December 15, 2011

Malay Union Club House @ Kampong Nyabor

I thank the MUC Facebook owner for the illustrations and photos. And would like to dedicate this post to all my friends from Kampong Nyabor and Kampong Datu...and as far away as Kampong Hilir and Kampong Nangka....we had a great time growing up in Sibu in the 1960's!!

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Kampong Nyabor originally was the kampong which grew up on the east bank of Sg.Limbangan. It ran from Tong San Road to the Mosque at the junction of the then Queensway or Wireless Road (Dian Sian Road). Several bridges crossed the Sg. Limbangan to the Sibu town at Central Road and Bridge Road.

During very dry seasons the people of Sibu could be seen washing their clothes in Sg. Limbangan and also carried water in tins using either the simple bian dan (shoulder pole) or bicycles. Those were the days when even standpipes were rare!! And most homes depended on rainwater which were saved from gutters made from tin or aluminium sheets(?). We learned to be very sparing in the use of water then. Towards the middle of the 1950's we were fortunate to get piped water!! And the night soil men disappeared from our social life.

The Sg. Limbangan was thus the life support system of Kampong Nyabor in particular. Today it is all covered up...and people have forgotten about it...Two generations have grown up!!

One centre of activity of Kampong Nyabor (if not for all the Malay Community of Sibu) was the Malay Union Club which held activities throughout the year. It could be a Bangsawan or a Fun Fair...and it would be a simple musical concert!!

The loudspeakers were good...and the singing could be heard loudly in the area...Living only about 5 houses away I had the benefit of staying up late at night and listening to good music and occasionally very poor singing...All these stopped because of the Communist Insurgency and the curfews imposed by the then government...


When I first moved to Kung Ping Road. This was the nicest building at the beginning of the road. My father would take me to see the Bangsawan or Concert organised by the Malays of the Kampong. I remember my father winning a set of glass ware. My mother still has the glass water jug . I suppose in a small town like Sibu at that time...MUC was the most "happening" place for the locals. The Sibu Recreation Club was for the Civil Servants who played mahjong on weekdays and who danced on Saturday nights. Cocktails was often held by the Resident (Mr.Griffin for example) and bankers would have their drinks..."Whiskey or brandy sir?" I wonder if the mems had special cocktails like Bloody Mary or Long Island Tea then...Most probably a Singpoare Sling.



My house in Brooke Drive was four doors away from this building. I had a good time visiting the entertainment stalls when there was fun fair organised by MUC. The Bangsawan was a good training ground for me ..as it taught me how to appreciate stage work and performances . I used to look at the ladies who were dressed nicely for the local "happenings". 








In 1976 I started teaching in Sibu and was often at the Art Friends Photo Studio. I was in Sibu 1976 till 1987...where all four of my children were born. Two were born in the Lau King Howe Hospital and two in private clinics. I used to hang out with students at the Art Friends...hence again I was associated with MUC for again 12 years of my adult life!! AFS was a good place to hang out with students.



The newest (4th) MUC building in Sibu. This is the MUC I do not know of now. Perhaps one day I will go and pay a visit and look at some of the old photos.




12 comments:

Ann said...

The mosque, gone?

was always surprise people knew where to find their slippers after their service.

t.p.tong said...

Sweet old memory lane, i really like this series,Thank you Sarawakiana ^_^

Anonymous said...

The MUC that i knew of was the junctions of Brooke Drive and Kampong Nyabor...a wooden house with badminton court at the front.
Wasn`t the Art Friend Studio directly opposite the MUC along the Kampong Nyabor.......within the vicinity of the post office....few doors away on both side of the studio was the coffee shop tht sold kampua mee..then there was the malaysia hotel with a night club on the first floor.
Really the MUC did stir up the memories

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Ann
The old mosque is still there!! Yes I am always amazed by all the slippers in the courtyard!!

But I do think sometimes the guys do lose their slippers...Usually a person who cannot remember what he wore to the mosque in the first place....and just wear any pair to go home!!

Sarawakiana@2 said...

TP Tong..thnaks for your comments. You are always a welcomed reader!!

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Anonymous..yes the original shop lot of Art Friends studio was next to the Kaban Cafe..Same row as Datuk Lau's office...and opposite MUC... Later they moved over to MUC when the building was completed.
Thanks for reminding me about the Malaysia Hotel. I was trying to remember the name...Below the Malaysia Hotel is a Travel Agency..Sin Hua?

Anonymous said...

sin hua travel agency was directly opposite the SUDC across the lane way...it was the coffee lounge thts downstairs...lawyers office round the corner..........

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Oh yes..the coffee lounge..and I believe it was the Wong Kie Tung's office on first floor...wonder if it is still there..I used to hear people say that Lawyers' offices must be sited around here because the Courts are only about 1000 m away!! Other lawyers must find places near banks also.

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