Australian Road Builders in North Borneo

Posted on: December 17th, 2013 by Adrian No Comments


North Borneo History: Australian Road Builders

This is a old photo posted by the North Borneo Historical Society on their Facebook page. I love old photos and the history of North Borneo. To many, it is living history because there are people here who were around when Sabah was North Borneo.

Australian road builders in North Borneo

Australian road builders in North Borneo

From the Facebook post:

“Australian road builders in North Borneo: meet transport Warrant-officers Max Hutchinson of Collinsvale, Tasmania and Ray Green of Holland Park, Queensland, Australia.

Hutchinson was serving with the 21st Construction Squadron, which relieved Green’s 24th Construction Squadron. Both squadrons were heavily involved in road building projects in Sabah in 1966.

In this photo, they are making sure that their units are in good working order.

Sabah has special, deep historical ties with Australia and we hope that it will continue that way.”

These men were building a 182km road linking Keningau, a town in the mountainous Crocker range to Sepulot from 1964-1966. Before these roads were built, travel was only possible on foot or on the back of buffaloes.

Many years back, I read an account of how locals need 5 days to travel from Kota Kinabalu, which was called Jesselton at the time, to Tambunan. The roads and subsequent railway lines that were built helped open up the interior of Sabah and made progress possible.

A word of appreciation goes out to all the men and women from all nations who helped build Sabah in the days following World War 2. Many of their contributions are unknown to our current generation.

North Borneo Historical Society Facebook Page

The North Borneo Historical Society is committed to collecting, researching, preserving, conserving and sharing an understanding of the history of North Borneo (Sabah) through the use of digital media and social networking.

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