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Recounting the Memories of the Past
The present name for Amoy in China is Xiamen, a major city on the southeast coast of the People’s Republic of China. It is administered as a sub-provincial city of Fujian province with an area of 1573 square kilometres and population of 3.53 million. Xiamen and the surrounding southern Fujian countryside are the ancestral home to large communities of overseas Chinese in Southeast Asia and Taiwan. Today, Xiamen is known in China as a prosperous and clean city with a pleasant subtropical seaside climate.
Historically Amoy was mentioned in Thomas Forrest’s book called A Voyage to New Guinea and the Moluccas, 1774-1776 as he highlighted the place an important port where Chinese Junks came from when 4 or 5 junks arrived annually to Brunei Town. The Chinese Junks came to Brunei simply for trade and their main pursuit of goods were the blackwood. I quote, ‘They (Chinese Junks) carry to China great quantities of blackwood, which is worked up there into furniture…’ In fact blackwood was also used to build more junks in China. Of course the Chinese Junks carried loads of goods for them to sell to Bruneians amongst them were ceramics and silk.