Pastoral visit to Apau Gun, Long Aya, Tinjar 18th - 19th August 2018

Pastoral visit to Gereja St Emmanuel, Apau Gun,
Gereja St Mary, Long Aya,
 18th - 19th August 2018

On 18th and 19th August. Rt Reverend Bishop Richard Ng and his team made another perilous and hectic trip to the back watershed of the Tinjar river. Tinjar is a tribributory of the  mighty Baram River and this is where St Emmanuel chapel and Gereja St Mary was located.

The team left Miri to Lapok which was about 99 km and to Apau Gun another 60 km away. The road from Lapok to Apau Gan though  was only 60km took near two hours. Road visibility was poor due to the dry sandy dusty road conditions. The team finally arrived at Apau Gun, Tinjar at 5.45pm. The families  in this  Kenyah 26 doors longhouse was all one hundred percent Catholics.

The Kenyah people, traditionally being swidden agriculturalists and living in longhouses is an umbrella term for over 40 sub-groups that mostly share common migration histories, customs and related dialects.

Being an indigenous tribe in central Borneo, the Kenyah people are similar to their neighbours, the Kanyan tribe, with which they are grouped together with the Bahau people under the Apo Kayan kenyah people group.

The population of the Kenyah ethnic group may be some 27,000. They are part of a larger grouping of people referred to collectively as the Orang Ulu, or upriver people. Like some other Dayak people they are known for being fierce warriors, former headhunters, adept in dry-rice cultivation, and having extensive tattoos and stretched earlobes amongst both sexes.

Upon arrival at Lapok Parish , Right Reverend Bishop Richard Ng met Fr. Andy Lee, Fr. Arokia and 40 students participating in a seminar in preparation for Sacrament of Confirmation planned in October.

One row of Apau Gun wooden longhouse was burnt down in 2005 and rebuilt with concrete detached houses. Apau Gun now has one row original wooden longhouse facing opposite a newly re-constructed concrete detached houses.

Right Reverend Bishop Bishop Richard Ng together with Fr. Christu Kollabathina and Fr. Alex Anantharaj celebrated sunset Mass at Gereja St Emmanuel, Apau Gun with some 120 parishioners followed by welcome dinner, presentation and traditional kenyah cultural entertainment. The community gave the Bishop with the traditional kenyah official warm welcome on this first visit to Apau Gun and also  to bid farewell to Fr. Christu who will be transfered to Limbang Parish on 1st September 2018.  Fr. Alex will continue to serve in Lapok Parish.

The Headman  Tua Kampong  Unyang  Tingang together with the elders were all waiting in line to shake hands with the Bishop. The women were all dressed up traditionally to offically welcome the Bishop. Later the team spent the night at Lucas Emang's detached house near River Tinjar. For them. it was indeed a great honour for a Bishop to visit this back watershed of the Tinjar.

Next early morning 19th August 2018, the team left Apau Gun for Gereja St Mary, Long Aya, Tinjar 5 km away where the Bishop together with Fr. Christu and Fr. Alex celebrated Sunday Mass with some 80 parishioners.  The chapel St Mary was built on top of a hill opposite facing down Long Aya another Kenyah wooden longhouse.

Photography and story by Dennis Ng
Compiled and edited by Benchang

18th August 2018

Sunset Mass at Gereja St Emmanuel.

Tua Kampong Unyang Tingang welcome Bishop's 1st Visit
to Apau Gun and also bidding farewell to Fr Christu to Limbang Parish

Sunday Mass at Gereja St Mary Long Aya
19th August 2018

Farewell long  Aya

New Sop Eff 01May2022 ... Watch here.

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