Thursday, April 16, 2009

Scenes - Sarikei Nyelong River Bridge - Part 5

Sarikei Nyelong River Bridge, 2009

It was with much anticipation when I took my first ride across the Nyelong River Bridge during Chinese New Year 2009. The ride was so short that it was sort of an anti climax. Nyelong River ranks second to Rejang River for its memories to me. The more historic Sarikei River does not figure much in most of your lives unless you lived along its banks or in Merudu across the river.

Sarikei Nyelong River Bridge, 2009
View towards town

It's hard to believe that I learned swimming in this silty river near the original wooden ferry jetty that served Bolen across Nyelong River. More significantly, before the main artery, Repok Road, was built, villagers had to row their sampan down this river to go to Sarikei downtown.

Sarikei Nyelong River Bridge, 2009
View towards Bayong

My mum, her brother and sister had to row their boat down Nyelong River with my grandpa from their farm house in Sungei Stok whenever they visited downtown. Sungei Stok (a branch off the old Sarikei-Bintangor Road) is one of the Cantonese enclaves after the Cantonese pioneers had settled in Sare. My maternal grandpa was driven by poverty to leave other siblings in China with his sister. He boarded a ship from Hong Kong and headed into the promised land.

Later my maternal grandpa rented a room at No 5 Repok Road, Weng Nging 永源. He worked in the Cantonese Association (No. 18 Repok Road) during kapitan Chen Ko Ming's time. With his meagre earnings, he saved for my uncle to study in Australia.

Today's story depicts the spirit of the early migrants. What's your story?


- k.arifin - said...

aaahh, i'm homesick right now. hehe.
i haven't reach this bridge since i haven't come back from October last year.

sarawakiana said...

Daniel - you must continue to write these early migrant stories...they bring out the best in our human spirits!!
As parents we do save money in order to educate our children (I have one child in Australia who supplements his needs by working two part time jobs and loving work!!)The migrant spirit lives on!!

Andrew said...

I remember very well the wooden ferry that used to cross the Nyelong River. During the raining season when the river water was not salty as water comes from upriver or the Rejang, small children would change Nyelong to a swimming pool. I used to fish at the wharf near the ferry wooden "terminal" where cargo ship like the Rajah Mas used to berth and there was this JKR ship called Badak used to berth there too. That was where I used to fish when the tide is high.
I believe all these sights are gone now and pity I have not return to visit for more than 20 years.

Nelson said...

oh ya i remember that ship Badak,which was used by JKR to tranport water to villages if not mistaken.

Hope that Nyelong bridge will further spur the growth and development of sarikei and bintangor. Going to sibu nowadays is like daily activity and not a weekend trip anymore.

i think sarikei needs more bridges, one or two to replace the bailey's bridge in ctc, one to connect to sibu-tanjung manis road and a few more to connect to tanjung manis (RH side)

Ant L said...

the uncle who studied in Australia - my dad :)

yeah, grandpa fled to the interiors of sarikei, forest area when the Japanese came.....they built their own house and boats...

Anonymous said...

Well done Daniel! Love your blog! Very informative and well written!!!

Anonymous said...

Here was my first swimming pool in Sarikei. When think back,,,it was just lucky that no crocodile come to me last time.

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