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.