Natives introduced to western medicine at Sipitang, Mempakul
Published on: Saturday, November 21, 2020
By: British North Borneo Herald
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The District Surgeon, Beaufort and Interior, visited both Sipitang and Mempakul. While in Sipitang District, he accompanied the District Officer, Beaufort, and the Assistant District Officer to Melamam where a half yearly tamu was held. 

Large numbers of natives came down from as far away as the Dutch Border, and for the first time in their lives, we believe, many of them had their first taste of European medicine. We believe that both from a trading and medical point of view the tamu was a success. Some of the natives carried very heavy loads of damar, a few of them weighing over 80 katies.

There was a great deal of interest in Mempakul when a report came in that a tongkang had sunk in Brunei Bay. Fortunately there was no storm at the time. What appears to have happened is that the tongkang was loaded with nine buffaloes and a crew of five, and was on its way to Brunei from Mempakul. Sometime during the night the buffaloes got loose and then started fighting. Subsequently all nine finished up on one side of the tongkang from where they immediately fell into the sea, after which the tongkang sunk. The crew of five hung on to driftwood until daylight when they stuck out for the land, which they reached at 9.30pm the following evening. Fortunately none was hurt in any way, and they are to be congratulated on a narrow escape from a watery grave.

The Honourable the Acting Resident, West Coast, visited Sipitang from the 12th till 13th February. While there he carried out a tour of inspection of the Station, and witnessed a display of physical drill by the Vernacular schoolboys.

At the end of February Mempakul still suffered from drought. Since the beginning of the year we have only had, if our memory serves us correctly, two storms of rain, and they were only shirt duration. As a result our wells are all but dry, and what water in in them, is salt. Drinking water had to be fetched from darat. But our plight is not so bad as Padas Damit’s where drinking water has to be carried two miles at a cost of 5 cent per tin!

We regret to announce the death of Ex Native Chief Bangau at Sindumin. He retired on pension about ten years ago, and we understand his death was due to old age. Although we knew Bangau but slightly, we understand tha former District Officers in the district held a very high opinion of his capabilities in the days prior to his retirement.

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