Gurney Drive was named after Sir Henry Gurney, a Malayan High Commissioner who was assassinated by the guerrillas of the Malayan Communist Party during the Emergency period in the early 1950s. It sits on a reclaimed land created off Teluk Ayer Rajah, the bay that curves between George Town and Tanjung Tokong. The intention to build a coastal road was already in the plans as early as 1930 after the idea of extending North Beach, as Northam Road (now Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah) was called. Gurney Drive was once a sandy beach where people could collect seashells i.e. siput remis or small mussels which were abundant back then. The sea water was so clean and pollution-free that it became a venue for dragon boat races from the 1960s to 1980s. Back then people would swim in the sea and fishermen would return to the beach with their catches, especially for fishes and king crabs along the shore. Gurney Drive also had many prominent pre-war houses, colonial bungalows and the Catholic College General Complex.
This site visit will see three prominent speakers : Dato’ Anwar Fazal, Dato’ Dr Leong Yueh Kwong and Anil Netto. They will talk about the past, present and future of Gurney Drive, especially on the present works to reclaim land along the coast of the Drive.
Location map for Mr Pot’s Cafe: