January 11, 2015

Charcoal boats and charcoal sellers 1950's

In the 1950's charcoal was made from Bakau in the coastal region. It was a flourishing trade for most Chinese businessmen who owned the factories in the river mouth of the Rajang. Boats like this would bring the charcoal up to Sibu for sale. They would sometimes stop by some of the villages also. Charocal was importnat as a fuel in coffee shops, noodle shops, kopitiams and even households where charcoal was needed to fuel the irons and also for cooking.
This was how the charcoal was weighed and sold at the Pulau Babi Wharf in Sibu. When electricity and gas became more popular, charcoal trade was phased out. One of the charcoal "kings" at the moment is living in Miri, after he retired from his petrol station business I was told.


Anonymous said...

I remember there was the jetty where the boats laden with charcoal berthed. I also remember there was a gate/arch in fornt of the jetty. I was told it was partly bombed by the Japanese.

Ensurai said...

Yes, the Japanese bombed part of Pulau Babi..I was told 6 bombs were dropped in Sibu, 2 in Sungei Merah, one quite near Law King Howe Hospital, 1 in Lanang Road, one near Sibu town (Pulau Babi) and one near the old airport. But the person telling me this story may not be so accurate also..Hope someone can also correct me if I am wrong.

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