D. ABOK

The coming of Christianity to Abok was depicted in the film ‘The Last Candle’ which incidentally was shot in the area.

abok.indexA boy from Abok, Basil Embah, was baptised in Banting by Dexter Allen in the early 1900s. After finishing his studies he returned to his village and spread the Christian faith to his friends and relatives. When he heard that Banting had a priest again in the person of Angking, he asked to be visited. Angking then sent John Blassan to Abok where the latter opened a school (St. Barnabas) initially with 17 students. Villages further upstream also showed keen interest in the new faith.

In February 1937 Bishop Hudson visited Abok and was satisfied with the sincerity of the people. Stonton visited in April and baptized 84 adults in the river, and 53 children in the church. In July the Bishop came again and this time he confirmed over 80 candidates. The Bishop also visited Penghulu Linang at Munggu Ubah, where a chapel bad been build and confirmed some candidates. When John Blassan moved back to Banting after Angking’s departure, lay reader John Hugh looked after Abok.

In 1939, Christianity was brought to Sungai Pinang through Goh, a former pupil at St. Luke, who wandered there. He opened a school (St. mark) and later requested a visit from Stonton. Some people were baptised during Stonton’s visit. In 1940, John  Hugh moved to Sungai Pinang while Goh looked after the school. John Hugh’s place at Abok was taken by Engkuak, and the school was looked after by Simon Lee. In 1951, after his catechist training George Langkan was sent to Abok, where he began evangelizing the surrounding villages. A temporary chapel had been erected at Isu. The Bishop visited Abok, Sabal, and Sg. Pinang in 1951 and confirmed 71 candidates on a football field. When the Bishop visited Abok in 1956, he confirmed 596 candidates – a testimony of Langkan’s evangelistic zeal!. By this time a church had been built at Pantu.

In 1956m Peter Radin was moved to Sungai Pinang and from there he looked after Simunjan. By this time Abok and Sungai Pinang had come under Kuching because of the new road from Kuching. Frederick Rajit moved to Sungai Pinang in 1961. At this time a Church Farm School was started at Sungai Pinang under Inter-Church Aid. An agricultural scientist and priest Edward Rowley was put in charge of the project.

ABOK 2