September 2, 2010

Be a Friend of the "Great White Rajahs' Last Resting Place"

Sheepstor is a delightful village not far from Plymouth in the South Western tip of England. Here shepherds pasture their sheep and farm dogs jump around. Houses are old but placed quite near each around a church like St.Leonard's. Sheepstor can be considered a well preserved little village and life there has not changed much since the 16th century!

Every Sarawak student who comes to study in Plymouth and surround towns is given a tour of Sheepstor and to see for themselves the tombs of the White Rajahs. Some who do not even know their history are very surprised at the way James Brooke is remembered by the Church. The Brooke family has donated a handsome sum of money to the church from Sarawak. It must have been a very good thing to do in those days as it is today.

Years ago when I was a student at "Marjon" or University College of St. Mark and St. John I went to Sheepstor twice and each time it was a wonderful visit. I felt a connection as a Sarawakian to just the name "Sarawak" and the words "the Brooke Family of Sarawak". It is a strange feeling indeed when one is so far away from one's own country and you find a "former ruler's" grave in this tiny little place called Sheepstor. A few fellow Sarawakians even remarked that they were "culturally shocked" at the sight of the resting place.

I do hope many Sarawakians will rise to the occasion and become a "friend" !?







4 comments:

Ann said...

after reading alternative History, I am not longer passionate about this History.

When were you in UK?

Daniel Yiek said...

Interesting post. There's always more than 1 angle to history. Open to interpretation.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Dear Ann
I am a fan of the Brooke Rule's several interesting aspects...I was in the UK twice - 1978 with hubby and 1995 for a British council course.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Daniel
Yeah...I thought so too...different angles different perspectives...like the Elephant and the 8 blind Men. Some interpretation can be too far fromthe truth...and some truths are never told...
Thanks.