For the descendents of Richard Dearie and his son John Russell

Archie's diary for 1900
In January Archie sent to Singapore to buy a preserve dish for his father’s birthday. Maurice Auger has sent him a blood stone to wear on a watch chain and he has also sent a present to Phil. Is Maurice an old school friend or neighbour? Archie’s salary has doubled to $60, but all of it is going to his board. Is this being paid to his father? His outgoings are still stamps, rickshaws and Suleiman. His actual monthly expenditure has been $1.12c., since his father is paying for Suleiman. His employer gives him $30 gratuity.
By February the $60 and $30 gratuity means that $90 is going on board. He starts taking ?Seigles. His Aunt writes to him saying that Anderson and Cattly have gone bankrupt. (It is not known who this firm was, or whether his Aunt or Uncle worked for it.) On Feb 28th the State auditor Mr. C. C. Trotter acting for Mr. D. G. Campbell the Government Secretary offers him a job as inspector of accounts for Selangor. The salary starts at $50 a month, with double salary available when travelling up to a maximum of $100 but he says he is not interested. He writes to his brother George about the offer in March.
On 2nd March he goes to stay with Mr. Paxon in Kuala Kulow. The fare is $4.70c. On the 5th O ‘Hara joins the STC. On March 8th he asks Mr. Cooke his manager at S.T.C. if he can “ run the cash”. Mr. Cooke says he will think about it. On the 6th he buys another Malay Book for $2.50c
April’s accounts reveal the stamps he is buying are for an album; he has also bought some coins for 20c. He has also spent $2 this month on a Malay newspaper. Mr J. J. Bradbury joins S.T.C. as cashier for a salary of $150 a month and A. Jack becomes bookkeeper. Mr. J.J. Bradbury is an Alleyns’ boy “ I acknowledge having come from there”. (This may be a disappointment to Archie since it appears to be the job he has asked for in March)
On 1 May he ordered through Suleiman a Penang newspaper in Malay, called the Lengkougan Bulan. On the 17th he receives the first number on the Crescent Moon from Penang, and discovered that Suleiman has charged him 65c too much. By the 21st Suleiman has returned the money. Archie has also bought some firewood and hired a bullock cart to take the wood from Klang to KL. (This may be something to do with work since it does not appear on his Monthly synopsis for May and June, or has his father asked him to contribute further to household expenses?)
In June Archie wrote to Mr. Chalk with a description of Pretoria day and thanked him for the books he had sent. He bought a watch charm.On June 23 there was a heavy thunderstorm and a casuarinas tree 30 yards from the house was struck by lightening and splintered up the stem. Phil and Don were outside and had an electric shock. His father gave him a penknife. On the 28th he went to the races and lost $5.
In July he bought a flying lemur from a Malay man for 80c. which died three days later and he gave it to the museum, which agrees to stuff anything for him in return. He wrote a description of it and sent it in a letter to his cousin Katie. On July 5 he saw Dr Williams and started a new treatment. (It is not known what it was for). He and Phil caught a deer in the grounds of the Plymouth Brethren’s church and found out it belonged to Mr. C.C. Thompson and had to give it back. He bought a $10 ticket to a raffle and Mr. Robson lent him “Malay Magic”. On the 16th after buying some “bathing drawers”, he started to learn to swim in the pond at the foot of Welds Hill. He bought a pair of shoes from Tan Ah Siang for $3, coconut oil for the penknife and a coin for his collection, an English Grammar book. On July 20th there were “ rumours as to a Chinese uprising in the FMS and Straits settlements”. On the last day of July he gave up his studies in Malay, parted with Suleiman bin haji Usman after learning from him for 8 months and made a summary of his Malay Studies. He has hired two gurus and gone through all the Malay school books and the history of Malaya, and also studied different dialects . He is now going to concentrate on Chinese.
On the 1st August he starts to learn Cantonese: “ intending to carry out Mr. Hanes scheme for studying in the Cantonese dialect for Government cadets. Mr H. C. Ridges lends me various books on China and Chinese and I engage a teacher Toh Nam. George also starts with me but merely to learn the colloquial” He pays Toh Nam $15 a month. On 15th August he is sends off to Kelly and Walsh, (Booksellers in Shanghai Singapore and Hong Kong, specialist in books on China and Japan,) for Eitel’s Cantonese-English Dictionary, it costs $12.50c., which his father pays for, and Pictons Prima. On August 18th Mr. Kindersley offers him a job on his estate, but his father Jack declines the offer. On the 20th he buys a water tortoise for 20c. who is christened Shan Kwai, (the divine tortoise in Cantonese). On 25th his father buys the encyclopedia Britannica 1898 Ed and a government factory made bookcase for $180. On August 29th “ I go to the STC Agency at Serandah to make out an a/c of all Mr. J. C. Pasquals “ Chabat”. On the 28th I have dinner, in company with the agent Mr. Bowine, at the A.D.O’s Mr. Dickson, there is also there Mr. Pountney of the Chinese secretariat and the DO of New Selanagor, Mr. O. Stonor from Kuala Kulio.” He returns to KL on the 29th. On the 31st he buys an otter.
September. His accounts show more spending on firewood and its transport. He buys a 3 stringed Chinese lute from Toh Nam. And also “Yaw Thok kai tai”. On 9th he and George are invited to dine with Mr. WW Cook. On 10th he visits Mr. Pountnys with Toh Nam. On 12 Mr. Chalk writes to say that owing to extra expenses on Bert’s schooling he cannot keep up sending out the magazines etc. His brother Don gets Malaria. On 16th he and George go to Tiffin at Mr. Huttenbacks. On the 20th he dines with Jack and Bradberry at their house. On the 27th he starts teaching Bob and Don shorthand.

October 1st The “ Kabun” catches a young civet cat, which escapes during the night. 2nd Nancy is shot in the leg by a sanitary Board Dog Destroyer but runs away and we find her in the gutter and bring her home and bandage up the leg. On the previous day she was bitten by a strange dog. Mr. Chalk sends a Johnstone's 4/6 map of China and The Daily Mail Shilling Commercial map of China and “ asks me to regard them as Christmas Present.”

October 4th George goes to Pahang to take the traction engine to Raub and back and to prove there is nothing wrong. Oct 5th “ I start to learning to read and write Chinese and buy Ink brush stone and paper from TN.”Oct. 7 George returns from Pahang being unable to move the traction engine and Mr. Robertson goes up who moves it and sends it on to Raub in company with the Malay driver.

October 9th “Phil returning from Kuala Kubu where he has been staying with Mr Paxon and working on the line for over a month. He says he has had a very pleasant time making the acquaintance of Mr Jelf (a cadet) among others. Mr Paxon goes on to Seremban where he is going to take over the Serembam extension from Mr Hubbock who has made a mess of things and Phil is to follow him next week with the furniture etc. Mr Fryer having agreed to change Phil from the Tanjong Malim extension now finished to the Seremban end of the new line to be made from Kajang to Seremban when Phil will live with and be under Mr Paxon.”

Oct 12th he goes to Mr. Henderson an eye specialist to have his eyes tested and is told that the glasses he is wearing (given to him by Mr. Ridges) have been injuring his eyesight, that he is suffering from complicated astigma and that he will send to Rang for some glasses for that disease with $12 gold rims. “ I am to have two kinds of glasses one pair for reading and the other for long distance. In the mean while he lent me a pair of nickel plated reading ones until mine arrive. Oct 13th he goes to Warren’s circus with Phil and Mr. Fox.Oct 14th Sunday Phil leaves for the early train to Seremban (via Port Dickson) Mr Fox and Mr Frye go with him. 17th His father Jack begins learning to ride a bicycle. He buys more stamps. On the night of 21st his otter is stolen during the night, although in later notes he says it escaped. George is seriously ill for 12 days then recovers. Archie writes to Phil.

In November there are notes on buying firewood and a picture frame. On 12th he had his 18th birthday, his father gives him a set of Siamese tikals made into buttons. On the 15 his father is binding the 1st volume of “With the Flag to Pretoria” He writes to Phil, and Arthur, sends Christmas greetings to his Aunt, and writes to tell his uncle about the Chinese festival and learning Cantonese. Bob falls off the horizontal bar at the stables and dislocates his elbow. George is 21. Nov. 30th “ Phil is made Mason ?say inspector Seremban extension and draws a salary of $45.00 which with his salary as apprentice comes to $60. He is put in charge of the SGR railway station at Seremban.”

Dec 9 Mr. Brown gets a house and leaves us. 10 The Chinese festival takes place. 12 Bob returns to school. Mr. Ridges leaves for England on long leave ( 15 months) and leaves all his books for Archie to look after. Dec 23 Sunday "Phil came up in the morning from Serembam for Christmas.” Mr. Sanderson came ?up from Sempam Pahang, for Christmas.26 The Ketchskers came round in the evening and had dinner. 27 Phil returned to Seremban. 31 Tan Ham Soon a large ore seller to the S.T.C. sent up a present of 6 bottles of Whisky and a box of cigars. Archie thanks him but does not accept them. Archie has his usual salary of $60 but had been promised an increase by Mr. C. he decides not to “ say anything” The above is firmly underlined. This is the last substantial entry to his diary.

Diary entries for 1901


June 14 Thursday George arrives by the SS Malacca from Singapore. Some time previous father had heard that Mr. Robertson the manager of the Federated Engineering Company wanted an assistant and one day while talking to Mr R. Mr. R. said that he had offered the job to Mr. Wilson (foreman of the SGR works with a salary of $250 per mensem) and $20 house allowance. He believed however that Mr. W. would refuse it in which case he could wish for no better assistant than George. Shortly afterwards father received a letter from Mr. C.E.F. Sanderson telling him of the vacancy and advising him to get George in. Father had hitherto not thought much of the place but he then wrote to George telling him all the circumstances and saying he would write again if Mr. W. refused. On George receiving the letter at Calcutta he wired to know whether he should come. Father showed the letter to Mr. R. who said that Mr. W. had refused but that he did not want George to come until M.r Mc Bean a director of the company who was in S’pore had gone home as Mr. McB. wanted to get a man from Howarth Erskins in whom Mr. R. did not want. Father wrote explaining to George but before George received it he again wired to father and said if he did not get the place he could get work at Riley Hargreaves in S’pore (he being sick of the sea) Father then wired “come” and George left the SS Clitus at Calcutta and went on board the SS Darius where he worked his way from Calcutta to Singapore. June 18th Monday George started as assistant manager at the Federated Engineering Cy Ltd, on a salary of $170 per mensem and an old pneumatic bicycle for riding to office and back. Mr Robertson having decided to take George on whether Mr. Mc Bean had gone or not.

This may be the first time Archie has seen George in 6 years?