Back to the Nostalgic Miri


Miri a rich oil town – where it all begins – about 200 years ago when oil was found on-shore uphill of a place called Canada Hill. Since then, the Grand Old Lady was the first oil drilling derrick mobilized by the Anglo Saxon company to siphon up oil from the land of where I was grown up after both my parents passed away in 1976.

Miri was an unknown fishing village of a few families trading occasionally with passing ships.
The discovery of oil in 1910 on Canada Hill has significantly placed Miri in the world map. With the successful drilling of well Miri-1 in December 1910, the growth of the oil industry has transformed Miri from a small fishing village at the turn of the 20th century into a modern and prosperous town in the 21st Century. Since 1910, this Grand Old Lady located 150 meters above sea level, had witnessed various historic and physical development which had taken place in this oil-rich town of Miri, which now is not only known for the "black gold" but also its attractive tourism industry. It is believed that this well, started its first production on the 22nd December 1910 and continued pumping out the precious commodity for 62 years producing 658,650 barrels of oil. The "Grand Old Lady" was producing a mere seven barrels of oil a day before it ceased it service on the 31st of Ocotber 1972Due to its sentimental value to the residents of Miri, the Sarawak state government on July 10, 1985, restored the Grand Old Lady and accorded her status as one of the state's important historical monuments.

Like the Old Grand Lady, Miri has significantly influenced many aspects of me. It was back in December 1976, when my brother and I were flown by our adopted step sister to her humble small bungalow in a small town called Lutong from Kuching 7 days after my beloved mother departed this temporary world to continue her journey ahead of us. The night before her departure, 7.12.1976, she complaint deep paint on her chest and she was sent by my auntie Mariam to Kuching General hospital about 2 hours after that. She was hospitalized and was placed under Intensive Care Unit (ICU). I was mere small 11 years old innocent boy who knows nothing about what life was. I was a little bit worried though. Our neighbors rendered their hands to comfort us with our daily routine. After breakfast the next morning, one of my cousin rushed exhaustively conveyed us depressing news. The bright morning turned hazy, full of anxiety and chaotic. About an hour after that, my favorite auntie Mariam fetched us to the General Hospital. Travelling by car was a very lucrative thing for me then, but despite that, my mind was only with my beloved mother. When we arrived at the hospital, we were brought to the ICU and one of the nurses comforted me and said the doctor still trying their best to help recovering my mom. Then, hour after that, sitting nervously with my loose cloth, humble slipper and uncombed hair, thunder news came to us that my mom could not be recovered and pronounced death 3 minutes ago. She had passed away! Just like a sailor lost his boat in the middle of nowhere, the news shredded tears from my eyes and never stopped until the next day. Mom we missed you so much.

3 years after my father left us, and now, someone whom we relied on all aspects; who gave us love and care; who sacrificed her life to feed us day and night – I remember she will stay late at night preparing few local delicacies to be marketed by my brother early in the morning before he go to school. Apart from the small profit that she earned from that little effort, we relied on the monthly rental to survive the tough battle; she who gave us joy and strength – still clear in front of my eyes and fresh in my memories, she tutored my arithmetic homework with passion; she who will be there when we cried and scared. In the next episode of my journey, it was just like someone who were alone in the middle of nowhere floating tirelessly the big ocean, under the dark sky, threatened by stormy weather and suddenly a group of people came with their humble boat rescued you, from the cold of the ocean, from the jaws of fierce sharks and scary darkness, to continue your life. Nobody will disagree with me that, you will be so thankful with them and will forever ever and after remember their efforts and cherish their kindness in your life. Thus, Miri is so special for me. And, that is one of the reason, we always spent our vacation in Miri.