Binatang…..that is the name of the town that I was born in. I don’t know the ” who how why what” behind that name. Whoever gave the town that name must have been an animal lover because Binatang is a Malay word meaning animal. The town was renamed Bintangor due to the negative connotations of the “animal” tag. What do you call the inhabitants of a town named Animal?
I have fond memories of my life in Bintangor where I lived till I was 17. I had my primary and secondary school education at St Augustine Primary School and Kai Chung Middle School ( its name at that time) respectively. In a small town, everyone seemed to know each other. Growing up in such a small town is truly a great experience. As kids, we played hide-and-seek and cop-and-robber around the town without any fear of being knocked down by cars as there were so few cars then. We swam in the Rejang River……we dived from the wharves into the river, often trying to show off our diving skills like doing a couple of somersaults before hitting the water. As we swam, we waved at passengers on MV Pulau Kijang and MV Rajah Mas when these ships passed through Bintangor.
During my trip back to Kuching for Ching Ming Festival early this month, I asked my brothers and my mum whether they had any photos of mine when I was a kid. I only have a few such photos and I was hoping to add more to my collection. What a joy it was when my eldest brother said he had a few. Upon returning to Miri, I asked my brother to lend me the photos so that I could scan them.
These photos really sent me on a trip down memory lane…….here they are…..don’t laugh at my hair style or the way I was dressed….bear in mind, these photos were taken in the 1960s.