Monday, December 10, 2007

Scenes - Sarikei Wharf Road Block 1



Sarikei Wharf Road Block 1, 2007.
No. 5 Wharf Road and Lorong 3 at left.
Lorong 3 leads to the old Ming Sing kopitiam.



Block 1 (with 5 shops) was built in 1935 by a Foochow developer, Wong Koh Chiong (黄可川) who went by the trade name Thong Aik 益 and he also owned No.1 Wharf Road. He passed away before the Japanese came to town during World War II. These shop houses were sold for $2000+ per unit then, a handsome sum in those days. Its facade is made up of arches at the top and none of the original full length windows have been preserved today. A feature that still exists today is the side balcony facing Repok Road with its original red tiled arches (built by China craftsmen) and white heart petals that formed flowers as the balcony partition.


Sarikei Wharf Road Block 1, 2006.
Source: weltrekordreise.ch


No. 5 Wharf Road
廣合興 Kong Hup Hing (Cantonese) was owned by the Chen family, descendants of Chen Mong (1879-1939) (source: Ease Chen). The most famous son is Chen Ko Ming which started the 1955 trade hartal against the colonial government. It did great business as a goldsmith, pawn shop cum grocery shop. Later it expanded its grocery business to No. 6 Wharf Road (1st shop in next Block 2) after World War II but it was short lived. It is now a kopitiam (coffee shop) under the same name.


Chen Ko Ming (2nd from right) & politicians (1970s)
L2 Mr.Chia from Miri, L3 Ting Ming Kiong丁明 , L4 Federal Minister for Sarawak Affairs Temenggong Jugah , L5 Datuk Lim Beng SIONG林鵬祥 (Minister of Sports and Youth), L6 Chen Ko Ming, L7 Tun Abdul Razak
Source: Ease Chen


Their goldsmith shop hired two Mr. Lee's, one of which later started his own goldsmith shop (Wing Shun永信) at No. 14 Repok Road at Block 3 Right, and the other Mr. Lee is a current town elder whom everyone fondly calls 四公.


No. 4 Wharf Road
林恒德 Lim Heng Teck (Fishing rods, reels and accessories)


Sarikei Wharf Road Block 1, 2007.
View from Terminal 1 wharf.



No. 3 Wharf Road
金成安 Kim Seng Ang (fishing rods and Honda parts). Hokkien (Chua family). One of the sons of the Kim Seng Ang shop, Chua Wei Ming 蔡伟明,was a photography enthusiast and started a studio called Chun Fen Studio 春风照像馆 at the 1st floor of No. 8 Wharf Road. He married Chen Sui Nong, the sister of Chen Ko Ming. Unfortunately he passed away early and his wife took over the business for a short while before a Foochow took over as Hong Kong Studio.


Sarikei St Anthony's School Volleyball team, 1980.
Chua (Ah Chuang) - back row, 2nd from left.


Another son, Chua Kim Hin 蔡金兴,produced a son ( Albert Chua Kwang Chung 蔡冠壮 aka Ah Chuang) that's one of the top sportsman of Sarikei in the late 1970s-1980s. Ah Chuang represented Malaysia in volleyball and was also a trained volleyball coach.


No. 2 Wharf Road
Initially the shop was named Kim Aik Hin 益興 and was owned by a lady from Kinmen county 金門 in Fujian, China.

Then Hock Aik 福益 was opened around 1950 by Ting Ka Ping 陳家平 as a grocery cum local produce exporter (pepper and rubber). Mr Ting received his education in Singapore and he was one of the very few towkays who could understand English at that time. Mr Ting was also active in starting rubber plantation in Sarikei. When 福益 Hock Aik went into difficult times, Mr Ting lead a group of Foochows from Sarikei to Limbang to start planting rubber trees. The government under the British encouraged new migrants to start rubber plantation in Limbang at that time, How did a towkay get use to life in a farm? Well, he eventually took over and run a cinema in Limbang instead.

Now the shop is 聯興, Liang Hin (now a distributor of Rustica fertiliser). Owned by the Foochow brothers of Lau - 劉宜燦, 劉宜平 and 劉宜安. They opened Esso petrol kiosk opposite their shop (across Wharf Road).


No. 1 Wharf Road
通益, Thong Aik, was started by a Foochow named Wong Koh Chiong (黄可川), head of Su Lu 泗蘆 School. He also developed this Block 1. His son 黃毓秀 Wong Yuk Siew Shell started the petrol station of the same name opposite this shop (across Wharf Road). Sibu's Shell kiosk is linked to them through family kinship. No. 1 Wharf Road is now 新東方 New Eastern café.

Wong Yuk Siew now operates Shell Petrol station at Repok Road and the younger brother, Wong Yuk Tuan, operates the Shell Station at Wharf Road.


Sunrise at Sarikei Wharf Road Block 1-4, 2006.
Customs house at left.
Source: linggau.multiply.com


It's sun rise at Wharf Road and yet another day at this historic road.


Sources:
Reader Lidasar


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Side Track
1. Pesta Nanas, the Pineapple Festival, which started in 2004, had its most successful event this year from Nov 23-25 at a new venue, the Wholesale Collection Centre of Rejang Port Authority, Jalan Wharf. For previous years, it was held at the Civic Centre.

2. Sarikei is moving beyond ecotourism by capturing a slice of the MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions) market. 450 members from the Junior Chamber International Malaysia held their conference at the Civic Centre. If each had spent RM$100, that's RM$45K to Sarikei's economy. Check out the parade down Jalan Masjid Lama.

6 comments:

tuanlokong said...

Remembered those hair style, some says the "Wang Yu or David Chiang Fashion until Ti Lung came"

Daniel Yiek said...

I have always wonder about this... Does anyone know where the name "Repok" Road came from? Is it named after a important person or a native term for something?

Lidasar said...

You have a nice photo of the clock tower & can any one recall the porridge seller with nick name“鸡 粥 Jow”selling pork & chicken porridge in the morning at the location before the clock tower? that was in the 50s. So you probably have to ask your parents or grandparents if the porridge was great.


林恒德 Lim Heng Teck is a very old shop that started before WWII by 林 昭 边, this was a very prominent Hokkien shop doing a rosy business in the early days but had her up and down too. The eldest son revived the business back with inclusion of tobacco trading & fishing equipment. Let me tell you a lost story about the Lim, during the time probably around the late 30s one of the younger son of 林 昭 边 met with a very unusual accident by falling into the drainage hole below Repok Rd some where in between No. 1 & No. 2 Repok Rd. Immediately it trigger off a chaotic scene in this small town without a sure solution, some suggested digging up the ground to recover the boy and some suggested to wait at the drainage opening down the river (near the pineapple sculpture). Eventually the boy flow out from the drainage opening down Rajang river and was rescued by a Malay gentleman who piggy-back the boy up side down with both legs over the shoulder and running round the town so as to let the water out of the body. I guess 林 Junior is probably approaching mid 70s years old now, he used to selling Big sweep.

金成安 Kim Seng Ang is another old Hokkien shop that started before the war. The 1st generation Mrs.Chua had 缠 足 bounded feet, 3-in lotus was not uncommon sight in the early days. This was really years ago generation, the youth of today can never relate too. The last surviving 缠足in the 70s was probably the mother of Tong Hua Hardware at Central Rd. The owner of the shop lot was an Iban whom Kim Seng Ang rented from, now you know Ibans stated investing in shop houses early too. The ground of the old hospital at 1st mile Repok was one of the popular place where cock fighting session was held, later the land was acquired from Kim Seng Ang to build the hospital. Imagine a Sunday afternoon Mr.Ling Beng Siew bringing his gang and priced cock on high speed out boat to an exciting session of cock fighting at this venue. Yes! That big boy from Sibu came to Sarikei for cock fighting session in his early days long before you heard of his KTS, Hock Hua Bank, 砂华 Political party & Tan Sri Datuk Amar Ling Beng Siew. He was the guy who brought Sarawak into Bolehland and was the big time kingpin of forest destruction. Shown in the photo standing between Chan Ko Ming and Iban warrior Ah-Pai Jugar.

同益 Tong Aik was a very old shop started by the father of Wong Yik Siew. To the older generation Kerosene was a necessity and Tong Aik is the place to get them. They were the owner of the small warehouse next to Chinese Chamber of Commerce building and they are also the developer of the 1st two block of shop house at Repok Rd Left in 1935. The Kampung land that was the 1st & 2nd block Repok Rd Right was tendered by them but due to the death of the big boss before the war the business and project was disrupted, the two blocks was completed by Cantonese Kapitan Beng Lung after the war in 1946. Relatives took charge of the business as the 3 sons were too young then, these continue till the 70s. Their shop involved in patrol kiosk, general trading, commodities export, agency for marine & shipping, See Hua news paper distribution etc but it was the export of commodities such as pepper and rubber that almost bring the business to the blink of bankruptcy, urgent meeting was held by the Chinese Chamber of Commerce's board to discuss the impact of Sarikei's business cash flow clutches that follows.

The eldest son Wong Yik Siew married the legendary queen of basketball, the captain of the Sarikei's female team that was the state champion in the 60s. She was the daughter of a teacher from Sarikei High and together with her sister they form the most talented basketball family of old Sarikei, their father build a small basketball court for the family when they were little girls and just like the other story of Sidek brothers (badminton) of West M'sia. Yik Siew worked for KTS office in Singapore for a great part of his career and the 2nd son migrated to Singapore long time ago after graduation.

Tong Aik was also where a few of the 2nd generation Foochow businesses began their career such as the bookstore Wong Ing Tuan who later gave birth to Anthonian Bookstore. Mr.Wong Ing Tuan and wife was employee of Tong Aik taking charge of the See Hua Daily news distribution and later when Tong Aik gave up the agency Wong Ing Tuan bookstore started at the far end of the block where Hong Leong Bank is located.

Kanga said...

All great description by Lidasar! I was very young but remembered the Sarikei ladies basketball team beat the Kuching team in Sarikei! During the contest the noise was unbearable!
That Mr Wong is still providing the usual newspaper delivery service more than 40 years on. I think I saw him during my recent trip to Sarikei.

tuanlokong said...

Be back to Sarikei during Christmas.

"Happy Christmas to you all"

黃毓真 said...

Correction. Tong Aik should be 通益 and not 同益.

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