About Me

I have done a lot of things in my life and have also worked in many different jobs to make a living and to experience life. This blog is just some of my musings, sometimes funny, sometimes inspirational, sometimes sad, sometimes angry, sometimes simple but all the time, it's just me.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

My name is Claude Champion de Crespigny

The story begins with a Mr. C.C. (Claude Champion) de Crespigny, then the Resident of Baram, who was the first to record the presence of oil in Sarawak. The entry in his diary, dated 31st July 1882, refers to oil discovered in some 18 wells dug by hand by the local inhabitants.

'Earth Oil' (Minyak Tanah) was their name for it. Ever since this strange substance appeared in seepages, its possibilities had begun to be realised. They used the oil mixed with resin for chaulking boats. They also tried to use it for lighting, employing an open wick, but it invariably caught fire, usually with disastrous results to their homes. 'Earth Oil' soon earned a reputation of being possessed by a 'hantu' (ghost/spirit) with an inconvenient and insatiable desire to burn down houses.

But now officialdom had recognised its existance. De Crespigny recommended, in his report to the Rajah of Sarawak, Sir Charles Brooke, that an investigation be made. The Rajah presumably never gave this a second thought, since nothing was done. After all, the year was 1882 and the demand for petroleum in Sarawak was nil.

The persistent de Crespigny, however, obviously saw more of a future oil than the Rajah did. In 1884, we find him again suggesting that the whole area be "thoroughly searched and reported on."

NOTE: The above was taken from various sources of information.

Take care and be well.

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