About the meaning of battery, the battery that refers to artillery battery. That is a unit of weapons [guns, mortars, or rockets] that assembled in order to facilitate the better battlefield communication, command, and control, also to provide spreading for its constituent gunnery crews and their systems. Definitely, it is a defensive military work constructed for the purposes of strengthening a position.
THE BATTERY OF ANTJOL [TANDJONGPRIOK WEST]
Post World War I [1914-1918], the government of Netherlands Indies prepared the breezing of Pacific War, the Japanese threaten. Three batteries were built in Batavia: Antjol, Kalibaroe, and Soengai Bamboe. However, Japanese never fleet in Antjol, so the battery will be neglected. Now, the rest of battery is only in Antjol. The condition of this battery is deteriorating in every single day.
Today we found only the remnants of east building. However the south, north, and west buildings have been demolished because the development of harbor tollroad and the houses. What a pitty!
FIRST OBSERVATION: 2nd of September 2007
I was accompanied by Pak Kedi, a carpenter who works in Antjol but his family lives in Kalijati-West Java. He showed me the location of the battery. It is neglected building, today many homeless live within the battery.
SECOND OBSERVATION: 27th of July 2008
I and John Verbeek visited this battery. Damn! We found that most of hinge doors have been stolen. The condition is getting worst.
THE ATTENTION: IF WE DON’T CARE, THE BATTERY WILL BE PERISHED ANYWAY
We need our concern about this “disarmament” which happened in the battery of Antjol. Ironically, the book “Sejarah Teluk Jakarta” that published by the Bureau of Museum and History in 1996 explained that this battery is a part of the historical building surrounding Jakarta Bay. So, where is the government’s responsibility regarding the preservation of heritage building? There is no controlling to maintain the meaning of heritage building.
However, this is not only mission between me and John Verbeek, this is your mission as well. Because this mission message will be delivered to our next generation.
Are there caring communities for heritage building in Jakarta? What should we do?