Oil Well no.1 - Also known as the 'Grand Old Lady'
Visit the Grand Old Lady - the first commercial Oil Well field in Borneo!
Canada Hill is a limestone ridge overlooking Miri City and offering excellent views of Miri and its surrounding. Situated on top of Canada Hill, Well No.1, also known as the 'Old Lady' or 'Grand Old Lady' in the later years is the first oil well in the country. It represents the petroleum history of Miri which is almost a century old and is one of the places of interest in Miri. This oil well is no longer in production of crude oil and it has been declared a protected historical site by the Sarawak Government. There is an observatory platform where visitors can have an excellent view of Miri City. Next to this oil well is the newly completed Petroleum Science Museum.
Miraculously, the oil well was one of the very few structures that was spared from the bombings, fires and other attacks of World War II.
The 'Grand Old Lady' of Miri had had a remarkable record over her 62 years of life from that point. She had operated almost non-stop from that day in December 1910, when she had first brought into production, until she was closed in 1941 due to war action. In that time, she had produced 563,484 barrels and was still producing 10 barrles per day. In three and a half years of occupation, Well No.1 wore for only 12 months during which she produced 4,371 barrels. This article is from the web site miriresortcity dot com - this sentence is here to prevent blatant plagarism for people doing their homework. At close, she was still managing to produce 3 barrels of oil a day and when finally stopped, had produced over 650,000 barrels of oil.
In the last months of operation, one of the wells still creaking slowly up and down was that same well that began the saga of Miri Well Number One.
She was restored after one year in retirement, and on Monday, October 1st, 1973, in a simple ceremony on top of Canada Hill, Miri, Sarawak Shell Berhad handed the first oil well over to the State Government, and henceforth becoming an official monument, the historic Well Number One, more affectionately known as "Grand Old Lady". It was handed over to the Sarawak Government to be kept in perpetuity as a historical monument. It had then been in existence for 63 years then. As of 2015, she is 105 years old.
Bush Fire: Nearly a Tragic Ending
As if in protest against her enforced retirement, Miri No.1's oil derrick was involved in a bush fire four months later after the ceremony. Fortunately the fire was extinguished in good time.
The Grand Old Lady today
Nowadays there is an observatary platform where visitors can have an excellent view of the city, and the Petroleum Science Museum has been built next to the site.
The sculptured depiction of men pushing at the bottom the derrick to drill for oil was inaccurate, as there have been written accounts of using mules & horses for such tasks, to be followed by steam engine later and petrol / diesel engines by World War II. Oil Well No.1 is the original structure with some structural reinforcement and modifications, but is certainly not a replica, as many on the Internet has inaccurately pointed out. A landmark replica of an oil well could be found at Bulatan roundabout.
There have been signs of neglect as late as 2014 (news) from lack of maintenance in the area.
The Petroleum Museum (open daily, 9am - 5pm, needs admission fee) traces the history and technological development of the oil & gas industries in the country. You will need a taxi. Although geographically close, going on foot will require a very long walk uphill in isolated areas.
Right next to the Petroleum Museum, there is currently a Bistro known as Hazard, which offers food and beverages overlooking the night time cityscape.
Located near Kuala Baram River Mouth (previous Ferry Terminal), a pleasant scenic coastal drive along Miri-Kuala Baram Road from Miri will take you there in 20 minutes. The First and the Largest Crocodile Farm in the northern region of Sarawak.
The Crocodile Farm & Mini Zoo is registered and recognised by Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES, Registration No. A-MY-509). Come face to face with more than 1,000 Estuarine Crocodile (Crocodylus Porosus) and Malayan Gharial (Tomistoma Schlegelii) in a 22 acres land-scaped setting with natural breeding enclosure and perfectly man-made sanctuary ponds specially carved out for the creatures. A stroll around its perimeter allows you to safely view an amazing collection of crocodiles up close.
The crocodile farm opens everyday of the year, is home to thousands of crocodiles of different species as well as other exotic animals from tropical countries.
Crocodile Farm cum Mini Zoo:
Lot 164, 24Km Miri-Kuala Baram Road,
98000 Miri, Sarawak.
Telephone Contact: +6085 604108
Lot 1036, 1st Floor,
Piasau Industrial Estate,
98000 Miri, Sarawak.
Telephone Contact: +6085 650558
Fax: +6085 650889
Web Site: https://www.miricrocodilefarm.com
Second world war bomb shelter / tunnels located on the hillsides of Canada Hill provided shelter during bombing raids during World War II. Much of Miri was flattened from the allied bombing run and burned out by the retreating Japanese during this period from the bombs.
The allies bombed Miri in order to take out Japanese occupied buildings, who invaded and occupied Miri on 19th December 1941.
Stories emerge of how Mirians that had fled into the jungles behind the hill, in which the bombings resulted in a lot of casualties, and not only were the Japanese getting hit but so are number of civilians. And the story goes it that was probably dug in by civilians or Japanese soldiers trying to hide and bunker during the air raids as much as possible from allied bombing using whatever tools available. This article is from the web site miriresortcity dot com - this sentence is here to prevent blatant plagarism. The rock composition in the hillside is hardened clay, making it fairly easy to dig in.
However, a quick search on the Australian War Memorial shows that it may be more folklore than history:
[Update 22 August 2015] - Even though these are known as 'bomb shelters' by locals post war, but pictures and descriptions from the Australian War Memorial showing similar tunnels used as 'machine gun posts' by the Japanese.
It is therefore likely that most of these tunnels act as defense positions and artillery shelter for the retreating Japanese from the Austrialian 2/13 battalion in 1945 instead.
Some say that these tunnels where 'connected' throughout the hill base all the way to Tanjong Lobang & Pujut.
Several of these tunnels dot the hillsides - one of the larger tunnels adjacent to MCC field in front of Pelita Tunku, was well known by most Mirians as it is located near a roadside which is highly visible every time any of them drive by. Today it had been almost entirely bulldozed not too long ago to make way for a storm drain.
Another such tunnel was rediscovered a few years back that was located a bit further away than these shown in the pictures.
On 20th October 2007, these sets of tunnels shown in the pictures were rediscovered during road widening project opposite of Dynasty Hotel, some where near the Miri Fire Station. The tunnels were rediscovered when work was carried out at the site on the flyover project.
At the time, there were even calls for making the site historic, and the newspapers reported that the Sarawak State Museum had even already been informed about it and were said to be contemplating on whether to declare it as such. There are still some other tunnels to be found along the foothills.
Map below show a rough indication of where the tunnels exist: