Monday, January 08, 2007

View - Sarikei Central Road 1965 circa

Sarikei Central Road and padang (field) - 1965 circa.
Click picture to enlarge. Click "back arrow" to come back.

his rare photo was taken from the telecom tower, the tallest structure Sarikei. Find the Rejang River (surrounded by Nipah palms) flowing west towards the Rejang mouth. This photo shows about half of downtown Sarikei then. Check out the red bean trees around the padang. This photo is not dated so let's put on our detective cap and estimate the year it was shot via the process of elimination.
  • 2003 circa - The basketball stadium was demolished to build shops.
  • 1987-1988 - Sarikei Civic Centre was constructed on the padang.
  • 1983 circa - Cathay cinema was burned down.
  • 1978-1979 - Southern Hotel (block 3, Repok Road) was converted to 4 storeys (behind the goal at the padang (left in picture)
  • 1974 - A stage was built under the red bean trees next to the padang (left in picture; opposite Cathay) for Governor's birthday celebrations. It was kept for activities till the early 1980's.
  • 1962 - Mr. Titus & Mr/Mrs Ignatius started teaching at St Anthony's.

Sarikei Wharf Road - 1965 (circa) Rejang River view

So the time frame was between 1962-1974. Was it 1960's or 1970's? The clues:
  • Slanted parking of antiquated cars on Central Road in front of Cathay => 1960's
  • Roads were unpaved around the basketball stadium => 1960's
  • The 2 blocks of Wharf Road shops facing Sarikei Wharf Terminal 1 had the same unmatched colour for the roof tiles as the above 1965 picture
The verdict: the picture was shot circa 1965 (+/- 2 years). I rest my case, your honour.

Your thoughts?


gongpiang said...

Oh yes this is the Sarikei I know and I have to correct you for the most prominent tree seen at the corner of the padang is not a red seed tree. I don’t know the name of the tree but I could still remember the tree trunk has layer and layer of thin bark that appear to be peeling off.

Kanga said...

I gaze at the photo and stretch my imagination. It suddenly comes to life in front of me!
Basketball stadium:midday wedding celebration is on, food delivered on bicycle from that restaurant (its in your view)along the road to the stadium. Afternoon; bicycles arriving with riders, and basketball tacked under the bicycle frame and its game on! Evening; yes! the sound of that unforgetable 'night come fragance'.
Cathay Cinema:Saturday afternoon show, all $0.50 per entry. Evening show;front-$0.50, followed by $1.00 and upstairs $1.50. Show ends, lights on, the sound of cinema chairs flipping down fill the air.
Padang:Helicopters landing, drills by Malaysian Arm Forces/HMS Royal Gurkhas Rifle Regiment/Sarawak Rangers. The Sarawak Police Field Force Music Band plays from twilight to darkness (remember the lights on their forehand? now you see them now you don't as they marched to the music!). Soccer games, school sports days....
THEN I BLINKED. Oh! Basketball studium=>Everise, Padang=>Civic Centre, and Cinema=>4 storey block!

Can someone confirm if the photo was taken in the morning or afternoon? (Check out the shadow of the trees).
After my long winded comments, Daniel, photo taken in 1965? yes, close enough for me.

gongpiang said...

I can confirm from the shadow of the flag pole the picture is taken in the morning, could be as early as 8am.

Yes Cathay Cinema, I recall an old man sitting at the middle of the $0.50 seat every afternoon without fail & the funny thing is he is there for his afternoon nap.

Daniel Yiek said...

I wanted to hold back posting this pic for later days but this rare gem had to be shared asap!

Folks, very nolstalgic feedback!

The loss of the Cathay facade was huge as it had an unique architecture. Analogy: It's like New York losing the art deco State Empire and Chrysler buildings. Cathay cinema's old wooden seats had lots of bugs/lice(?) in the later days. The $1 and $1.50 tix later became $1.1 and $1.6 but 10cents went a long way in those days.

Yes, the pic was shot in the morning as the rising sun was in the east on the right. The long shadow of the pole showed it was early am. Note: The Rejang flows west to the Rejang mouth in the pic.

Philip said...

The shop opposite the basketball court was owned by my grand parents many years ago. There are lots of red seed tree around. That was in 1973 when I remember moving in to stay with my grandparents. So i guess the picture could be taken in the region of 1960-1980. Sorry for the long range! We use to challenge the malay boys to a football match...but always lose-something like 9-0! The malay boys got strong legs. On one occasion, we lose only 2-0. We were so happy as if we had won the match! Then I always go upstair to the back balcony to watch any football matches.

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