I was reading an old book with no pictures at Kuching Petra Jaya library (reference section) on the origins of the names of Kuching roads. This inspired the idea for this post. Surely Sarikei is not deplete of roads named for historic reasons. Old roads have meaningful associations with their history whereas new roads like those at Kampung Seberang across Sarikei River are merely named after fruits, birds and flowers. Ok, at least the main road, Rentap Road, is named after the Iban freedom figher, Panglima Rentap, but he didn't live around that area.
Jalan Kubu Lama means Old Fort Road in Malay. James Brooke built a fort at this road in 1856 against some of the indigenous people who had chosen the paths of pirates. The fort is now gone but we can speculate that it was at the confluence of Rejang River and Nyelong River for the best location to monitor river activities (the key means of commuting). More on this in a future post including a rare old pic of this road.
The market was then converted into a club house where the towkays (Chinese businessman) played mahjong. This club served western delights and Hainanese coffee. Boats and sampans (small boats in Malay) from upper Nyelong and Sarikei River would berth next to the building thus making the 3rd and 4th blocks of Wharf Rd the business hub then. (Source: 3)