The History of Depok Lama


It began at the end of 17th century (some say on 18 May 1696, some 13 March 1675), there was a Dutch merchant, ex VOC, his name is Cornelis Chastelein. He bought lands at Jatinegara, Kampung Melayu, Karanganyar, Pejambon, Mampang & Depok (This are the name of suburb surrounding Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia).
He bought Depok for 700 ringgit and it was his private land, it was not the case of the land own by the Dutch authority. To maintain the prosperous land which consisted of wide wet rice field he definitely required workers. Chastelein recruits about 150 workers from Sulawesi island, Kalimantan island, Bali island and Betawi. Since then Chastelein became the landlord. He also established Depok government.

Pemuda street & GPIB Immanuel Church
The land under Chastelein rule was known as Het Gemeente Bestuur van Het Pariculiere Land Depok. Apparently the Dutch government in Batavia approved Chastelein action and made him as Depok first president.
Before Chastelein pass away in 28 June 1714, he had prepared a testament which states the freedom of all his workers with their family. He was then made all the workers become Christian and the leader of each family have to use this name:
SOEDIRA
LEANDER
LAURENS
JONATHANS
LOEN
THOLENSE
SAMUEL
JOSEPH
BACAS
JAKOB
ISAKH
ZADOKH
At that time, the Dutch government general was furious because Chastelein had given the property rights of Depok land to all his workers. The Dutch General had tried to deny the testament because according to the Dutch Kingdom law, an outsider could not inherited property of a Dutchman.
Finally the Dutch government was flexible and gave the right to the workers to use the given land and they also can benefit from the harvest. As the time passing, the right to use the given land had changed became the right to own the given land. During the Dutch government period, the workers can live comfortable, got jobs at the administration offices, and became a wealthy farmer which own tens hectare of field.

the building of Rumah Sakit Harapan (Hospital) (it use to be the Depok goverment house)
But when Japan conquered Indonesia, the workers started to have difficulties in their life. It reach the climax in the Indonesian Independence day.
People that live in neighboring cities attack Depok, because the Dutch had given the workers a good life for more than 2 centuries. Lots of Depok peoples were killed and lost a lot of their belongings. In 4 August 1952, the Indonesian government gave a compensation of Rp. 229.261,26. Started that day, all the private land became the property of the Indonesian government, except a view lands and buildings (Church, School, etc.).
At that time the LCC (Lembaga Cornelis Chastelein) was establish, an organization which organize the school, resting place, and the welfare of native Depok Lama people.

Football field and Rest Place/Cemetery
Physically Depok had growth rapidly, in year 1982 Depok had became Administration City and now Depok become an Independent City. Although Depok had suffered a lot of pain during the Indonesian Independence day, Depok’s young generation which inheriting the given Depok’s family names, now become a good Indonesian Citizen and always take part in the development of the Republic of Indonesia in many sector. Depok’s people also remain to be a good Christian as you can find there are a lot of churches reside in Depok Lama.

edited by Han Soedira

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