautiful stained glasses windows inside the church.
We were so lucky on the day of the visit as it coincided with the Wedding Ceremony of Mr. Marc and Ms. Helen. We took the opportunity the witness the Christian Wedding for the very first time. One thing I like about Sabah and Sarawak is that they have religion freedom and free from political influence not like in West Malaysia. The people here are truly 1 Malaysia as they can mix around and even marry together despite differences in race or religion. In Sabah, I observed many small church are built in small settlement whereas in West Malaysia like Kelantan, establishment of churches especially in rural areas need to undergo long application and usually disallowed in order to keep and maintain............. (fill in your answer).
We managed to take pictures with these bunch of kids which were involved in the wedding ceremony. What do we call them? Bride and bridegroom followers?
Mr Marc was waiting anxiously for the arrival of his bride. As you can seen in TV, the bride's father will accompany the bride to enter into the hall with little kids marching at front.
The kids especially the very front little boy was very cute and chubby! Let's see how these nervous looking kids performed.
The scripts were displayed to public.
The bridegroom and bride took turn to say 'I will'. I was wondering why they use I will instead of I do.
Ring exchanging and kissing part. xD
Congratulations! You two are now pronounced as HUSBAND and WIFE!
The newly wed couples and their family members shook hands with friends and relatives as gesture of thanking them as they walked out from the church. We, the outsiders were being thanked too.
A group photo with the priest and his family. Priest or pastor? (I'm not sure). Initially, we were seated at the most far end of the hall with the visitors tagged benches. The priest came over us and asked our origin before asking us to seat in front.
While most of them were now at the main entrance for photo taking session I supposed, we took the opportunity to take pictures at the grandstand of the hall.
Wa...felt so warm!
Later on, the whole bunch of people came back into the church for another photo session.
The earlier photo taking session started with closest family members to relatives and to friends. We then walked out and took pictures outside of the church.
Pretty ladies... phewittt!!
The best part of life is to find your Mr/ Ms Right and be with him/her forever as well as to have own family. That the destiny we aimed for but when will be our time really need to test our patience. I do believe in faith and hope the Mighty God will reveal to me soon.
We then headed back to the church to take the picture with the bridegroom and bride.
Congratulations to the newly wed couple!! May both of you live together forever.
Ever since the declaration as World Heritage and Sabah Tourist spot, the church has imposed a quite high entrance fees to the public which I think is totally ridiculous. RM 10 for Malaysian with MyKad and exorbitant charges of RM 30 for foreigners were totally ignorant of the actual meaning and function of the church. The church shall welcome anyone who like to see its beauty and to study in depth of the church. If a high running costs are to be considered, well I supposed most of the church is run by public donations.
This is the picture taken during my visit to St. Michael's Church on Christmas Eve. It was my very first time too to witness the whole procession of 'Silence Night'.
Oh yeah, before it was too late. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2011!!!!