Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Borneo Company office and store in 1960's

The Borneo Company office and store, circa 1960's, fronting Keppel Road.
Photo credit : Ho Ah Choon, "Sarawak in Pictures 1940's - 1970's "
 On its wall is a big billboard advertising a brand of cigarette popular during the 60's called 'Lucky Strike'.
The former building site of the Borneo Company, Keppel Road, taken on 12 Oct'14.
A unique company that existed during the Brooke's family administration and control of Sarawak was the Borneo Company Limited.  It was referred to briefly as 'Borneo Company'.  It was founded in London in 1856 and established its operation in Kuching in the same year.  The Company carried out business throughout Sarawak during the Brooke days (1841 - 1941) and during the British colonial period (1946-1963).  The Borneo Company Limited was granted sole public company operating rights in Sarawak in 1856 and had strategic interests in minerals, timber, agriculture, shipping and financing government commercial schemes. In the 1960's, the Company's operation in Bintulu was carried out at a wooden shophouse along the Keppel Road (see top picture) The Borneo Company faced changing fortunes when in 1963 it was re-named as SEBOR Holdings (Sarawak) Sendirian Berhad and partly owned by SEDC Sarawak. However, in 1967 Borneo Company merged with Inchcape Group of UK and run as subsidiary of the group.  In 2007, the Company was taken over by Hong Kong-based company, Integrated Distribution Services (IDS) Group Limited.