History

 
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Lutong Airstrip (Decommissioned)

A little history of the Lutong Airfield / Airstrip / Airport

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When A Small Plane Landed on a Bakam Beach

On this Saturday of 25th July 2009, cellphones in Miri lit up with a flood of messages circulating of rumors that a light plane had ditched into the sea off the coast of Miri around noon.

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Miri Commemorative Gold & Silver Coins

Specially minted by the Royal Mint of the country in 999.9 Pure Gold and Silver 925 to celebrate the elevation of Miri to a city status.

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Lambir Canopy Walkway

The Lambir Canopy Walkway project was jointly coordinated by Abang Abdul Hamid, an Entomologist with the Forest Department of Sarawak together with the late Professor Tamiji Inoue of the Center for Ecological Research, Kyoto University. ProfessorTamiji Inoue was killed in a plane crash in Lambir Hills National Park.

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Oil Well no.1 - Also known as the 'Grand Old Lady'

Miri's very first oil well, affectionately known as the 'Grand Old Lady' is a historic monument on top of Canada Hill.

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'Earth Oil' - The Discovery

The story begins with a Mr. C.C. (Claude Champion) de Crespigny, then the Resident of Baram, who was the first to record the presence of oil in Sarawak. The entry in his diary, dated 31st July 1882, refers to oil discovered in some 18 wells dug by hand by the local inhabitants.

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Early Days

To picture Miri when the township came to know oil, we have to project ourselves into a very different past. When the original Shell men arrived, it consisted of 20 scattered houses and a few shops. These included a bazaar, a gambling farm, a pawn shop and an Arab shop. The trade of Miri consisted chiefly of jelutong, brassware, belachan and budu.

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A Little Excitement

And so things slowly improved. By 1921 or thereabouts, there were about 40 shophouses in Miri.

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Decline & War

In the 1920s, these were the years when the Miri field began to decline. Exploration was carried out further and further afield. In 1926 an exploratory team had gone as far as Padang Barawa between the Sungai Seria and Sungai Barawa. Not much attention was paid to their findings then, but now with the Miri field declining the old maps and charts were taken out and studied again.

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