British North Borneo’s Tawau / East Coast Residency Map in 1922
This was Tawau or East Coast Residency’s map under British North Borneo in 1922.
The map was shown in Owen Rutter’s book – British North Borneo: An Account of its History, Resources and Native Tribes. Rutter was a fellow of the Royal Geographic Society and of the Royal Anthropological Institute of United Kingdom.
Most of the names in the map remain the same until today. Rivers are prominently marked as they were the only way to transport jungle produces, commodities and goods from the interiors to seaside ports. Not so far from Silimpopon river was once where the biggest coal mine was located. Steam ships from around the world used to come to Tawau to collect coal supplies to power their steam engines.
Batu Tinagat lighthouse which was built in 1916 on the East side of Tawau is also clearly marked in the map. Many of the islands near Semporna (shown as Simporna in the map) have become world-famous diving spots including Sipadan, which was recently voted by CNNgo.com as the world’s number 1 diving destination.
This shows how important Tawau was when it was still under the British colonies.