Rajah Charles Brooke Memorial Hospital may be a `heritage site’ soon, says rep

Lo ( second left) placing an offering on the altar used for the `miring’ ceremony. With him are Jong  (second right), Jimbun (right ) and a Shaman.

By Wilfred Pilo

KUCHING, June 15: Rajah Charles Brooke Memorial (RCBM) Hospital is awaiting the State Cabinet approval to be gazetted as a heritage site.

This was revealed by Batu Kitang assemblyman Lo Khere Chiang when he officiated at the `Miring Gawai 2019’ held at RCBM Leprosarium in Mile 13, Jalan Borneo Heights, here, today.

Lo said the hospital, which was once a place to treat lepers, is a historical legacy left behind by the White Rajahs who ruled Sarawak from 1841 to 1946.

“The Brookes left many historical sites in Kuching, such as the Astana, Fort Margherita, old Court House and now RCBM. Once (RCBM Hospital is) gazetted, it will be good for tourism, especially in Padawan area,” said Lo, who is Padawan Municipal Council chairman.

A warm, traditional welcome for Lo to officiate at the `miring’ ceremony organised by the Heritage Society of RCBM Hospital.
Dancers dressed in traditional Iban attire in a photocall with Lo (standing centre) after he officiated at the `miring’ ceremony.

On the `miring’ (a ritual offering to ancestors and spirits) ceremony, he lauded the Heritage Society of RCBM Hospital for organising the event and for observing the Iban culture. Such an initiative is very important, especially for a multiracial society like Sarawak, to enhance unity and understanding among the people.

“If we don’t preserve our cultures, then it is meaningless, as they are the soul and identity of our different communities,” he highlighted.

In commending the Society’s chairperson Angie Jong for a job well done, Lo hoped the event would be an annual affair to gather the different communities together.

When met, Jong said she was grateful the event was a success and planned to do it on a bigger scale once the hospital is gazetted as a heritage site.

“This hospital has many historical past, and we want to share it with everybody,” she enthused.

Meanwhile, besides the `miring’ ceremony, those present were entertained to cultural performances by Lubok Antu folk. Also present was Majlis Adat Istiadat research assistant Jimbun Tawai. — DayakDaily