Opening up Jesselton and Beaufort
Published on: Saturday, August 14, 2021
By: British North Borneo Herald
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Scenes Of The Past: From the centre of the main street, the old Clock Tower, the Rest House and Annexe and Kong Hian Hun’s first shop premises - pic for illustration only.
MARCH 1, 1900  (From Mr Walker’s diary)

INGSONG, the man who was killed while defending the office, at Mengkabong, leaves a wife and 7 children. 

22nd Dec. I completed the purchase of the village and coconut plantation at Deasoka, situated at the Southern extremity of the flat land on which the new town of Jesselton is to be built. The people will remove to Api Api. 

28th Dec. I went to Lock Madas, where Pengeran Kahar and 152 (one hundred and fifty-two) of his best men (with their women and children) are staying, and tried to get them to go and arrest some of the Bajows who took part in the looting of the shops at Menggatal and the attack on the Office at Mengkabong. 

I arrested one man Kadier on a charge of harbouring an offender named Daud. I also brought away all the boats, to the number of 33, and threatened to burn them if they did not send a party of men up the Menggatal river to attempt the arrest of some of the robbers, that were still hanging about there. 

In the afternoon Saman, Chief of the Bajows, came and promised to start that night with 40 men up the Menggatal, if I would put off the burning of the boats till they come back. 

29th Dec. Saman and his forty men returned bringing Khmis and the dead body of Barangi and a small quantity of loot. 

Barangi who took part in the attack on the Office at Mengkabong and the looting of the shops at Menggatal — resisted arrest so was shot by a Bajow named Tempus. 

H.M.S. Alacrity with Admiral Sir Edward Seymour and H.M’s Consul Mr A Keyser on board arrived at 5 o’clock p.m. I put off in the Pakarangan, but met the Admiral and Consul coming on shore in a steam cutter. 

The party walked round the Town and up to the Residency site, and then returned to the ship. 

30th Dec. H.M’s S. Alacrity left for Kudat at 5.50 p.m 

The Putatan clerk reports that O.K. Stea Bakti, Government Chief of Kinarut, died on the 27th December 1899. 

Gunda, one of the looters brought in. 

31st Dec. Sunday. Nayen another of the looters brought in. 

Mandore Khami’s gang are putting up the Telegraph wire from here Northwards. 

Trade is at a standstill on account of the Mat Salleh affair. 

APRIL 1, 1901 

We publish another portion of Mr Walker’s diary from date 31st Aug. 

On the 1st September. At Weston visited Lingkongan on the Railway cycle together with Messrs Little and McNish. The latter had arranged with the natives that they should mark out their holdings along the line. 

With their names in Malay characters. This was partly done and we measured them for nearly two miles but on arriving at Lingkongan we learnt that the lotting was not complete. 

Went to Bukau by train and stayed at Mr West’s, the Residency which is now occupied by Mr & Mrs Tristram and Mr Girmell and we were their guests. 

The original intention was to have had two kitchens but only one was built. 

It is a draw back that at Weston, Bukau and Beaufort there is no available Rest House and no place to stay except as a guest. The proposed Rest House at Weston is not built. 

Mr West intends to have one residential room at the Station and Mr McNish one at the Custom House. 

The Rest House at Bukau is now occupied by Mr Bailey, Assistant Engineer (he will shortly have his own house) I sent him furniture from Beaufort in December, and the latter house is now short. 

A few chairs, bedsteads, washstands, &c., and looking glasses might be ordered for immediate requirements. 

The station floor of Weston is only three feet from the ground and camping down on that is hardly healthy. If £25 is spent on furniture it will help to decrease the present discomfort. 

At Beaufort there was no demand for land. A Chinaman who bought 20 acres on the Railway complains that a Bisaya living at Sadong claims the fruit trees on the land (some 55) Mr McNish will look into this. 

These claims for fruit trees were settled on the East Coast by proclamation and the same might be extended to this coast. 

On the 5th. Marked out site at Beaufort for Government Offices, Court Room, Jail and Police, under one roof and drew up rough plan under the Resident’s instructions. Inspected the water supply at the back of the Residency.

It is about 70 feet below the Residency and not quite so much above the flat. It is very good water and may be relied upon to yield about 1,200 gallons a day.

The water obtainable on the flat is not good and it is very desirable that the hill supply should be used by the shop and the Hospital and Doctor’s Bungalow which are now proposed to be built on a small hill about 1/4 mile from the Residency.

On the 6th. Left with the Resident for Bukau on a cycle and did the 12 miles in 1 hour, and 30 minutes including four stoppages.

Lunched with Mr and Mrs West and went on by train to Weston. I arranged with a Malay to cut a drain round the two blocks of new Lots and this is now in hand.

On the 7th. Traced a road from the proposed water supply down to the Railway 1/4 mile fall about 40 feet to the Railway say 30 feet from bottom of future reservoir to H.W.M. at Weston and distance of one mile and quarter to end of the pier Mr Little left in the Melapi.

On the 8th. Cleared jungle at back of Town Lots, marked out second block of seven Lots, rather lower ground than the first Block. Went to Bukau by train.

On the 10th. Copied and posted my Diary to the 31st August. Went to Weston to meet the launch Pryer.

On the 11th. Cycled to Miraba and requested the natives to put up marks to define their land on the Railway. Made up estimate of cost of water supply Beaufort and Weston.

On the 12th. To Weston by train and repegged the trace for road to water supply.

On the 15th. Cycled to the water supply and started Mahmaud cutting Reservoir site.

He will also cut a four foot path to the Railway which will enable the pipes to be laid on a proper grade.

On the 16th. Measured up the native holdings from the 5th mile post to Bukau. Met the Maharajah, a Murut who asked for work.

He was also stark naked and should set his people a better example. 

The younger Muruts are more willing to dress. The Kadyans are careful to dress in European clothing. 

On the 17th. Left Weston in the Pauling for Labuan and stayed at the Residency. 

On the 18th. Commenced clearing the land on the North Borneo adjoining the Hindoo Temple land. Heavy rain. 

On the 21st. Surveying North Road and at the back of Labuan town completed 2 half acre Lots on the North Road for sale by auction and one Lot of land for Mr J P Keasberry also at the back of the town: a small lot for auction behind Mr J P Keasberry’s 3 Lots and 6 Lots each 1 chain frontage 2 chains deep also for sale by auction. Left Labuan at 1pm in the Labuan. 

On the 22nd. Arrived during the night at Jesselton. The 16 Lots marked out for temporary occupation are nearly all built upon. 

The Treasury has been moved from Gantian to Jesselton. The Gantian shopkeepers are ordering material for their new shops at Jesselton. Mr J P Keasberry of Labuan has contracted to build, the mole and is employing Bajaus to bring stone from Gayah Island in their small boats. 

He has a contract for the Labuan Wharf and when completed, proposes to bring his labour force from Labuan to Jesselton. The Bajaus at Jesselton should have a location permanently allotted to them perhaps near the Api Api? 

S.L. Melapi. I have told Mr Little that I decline to travel across Brunei Bay in the “Melapi.” I think it is right to mention this. 

It is now two years since Mr West condemned this boat and she is notoriously unsafe. I think a commission ought to be appointed to examine her.

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