1962 Brunei Revolt: Reminded me of the time I was interned…

… at the Seria Police Station, although it was only for a few hours. My two sisters, a couple of male friends and I went into town out to have a look,  having heard the previous night about some ‘troubles’. I was still in my pajamas.  I was 8 years old then,  just a week after my Confirmation (was Catholic then).

On the way to town we saw some armed militia, some with guns, some just with machetes. Upon reaching town we are promptly rounded up and marched to the Seria Police station which be captured by the rebels. Our attempt to buy some ‘kuey teow’ (fried flat noodles) ended swiftly.

We  were held in the Police Station compound, until the local rebel chief decided to free all women and children. The two adult male friends were held back but my sisters and I were freed. This were the result of negotiations  between the rebels and some local elders.

My neighbor, a Mr. Clifford, was among those held back and he was among those used as human shields by the rebels when

they attacked the Panaga Police Station. He was killed and the sad news reached us one early morning. His wife and children were devastated and we went over to console them. We went through the hole in the fence that we had made.

The rebel attempts to take over the Panaga Police Station happened nightly but they were repulsed and it was not taken. The  British forces came a few days later and recaptured the town. Mopping up began and lasted a few weeks, the rebels flags, which we were forced to put up, were torn down and before long, order was restored and we went back to school.

Seria Town, as it is today

Related reads:

Books by various authors:

Others (Videos):

This was an article “Brunei Revolt” which I had posted previously but link to it is no longer working.

The Brunei Revolt broke out on December 8, 1962 and was led by Yassin Affandi and his armed rebels. The rebels began co-ordinated attacks on the oil town of Seria, targeting the Shell oil installations and attacks on police stations and government facilities around the protectorate. Contemporary accounts also refer to it as the Brunei Rebellion. This uprising is seen as one of the first stages of the Borneo Confrontation.

Contents 1 Background 2 The Battle for Seria 3 Eyewitness accounts 4 Executions at Temburong 5 The Assault on Limbang 6 Consequences of the revolt 7 References


  1. #1 by Melvin on November 6, 2010 - 10:35 am

    I too was held up in that Seria police station for a few days back in 1962 and I’m trying to get more information of this and other sites in Seria & Kuala Belait for an illustrated genealogy document I’m working on for my family. I was born in Kuala Belait hospital after my family moved there in 1953 from India to work at Shell Oil and at Kuala Belait hospital so we are about the same age, but I live in the US now.

    Can you share more information or pictures etc. regarding this rebel account? I’m trying to pin these exact locations using Google Earth. My family also has a Catholic background and we lived in Shell Oil company housing in Kuala Belait and I attended a Catholic school there I believe.

    The rebels stopped us as we were driving over to Seria to do some Christmas shopping on Dec. 8th 1962, I believe, and had us pull over into the police station that they had taken over. We were locked up for three days or so till they let the women and children leave. My dad was kept behind to run the Shell plant as he was a foreman there at the time. Please contact me so we can share more info on this. There also has been a video production done on this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IiHtMZDcfv0) and I just noticed a book on Amazon about this topic (http://www.amazon.com/Rebellion-Brunei-Imperialism-Confrontation-International/dp/184511423X).


    • #2 by Jacob Mathews on March 11, 2013 - 11:59 am

      Dear Melvin,

      Where are you in usa, I am here in NewJersey, I too was born in Kuala Belait, in the year 1958.and was there during the rebellion, i studied at St James School in Kuala Belait, you can conatct me at mathewsjacob14@hotmail.com, I was in Brunei working there from 1998-2000.
      When I was there, i was not able to get more information about this , due to some restriction of masking the old history.
      Now I am reading all this from Google.
      Hope we can share more about this old history of our birth Place

      • #3 by Melvin Gonsalvez on March 13, 2013 - 3:23 pm

        Hello Jacob:
        Thanks for getting in touch. I now live in Washington State. You can read more of my KB Brunei experience at the following link … http://forum.bruclass.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1288968689/0 … where I earlier posted some of my info on a Brunei forum to connect with others as I researched my family’s genealogy.

        I’d love to share more info with you and hear of your accounts over there.


  2. #4 by Doug Mein on January 2, 2011 - 4:10 pm

    My father worked for Shell in the Marine Department and we lived in KB1 on Jalan Maulana.
    We were in Australia when the rebellion broke out. I was nine years old at the time and remember seeing pictures of friends who had been taken prisoner at the Panaga police station in the Sydney newspapers. Our neighbour, Sister Jean Scott, a nurse at Kuala Belait hospital, was one of the prisoners and I believe she and others negotiated with the rebels to have the women and children released.
    We returned to Brunei in early January 1963. The rebellion had ended by that time but the situation was still serious. We were stopped at several roadblocks on the way from Brunei Town to Kuala Belait.
    Clifford Joseph was killed and buried opposite the Shell Company commissariat, now Supasave supermarket. I seem to recall the Panaga police station was on Jalan Maulana, some distance from where he was shot. His body was moved to the Kuala Belait Christian cemetery in 1963.
    Doug Mein

  3. #5 by Evelyn Joseph Campbell on November 6, 2011 - 4:46 am

    Clifford Joseph was my father. Which neighbors were you? The Leongs were our neighbours on the other side of our semidetached Shell house and we spent part of the rebellion with them until Shell flew us to my mother’s parents in Lutong. If you wouldn’t mind emailing me I’d really appreciate it. Thank you.

    • #6 by Mahathir Chang on November 20, 2011 - 6:07 pm

      Hi I replied to your email

  4. #7 by alan on March 16, 2012 - 1:25 pm

    Can u tell me details about your late father….who killed him and how he was kill…thanks

  5. #8 by Boniface Chang on April 5, 2012 - 9:51 am

    It is unlikely that one could tell who killed Clifford Joseph. He was one of the men used as human shield by the rebels who tried to storm the Panaga Police Station. One would believe that he was shot from one of the bullets flying around at that time. It was a sad day and all of us were numb with shocked when we heard the news.

  6. #9 by Evelyn J. Campbell on November 6, 2012 - 8:05 am

    Does anyone remember the rebel flag that we were forced to place outside our Shell houses? My brother remembers it being red with a bull’s head. I believe the rebels went door to door forcing the women to sew these flags. Does anyone have similar memories or saved one of these flags?

    • #10 by Boniface Chang on January 10, 2013 - 10:52 am

      May have looked something like this, similar to the flag of Parti Rakyat Malaysia. In Brunei, the party was called Parti Rakyat Brunei.

  7. #11 by Waveney Maria Lazaro Manthei on January 23, 2013 - 11:53 pm

    We lived in Seria during the rebellion in 1962. My father worked for Shell Oil. His name was Patrick Lazaro. We had just come back from Japan on holiday and my mum and dad went into town with my sister and her friend (the Michael family from India) who lived behind us to go to the market and for my sister and her friend’s confirmation class. My Dad was held hostage in the Seria police station and my mum and the girls were released. I remember being outside and seeing my mum and the two girls walking back and my mum was so freaked out. She rushed all of us into the house and locked the doors and windows. Later that day a friend of the family, last name Allen and their two children showed up at our house. Their father was also held hostage at the Seria police station. We had no food because we had just arrived from japan so the Michael family would send food over for us. There was also another lady who showed up at our house but I have forgotten her name. We lived by the sea and I remember seeing the rebels on station by the road to the beach. They were bored out of their minds and we would watch them pouring sand and water into the barrels of their guns and then letting them flow out. I also remember the helicpoters that landed by the beach by our house and the soliders coming out of them with their dogs. My Dad showed up at our house after a couple of days, he was just let go. The husband of the Allen’s also showed up at our house after a few days. I remember hearing shooting going on during which my mum stuffed us kids in a closet and was on her knees praying. I did not realize it at that time, but she was having a flash back to world war 2 which took place when she was 15 in Burma. I do remember the rebels coming to the house and forcing us to fly their flag. We had to sew it and it had to be red and white. I went to the Catholic school, St. Angela’s at the time and my mum worked for the principal at that school. We immigrated to the US in 1968 and I have not gone back since. I have just finished reading the Brunei Revolt and it has brought back so many memories.

    • #12 by Mahathir 马哈迪 on January 24, 2013 - 6:56 am

      Interesting. Nice of you to share your experience. When we were released we went home and lived off the garden and chicken coop. We planted our own vegetables and reared some chicken then. We lived in Shell’s house in ‘Lorong’3, facing the main Seria-Belait road and could hear machine gun fire every night. Then the sad news came regarding Mr. Clifford. We made a hole in the fence to go over to comfort his family.

      My sisters had since migrated, one to Perth, Australia and the eldest to Vancouver, Canada. You may know them as the eldest was a dental assistant with Mrs. Aposto, at the Panaga Hospital. She is in her late 60s now. Mrs. Aposto is also very old and now in Perth too. My elder sister married her son, Nicholas. My eldest daughter, Pauline, lives in Alaska with her husband and children. Family pretty much scattered all over the world.

      Seria is now a very quiet town. Most people live in the suburbs in Mumong and in Lumut where the gas plant is located. Some live in Bandar Seri Begawan and commute daily to Lumut and Seria to work. St. Micheal’s School, where I spent 11 years of my life, had since been closed, a few years ago, and the students transferred to St. Angela’s, now a co-ed. Who would have imagined, Catholic boys and girls together!

      Even I live in Bandar Seri Begawan now, by choice. After I returned from the U.K., I worked in Brunei Shell for a few years and then moved to Bandar Seri Begawan and that was 30 years ago. Only a few friends left there, most in my batch had migrated to Canada, ether in Vancouver or Edmonton. A couple went to U.K, the Gubaras and the Hammers.

  8. #13 by Waveney Maria Lazaro Manthei on January 25, 2013 - 12:05 am

    We lived next door to the Aposto’s in the last house that we lived in in Seria. They were good friends of my parents. I remember their son taking their German Shepard for a walk every day.Mrs. Aposto had two sons then. My parents had gone to Australia some years back and met up with the Apostos and the Dawson’s (Julie & Gerald). I remember the Gubara family too….
    Did you know the Michael family? The oldest son was Jimmy-he went to St. Michael and their daughters went to St. Angelas. My mum had told me at one time that one of the Aposto son’s still worked for Shell Oil and still lived in Seria, I cannot remember which one. You would probably know. My parents have since passed and I wish that they had written down their experiences as I was 16 when we left for the US. They had 5 children and all of us were born in Seria. I think it is interesting that you moved back to Brunei (I cannot get used to the new name). Just curious as to why you would do that especially after living in the UK or US. We had a wonderful childhood when we lived there. I remember being so freaked out when we came to the USA and had to go to school with boys in it….. LOL It is hard to imagine St. Angela’s being a coed school. My brothers and sisters are all over the US, Texas, Washington State, California and Wisconsin where I live and when we get together we talk about Seria and growing up there and the food… Kuey teow, kolomei, satay…. the SRC club and swimming and the movies. It is so wonderful to talk to someone who lived there at that time….

    • #14 by Mahathir 马哈迪 on January 25, 2013 - 6:14 am

      That would be Nicholas, Mrs. Aposto’s eldest son, married to my elder sister. He had retired from Brunei Shell though he still works for them via its contractor. My sister and nephews lives in Perth so he goes back there regularly. There used to be a direct flight, Brunei-Perth, but not any more so it can be rather inconvenient going via Singapore.

      There is a Seria ‘kuey teow’ in Vancouver. Do not know if it is still operating. They also had one in BSB though I have not eaten there for ages. Used to drop by for breakfast when I lived in the vicinity but I have since moved to another part of BSB. Occasionally, when I am in Kuala Belait, I still drop by to eat the famous KB ‘rojak’ and ‘chendol’; their children are operating the stall, old folks gone.

  9. #15 by Waveney Maria Lazaro Manthei on January 25, 2013 - 12:41 am

    Your elder sister was about 10 years older than me so I do not remember her. But I remember the Vaughn family, the Phillips family, the Michael family, there was another family that had a whole bunch of boys and a girl Isabella…. the oldest son had down’s syndrom… Do you remember any of them….I do not remember the Hammers…. I remember Jessie Gubara she was a little girl at that time… Her parents used to throw big, big birthday parties for her… She had polio when she was young and used to walk with leg braces…… Do you remember Father Barry??? He used to scare me all the time… My father was a devout Catholic and we used to go to church all the time, Saturday evening and Sunday morning and then during the week for school and during lent on Fridays too…. My youngest sister is now a sister with the Dominican order. Do you remember my cousins the Wellingtons? Peter and David were the sons… They immigrated to the US back in the early 60’s…. Peter and David went to St. Michael’s too…..Their youngest sister Janice is also a sister with the Dominican order. My dad had a brother who lived in England and my mum had sis ters who lived in Australia and when they went to visit them they also visited with their friends who had lived in Seria at the time that we did. I also remember that Seria had a chinese theater that only played chinese flims…. The Yang Lows, who had a shop in the market – they sold glasses, their daughter and my youngest sister were very good friends. They immigrated to Canda and they came and visited my family in California a long, long time ago. Gosh, so many memories.

    • #16 by Mahathir 马哈迪 on January 25, 2013 - 6:36 am

      Who can forget Father Barry? Larger than life character. I remember all the priests very well as I was an active church member, altar boy, prayer leader, the Young Christian Students, etc. At one time, people thought I was going to enter the priesthood. Funny, how life turned out. The local priest is now Cornelius Sim, Vicar Apostolic. Don’t know if you remember him.

      I only have faint memories of some of the families you mentioned. The Yang Lows, I remember as his son, YC, was my classmate. Recently he asked to be connected by Facebook. He is in Canada now. His dad’s optometry was next to a shoe shop, where my first love lived. Now that you mentioned Jessie and her medical condition, I can recall. Her brother was also my classmate.

    • #17 by Mahathir 马哈迪 on January 25, 2013 - 7:18 am

      P/S: I wonder if you remembered the Reynolds. He was the OCPD of Panaga Police Station. I used to have a crush on his daughter, Belinda, who studied in St. Angela’s. My elder sister, the one married to Aposto’s; son, was her teacher and she was one of the students who came round to our house some afternoons for tuition. I wonder where they are now.

    • #18 by Gerald Dawson on October 11, 2014 - 7:49 am

      Hi Waveny, Would for you to contact me to catchup after all these years.

      • #19 by Tina Denise Lazaro on December 28, 2014 - 2:50 pm

        Hello Gerald,
        This is Tina Lazaro. We always visited at your house and we played together. My dad passed away on Dec. 7, 2008 and my mom died very suddenly on June 7, 2012. Before my mom died she always wondered if your parents were still alive. I would love to hear from you. I am a religious sister with the Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose. I have taught many grades and am presently teaching Grade 3. I will let my sister know that you communicated with her on October 11, 2012

  10. #20 by Doug Mein on January 25, 2013 - 4:58 am

    I remember the Yang Low family. They also had a shop in Miri. Optometrist, photo studio and Yang Low’s wife was a hairdresser. I met her in her Seria shop in the late 1980s. Nice lady and quite old by then. There were still Yang Low spectacle shops in Miri at that time. One still exists but I don’t know if it still connected to the family. Maybe in name only. Does anyone remember Joe Curio? Furniture and ornament shop and freight forwarding company. He also went to Canada. His daughter was still running his shop Kuala Belait and was about to to move to Canada when I met her in the late 80s. I think her husband worked for Shell at the time and was about to retire. And there was Johnny ‘Nevermind’ a door to door salesman who travelled between Miri and Seria selling things like rugs. He died in Miri about twenty five years ago.

    • #21 by Mahathir 马哈迪 on January 25, 2013 - 7:10 am

      Johnny Nevermind, hmm.., Not that I recall. Only some door-to-door like that ‘Shandong man’, as people used to call him, (the tall man from Shandong Province, China) who carried bales of cloth on his shoulders, People from Shandong are tall.

      Then there was the barber who used to cut my hair and rewarded me with a sweet after and the veggie man who came round in a van. Can’t remember any of their names.

  11. #22 by Doug Mein on January 25, 2013 - 5:18 am

    Apologies for getting off topic here, but does anyone remember where the Roxana Cinema was. I believed it was east of Seria, opposite the refinery. The reason think this is because there is a petrol station called Roxana in the area. A friend tells me it was west of Seria, near the Brunei Garrison. I’m confused. Can anyone help?

    • #23 by Mahathir 马哈迪 on January 25, 2013 - 5:58 am

      It west of Seria, near the Brunei Garrison. The petrol station, also called Roxana, is east, near the refinery. The cinema had been closed decades ago and so was the Marina, the one in the town center. There is a new cinema that opened last year, though I have not been there yet.

      Have not been back to Seria for 2 or 3years. There is a by pass road that takes us to Kuala Belait so unless we need to make a trip there we give it a miss.

  12. #24 by Doug Mein on January 25, 2013 - 6:07 am

    Thank you!

  13. #25 by Tina Lazaro on February 25, 2013 - 7:51 am

    Doug Mein,
    Where do you live now that you can bypass Seria? Also I take it you still live in Brunei….what happened to all the Shell Oil Company houses? Were they all demolished? The last house my family lived in was the two attached houses that were converted into one, the ones right next to the beach….are they gone? Thanks.

    Tina Lazaro

    • #26 by Mahathir on February 25, 2013 - 8:08 am

      Hi Tina,

      I believe Doug Mein lives in Australia.

      As for me, I now live in the capital, Bandar Seri Begawan (formerly Brunei Town). Shortly after Tutong you can take the the bypasss to Kuala Belait, so unless you intend to visit Seria you tend to by pass it. Seria is now getting very quiet, soon will be like a ghost town.

      Most of the houses (including the one you lived in) by the beach had been demolished, including those in Lorong 1 & 2 by the Seria-KB road, which now is where the Oil and Gas Discovery Center is situated.

      Most Brunei Shell employees now live in their own houses, funded by the BSP’s home ownership scheme. Either they are in Mumong, that stretch of land after the Panaga round-a-bout, or in Lumut where the gas plant is.

  14. #27 by Doug Mein on February 25, 2013 - 9:12 am

    Hello Tina and Mahathir,

    Correct, I live in Sydney but have been going back to Brunei regularly. Tina, I’m pretty sure your house has gone. I don’t remember seeing any houses by the beach the last time I was there. A lot of vacant land and the Oil and Gas Discovery Centre. There was also some construction work, I’m not sure what, happening near the beach. I emailed some photos a while ago, let me know if you didn’t get them and I’ll try again.

    The town of Seria is still recognisable from our time but there are some newer tall buildings scattered here and there. Marina Cinema was being restored and the work has probably been completed by now. There is a huge, and I mean huge, housing estate south of Panaga Camp. Something like 2000 houses I believe.

  15. #28 by Tina Lazaro on February 25, 2013 - 1:04 pm

    Thank you Mahathir and Doug for your responses. Why were all those houses demolished? Do people who work for the Shell Oil Company now build and buy their own homes? Yes, I did get the pictures you sent, Doug. Those were a lot of homes that were demolished….sad. I would love to go back to Seria and see how things have changed since 1968. There is nothing like the kuey teow and koh-lo-mee (incorrrect spelling, I am sure) that I remember eating in Seria. Does Seria, Brunei town have many tourists?
    Best regards,
    Tina Lazaro

    • #29 by Gerald Dawson on October 11, 2014 - 7:47 am

      Hi Tina, Great to see your post …Have been searching for awhile now for brunei/seria contacts. Would love if you could contact me to catch up.

      • #30 by Tina Denise Lazaro on December 28, 2014 - 3:01 pm

        Gerald, let me have your email address so that we can connect. Say hello to your mom for me – I was always her favorite (I think).
        My email address is denise@msjdominicans.org (Denise is my middle name). It is so great to be connected again. I hope to hear from you soon.

      • #31 by Tina Denise Lazaro on February 24, 2015 - 3:38 pm

        Hi Gerald. Please connect again. I accidentally deleted your email that had your address and now I no longer have it. Please email me at denise@msjdominicans.org
        This is why you have not heard from me.
        Thanks. Tina

  16. #32 by Jacob Mathews on March 11, 2013 - 12:18 pm

    So nice to read all the articles of Brunei,the good old days are gone, when we were there, I was working In Kuala Belait during 1998-2000.
    I tried to recollect all the old memories and visited all the old places after leaving Brunei in the year 1970.
    My Dad was the Head Master of St James School, Kuala Belait during 1962-1972.
    My sisters are in Sydney, and in USA, I too am base in USA now.(NewJersey)

    Hope we can touch base and share our old memories.

  17. #33 by capuchin on April 5, 2013 - 6:28 pm

    Something is not right with the timeline and chronology…How could you have witnessed the rebellion. If you were in the 6th form in 1979, aged 19. you were born in 1960. During the rebellion in 1962 you would have been a 2 year old baby?

  18. #34 by Vincent Ferroa on June 13, 2013 - 10:40 pm

    I and family lived in seria, brunei from 1949 to 1960. I went to the St Michael School and attended the Church of Our Lady where I was a server boy. Father Barry and Father Walsh and Father Maher was in the church. MY family lived in a bungalow at Lorong 12. My name is Vincent Ferroa and my email is; longwalksg@yahoo.com.sg. Pl. write to me.

  19. #35 by moxiecooper on October 8, 2013 - 11:44 am

    I was born in 1963 in Kuala Belait after the rebellion was over but I have heard so many stories from my mother and aunties who lived through the crisis. My name is Philip Chong and my father’s name was Osmond. My father was the former manager of the once famous Roxana movie house. I have great memories going to the movies with my family. Going back to the rebellion, my father and grandfather were captured by the rebels as well and held captive at the police station. My mother and her sister had planned an escape route with our neighbour and in case the rebels came to our neighbourhood, we would leave together. My mother was pregnant with yours truly in that period and my sister was only 8 months old. When they heard gun fires up the street, my mother and aunties panicked and hid in the washroom but realized they had to escape. They checked with the neighbours but they had already left in their car. So, this caused them to become even more frightened and they gather all the essentials and everyone got into one vehicle and left the house with gun fires erupting closer. After a few minutes, my mother realized she did not have my baby sister but was only holding a pillow wrapped in a blanket. They were shocked and had no choice but to return to the house and gather my sister who was laying in her crib. They managed to leave safely and all my family members were safe and sound.

    My mother worked for Shell BSP. We had great xmas parties at the SRC once with Santa arriving in an army helicopter with red bags full of toys…whatever happened to reindeers? I had so many fond memories growing up in Seria. I went to school at St. Margaret until primary 3.

    We moved to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada in 1971 when I was 8. I am still residing in Edmonton. One day, I will return and hopefully visit all the sites I was attached to. Seria’s memories are slowly fading away but I m trying to hang onto them and I yearn to be back one day.

    It is wonderful to read your stories and relate to the names of places. Thank you.

    • #36 by Mahathir 马哈迪 on October 8, 2013 - 1:38 pm

      Hi Phillip, I remember your dad. Are you related to Richard Chong, son of Alfonso? He used to man the doors at the then Roxana Cinema, I think. Richard also has a brother, Robert, married to a Filipina. He worked at Tractors Malaysia (Brunei), Kuala Belait, before he migrated to the US. I had been trying to get in touch with him.

      • #37 by moxiecooper on October 9, 2013 - 5:18 am

        HI Mahathir,
        I am glad you responded. I am not sure how or if we ahve any relation with Richard but I will ask my mother, Rosalind. Her maiden name is Hiew. How well did you know my father or how did the two of you meet? This is like a blast from the past (though havent met before)…

      • #38 by Mahathir 马哈迪 on October 11, 2013 - 4:20 am

        I remembered your dad as I was a regular at the Roxana Cinema and used to see him there. As I mentioned to Vincent I was active on the Parish too, thus knew a lot of people. Father Chung, later became Arch Bishop, was my mentor.
        I found a clip in Youtube of a couple’s, called the Clarks, wedding back in 1953 (before I was born) in the catholic church, Seria. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qTNk6mo-H0. I may know some of their children though.

      • #39 by Mahathir 马哈迪 on October 11, 2013 - 4:40 am

        P/S Do you remember any of these people?

      • #40 by moxiecooper on October 13, 2013 - 12:51 am

        Hi Mahathir,
        Those are great vids from past. Unfortunately, I do not recognize anyone. It sure brings back memories of my life in Seria which was similar to the families depicted in the video. Thanks.

      • #41 by moxiecooper on October 14, 2013 - 10:00 am

        Hi Mahathir,
        I spoke to my mother last night and she said she used to play Mah-jong with an Alfonso Chong. He has long past away. If the name of Richard mother was Paulina, then it is probably the correct Alfonso. However, my mother do not know Richard. Alfonso is not related to our family although we had family members who had worked at Tractors Malaysia. I hope this helps.

    • #42 by Vincent Ferroa on October 10, 2013 - 7:49 pm

      Hi Phillip, liked I mentioned earlier I lived in Seria from 1949 to 1960. I remember Roxana Theatre. There were some 3 flares burning at ground level. When the movie, Bridge on the River Kwai came out in 1957 or 1958, that film was showed at the new Roxana and my brother and I went to watch it. I have not been back to Seria and Brunei where my uncle (de Silva) was staying. If you have any photograph of the old BSP houses photos (where my family was staying them), please send them to me. Very grateful. I do remember the Abad family (particularly Roy) since we were good friends then. For more info: Peter Wellington (from earlier email) and I were in Primary 6 in 1959. My mother was a teacher at Angela Convent in 1958. I remember uncle Clifford Joseph. Pl. contact. Thanks.

      • #43 by Mahathir 马哈迪 on October 11, 2013 - 3:58 am

        Hi Vincent, Thanks for the memories. I knew most of the people mentioned as I was active in the Parish, being altar boy, prayer leader and secretary of the Young Christian Student then. I remember Roy and the de Silva family. Roy was a few years my senior. You may remember my sister Anna Chang, used to be a dental nurse assistant/hygienist at the Panaga Hospital but had since migrated to Vancouver, Canada.
        I was at the 60th anniversary celebrations of St. Michael’s School which closed down a few months later.

      • #44 by moxiecooper on October 13, 2013 - 12:47 am

        Hi Vincent, thanks for your reply however, I do not have any old photos of BSP and was too young to keep any. I would like to view them as well which would be a wonderful nostalgia memories.

      • #45 by Evelyn J. Campbell on October 16, 2013 - 12:38 am

        Hi Vincent, Thank you for remembering my dad, Clifford Joseph, after all this time. I used to wonder if anyone remembered him, and I have since learned that there are still people who do. Do you remember my father from church? Rain or shine he was in church every week.

        I have added my dad’s grave information to: http://www.findagrave.com/

        Our old Shell house surprisingly still stands. The two attached houses have now been converted to one house but it’s still there! I haven’t been back since we left after the rebellion, but my sister made a visit a year or two ago and met up with some old neightbours who took her to see the old house.

      • #46 by Mahathir 马哈迪 on October 16, 2013 - 6:19 am

        Amazing. Would have loved to meet your sister as we were neighbors. I do not live in Seria or Kuala Belait but a few minutes away form the Brunei International Airport, Bandar Seri Begawan. Where is your sister living now?

      • #47 by Vincent Ferroa on October 17, 2013 - 9:52 am

        Yes, I remember him from church. My father was the church organist. Sad that loved ones go before us. In some way, he was a hero. Go to my face book (Vincent ferroa) for some photos. Take care.

      • #48 by Evelyn J. Campbell on October 17, 2013 - 10:00 pm

        Hi Vincent, I could not see any of your pictures on FB because I am not your friend, but I did send you a friend request. I like seeing the old photos because we were all too young to have any memories of the place and people. My Mum talked to us a lot about the old days, so many of the names are familiar but not the faces.

      • #49 by vincent Ferroa on October 20, 2013 - 9:53 am

        HI Evelyn, the photo you see in my facebook is me at 5 years old and it was taken at NIA (kajang house) in Seria in 1951. I intend to put photo of my present self shortly. I have replied that you are my friend in facebook.

      • #50 by Tina Lazaro on December 29, 2013 - 2:45 am

        Peter Wellington is my cousin. My name is Tina Lazaro. I was born in Seria, and our family left for the United States in 1968. The Wellington family left Seria for the United States in 1962. I would love to go back to Seria to walk down memory lane myself. I am sad that the Shell Oil Company houses are all gone. The last one we lived in was the two connected houses that were converted into one. We were right there by the beach. There were some wonderful Shell Oil company houses in Kuala Beilit. I hope those were demolished. I remember our family used to go and visit the Virdi family. They lived in a lovely home with hardwood floors. Mr. Virdi worked for the Shell Oil Company and was in the Senior class. My dad was in the Middle class so we could not live in the houses in Kuala Beilait. I long to go back and visit. I am sure everything must be very diffferent now.

        Peter Wellington is married, has three grown sons and lives in California. His mother is still alive. My dad William Patrick Lazaro died on December 7, 2008 after being sick in the hospital for quite a while. My mom, Coralie Lazaro, who was the secretary of St. Angela’s School, died suddenly on June 7, 2012. It was a shock and very hard. I don’t know if anyone remembers my mom as the secretary at the school. I would love to hear from anyone if your remember my family, the Lazaro family, and/or me Tina Lazaro.

        Best regards,

      • #51 by Vincent Ferroa on December 29, 2013 - 8:53 pm

        Thanks Tina for the information. Peter was in my class and was smarter that me. My mother, Catherine Ferroa was a teacher at St Gabriels and St Angela convent. She may have known your mother but my mother too has passed away in 2008 in Perth W.Australia. I know the Lazaro family but not sure whether it was yours. I wished we had met much earlier. If you have any old photos particularly of the old BSP quarters where we stayed, grateful if you could forward. Pl. go to my facebook. I will attached a current photo of myself. If you intent to visit Seria, keep in touch with me. I would like to go there too. Bye and take care. Vincent

      • #52 by Mahathir 马哈迪 on January 30, 2014 - 6:25 am

        Nice to hear of people from the past. It would be wonderful if all could meet at one big reunion in Seria.

  20. #53 by Vincent Ferroa on January 31, 2014 - 1:36 pm

    That’s my greatest wish too.

    • #54 by Boniface @ Mahathir on February 1, 2014 - 10:21 am

      I have posted a class of 1970 pic. If you have any old photos, please share with us. Reagrds.

    • #55 by Tina Denise Lazaro on December 28, 2014 - 7:22 pm

      There was only one Lazaro family, so the one you knew was my family. My parents, who are no longer living, William Patrick Lazaro and Coral Lazaro came from Burma to Seria. All five of the children were born in Seria. I have two older sisters (Waveney and Cheryl) and two younger brothers (Patrick and Gerard). We were in Seria when the rebellion took place. My parents applied to different countries – United States, Australia, and England – and the first country that gave us Visas was the United States. We left Seria in 1968. I was 12 years old so I still remember a lot. We were close friends of the Dawson family and the Virdie family. I would love to go back to visit Seria and see how things have changed. I would also love to go back so that I can eat some kolomei and kuey sway (I am sure it is not spelled correctly).
      Best regards,
      Tina Lazaro

      • #56 by cyril wong on June 22, 2018 - 9:44 pm

        Hi, wud like to know if your dad ever have a Morris Minor with the side trafficator during his time working in BSP in 1960s.

  21. #57 by Gerald Dawson on October 10, 2014 - 1:46 am

    Hi everyone…It was so great to see some very familiar names especially from the Lazaros. My name is Gerald DAWSON previously of Seria Brunei. Stretching the memory back some 46 years now. Went back to brunei/Seria a few years back. Our house is still standing at Lorong 14. Our family now reside in Australia. Tina and Waveney do you remember playing under the house. Have some photos somewhere would love to share. Sorry to hear about your parents (Uncle and Aunty). My Dad(George) has also passed. Mum Julie is still going strong. Mahatir you might remember her from the youth group she used to be quite involved in that from memory. Enjoyed all your posts. Keep in touch.

    • #58 by Tina Denise Lazaro on February 24, 2015 - 3:42 pm

      Gerald, please email me so that I can get your email address again. Thanks!

  22. #59 by J Pozan on June 18, 2016 - 10:58 am

    Hi to all,
    We lived in KB from the 50s to 70s and almost our lifetime there. It was great except for 1962..
    Mahathir may I know your early name pls?
    So most of us were from St James St Margaret’s St Michael St John or St Angela’s. Look up Fb for St Margarets you will love the page.
    Reach me through my email. I now resides in Kuching.
    J Pozan

    • #60 by Boniface @ Mahathir on June 18, 2016 - 4:02 pm

      My non-Muslim name is Boniface Chang Soon Teck, born and bred in Seria until I moved to Bandar Seri Begawan. I studied at St. Michael’s School until Form 5, then left for the U.K. My parents were from Kuching.

      You may know my sister Anna (Annie) who is now in Vancouver, Canada and Winnie now in Perth, Australia. My dad was the late Joseph Chang who work in Materials Dept, BSP (now called Supplies).

      You can be in touch with some people from the past in FB as well. I have links in my page (Mahathir (Boniface) Chang. Will have coffee should I visit Kuching again.


  23. #61 by MELVIN GONSALVEZ on November 11, 2017 - 7:10 am

    Hello Everyone:

    My parents, George & Evelyn Gonsalvez moved to KB and worked from 1953-63 over there till we got caught up in the rebellion and then fled the country in 1963 not knowing how long it would last. I was born in KB Hospital where my mother worked and my father worked as a supervisor at the Shell Oil plant in Seria. Dad said that we first lived in a Kajang house and then later moved to a pre-fab home just a 5 min. walk east of where KB Hospital used to stand

    Does anyone have pictures of what these Kajang houses looked like and the pre-fab ones too?

    I’m actually leaving this coming week to spend a few days in Brunei and photograph all our historical, family related places there and then fly over to S. India where I’ll be visually documenting my parents’ places of birth and their subsequent life over there. All this will be going into a special presentation to be screened on Sat. Dec. 30th at a church hall in Kelowna as my Dad will have reached his 100th B’day by then and Dad & Mom will be celebrating their 70th Wedding Anniversary.

    My parents knew the Lazaro family very well so Tina please get in touch with me at gmelvin111@gmail.com.

    Thank You Everyone & Take Care!


    • #62 by Gerald Dawson on November 12, 2017 - 5:13 am

      Good Morning Melvin, You may not know me but your family name is familiar from all the conversations heard from my own parents, George and Julie Dawson. Julie also worked at KB hospital with Dorothy Fernandez and Rhodi Jeeves. George was at Anduki airport. Such a thrill for your Dad’s 100th and the 70th anniversary for them both. Congratulations on both. A special time ahead. Good Luck with your endeveours it a good thing you do. Gerald Dawson.

      • #63 by Melvin Gonsalvez on December 16, 2017 - 3:07 am

        Hello Gerald, nice to meet you. I’m back home in WA State after being away three weeks overseas (the first week in Brunei and the last two in S. India) trying my best to visually document my parents’ individual lives and their marriage history over the decades. I was able to track down most of the original sites I was hoping to get to but the rest have already been either torn down or incorporated into larger renovations over the years.

        I’ll certainly run your family names by my parents when I next speak with them and I’ll let you know if they remember them.

        Where do you live now?


  24. #64 by cyril wong on April 2, 2018 - 10:51 pm

    Hello, my name is Cyril and I am trying to get pictures of a nurse Mrs. Decosta. She was a nurse from Kuala Beliat. She accompany my mum in an ambulance headed to Kuala Beliat hospital. I was born inside the ambulance on 17 May 1961.

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