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Ruth’s Labour of Love

Thinking Allowed
By Mariam Mokhtar
In 2009, Ruth Iversen Rollitt, the daughter of one of Malaya’s most distinguished architects, Berthel Michael Iversen, was in Ipoh attending a ‘brainstorming meeting’ organised by the then chairman of the Perak Heritage Society, Law Siak Hong. Amazed at the rich legacy left by Iversen, publisher Khoo Salma Nasution of ARECA books, who was also present, told Ruth, “I would like to publish a book about Iversen!”
Five years later, after many trips to Malaysia, working with Salma and her team in Penang, and correspondence via the internet, Ruth’s labour of love, called Iversen: Architect of Ipoh and Modern Malaya will be launched, in March at four locations, Penang, Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur and London.
The 230-page book, is a pictorial feast of both black and white, and coloured photographs, from the albums which Ruth’s mother compiled for her father. Ruth said, “It had taken at least three years to publish and contains excerpts from my father’s letters to his mother and also pages from his book

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