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Story of Well No.478

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The story of Well No.478, is that on one particular day, the driller on duty received a call instructing him to get his rig cleaned up as the Rajah, Sir Vyner Brooke was coming to visit him. It was 26th July, 1929, a momentous occassion, and Well 478 was one of the many places of visit for His Highness.

The driller, being concerned with etiquette than cleanliness, worried more about how he should address His Highness. "Do I call him 'Rajah, Sir, Sire, Your Excellency, or what?" "You don't address him at all, you just keep drilling." was the answer.

As luck would have it, a few minutes before the great moment arrived, something went wrong with the drill pipe. Thinking that he had time to pull it out of the hole, the driller began to raise the pipe. In the middle of this operation, however, the Rajah and his staff and the local dignitaries arrived. "Good", said the General Manager of Sarawak Oilfields at the time to His Highness, "we're just in time to see the drilling bit come out of the hole."

Tense expectancy all around; only as it slowly came up, was a broken drill pipe; the drill bit was at the bottom of the hole. There was an awkward silence. His Highness, being a diplomat, pretended not to notice. Everyone departed as quickly as possible.

Everyone, that is , except for the frustrated driller, almost reduced to tears and furiously kicking the legs of Well 478.

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