Task of winning over the interior tribals
Published on: Saturday, September 25, 2021
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Scenes from the past: Rebuilding North Borneo in 1949. (L-R) Tangy Ahmad, Nick Combe, Keith Wookey, Sir Raplh and Lady Hoene, Wilson, Nicholson, Edge.
(Extract from Herald of 

December 1, 1888) 

From Report for Third Quarter 

of Magistrate-in-Charge, 

Province Keppel, Mr J E G Wheatley, 

INTERIOR TRIBES. Jaludin the chief of Nabai, and other chiefs from the interior of Kimanis paid me a visit and I gave them the rewards granted to them by the Government and they went away very well pleased. 

The two chiefs Jinjangan and Orang Kaya Banda of the interior of Bangawan who were concerned in the murder of the Brunei trader named Salleh have been arrested and Orang Kayah Shabander Mertamit the paid Government chief has gone up to settle the place. 

The chiefs of the interior of Putatan promised to meet me at the Fair but they did not put in an appearance although I waited for them two days, I found out afterwards that the messenger had made a mistake about the day. This place will not be properly settled unless we get the neighbouring independent rivers of Inanam and Kinarut. 

The Tribes in the interior of Papar are all coming in, they are paying their Poll Tax in Tobacco and Rattans. 

Simpoke the principal chief is very anxious to have a station made at Bundu which is his village. 

A Bajow named Ah Loon has been appointed to assist him in settling cases and collecting the Poll Tax.  A messenger has been sent up to Tambunan to try and get the chiefs to come down and meet me, but from all accounts it appears that the Tegas settled near Tambunan are keeping the Dusuns from coming in. 

I hope before the end of the year to have the whole of the interior of Papar settled. 

GENERAL. Everything is quiet in the whole Province. In the Abai Tampasuk the natives are inclined to be a little troublesome, but when the Police Force stationed at Abai is increased, the place will soon be settled. The health of the whole Province has been very good. 

DEC 1ST, 1938 

The people of Jesselton, and the neighbouring districts were implored a short time ago in these columns to remember the fifth of November as the occasion of All Saints’ Fete and Sale of Work, and they responded with such zest and good will that it will be many years before it will be forgotten. 

The clerk of the weather was not in a very agreeable mood that morning, and after grumbling threateningly from sun onwards, began to blow and rain in disconcerting fashion as the crowd was beginning to assemble. 

The decorated bicycles, mostly in nautical or aeronautical, disguise, made rather heavy weather on their way to the scene of action, and at least one trim little sloop suffered ship-wreck, and never arrived at all. 

But, the more seaworthy, and/or airworthy, battled gamely through the elements and arrived in time to open the proceedings with manoeuvres in front of the Hotel and the judges awarded the first prize to a very realistic monoplane, which cleverly floated in the air above the bicycle it adorned. By time the judging was completed, the rain had ceased, and rest of the proceedings were already in full swing. 

The Jumble Room as usual was crammed from the word go with a motley and cosmopolitan crowd, and bartering in high-pitched tones and many languages was going briskly forward to complete the resemblance to an Oriental Bazaar. 

The main part of the building was already swarming with buyers, making a combination of elbows, and the determination to use them, necessary to achieve the near approach to any of the stalls successfully. 

The Household Stall was surrounded three-deep all afternoon, while the Children’s Stall, Fancy Stall and St Agnes’ School Stall all acted as magnets to those within range until the time came when they had to pin up “Sold Out” notices. 

Passing onwards and entering the part of the building which once housed the Jesselton Post Officer, your correspondent was brought to a halt by yet more glamouring attractions. 

One corner was filled by a complete florist’s shop, with plants and flowers banked tastefully in tiers; golden oranges, (and magic ones, at that!), were hanging among their dark green foliage; and, believe me or believe me not, a little yellow canary was singing blithely amongst the branches. 

In another corner the ancient and honourable game of hoop-la was the centre of an excited and juvenile cluster, while by moving to the furthest corner of the room, weak with excitement or wearied by the fray, you could refresh the inner man with anything from a packet of salted groundnuts to a five-course meal at the Buffet Stall. 

After which you might perhaps feel strong enough to sally forth, your coat adorned with a button-hole, a golly-wog, and at least one of the seven Dwarfs, which, long before this, gallant reader, you have allowed a fair damsel to pin on — for a consideration — and visit the fair-grounds outside. 

After that, having won several packets of “Pirates”, or leading a goat by a blue ribbon as tribute to your skill, or possibly just with pockets rather emptier as tribute to your generosity, it was time to sample the peace and comforts of the Tea-room, before looking round once more to discover whether you could possibly have missed anything. 

And then, when the crowd began to dwindle, and leave the empty stalls standing bare of their once gay profusion; when the weight of the cake had been announced and the lucky winner had carried it off to complete the feast at home; when even the beautiful door had been borne away, complete with cot and with eyes firmly closed, by the blushing bachelor to whom the fates had allotted it; then, at last, the stall-holders and their manifold helpers, together with a gallant trio who had laboured in the cashier’s office all afternoon and evening, and a number of other’ well-wishers, settled down to a tempting cool supper in the dining room, amid mutual congratulations on having achieved another marvellous success. 

During the supper, the treasurer, Mr Bentham, announced that the New Church Fund would benefit to the extent of just over $2,000 as a result of the efforts of all concerned, and the Rev S M Collier thanked Mrs Byron and all her gallant helpers, ladies and gentlemen, for their splendid work, which had made such a wonderful result possible. 

Which, shedding the guise of your special correspondent, assumed for the nonce, he wishes to beg the hospitality of your columns to do once more before a greater public. Indeed, it would be impossible to pay too high a tribute to the genius of organisation; the forethought and solid labour extended over months before the day itself, the enthusiasm and generosity of those who gave and those who bought, and the tireless energy expended on the day itself, by all who contributed to his result. 

A polite “Thank you”, uttered though it is with deep sincerity, can hardly express all we feel, but one day a more permanent and worthy memorial will rise in Jesselton, to show how well worth-while the labour was. So now, what about next year? 

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