Picture 2 - Long ago, I remember St. Anne Church was small with everyone just gathering on the steps of stairs leading up to the Church and staying there on overnight during St. Anne's festival.
Picture 1 - Today, it has grown with a new Church with a large plaza for the large number of people who come here on the annual festival of St. Anne's Day.
Though the new church is bigger, the small older one always seem more significant and meaningful.
One year there was a tragedy when overcrowding at the passenger ferry terminal caused the collapse of the wooden flooring leading to death and injury. That year, many people were trying to get to the Penang Mainland to the St. Anne's festival while others were trying to get to Penang Island for the Birthday of the Goddess of Mercy celebrationg. Both events were happening on the same day. Today, the new passenger terminal has concrete floors.
Bukit Mertajam is famous for secondary schools in Penang Mainland for decades.
The Jit Sin Secondary School (formerly a Chinese medium schoo), Bukit Mertajam High School and BM Convent School (both formerly English medium schools).
It was in Bukit Mertajam where the first experimental governemnt project of a fully residential science secondary school in Penang was located and built.
Many students from smaller neighboring towns in Penang and Kedah would come here to attend schools as the bigger schools have classes in Form Four and above as well as Sixth Forms which were preparatory A-level classes for universities.
In the picture, the Jit Sin (Private) School is located right in the heart of town.
Bukit Mertajam was a major railway hub for both passengers and cargo.
If you drive to Bukit Mertajam, you will encounter a surprising number of railway crossings everywhere. There is one coming from the short cut from Permatang Tinggi and two coming from Permatang Tengah.
Reason is that the railway track from Singapore, Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok passes through and it is the major stop in Penang. The railway terminus from Butterworth joined up the main line at Bukit Mertajam.
Nowadays, there are more road overhead bridges over railway tracks and train passenger have dwindled. The golden age of railway has passed.