Thursday, May 03, 2007

Scenes - Sarikei Chinese Chamber of Commerce 1937

Sarikei Chinese Chamber of Commerce. 23 Apr 1937
Front: L1黃天龍 L2 林日昇 L3 林少如 (Sponsor) L4 林照邊
Back: L1 羅亞貴 L2 詹桂章 L3 陳敬信 L4 邱炳農 L5 黃可川 Wong Koh Chiong
L6 鍾(廣南濟) L10 王仰華 L11 吳(恆安)
Click to enlarge. Click back arrow to come back
Source: Ikan Sembilang


A
reader sent in this picture on the first Sarikei Chinese Chamber of Commerce. The year was Ming Kuo 1926 which means 1911+26 = 1937. (The year follows Dr Sun Yat Seng’s revolution starting from 1911) This must be the Chinese Hall mentioned in the Kwang Chien school website.

It was on stilts over the peat swamp to avoid the floods. You can expect mudskippers and local crab (kamat in Hokkien) mounds below the building. Find the wooden doors made from alang batu wood (Melaka wood) - folded and leaning against the pillars (before sliding folded doors were introduced). The roof looked like to be made from those overlapping black bark (not "attap" nipah palm leaves), correct? Observe the vertical bars used at the first floor's balcony partition. The design of those bars could still be seen in Sarikei shophouses in the 1970s. The signboard was in traditional Chinese before simplified Chinese characters were introduced.

To take photos in the days of yore was not a cheap exercise like the digital camera days now. The occasion must be important. The folks were dressed in their best samfu and western outfit. It was to send off four of its executive members ( 林 昭 边 ,林 少 如 , 林 日 升, 黄 天 龙 ) on a trip to China. They went at a time when the Nationalists and the Communists decided to join forces to fight the Japanese in China. Can anyone find out the reason for their trip?
Can anyone beat this awesome picture?


6 comments:

stlau said...

What a classic!!! Thanks to Ikan Sembilian!! We need more readers to share their photos!! The tall guy in front must be a basketball player. I am especially interested to see some details of Main Street Sarikei in pre-70's. And street scenes and social life.

Kanga said...

What a wonderful photo of the early Sarikei people! (April 23, 1937) It would take 2 weeks by boat to reach Hong Kong in those days. April was a good month to travel by sea; no typhoons. ( if my history serves me correct?? in the same year 1937 on 7 July, the japanese army crossed 'Lu-Gao' bridge and occupied Beijing. These folks would get a shock then!)May be they went back to China just like I would go back to Sarikei (just for a visit?).
I think the roof -'overlapping black bark' were actually pieces of that very hard wood (bilian). It was still available in the 1950's; very tough & lasting but expensive.
Thanks to Ikan & Daniel for this photo.

Lidasar said...

Wow! This is indeed a very precious photo of Sarikei history. The years leading towards WW2 Foo Chow came to Sarikei by the boat load that is when the population ratio for Foo Chow increases tremendously. Before that the Cantonese, Hokkien and Hakka make up the bulk of the Chinese population in Sarikei. Could this 1937 voyage to China have any relation to the exodus of Foo Chow to Sarikei?

I can see some familiar faces in the Chinese Chamber of Commerce series and need sometime to verify before commenting.

Daniel Yiek said...

The 4 executive members who travel to China should be the 4 at the front row. Their surnames were Lim/Ling (likely Foochow)and Wong (Foochow).

STLau,
I found a 1970 photo of Repok Rd with in a book which showed busy scenes. Will post later.

If you do go back to Sarikei, pop by HK Studio and ask the towkay (I think he's your SAS classmate) for old photos. I visited his shop and said hello to him post CNY but his shop was crowded so I left. HK Studio has moved to the new shop block behind the 1st Sarikei maternity shophouse block (Block 5 Repok Rd)

lidasar said...

黄 天 龙 is the owner of No.9 Repok Rd. The shop is 橋樂茶室 kopitiam (Kiew Loke coffeshop) but not operated by him, you can see his name clearly painted in the front of the shop unless the paint is already gone.

林 昭 边 is a Hokkien and probably the 1st generation of the shop at 1st Block of Wharf Road selling fishing equipment and could be No. 4 Wharf Rd.

Daniel Yiek said...

History of the chamber of Commerce from ACCIS

http://chi.acccis.org.my/

泗里街中华工商总会史略

泗里奎中华商会成立於一九三二年。回忆当年发起人林少如中医师个人幸劳宣传,独力筹备,厥功至伟。以为我会员永不敢忘怀者。是时也,会无地址,租屋而居,比及邱炳农先生出任会长时,乃开始筹建会所,建筑费用半由会员捐助,半由出口货品徵抽,几经艰难,於一九三九年开始建。於一九四零年建成之堂皇会所,在当时而言,乃本邦唯一之宏伟侨产,门前额上,“砂罗越泗里奎中华商会”之题字, 乃系当年中国国府主席林森之手笔。

自胜利光复后,邱氏辞去主席职,於一九五三年以来历任主席为陈高明(1953 -1957),王仰华先生(1958-1959), 陈高明先生(1960- 1966), 陈纯堂先生(1967-1968), 俞德安先生(1969-1973),徐兴礼先生(1974-1984),甲必丹黄祥洲(1985-2000), 张成川(2001-2009), 现任会长为黄良明,目前有会员257名。

泗里奎中华商会虽处在工商业落后之小市镇,但对会员之利益维护,不遣余力,尤以一九五四年政府对商业牌照税突起一千巴仙以上而发起 “罢市十日”之抗议行动,轰动遐迩。此外对人民之利益,亦极关怀,举凡学校,体育,慈善等事业亦多予协助,建树良多。会员如能益加奋力,团结合作,使该会历史发扬光大,前途岂可限量哉。

泗里奎中华商会为配合砂拉越中华工商联合会,於2000年通过会员大会修改章程更改名称,於同年9月21日获得社团注册局批准将商会名称改为“泗里奎中华工商总会”。

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