Monday, June 22, 2009

Going to School in Tanjong Lobang by Coastal Steamer

Years ago I kept this photo very carefully.

These were my school mates from the other divisions who would come in with the coastal steamer called Keningau. A few of the girls also had to travel in this manner - it was the cheapest and perhaps the only means for many of us. So going to school in those days was risky and there was no insurance. (No one has heard of insurance at that time.) If a life was lost it was lost. Gone.

Ting Hie Siong was one of the best friends I ever had and we met up often in Sibu when I was working there for a while.

Then there were Rony Assim (now Ahmad Assim) Alec and his brother Angki and YB Hamden.

My journey to and from home was by walking through the jungle- long boat - government boat from Limbang and then the old coastal bus from Brunei. I do not think any 9 year old would do that nowadays.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Monday, June 15, 2009

Joan Tze in Tanjong Lobang School 1967

Joan Tze still looks the same after all these years!!

A group photo of Joan and her friends.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Tan Sri Leo Moggie - Still the Hero

Leo as we all know him does not need to be Tan Sri-ed or YB-ed.

As my senior in school he was always well ahead of the rest mentally and socially. In life perhaps he was one of the earliest Iban (Dayak) scholars who made it in life and became a political figure for many years until it was time for him to "retire".

One thing I will always remember him for - whatever he did in school he would try his best to do well.

So in an evening of joint celebration of Dayak Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Kadazan Chamber of Commerce and Industry Leo stole the evening with his majestic performace of ngajat.

With superb showmanship he danced with his eyes closed and moved across the stage.

Elias and I - Fond Memories from 1959

It was the end of the school holidays and my friend Alias Mahmud and his family were going back to Miri from Kota Kinabalu.

Good friends from Tanjong Lobang School days we got talking.

Do you remember the football playing in the rain? What about foot ball in the hot sun? I came in 1959 and he had been in the school register since 1956. So he is my senior in so many good ways.

Those were the days when we had no TV and not even a small radio to entertain us.

Now we are white haired and going into our 60's.

But some things never change : our warm friendship and our sincere wishes for each other.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

1961-1962 Mr. William Scott and Boys

Prof Dato Haji Mohamad Abdul Majid my good old friend wrote in his email to us in the ex-Tanjong forum

"I got this photo from Said Mohidin of Limbang (finished Form 5 in
1962). Please help identify those in the photo. I can identify only
the following:

3. Gabriel Uking
4. William Scott
5 Said Mohidin
6. George Ganang
7. Bernard Agan
11. Henry Lian
12. Mohidin seman
14 . Salleh

Who is the one looking like ZAM?"

I hope readers would write in and tell us more about the photo!! thanks.

Thanks to --
Prof. Haji Mohamed Abdul Majid
Biology Department
Universiti Brunei Darussalam,
Jalan Tungku Link, Gadong,
Brunei Darussalam BE1410

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Form Five in 1962 Tanjong Lobang School Miri

I was a little boy then only wishing to study hard and break away from the vicious cycle of poverty. Most of my school buddies were very determined as well. We often talked together like brothers. Our teachers were like gods and goddesses to us.

One of the activities I remember most fondly was the work party. I took pride in doing all the work for the school as I consider the school my saviour.

One of the teachers I remember most fondly was Mrs. Sargunam. In later years I met her in Kuching and she remined a very kind teacher towards all of us knowing truly that we were from extremely poor families.

So it is good to have this photo digitalised for all of us to remember her and my seniors in school.

Form 5 in 1962 with their class teacher, Mrs Sargunam who was expecting her first baby Sarah.

Do you remember them?

1. Jolhi Saar
2. Said Mohidin
3. Grace Tze
9 Late Abdullah Aziz Khan
10. Hatta Solhi
11. Mohidin Seman
12 . Leong Mei Kim
16. Timothy Liaw Aik Hon
19. Bernard Agan
20 Awangku.... Awg Anu
21. Zamiran Ujang
22. David Tie
23. Salleh
24, Mrs Sargunam
25. Ahmad Razali
26. Musa Girie?
27. Late Waslie Ramlie

Photo is from Prof. Haji Mohamed Abdul Majid
Biology Department
Universiti Brunei Darussalam,
Jalan Tungku Link, Gadong,
Brunei Darussalam BE1410

Monday, June 8, 2009

Court of Justice of the Highest Order

I must have been a very keen observer of of the carriage of justice even at a very young age. It was 1954 before I was selected to go to school in Tanjong Lobang that I saw what it meant to go to court.

An adultery case had been mentioned in my longhouse and at an appointed day the court was to convene.

It was the most unusual court case but to me it had a great aura of poetic justice and it was deeply imprinted in my young mind.

In the early morning of the court case a clearing was made and no one went to their farms. The plaintiff was my aunt Emor who had accused her handsome husband Galang of committing adultery with a young lady called Enkrama. Emor was one of the most beautiful ladies in our longhouse at that time. Galang was handsome and big in size.

On that eventful morning Emor had hired my grandfather's fighting cock and Galang and Enkrama had hired theirs from Apai Tajak. Before the cock fight was to take place the "president" of the court who was my uncle gave the definition of adultery and mentioned the case. Apai Tajak also stood up to say something in defense.

Everyone was respectful and quiet that morning because the gods or spirits were invoked to be present with us.

When the two fighting cocks were released some how Galang's hired bird took fright and ran into the bushes. The court had thus decided that Galang and Enkrama were guilty. I remember seeing Enkrama looking embarassed and kept her face down. Galang looked very sad and walked away without even bidding good bye to his three young children then. He immediately packed his little bag and took his boat away.

I particularly remember his boat because he had the best outboard motor engine at that time in our longhouse.

Galang was known to have settled in Song in Batang Rajang and later remarried. Emor too remarried and had children. Both of them passed away not too long ago.

Today I am still in touch with my cousins who are children of Emore but I am glad that I have the opporutnity to meet one of Galang's sons from his second marriage.

Justice was carried out in a divine way. But it was sad to see a good couple split up in that way.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Memories in Black and White.

This is an excellent black and white photo from Datu Professor Haji Abdul Majid of the 1962 Luak Bay.

I am wondering how many people still have these old Kodak photos of the old times.

In retrospect a poor Iban boy like me and a boarder of Tanjong Lobang School at that time to have some keepsakes of our stay at the school was a great feat considering how precarious our lives had been.

All students selected from the rural areas who fortunately studied in Tanjong Lobang school in those days had to travel great distances and many days by land and water. I personally had to walk almost a day to reach a suitable long boat. Later when my father was able to own a boat of his own I was able to board a boat and then paddled two days to reach Limbang where I would board a government boat to reach Brunei and then I would take a bus to Miri.

It was a good time then as no one had even heard of little boys being robbed or abused along the way. If I had lost my photos so easily I would not have any black and white photos left today.

Whatever photos I had I would carry like my precious life home to show my longhouse relatives. These photos they would look at until I came home one year later . Some of these were lost forever when my long house was razed to the ground. Only one album survived because my wife insisted on bringing it back to Sibu during one of our homevisits.

In order to show my friends at school what my father looked like my father actually took a photo in a photo studio in Limbang at a great cost. I treasure that photo till today. That was 1960. I often wondered what if some of my school mates or hostel mates had been nasty and stole this photo from me! I would have lost the most precious memento in black and white of my father .

The Luak Bay was not only our playground. It was more importantly our source of supplementary food. Whereas most students today would have lots of money for tidbits we survived on whatever we could catch from the bountiful sea at that time. Mr. Hicks one of our principals allowed us students to catch fish and crabs at a specific time before our dinner and prep. I am sure many of my school mates then have their own individual stories to tell.

I am glad today that the digital age has enabled me to retrieve some of the black and white photos. I will be posting them from time to time on this blog.

this photo comes from my good and long lasting friend from my Tanjong Lobang Days. Perhaps together we can build a good archive of our school days in Tanjong Lobang School. (Now renamed Kolej Datuk Tuanku Haji Bujang of Miri)