Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Scenes - Sarikei Post Office

Sarikei Old Post Office 2007. Now a Telecom office.
The old letter boxes were in the area below the air cons (before the wall was pushed out). A telephone booth next to the letter boxes was often vandalised.
The car park was a grass area where I used to play sabut (local baseball) with my Land Dayak and Cantonese friends.

owadays when you meet your old friends in Sarikei, a common topic is the game site, group site, website or blog that you surf. Before that, it was whether you had a handphone. Before the handphone, it was whether you had an email address. Before the email address, it was whether you had a business name card. Before the namecard, it was whether you had a post letter box number.

Sarikei New Post Office 2007. Find the green letter boxes.
Before the internet and instant gratification, there were snail mails where people really put pen to paper and you could actually feel the warmth of a hand written letter you receive and every letter was worth its long awaited arrival. In the 70's, it was popular to have out of town and overseas penpals with whom you exchanged photos, stamps, cards, bookmarks, stickers, coins and small gifts (that arrived as registered articles for collection from the post office).
How many of you have collected telegrams from the post office in the 60-70s? Telegraphy messages sent by the operators using Morse code were known as telegrams. Later, telegrams sent by the Telex network, a switched network of teleprinters similar to the telephone network, were known as telex messages.

Sarikei letter boxes 2007.
Find the old and new letter boxes.
Click to enlarge. Click back arrow to come back.

The Sarikei Post Office had 200 old letter boxes and all had been taken up by businesses and government agencies. Residential and rural folks tend to make use of other businesses' post offices. An example was the Culture Bookstore (was at 15 Repok Rd) which kindly let rural folks use their post office number and the folks collected their letters from a box in front of the book store. The 200 old post offices boxes were preserved and brought to their new location at the new post office. Check the 200 key holes of the old letter boxes (thickand round type of keys) versus the key holes of the new post office boxes (thin and flat type of keys). Interesting nugget of trivia. (The rental is MYR50/year in 2011.)

Sarikei New Post Office 2007 - Interior.
Spot Brazil's #10 (Ronaldinho) and Star Wars' Darth Vader (with helmet)

The new post office (along the same street as the old post office) was opened on 15 Sep 1982. It has a queuing system and a glass partition. I think you can buy Air Asia budget airline tickets from there too for those who don't have access to internet or don't know what the heck is the internet. Can anyone confirm?

Sarikei New Post Office 2007 - exterior

Oh, please excuse me, I have got mail. I think the cheque is in the mail. Or are they more bills to pay?


Daniel Yiek said...

I'm back from Xian, China. The teracotta soldiers were awesome. The whole city sits on history. My PC was out of action due to a battery problem ... luckily not a hard disk crash.

I bet you wont expect a blog post on the local post office. It's really quite an important piece of Sarikei history before the internet.

Kanga said...

My family has the old post office box. We had 2 keys but lost one. I asked the post office for the master key to cut a duplicate and they said its not there anymore. I finally sourced two blanks, one from Sarikei and one from Kuching. I cut the two spare keys using the only key left and return one key to the Post Office for safe keeping. So folks if you have the old post office boxes, look after yor key(s)!!!!
I also recalled the early days of 'fighting' to buy the latest release of stamps and 'first-day' issues at the old Post Office. Remember a guy by the name of 'Ah Mat' who worked there and dished out letters correctly to almost everyone in Sarikei?

Anonymous said...

'Ah Mat' should be Mr. Kong who stays in Nyelong Park. We have personalized delivery those days.

Daniel Yiek said...

My family has a PO Box too. I think it costs RM$30 per year to keep.

I just received 1966-1968 pics of the Post Office from a Sarikei reader! Stay tuned. ;-)

nelson said...

hi daniel,
regarding your march 18 2007 post, i couldn't enlarge the 2nd photo. =) pls rectify it.
thanks in advance.

Lidasar said...

In the same building next door to the post office is the telegram office; guess not everyone knows what a telegram is, am I correct?

Daniel Yiek said...

Have added an extra clickable photo at the 18 Mar post. Have fun spotting the people u know!

That's the only way to resolve the random bug in Blogger. I tried shifting photos around but didnt work so I added an extra (same)pic at the top.

nelson said...

thanks man! keep up ur good job!

fred said...

hm.. I can see our P.O box. :)

Anonymous said...

Hey, U took photo of my PO BOX, must pay $.Dua puluh ringgit!!

Ivy Kong said...

Hi, I am "Ah Mat" or "Mr. Kong" 's daughter. So glad to read good thing people said about my dad. Believe it or not, my dad memorized it all by heart which PO Box # belongs to who. I remember my classmates were "extra nice" to me whenever there were "First Day Cover" and I remember helping my dad putting stamps on the envelope. I think we might have some pictures of my older brothers and sisters playing outside of the old post office but there are back at home in Nyelong Park. Would you still want it anytime from now?

Daniel Yiek said...

Welcome! Definitely would love to have any old photos to keep memories of Sarikei fresh! Pls take digital photos using close range mode and email to dyiek@hotmail.com

Then I will figure out where and how to use the old pictures in this blog.


mee khing said...

Hi Ivy,

Hope you can read this:-

As a kid, I used to watch your dad " ah mat" passing by our shop at whsrf road. I used to correspond with pen pals at that tender age 16 -17 years of age. Dated back then was 1974 when I was still in Skei., The sight of your dad cladded in his brown post office uniform raced my heart in anticipation for letters from pals within Sarawak. Remember he wore a pair of glasses and has a light mouthache...

During those era, no internet connection , the only way out to keep in touch were to write.

Ah mat were almost a family friend of each of us in Skei . He is my dad close friend.

Here may I ask, how is your dad these days. I would like to say "Thk you to him"

mee King

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