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History of DBNA

In the early 1950's, a group of Bidayuh intellectuals realized that "the Bidayuhs must be united because they were separated by dialects, distance and religions". The group (Helbourne Simigat, Wesley Harlon Timor and Augustine Sirau led by Ahguan Guga) were worried that a fragmented Bidayuh Community would not only be easily exploited but would be left far behind in the mainstream of development.

They therefore decided to bring the various Bidayuh dialectical group under one umbrella body. That body was registered on 22 September 1955 as the Bidayuh National Association under the then Societies Ordinance 1947. Thus was born a new consciousness and awakening in the Bidayuh hinterland of their own identity, heritage and existence as a COMMUNITY.

The first Committee 

    Ahguan Guga                 - President,
    Nakid Mingen                - Vice-President,
    Augustine Sirau             - Secretary,
    Wesley Harlon Timor      - Treasurer,

Helbourne Simigat, William Nais, OKP Dukau ak Bajag, Geris Nian, Micheal Jesseng Langgie, Vincent Greene Sirau, Ju Inn Ang and Rhoda Simigat went from kampung to kampung spreading the message, hoping to change the mindset and attitudes of the Bidayuh and gathering new members.

From the very beginning they saw the need for a lodging / rest house to be built as a transit point for members of the Community who require temporary accommodation whilst in Kuching. They therefore applied to the then colonial Government for a piece of land to build a Community rest house. After many disappointments, their application for a piece of land at Ong Tiang Swee Road was finally approved and the land title issued on 25 July 1962.

The "catch"-they had to build the rest house within 2 years from the date of alienation. Under the chairmanship of OKP Dukau ak Bajag and assisted by Geris Nian, Nakid Migen, Dustin Frank Sirau, Micheal Jesseng Langgie and Vincent Greene Sirau, they had to "sweat and toil" and some even had to spent their own money to build DBNAís first rest house / headquarters at Ong Tiang Swee Road to avoid forfeiture and re-entry by the authorities.

Finally, the rest house was completed and the Occupation Permit issued on 4 December 1963. The cost: RM13,000.00. The DBNA headquarters / rest house was officially declared open on 28 December 1963 by the first Chief Minister of Sarawak, the honourable Datuk Stephen Kalong Ningkan.

The completion of the DBNA headquarters / rest house under very difficult circumstances was a powerful sign of Bidayuh unity in action.

Since then, DBNA continued to grow from strength to strength. In 1982, under the leadership of Wilfred Rata Nissom (and assisted by Stephen Jussem Dundon, Nicholas T Gunjew, Peter Minos and Austin Dimin), a bigger premises was built at the same place at the cost of RM0.50 million. The building was officially declared open by the Honourable the Chief Minister of Sarawak on 3 July 1982. This building (which was renovated in February 1995 and extended with a Baruk / Panggah) is what we have today.

In 1983, the DBNA Constitution was revised. Under the revised Constitution, a re-organization of the branches and units was effected. The objectives of DBNA were also expanded and its powers explicitly spelt out. The Constitution was again amended to extend the term of office of the Central Executive Committee from 2 to 3 years and for the Delegates Conference to be held every 3 years. The amendment came into effect on 11 January 1996.

Since its establishment in 1955, DBNA was served by nine Presidents to date

         Nine Presidents to date
Year of Service
Ahguan Guga           
1955    -    1963
Micheal Paong Nissom           
1964    -    1966
Ritikos Jitab           
1967    -    1970
Datuk Robert Jacob Ridu           
1971    -    1972
Datuk Dominic Dagok ak            
1973    -    1975
Wilfred Rata Nissom           
1976    -    1987
Peter Minos           
1988    -    1995
Detta Samen           
1996    -    1998
Dr James Dawos Mamit           
1999    -    2001
Datu Ik Pahon Joyik               
2005    till now


              Secretaries / Secretary-Generals 
Year of Service
Augustine Sirau           
1955    -    1956
Frank Dustin Sirau           
1957    -    1965
Robert Sulis Ridu           
1966    -    1969
Joseph C Sijore           
1970    -    1971
Robert Sulis Ridu           
1972    -    1974
Nicholas Tukak Gunjew           
1975    -    1981
Austin Dimin           
1982    -    1987
Roland Sagah           
1988    -    1990
Detta Samen           
1991    -    1995
James Redas Noel           
1996    -    1998
John W Chamberlin Sirau           
1999    -    2001
Walter Dior           
2005    till now

Today, DBNA has 16 branches and 12 units throughout Sarawak (including the Women's Branch, which was originally formed as an independent Bidayuh Women Fellowship. Except for the Women's Branch, the branches were established based on the administrative districts of Sarawak.

The 16 branches and 6 units are: 

1. Bau 1967  Kpg Lanchang (Upgraded to Branch)     23 Mar 1989 
2. Serian 7 Jan 1967  Gunung Jagoi (dissolved)     23 Mar 1989 (dissolved)  
3. Lundu 24 Jul 1967  Ngironas (dissolved)     23 Mar 1989 (dissolved) 
4. Kuching Urban  31 Mar 1974  Siniawan (dissolved)     23 Mar 1989 (dissolved)  
5. Women  8 Apr 1976  Serumbu (dissolved)     28 Feb 1990 (dissolved) 
6. Kuching Tengah 8 Aug 1976  Kapit (Upgraded to Branch)     8 Mar 1990 
7. Siburan 16 Aug 1976  Kpg Quop (Upgraded to Branch)     30 Jun 1990 
8. Serapi May 1977  Kpg Bratan (dissolved)     31 Dec 1994 
9. Miri 8 Jul 1977  Bunuk (dissolved)     12 Oct 1995 (dissolved) 
10. Sri Aman 25 Mar 1978  Bratak Dorod Sauh (dissolved)     3 Nov 1998 (dissolved) 
11. Penrissen 6 Nov 1978  Gunung Layar (dissolved)     Nov 1998 (dissolved) 
12. Padawan 16 Mar 1979  Women's Unit - Serian Branch (Upgraded to Branch)   14 Apr 1999
13. Bintulu 23 Mar 1983     
14. Sibu 20 Aug 1985     
15. Limbang 8 Mar 1990     
16. Sarikei 30 Jun 1990    
17. Bung Sadung (Lanchang) 23 Mar 1989    
18. Kapit 8 Mar 1990    
19. Samarahan (Quop) 30 Jun 1990    
20. Mukah 30 Jun 1990    
21. Klang Valley 8 Oct 2007    


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