This is a fascinating account of the author’s eight years as an Assistant District Officer in the service of the North Borneo Chartered Company administration in the territory that is now the Malaysian state of Sabah. During his eight years of service he was frequently moved, and had postings in all four corners of the state. Conditions were primitive (in some postings no telephone, and boats the only means of transport), and disasters the norm, but Cook seems to have been fazed by very little. In addition to his normal duties as administrator, magistrate, etc. he was forced to deal with a cholera epidemic in Semporna and the nearby islands, and a massive flood in the Sugud River. For a young man in his twenties—and the only European officer in these remote locations—these seem almost superhuman feats.
Only during his posting at Tuaran and Kota Belud did Cook have a slightly more sociable time. He was able to attempt a climb of Mount Kinabalu—alas, he was unable to reach the summit, though his two companions did. In 1916 this was still a rare feat.
Table of Contents
- Joining the service — Tenom: My First District 15
- Kaningau and land settlement 35
- Semporna 49
- Tuaran 91
- Kota Belud 142
- North Keppel 180
- Labuk and Sugut 197
- Locusts and leave 270