Columns
The journeys of Daud Amatzin Jackson
Mahbob Abdullah | 11 Aug 2017 00:30
The planting industry has had much help from immigrants, and one of the many groups is the Cocos Islanders. They came to Sabah, and worked on estates, married and settled, and got education for their children. When I tell the story of the Cocos, I must also tell the story of one of them, called Daud Amatzin. His journey would be part of the story of his people, who over a hundred years ago had left Indonesia to join the family of Clunies-Ross in the remote atoll in the Indian Ocean called the Cocos-Keeling Islands.

The coral islands are about 3,000km northwest of Perth, discovered in 1609 by Captain William Keeling. The islands were settled in 1827 by the Clunies-Ross family. Long ago, I had read the story of their rule, and the heirs who ran the plantations. They brought Malays from Java and Sulawesi to plant coconut and produce copra.

For over one hundred years, the settlers lived in isolation. Their culture changed, with celebrations influenced by Scottish dances, and many adopted Scottish names. Amatzin’s surname was Jackson. Of course, like a lot of atolls, the Cocos is paradise, with all the fish you could eat, but as the population grew, the place could get crowded.


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