I found a new book on Brunei about two weekends ago at one of the Indian run book/stationery store at Supasave Gadong. It was indeed a rare event as I went there to have a quick look at some golf magazines and this book seemed to fly out of the shelf to me. I have always been in the lookout for Brunei books and have bought practically all there is that are available out there.
The book is entitled "Wanderer in Brunei Darussalam" written by Pengembara which is the pseudonym of CH Gallop who lived in Brunei for about 30 years. The book is printed last year by Marshall Cavendish Editions. It actually contains selected articles written daily by the author for Borneo Bulletin sometime in 1991 and 1993. It's a fairly thin book, only about 112 pages long. CH Gallop was a Principal at Sufri Bolkiah English School in Tutong and then became an Inspector (Nazir) for about 28 years. Educated at the London University, he later obtained a Masters degree in Malay Literature from Universiti Sains Malaysia. Some of these articles were already published in another compilation published by Hongkong Bank entitled "Pengembara - The Road Less Travelled' in 1997 to celebrate HSBC's 50th Anniversary in Brunei Darussalam. From what I have been told Mr Gallop and his family was a very popular figure in Tutong and he always like to ask lots of questions enabling him to get a lot of information about Brunei.
The articles are interesting - writing about certain aspects of Brunei and giving a fascinating insight into our own country from the perspectives of an 'orang puteh' but more than we will ever know. For instance he writes about a Bruneian whose job was to read the quran at the various graves of our former Sultans everyday. I did not even know about the existence of such a person. He talks about a few Kampungs like Selayun, Tanah Jambu and Masjid Lama (in Muara). I think the latter has disappeared by now replaced by a collection of flats and industrial estates. I did not know that the Wisma Puri apartments at Jalan Tutong owned by the PGGMB was originally named Projek Sungai Ketam - Crab River Project. So, all in all, a good investment for about $13.40. Grab it at your nearest bookstore (if you can find it).