Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Scenes - Sarikei Repok Road Block 5 Right. (early 1950s)

For those who don't recognise this block, you should be caned. This is the block you see when your car stops at the only set of traffic lights in downtown at the junction of Repok Road and Jalan Masjid Lama. If viewed from Rejang River, this is Block 5 Right if you include the Bank Road block as Block 1 Right.

Sarikei Repok Road Block 5. Early 1950s
Right-Left: No. 36, 38, 40, 42, 44, 46 Repok Road, followed by Bai Sheng cinema

Observe that the block had almost finished construction. How do we deduce the date of this picture? After the block, find the old Bai Sheng 百勝 cinema which stood at the location of the current Oriental Hotel block. We have featured a 1953 picture of this cinema before (see below) so this is after 1953. Bai Sheng was owned by Kong San, a Hakka from Kwong Sin 廣新of No. 11 Wharf Road.

After the cinema, you can spot the top of the old Methodist Church.

Sarikei Bai Sheng 百勝 Cinema 1953.

The parents of some of the younger readers were born in the private maternity ward (name?) above No. 36 in the early 1960s. Was the ward open in the late 1950s?

The ward also did ear piercing. There was no anaesthetic or antiseptic then so they will rub your ear lobe with ginger before piercing.

To determine the gender of the baby then, relatives would stream in to open the diaper (home made version with clothes) to have a peep inside the strategic zone that had been dusted with fragrant talcum powder. Oh! It's a (boy/girl).


sarikeikia said...

The private maternity ward was named 新民 Sin Ming started by a nurse from Sibu whose dad was a Foochow called 水华 a “Doctor” working in the Sibu hospital. Those days there were very few doctors and actually you find more of those who almost qualify but short of being a qualified doctor and they were called Elasar.

The fee for giving birth at the maternity ward was only 20 dollars then. The nurse was married to a Sarikian Foochow by the name Chan Sin Mou whose dad was an early Tofu maker and he would carry two box full of tofu one on each end of a bamboo pole over shoulder walking from his home opposite the Residency area to the market each morning.

Anonymous said...

Apart from knowing I was born there (in late 60s), I have no recollection of the maternity ward. Thanks for sharing, sarikeikia!

Daniel Yiek said...

Received this email comment:

The lady is a sister of Joseph Wong,the person stationed in the Sarikei hospital at half mile, Repok Road as the medical officer in 1950/60s. She is married to Ting Sieng Meow, whose father was a tofu maker. Joseph and her sister are the children of Wong Chu Hua 黃萃華, a medical officer like Joseph who treated patients. In those days, he was not a qualified medical doctor but was given a permit to practise as medical practitioner in Sibu.

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