Friday, January 8, 2016

Semarang Weeskamer, Served The Cities for Almost Hundred of Year

Semarang Wees- en Boedelkamer buildings in 1910. (source: Leiden University Library)

It was institution named Wees- en Boedelkamers, means the board in charge of orphans and property in trust. Nowadays, we known this institution changed the name into Lembaga Balai Harta Peninggalan, in Semarang, located in Jalan Hanoman 25. This institution is under the Ministry of Law and Human Rights, and one’s of the oldest institution that still running its role nowadays. Wess en Boedelkamer or also known as Weeskamer is established during the period of Vereenigde Oost Indische Compagnie (VOC), in the 17th century.  At that times, there is needs for the population, especially among the Dutch people, to takes care of their wealth that about inheritable to their heirs, either here in Dutch Indies, or in Netherlands, for the orphaned childern, and so on.Thus they formed the Wesskamer institution on October 1st, 1624, in Jakarta under the rule of Pieter de Carpentier as the Governor-General of Dutch Indies.

Charles Ferdinand Pahud, Governor General
of  Dutch Indies 1856-1861.
Here in Semarang, the Weeskamer is established in May 17th 1763. Through the Weeskamer, the wealth of every citizens in a city is recorded, as well about their private life, likely a civil administration role at this time. Yap, Dutch people having a good reputation in about these administratie thingy. Here, in the Weeskamer of Semarang, there’s a story about Daniel Abraham Ferdinand Pahud, that became the Head of this institutions in the early of 19th century. His sons, Charles Ferdinand Pahud later became Governor-General of Dutch Indies from  1856-1861. Under His rules in Dutch Indies, the slavery were abolished in 1860.

But where’s the location of the Weeskamer buildings in Semarang? Just like nowadays, the institution is under the Ministry of Law and Human Rights, at that time the Weeskamer commonly situated near the Courts facilities. Here in Semarang, the Weeskamer is located next to the Centraal Gevangenis, the major prison in Semarang, in Jurnatan. Unfortunately, there’s no proof anymore about this building. The building has long time ago demolished, just like my post here before, that Jurnatan, is one’s of the biggest loss in Semarang, related to the Historical sites. Above the sites now is turned into the busy business district. 
Komplek Pertokoan Jurnatan, one's of the busiest business district in Semarang, built above the sites of demolished Weeskamer of Semarang and also the Centraal Gevangenis of Semarang.

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