Do you know, Sabah once called North Borneo and Kota Kinabalu once called Jesselton? The story of North Borneo started when Alfred Dent taking control of the lands from Austro-Hungarian Empire in Hong Kong, Baron Von Overbeck in 1880. In July 1881, Alfred Dent and his brother formed the British North Borneo Provisional Association Ltd and obtained an official Royal Charter November 1 the same year. In May 1882, the North Borneo Chartered Company replaced the Provisional Association. Sir Rutherford Alcock became the first President, and Alfred Dent became Managing Director.
Photo: a map of British North Borneo.
Photo: Aerial view of Jesselton or Kota Kinabalu in 1930.
In spite of some diplomatic protests by the Dutch, Spanish and Sarawak governments, the North Borneo Chartered Company proceeded to organize settlement and administration of the territory. The company subsequently acquired further sovereign and territorial rights from the sultan of Brunei, expanding the territory under control to the Putatan river (May 1884), the Padas district (November 1884), the Kawang river (February 1885), the Mantanani Islands (April 1885), and additional minor Padas territories (March 1898).
Photo: King Edward VII (Prince of Wales at that time) on his visit to North Borneo in 1922.
Photo: Jesselton police station in 1930.
The Company established a foundation for economic growth in North Borneo by restoring peace to a land where piracy and tribal feuds had grown rampant. It abolished slavery and set up transport, health and education services for the people. Chinese immigrants were wooed to boost the small population of less than 100,000. The Chartered Company's system of administration was based on standard British colonial administration structures, with the land divided into Residencies, and sub-divided into Districts. Initially, there were only two Residencies: East Coast and West Coast, with Residents based at Sandakan and Jesselton respectively.
Photo: 25 cents coin reverse.
In 1881, British North Borneo Company issued copper coins in values of ½ cent and 1 cent. In 1903, British North Borneo Company started to issued cupro-nickel coins in value of 1 cent, 2½ cents and 5 cents. In 1929, the 25 cents silver coin is minted. Their coin minted by Ralph and Sons Limited (In 1879, the mint change its name to The Mint Birmingham Limited). At this moment, British North Borneo coins is one of the hot item in Malaysia coin market. I only realize it when I visit Amcorp Mall flea market recently, only a few seller sells this 25 cents silver coin.
Photo: 25 cents coin obverse.
Photo: 1/2 cents coin obverse.
The obverse of the coins shows the Coat-of-Arms of the British North Borneo Chartered Company consisting of a shield within which is a native boat with sails and a lion above. Above the shield is a pair of hands grasping a flagstaff. The shield is supported by two natives (Dayak tribe), the one o the left holds a native shield and the one on the right holds a native sword. Below the sheild is the company motto ” PERGO ET PERAGO” in latin(translate: I undertake and I accomplish) with the mint mark “H” below. Only 1/2 cent copper had a different obverse with only a shield within which is a native boat with sails and a lion above.
Source: Wikipedia, Book:Sabah history in picture by Johan M. Padiasan.