Stroll through Sarawak’s unique history under the Brooke Rajahs

Paul Gerarts is back again with a new Stroll series this October, making it his third outing under the third What About Kuching (WAK) 2019.

Under the patronage of Sarawak Heritage Society (SHS), Gerarts will be taking history and heritage enthusiasts on “A Stroll through Kuching’s law and order under the Brooke Rajahs”.

WAK – A Stroll Gerarts (centre) explaining some finer points of Sarawak’s history to participants of a previous Stroll. (Photo courtesy of Jee Photography.)
WAK – A Stroll
Gerarts (centre) explaining some finer points of Sarawak’s history to participants of a previous Stroll. (Photo courtesy of Jee Photography.)

He said it is held to bring more knowledge about the unique law system and the uniqueness of its buildings under the Brooke Rajahs, covering 1841 to 1946.

“I hope that people get to appreciate Sarawak’s history in this particular Stroll, learning how their judicial system worked, laws they used, some remarkable judgements and which buildings, whether still existent or not, were used for courts, prisons and police force,” he said.

As a heritage facilitator trained in Penang by Arts-Ed for George Town World Heritage Inc, Gerarts assured that they will not be merely wandering around town.

“My Strolls are heritage walks; they have a topic and we stay on that topic. Locals who have travelled abroad or foreigners who join us like this sort of walks as they are common in other countries. This is a good opportunity for locals to follow a heritage walk in their own city.”

In 2017, visitors took “A Stroll through Kuching’s Chinese History”, followed by “A Stroll through Sarawak’s very unique history:  the Brooke Rajahs” in 2018. Gerarts researched and designed all three strolls himself.

He received encouraging feedback on the past Strolls, with participants learning new things and appreciating Sarawak’s history better. Some were locals who have never ventured out to these sites before.

“Last year, one person was so thrilled with his first visit to the Brooke Gallery, that he wrote on social media that he was inviting his friends to visit together and learn more about Sarawak history.  Someone else claimed that although he was Sarawakian Chinese, he got extra knowledge during the Chinese History Stroll.”

The Stroll starts at 8am at the Square Tower and will proceed to the Old Court House, followed by the Chinese History Museum. There will be an idyllic sampan ride across river and a hike up to Fort Margherita. The tour ends around 10 am.

The tour will be conducted in in English.

While Strolls are primarily designed for locals, all visitors are most welcomed.

“It was mostly Kuchingites in the last two years. I would love to see more Sarawakians from other parts join too,” Gerarts said, adding that he also encourages younger people to come learn about this aspect of history.

The Strolls will be held on both Saturdays (October 12, 19 and 26) and Sundays (October 13, 20, 27). Each date is limited to 20 participants. Joining is free during WAK 2019 dates but registration is necessary. To register, send Gerarts a message via WhatsApp or SMS to 014-9074406.

The Sarawak Heritage Society (SHS) was set up as an NGO in 2007 and promotes the conservation, permanent preservation and sustainable management of Sarawak’s unique cultural heritage assets. SHS welcomes more members to give a solid voice for our Sarawak heritage. If you value Sarawak heritage in its broadest sense, find out how to join at

This event is part of What About Kuching 2019. For more information or to download our calendar, visit  Programme booklet are also available for free across Kuching. For updates, find WAK on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter under @aboutkuching. Join the buzz by hashtagging #WAK2019, #WAK and #aboutkuching

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