Wednesday, 17 January 2007

Kuala Rompin

Once a while you will find a place where you feel you have been there before. They said, "deja vu". We say, "rasa macam pernah pergi, tapi dimana ya.."If you are very familiar with Kuala Dungun, it won't be a suprise if you will feel almost at home in Kuala Rompin. Kuala Rompin was a town, which in its height, circa 1960/70s, during the iron ore industry was at it's peak. So did the Kuala Dungun, which flourished due to the "iron-ringgit" from Bukit Besi, roughly at the same time, of which l will write it later anyway...

Nowadays, if one drive to Kg Pantai Bernas via a split-off road from Pekan-Mersing trunk route, one will find the road is strangely straight, very straight in fact, heading towards the Kuala Rompin. The road gravels are somewhat rusty, metallic like. The houses nearby, the old ones especially, looks so different, it is almost like in a time wrap. One will wondering why this happen... Take a stroll at Kg Pantai Bernas, you will still find, even today, heaps of rusty gravel. Talk to the villagers, chances are they are speaking in a somekind of Terengganu dialect...

Well, the Rompin's iron industry was operated by the EMCO, the British's Eastern Mining Company, the same company that responsible for Kuala Dungun / Bukit Besi iron fame. Rompin's iron ores were mined in Bukit Ibam, and the EMCO probably used the same master plan that the used in Kuala Dungun / Bukit Besi. They built the rail track from Bukit Ibam to Kuala Rompin port. They developed Kuala Rompin to a one main street town and probably the most radical of it all was, they "imported" part of the Bukit Besi staff, to this new site.

Among other hundreds if not thousand, my late uncle, Ayah Ngah Wan Berahim and my late auntie, Che Ngah Wan Ngah berhijrah to Kuala Rompin since then. Settled in Pantai Bernas, my Ayah Ngah worked with the EMCO until the last day of iron glory. When EMCO chapter was over, my Ayah Ngah's family remained in Rompin as the roots were already planted there. So, all of my first cousins regards Rompin as their home-turf.

In Rompin my late uncle Ayah Ngah Wan Berahim and my late auntie, Che Ngah Wan Ngah went to see the Creator.

All of my cousins are still thick with Terengganu dialect. And the straight road was a rail track before. And the rusty gravels are still the iron ore...

Until late mid-90s, they still have a locomotive in Kg Pantai Bernas...

3 comments:

qool said...

hahaha ... since when has ur art become worst-o-graphy?

wmsoo said...

he he he... ambik gambar dah beribu keping, skill tak juga bertambah-tambah... nak tulis photography rasa macam malu...last last tukar jadi "worst-o-graphy"... he he he...

sayanura said...

What can I say, few weeks ago, I invited a very talented friend of mine, Ayda
(aydeology.fotopages.com) to capture these two rows of old shophouses in Bandar Lama
Rompin as well as a row of post-war shophouses at jalan sultan ahmad in pekan. I responded
to her 'rustic charm' photo entry of 'JALAN BESAR, KUANTAN'. Her father originally come from Kg Leban Chondong, Rompin. I did mentioned, rompin-pekan-kuantan are the must-stopover whenever a person trolls along the eastern coastline from JB towards Ganu. How nice to see this almost-forgotten Bandar Lama, beautifully captured and framed by non-orang rompin, so that everyone can appreciate it :).

I hope you tried the roti canai rompin from 3 well-known warong among the locals. The roti canai is VERY tasty and the dhal is so WOW! (bukan nak exagerrate cerita, dah realiti memang sedap kuah dhalnya), and i recommended to everyone that come over to my beloved Rompin town :). Take note that, they serves dhal only in the morning. Those 3 warongs operated
by the 3 related sheikhs (indian muslim brothers). The original warong (the first one and
it still there) situated next to pasar ikan in bandar lama. Very near to the empty shophouse like the one in ur second photo.

Anyway, jemputlah lagi ke Rompin..