Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Scenes - Sarikei Wharf Road Block 3

Why is it important to document the first or second batch of pioneers at Sarikei's old shops? These were the entrepreneurs that built this city downtown. Some from the first batch did not succeed past World War 2 and some shops soldiered on till today. Let's try.

Sarikei Wharf Road, Block 3, 2007
No.17 Wharf Road is on the left.

Block 3 Wharf Road was built in the early 1930s (?) since Block 2 and 1 were built in 1935.

No. 17 Wharf Road:
福興 Foo Hin machinery

No. 16 Wharf Road:
成功 Success Transport
新餘五金 Sing Yu Goldsmith

No. 15 Wharf Road:
豐昌 Fong Chang Co. grocery

No. 14 Wharf Road:

The Yap family owned and operated 成吉 in Rajang, together with 順發 Soon Huat. These two families dominated most of the business in the Rajang River mouth area long before the war. Dr Yap's father has a relative who worked for 成吉. 成吉 moved from Rajang to No. 14 Wharf Road. The boss did't have a son and the adopted son was not a suitable choice so eventually the son-in-law 張武祥 took over the business and later moved the business to No. 23 Repok Road, distributor of cigarettes brands like 555 and Benson & Hedges. (source: Reader 45 rpm).

協順 Hiap Soon general store (clothes and apparels). Most you will know this shop which later moved to No. 9 Wharf Road of Block 2. Foochow owned (Loh family).

No. 13 Wharf Road:
生發 Seng Huat kopitiam (coffeeshop) has a kampua stall operated by Mr Lim (deceased in 1997). There's a billiard table at the back of the shop.

Another Hainanese, Lim Meng Aik, also rented a stall to sell beverages. His daughter, Grace Lim, is (was?) a teacher at St Anthony's School. Another daughter works at SESCO sarikei. His son, a chemist, and eldest daughter, a nurse, have migrated to Perth.
Before the war, Nyelong River had only two motor boat operator. One of the boat is called 利 隆 Li Lung operated by the shop 廣和隆 Kong Ho Lung at No 13 Wharf Rd. The other was operated by Kapitan Chan Wei and the name of his boat was 利 生 Li San. Chan Wei came to Binatang first to start a business but later he moved to Sarikei. He operated a shop in the back of those wooden shops alone Repok Road in the 1930s but stopped when he started the motor boat business.

No. 12 Wharf Road:
新金興 Sin Kim Hin, owned by the (Hokkien) Kueh family and is still in operation (specialises in cooking gas today). The old extended Kueh family is big because they have several siblings. One of the old siblings owned a seafood warehouse at Nyelong River behind the old SESCO electricity generators. One of the Kueh's owned the only 3 shops in Belawai downtown.

順發 Soon Huat general store (Hokkien) owns the other half

順興 Soon Hin (Hokkien) operates from the back along lorong 2 (lane) as an internet cafe now.

Sarikei No 15. Wharf Road, Block 3, 2006

This is the best preserved shop front in Block 3. Kudos to the owner. The intricate designs below the gentle arch, the half length wooden windows (the original were full length) and its glass panels above blends well against a stark wall. The red pillars and red grills below give it an old world feel (colours inspired by Malacca? :)) The back of the shop still has the hearts patterned balcony with chimney!

Sarikei No. 15 Wharf Road, Block 3, 2006

Do you remember this type of old grills from the 1970s? Before the grills were available, there were only wooden planks that could be folded to the sides but you had to carry the main wooden doors and tie them to the cement pillars at the shop front.

Now unlock your grill and let your memories flood out.


Daniel Yiek said...

No 15 Wharf Road was in contention to be the wallpaper for this blog because it's so well preserved. Finally, I chose Block 2 Left of Repok Road because it had the weather beaten look and had plants growing on the facade.

The message of heritage conservation needs to be out there!

Lidasar said...

If you talk of Hokkien businesses 順發 Soon Huat is the kingpin of old Sarikei. I suspect one of the Lim either 林 少 如 or 林 日 升shown in Daniel's Chamber of Commerce May 03entry photo could be the boss of Soon Huat. Can the grandson come forward to confirm? They occupied the whole shop until later the business was broken into two with the creation of 新金興 Sin Kim Hin. Beside Soon Huat I can still recall a few names owned by Hokkien that exist before the war such as Kim Seng Ang and Soo Hong but defunct in the 80s. Probably the one still making wave is Heng Chiong which was established after the war.

Before 生發 Seng Huat kopitiam this shop was a Cantonese shop by the name Kong Hua Lung. Not many know the existence of Hainanese in old Sarikei and Seng Huat is one of them. The other Hainanese family I can remember is one who started off at Seng Huat but later moved to the back of Shanghai Book Store beside Rex that makes Roti. There are another 3 Hainanese store selling hot drinks at the roll of small stores within the old market selling fish, crab & beef. So now you know the Hainanese connection in your old town, can't do away with coffee & Roti but too bad they didn't introduce us Chicken rice.

TimWalVoon said...

eh u ever POST ABOUT SARIKEI NO.1 or not ? heheh!

Daniel Yiek said...

Good info on the Hainanese link. That old breakfast kopitiam by the fish mkt will be featured soon. I spoke to several of them there in Feb and Oct'07 and took interesting pics.

No. 1 Wharf Rd and 1 Repok Road will be featured soon. AND some old rare black and white pics!

Tuan Lokong said...

No.14 "Chandi Hochew neng" hehe correct Foochow. Now his shop had changed to different bussiness as the children took over. So Hiap Soon is none existance.

tuan lokong said...

Just curious why all the shops taken are closed?

Fredy said...

ow... I have a pic of that yellow window.

Fredy said...

*Self correction

I mean green windows. :)

Related Posts with Thumbnails