Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Scenes - Sarikei Wharf Road 1953+ Part 2

At the end of the historic Wharf Road was Jalan Kubu Lama (Old Fort Road). It leads from the old custom house at the junction of Market Road to Nyelong River. Among the swaying coconut trees, there was a government quarter for the head of customs of Sarikei. He was Haji Satem, the father of Adenan and Amin Satem.There were several quarters further down the road on both sides for the junior customs officers. Half of them were for customs officers and the rest for Sarikei District Office staff.

Sarikei Wharf Road, post 1953 (year?)
Find the long radio antennae at No.1 Wharf Road. No TV.

Towards the end of World War II in 1945, the British war planes came and shot a few rounds from their machine guns on the shophouses and the old prison which was mistaken for Japanese's military office. The Japanese HQ was at St Anthony's School though. No. 1 Wharf Road, 益 Thong Aik, had its shophouse roof punctured and No. 21 Wharf Road caught a small fire.

Sarikei Wharf Road, 2007

The former prison was somewhere near today's Jalan Siaw Ah Khoon, Jalan Engkabang and Nyelong By Pass. A Chinese prisoner was badly hurt below the waist by the British gunfire. It was a nasty sight when he was brought in on a stretcher to the dispensary converted from two classrooms in St. Anthony's School. The wounded prisoner was dispensed with what looked like salt water for cleaning his wounds but he hardly healed and died before seeing the end of the war.

The Japanese planes didn't bomb Sarikei when they came initially and yet the Allied Forces' planes shot at the shophouses and the prison (suspected Japanese HQ). The paradox of war and the irony of life.


Sarawakiana@2 said...

Excellent material for the capsule!!

sarikeikia said...

In the early days up until the 60s the side wall of Thong Aik 通益 at No. 1 Wharf Road was the town's unofficial billboard. Notice of all kinds such as informing the passing of a family member or events were up on the wall. One of the highlights was the annual feature of the enrollment drive putted up by different schools and if you were to ask who wrote the top most excellent & classic piece I would clearly vote for 林文欣 the teacher of Kwang Chien school who married the sister of Chong Siew Fai.

The wall was removed when No 1 Wharf Rd was converted to a coffee shop in the late 70s.

Daniel Yiek said...

林文欣 (the teacher of Kwang Chien school who married the sister of Chong Siew Fai) is in his early 80s now.

sarikeikia said...

Ya I know, the last time I met him he was saying he can't take airplane so only his wife got to visit his son in Aust.

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