Sarawak has an interesting history on the Travelling Post Offices (TPO). It all started with my purchase of the various Sibu Exhibition Covers with the T.P.O. (TPO) cancellations. I was curious about the numbers following TPO and what is a TPO. It was not really a temporary post office but rather a Travelling Post Office. This is similar to the current Pos Bergerak. I started to explore and take down notes from various exhibitions and displays of the Travelling Post Offices (TPO) of Sarawak. It has an intriguing history. As freely available documentation online (I stress on the word FREE), is hard to come by, I decided to write-up what I have and maybe the readers can fill the the gaps and correct my notes. The names of the locations are old names (names used at that time) and I appreciate it if you can help me with the current name.
Meanwhile, I have only this image of TPO 1 to 6 from Muthu Chellapan’s stock:
TPO 1: Kuching
TPO 1 was first used in Kuching on 07 October 1963. Old exhibition notes stated that the area covered were Kuching to Serian Road until the Serian Post Office, Padawan Road up to Tiang Bukap.
TPO 2: Simanggang (now known as Sri Aman)
TPO 2 was used in Simanggang starting from 25 March 1968. It covered:
- Simanggang until the Merindun Palm Oil Scheme and Temudok Camp.
- Simanggang / Batu Lintang to Sabu.
- Simanggang / Kelassin Entawa to Pakit Camp and Temudok Camp.
TPO 3: Kuching
TPO 3 was used in Kuching starting from 17 March 1972. This TPO covered mainly the Kuching municipality. Of particular interest is the cancellation has a “No” in the name, i.e. “T.P.O. No 3”.
TPO 4: Sibu
TPO 4 was used in Sibu starting from 15 August 1972. It covered Ulu Oya Road to 36 Mile Ulu Mukah Palm Oil Scheme. The cancellation format is the same as “TPO 3” with a “No”, i.e. “T.P.O. No 4”.
TPO 5: Sarikei
TPO 5 was first used in Sarikei on 01 August 1972. It covers:
- Saraikei to Binatang Road until Bulat Bazaar.
- Sarikei – Saratok to Selalang Bazaar.
TPO 6: Miri
TPO 6 was first used in Miri from 09 January 1973 and covered:
- Miri – Bintulu to Field Forces Camp.
- Miri – Kuala Baram Road to Baram River.
TPO 6 is also with the “No” format.
TPO 7: Kuching
TPO 7 was used in Kuching starting from 01 March 1973 at Kampung Sindang, 10th Mile Muara Tuang Road, 9th Mile Matang Road, river villages (kampongs), Batu Kawa Road, 7th Mile Army Complex, Golong Dua, 1st Mile Sungai Tengah Road and Matang.
TPO 8: Serian
TPO 8 was used in Serian from 17 February 1975. It covered:
- Serian to Simanggang Road until the 73rd Mile.
- Serian / Gedong Road.
- Serian / Tebakang Road until Mongkos Mazaar.
TPO 9: Sibu
TPO 9 first started in Sibu on 02 January 1975 from Sibu to Durin Road until the Durin Bazaar.
TPO 10: Bau
TPO 10 was used in Bau from 17 May 1976. It operated in the following areas:
- Bau to 19th Mile Lundu Road.
- Bau to Kuching Road (7 1/2 Mile Kampong Haji Baki).
- Bau to Jambusan Road.
- Bau to Krokong and Dijuru Road.
- Bau to Batu Kawa Road until Batu Kawa Bazaar.
TPO 11: Bekenu
TPO 11 started in Bekenu on 01 December 1976. It covered:
- Bekenu Road villages.
- Kaluboh Agricultural Station.
- Sarawak Oil Palm Village.
- Bukit Peninjau to Ladang Empat.
- Sungai Tanggit.
- Beluru Bazaar.
- Ladang Tiga.
- Ladang Koko.
- Subis 1, 2 and 3.
- JKR-MRCU 10
- Batu Niah Bazaar.
TPO 12: Limbang
TPO 12 was used in Limbang starting from 14 February 1977. It covered:
- Limbang to Panduruan Road.
- Limbang to Kubong Road.
- Limbang to Medamit Road.
- Batu Danau.
TPO 13: Miri
TPO 13 first started on 01 July 1977 in Miri. It covered:
- Miri / Bintulu Road until Kebuloh Agricultural Station.
- Beluru Road until Beluru Bazaar.
- Bukit Peninjau.
- Ladang Empat.
TPO 14: Simanggang
TPO 14 was used in Simanggang from 03 September 1979. It covered:
- Simanggang to Pantau.
- Lachau Bazaar.
- Selepong School.
- Melugu Scheme and School.
- Simanggang to Aboh Temnawai until Melugu Scheme.
TPO 15: Lawas
TPO 15 was started on 12 May 1980 in Lawas and covered:
- Lawas to Trusan.
- Lawas to Kampong Punang.
- Lawas to Long Sebangang.
- Lawas Post Office to Karanggang.