Sunday, June 24, 2007

Scenes - Sarikei Wharf 1947-48

Sarikei Repok Road, 1948.

n 1948, if you walked down Repok Road towards the Rejang River, this was the scene along the way. All these shophouses have been replaced in the mid 1950s by what stands now in Sarikei. What did the Rejang River look like in 1948? Hold on, firstly get to know a noted documentary photographer, Hedda Morrison, who stayed in Sarikei in 1947-48 and Binatang in 1948 as wife of the asssitant Sarikei District Officer, Alastair Morrison. She took this rare photo below at a time when photograhy was an expensive hobby (1947-48).

Sarikei Wharf 1947-48
Click to enlarge. Click back arrow to come back.
Source: Hedda Morrison's 1957 book "Sarawak".
Submitted by reader Ikan Sembilang.

Sarikei wharf was busy even in those old days as she was an agricultural hub for pepper and natural rubber. Sampans (wooden boats) and motor launches ruled the muddy stretches of the lower Rejang River as it lazed towards the South China Sea. In the background of the picture now stands a Malay kampung (village). It's not clear from the picture whether this was shot at the Terminal 1 stretch at Bank Road or at the further right in front of the Wharf Road shophouses. My take is this was the original terminal 1 (a cement block where river farers docked) and the other boat in the background was docked at what is now Terminal 2.

Sarikei Wharf Terminal 1, 2006

Above is what resembles almost the same photography angle. 60 years later, the wharf is now populated with speed boats and bullet shaped express boats. Could Hedda Morrison recognise this wharf? Can you recognise what she saw through her analog camera lens in 1947-48?

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