Gawai Dayak is an annual harvest festival that is celebrated by Sarawakians , Borneo on 31 May and 1 June. It is a public holiday in Sarawak and is a social occasion recognized since 1957. The term "Gawai" means "festival", and "Dayak" describes the indigenous peoples of Sarawak and interior of Borneo.
Historically, Gawai Dayak was the concept of the radio producers Tan Kingsley and Owen Liang taken up by the Dayak community in 1957. They called it Sarawak Day for the inclusion of all Sarawakians as a national day, regardless of ethnic origin. The holiday was first celebrated on 1 June 1965 and is an integral part of Dayak social life, symbolizing unity, and aspiration for the Dayak community, a thanksgiving day marking a bountiful harvest and a time to plan for the new farming season or other endeavors ahead. Tuak is commonly served during these social occassions.
Bintulu is a coastal town, and the capital of Bintulu District (7,220.4 square kilometers) in the Bintulu Division of Sarawak, Borneo. It is about 650 kilometers from Kuching and about 215 kilometers from either Sibu or Miri.
Bintulu is a major industrial centre. Its port area to the east of the main town hosts the Petronas Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) Complex, currently the world’s largest liquefied natural gas production facility on a single site, with an annual production of 23 million tonnes.
Bintulu has 2 international class hotels with a total of 386 rooms.
The Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer was a capable airplane for short field take off & landings. The aircraft saw active duty in Borneo in the 1960s.
On the Friday of 11th September 1964, a Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer CC.1 operated by the Royal Air Force - RAF bearing the registration of XP294 landing at Bario on a wet runway, when it was swinging around it got too close to a ditch, causing the edge of the ditch to give way and the port undercarriage to become stuck. The aircraft was salvageable in this state, but was inevitably damaged beyond repair when the army attempted to drag it using ropes away from the runway. There were no fatalities in this event. Special thanks to David Somerville for providing more information on this event.
The usable parts of the aircraft was salvaged but the fuselage remained near the site next to a field to this day, having sat around for more than 50 years since its last ever landing.
Picture courtesy of wazari, from Instagram.
To explore this wreck, travel plans needed to include a flight to Bario.