To be able to fly in Sibu in the olden days was a luxury, something the rural people could not imagine.
Now Air Asia has the very apt slogan, "Now every one can fly"
Thinking back, there were so many good and bad memories associated with the Old Sibu Airport, which people in those days would say, "Beyond the Cemetery, beyond Sg. Merah" and that would mean somewhere very far far away.
For my siblings and I a drive in the evening with father was a great outing, in his company jeep, to Sg.Merah, to see Grandpa and then towards Airport for "makan angin". That would put the dates to before 1963.
The old Sibu Airport meant Ah Bee, whom my father would speak to for many minutes while we kids would see if there were planes "going to stay over night in Sibu". Usually there might be one.
Then there would be lots of taxi drivers and their taxis, sometimes their families coming to the airport. so the Airport in today's language, was a "happening place".
And another good memory of the old airport was the large field or RUNWAY which we could run and run and run. Who today could even think about running on a Run Way at the airport? Today the tight security would not allow anyone to run on the runway.
One of my aunts, who was well trained by Yuk Ing Girls' school, and Mrs. Hoover was well dressed and very proper. She was always so well turned out. One day, on my first flight to Kuala Lumpur she gave me a very good advice, "Always dress well to avoid bad treatment from the air stewardesses." That was good advice in those days. For today people can be very casual, wearing Japanese slippers and even simple t-shirts and dirty shorts.
Times have changed but we treasure good advice, good memories, kindness and happy thoughts.
(I have already written about the old airport on other matters - Sarawakiana.blogspot.my/2008/04/memories-of-old-sibu-airport.html )