Friday, January 02, 2009

My home town - Sarikei

I left Sarikei in 1971. That was so many years ago. At that time, Sarikei was a rather boring small town with just a couple of rows of old shop houses.

The major industry then was farming and still is. Their town symbol is pineapple and they do produce some of the best pineapple in this region. We planted pepper, vegetables and tap rubber for a living.

The original Nyelong bridge had served its useful life. It was commissioned around 1962. The horizontal beams were badly corroded. It was 1967 when the villagers noticed some godly tortoise in the water. My second brother told me that he actually saw the tortoise as early as 1965. Words spread like wild fire and there were so many people rushing to the bridge to look for the creature. Actually, there were some coloured (red) tortoises. But the superstitious people started going there to worship!!! Oh... forgot to tell you... you notice the road bend to the right? We stayed around the bend.

This is the Kwang Eng Methodist Church of Sg. Nyelong which is just opposite our house. It is now much nicer. The first pastor was Rev John Hockinson from UK (Manchester). He spoke perfect Cantonese and mandarin. He used to give me RM1 for helping him to buy some simple grocery once a week. That was when I was in primary school.

Reaching Jakar /Bulat junction, I saw this big notice board on road accident. They have stamina to update only once in January 2008. So, what is the use to put up these things if they can't maintain the information.

We visited our ex secondary school... St. Anthony of Sarikei. I thought that all the buildings had been replaced. But to our surprise...

... the old science block is still there. I think this was built in 195x. The furniture was still the same...

Sarikei Methodist town church is perhaps one of the oldest around. This is where I received my primary education ... Methodist Anglo Chinese School of Sarikei. I can still remember that the church was used for year end prize giving. In front of the church was a huge fig tree.

The wharf is now a little better and more modern. But the mode of water transportation didn't change much.

... speed boat, express boat powered by huge engines... Going to Sibu used to be by boat only. I remembered that it took the whole morning to use a slow boat to travel to Sibu in the 60s. Now, the fast boat took about 1:30hours.


FM Luder said...

It's sometimes nice to know that some things don't change, i.e. the science block in your old school. We get used to things being developed, redeveloped, generated and then regenarated all the time that certain things built years ago have stood the test of time =)

flower, gan en methodist said...

hei william, happy new year to u and family. i did not know that u are originally from sarikei. yea, sarikei changes a lot. i used to read this blog sarikei-time-capsule.blogspot. have a nice day.

Borneo Falcon said...

I never had a good tour around Sarikei. Mostly just passing by. Thinking about exploring this town in near future

Mrcoolku said...

wow, its really a long times ago where i even not born yet. I seems like listening story from granpa and i love to know more about it. :)

I also plan to visit sarikei when back to sarawak this year. Just been there once only. :(

William said...

AT... orange town... I haven't been there for a long time already. Next time, if I go, I will snap some pic.Orange town reminded me of the favorite "spot" orange soft drink in bottles.
FM Luder, yes, I was surprised to see the old building still standing.

Flower, happy new year to you too! I used to have a black and white aerial photo taken by me back in 1972. Unfortunately I couldn't find it anymore.

Borneo Falcon, the best time to explore Sarikei is in the morning along Nyelong park open market. You can buy lots of things there. Very interesting place. If I am not mistaken, Sarikei is the fourth largest town in Sarawak.

Mrcoolku, thanks for liking my commentary. Ya... true grandpa story. When I visited Sibu, my friend's mum, who is 76, shared her wisdom with me. Unfortunately it is diff to translate as there are many foochow terms which I have no idea what is the best English match. Perhaps I will blog about it one day.

Whoever visit Sarikei, don't forget to enjoy the good and cheap food there.

Daniel Yiek said...

I like this post because it's on Sarikei. :) By the way, those are swiftlets, not swallows, in the previous post.

William said...

Daniel, Thanks for telling me that. Indeed you are right.

gammerth said...

My hometown lor... :O)