April 19, 2011

Merry Go Round in Sungei Merah - one of the last ones left standing

Sibu as a small town did not offer much to children during my childhood. We grew up with minimal playground facilities. Even our schools were very limited in facilities because of the time and resources then.

I remember emotionally to say the least the small playground at the junction of Archer Road and Racecourse Road (where the Lands and Survey Department stands now). The other one still exists - in Sungei Merah - outside the Hua Hing Primary School.

In the photo above I am glad the Sungei Merah Playground  still remains the same in 2011 as it was in 1980's ...See the lovely shadows in the evening sun....they still evoke the same homely feeling as before ...Hopefully it will be kept as a display unit and would not be totally demolished for other kinds of development... So many people would have nice memories because of it!!

Memories of Sibu's  Archer Road Merry Go Round

One of my friends once mused when we were all sitting on the merry go round in the Archer Road Playground... "My friends...see who shall marry first?" We all laughed and answered "Nay......" Our laughter was loud and rang through the woods. 

 I supposed we all thought ourselves rather plain. We were all not so pretty and no boy had yet then came to push the merry go round for us if that was an indicator!!

It was true for in the evenings we would be just there laughing amongst girls. And it would become our habit  to vacate our places to  allow a courting couple to have their turn.

May be at that time I thought it would be better to keep my heart whole and not have a heart that was ripped apart. My friends went on to be academicians and women of substance. Some got married earlier while some did not marry at all...Some remained in Sibu and and are happily married to their chosen ones ....and now 40 or 50 years later...we still laugh and think of all those days in the playground....For many of us...no Sibu boy then did turn up to push the merry go round for us. 

Our life is still like a merry go round....we have to keep ourselves strong and be merry. We still go round and round...and don't have answers to our many questions...and I feel the same too about some things in life...there are certain things you cannot hold to your heart. There are fixed places like in the merry go round. If you jump off the merry go round at the wrong time you will hurt yourself. Be in resonance and be in sync......You can only make it go faster or slower...and keep your balance.

I have always loved looking at merry go rounds in playgrounds. And if I cannot find one I wonder why the authorities could possibly miss out such an important element for children to grow up with!! This merry go round is something memories are made of!!

And to all my friends...thanks for all the laughter in the playgrounds.....

What are your thoughts of merry go round?

Vintage Merry Go Round - An old rusty merry go round at an abandoned school dated 1923 in Kentucky, USA. Stock Photo - 235952
circa 1930's USA

European Merry Go Round. with six open seats.

File:Standard Soviet carousel.jpg

An American merry go round in a school yard.


Ann said...

I was born in Sibu which was 90 miles from the sea. We were sea-crazy. Sometimes, teachers take us to the beach at Kuching or Mukah, and the kids get crazy, and some drown. The poor teacher gets blamed.

Remember that, Sarawakiana?

Ann said...



you have a photo I have been looking for my post.

Tell them not to demolish it but to put padding underneath.

My Cousin Caterine or her sister who lives in Miri was a victim.

I was screaming because I always getting dizzy. H dropped her sour plum and was bending down to pick it. She didn't know that when you are on it, you must hold on to the rails very tightly. The little cousin's head was almost touching to the ground as we spun round and round. H tried to grab hold of cousin M. M was spun like rag doll or a head banger when an ice skater spins his partner holding her legs.

Can I steal this photo?

Ann said...

When you read my post, you will understand the passion. May be you know Mary, Caterine's sis. She studied in Penang U, teaching in Miri, was widowed last year.

Should be small world and you probably are good friends, after all, you guys are teachers from Sibu.

Ann said...


I reread my post I did last july.

CY, I am going to steal your photo and rehash my story. It just in so funny. The part that my cousin M was spun round and round.

I have not stolen any one's photo, but that photo is my past. One of the best memories I had with my cousins and siblings. When my cousin H and I are in our 80s, and she comes from UK, we will still be talking about he round and round and round.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Dear Ann....yes...you can have the photo with all my love....I have not yet read your July post..

I would love to meet up your cousin..

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Yes Ann...the teachers always get blamed when children drown...I remember another very serious case in Kapit...I think I was already teaching in Kanowit..A whole long boat of Ibans wanted to slash the teacher!

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Ann I don't know if you remember many of your senior boys and girls would start dating in the small Archer Road playground....as a teacher I used to be very amused but glad that they had responsible relationships which developed into strong love ending in successful marriages. It would take teachers years to learn about their successes (or failures in some cases) but that is how the new generation emerge!!

Pardon for my next sentence.....People should actually appreciate playgrounds more and don't only think of the negative sides only...which is more often the case.

Look at the beauty of Central Park in New York...so much history...so much romance and beauty.....and so much life!!

Ann said...

I was in Central Park, the husband wanted to walk the whole length of it. People said he was crazy to take his little kids.

I spent every late afternoon of my childhood in play ground. the my adult life in playgrounds. So I don't have to be at home working.

The archer road romance. I think my bro Charles was involved. For me no such luck, I never had a BF. You and I thought alike???

Ann said...


Thanks for the photo, I have a rewrite of the old post.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Ann...About Charles..that's amusing...

I liked taking my children to the playgrounds..Miri ones are big. They even have indoor ones here.

But honestly I liked the idea of BF etc like all teenagers . It was easier to get a degree ....hahahaha

I may still be waiting for Prince Charming to push my round and round and round.....in my dreams.

Ann said...

Ah yo!!!!! God was faithful to you that day when your son had that swing accident. otherwise, you too join the rank of me as a bereaved mum, and your write your book with the same title. PTL

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Yes Ann.
the Chinese said my son had a Kui Ren (honourable man) who saved him. I did not actually thank Mr. Chai enough...he passed away some time ago and I went to his funeral. He was a man who loved tennis and was not even a member of the college. He followed us wherever we had tournaments and claimed to be our extra or volunteer coach. He loved all our children and tried coaching them too. Good spirit.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Yes...Ann...God sent an Angel to help my son....So Mr. Chai was one of those Angels Unaware...and not many people realised that when he was around...He was actually quite a "sad" case ...may be if one day I meet his family members I will ask for some nice photos of him.

Some students did projects on him as "tokoh" or local experts. I am glad.

Catherine Chan said...

so good to see you here.
Gosh, I remember the ride at the above spin. I just told my hubby I hated being on it cos the ride was so scary. And you know something? I'm now staying very near where you stayed before - at the government quarters and also at Emplam Road.
My love to all in the family.
Thanks, Chang Yi, for this link.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Hi Catherine...my greatest of pleasure for linking people...and for doing happy things for friends....

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