The History of Brooke Dockyard
One of oldest working dockyard in Southeast Asia since Pre WW1
One of the most important events in the history of the Public Works Department and the Progress of Kuching took place on Friday afternoon, the 31st May, when the Dry Dock was formally opened by her highness the Ranee Muda. The ceremony was very simple but the display of bunting on shore and the vessels waiting to enter the Dock, the gaily decorated stand from which the opening ceremony took place and the crowd of people of various nationalities surrounding the dock formed altogether a picturesque scene not easily forgotten.
Their Highness The Rajah Muda and Ranee Muda with whom was the hon. Oliver Brett left the Astana steps by boat at 5p.m. and proceeded up-stream until off the entrance to the dock when a bugle call from the boat gave the signal to open the gate. Their Highness were then paddled to the steps inside the gate up which they ascended to the dais prepared for their reception. Here Her Highness Was presented with a very fine bouquet of orchids by Master William service. Mr.H.F.Carew-Gibson,
The Commissioner of Public Works and Surveys, who throughout has been responsible for the work of the building the dock, then invited Her Highness the Ranee Muda to declare the dock open. Her Highness, stepping to the front of thge dais, said “I declare this Dock now open and name it the “Brooke Dock”. The S.S Alice Lorainne which was built in Sarawak to replace the old Lorna Doone was then brought in followedby the launch Mermaid. His Highness the Rajah Muda having congratulated Mr. Carew-Gibson then took his departure together with Her Highness and this brought the ceremony to a close.
The Dock which was commenced at the end of 1908 has just taken just over two years to build, work having been stopped for the nearly a year. The dimensions of the dock have been given elsewhere but it may be mentioned again that it is capable of holding either the s.s Kuching or Rajah of Sarawak. The Commissioner of the P.W.D. and his staff as to be congratulated on the completion of this work, one of the most important and largest that has ever been undertaken in this Country