Memory Lane

Memory Lane: The Flying Camel lands, KFUPM comes of age, and vehicle stickers become a thing

Aramco’s historic airship makes its first trip to the Kingdom, arriving on Monday, Aug. 4, 1951, at 11:20 a.m.

Memory Lane: The Flying Camel lands, KFUPM comes of age, and vehicle stickers become a thing

Here are some headlines from across the decades highlighting the company's progress through history.


Aug. 6, 1952


Somehow, even the breeze at the airport seemed to be waiting. Housewives, men off shift, customs workers, airport hands, children, and company representatives gathered in twos and threes, talking idly, laughing, but always looking toward the sky.


Then the plane appeared — a blazing silver streak. It circled the field and set down. The time: 11:20 a.m., Monday, Aug. 4.


The Flying Camel, Aramco’s DC-6 B arrived on its maiden voyage from the States to begin a career carrying Americans from their homes in Arabia to their homes in America.


Caption for the top photo: Crowds gather to greet the Flying Camel in 1952, Aramco's DC-6.

Aug. 1, 1962


The American Petroleum Institute Safety Award was presented to Dhahran's Heavy Duty Equipment Unit on July 18. The award was given for the 85-man unit having worked 502,340 hours without a disabling injury for the period June 8, 1959, through Feb. 28, 1962. The unit also received a District Manager's Certificate of Safety for 1,143 days without a disabling injury.

July 26, 1972


The next time you drive past the College of Petroleum and Minerals, take a good long look. Only a few weeks from now, these first unconnected arches will span the jebel top. A few months from now, the two amorphous shapes in scaffolding will emerge as the new library and the new student faculty center.


And by May of 1974, less than two years from now, a total of nine new buildings will stand complete, making the College of Petroleum and Minerals one of the largest and best equipped educational institutions in the Middle East, and bringing changes to both the Dhahran area and the campus that will be enormous. 


Physically, the change will be dramatic. Where three buildings now cluster around the jebel crest, a complex of 12 buildings will cover the mass of the jebel, enclosed on the east by a row of tall, Islamic arches, set off by a series of reflecting pools and fountains, and palm trees.


Aug. 11, 1982


Aramco's Industrial Security announces that all Aramco employees owning private vehicles must have an Aramco sticker for entry into company communities. Vehicle stickers are fixed to the windshield by area Identification Office personnel after completing registration formalities, and on presentation of Saudi Government vehicle registration booklet and valid driver license.


All employees are urged to get proper Aramco identification stickers as soon as possible. Effective Oct. 1, any employee driving a vehicle without a proper Aramco sticker will be stopped at the gates and denied entrance.


Aug. 5, 1992


It is written in the stars; summer is ready to deliver one more hot, humid blast before it fades into autumn.


Aug. 23 is the date of tulu'Suhail — the appearance of the star Suhail, otherwise known as Canopus, second-brightest star in our skies.


The appearance of Suhail, which coincides with the rise of at-tarfah, “the eye of the lion” in the constellation Leo, is one of the many traditional Arab guides to the passage of the seasons.


According to local weather watcher Jaber Jum’ah, these twin celestial events usually usher in a time of sticky, muggy weather.


“The 16 days from Aug. 24 to Sept. 9 are usually associated with very high humidity; the last gasp of summer,” Jum'ah says.


“This is the time of the year when people meet and talk of Suhail. If they complain about the weather, someone will reply that Suhail has risen and that the last period of summer will be over.”

July 31, 2002


More than a decade ago, the hard work and determination of a group of environmentally concerned adults and children resulted in the company sponsoring an aluminum recycling program that began Jan. 16, 1992.


Since then, the program has expanded to include community and office paper (community paper in 1992 and office paper in 1993) and glass (1993 for clear glass and 1994 for green glass) as well as aluminum cans.


Over the years, hundreds of thousands of kilograms of material have been collected and transported to recycling companies. The proceeds have been donated to the company’s Donations Committee and distributed to worthy charities. In 2000 and 2001, more than SR20,000 was collected from recycling and donated to the committee for disbursement.

Aug. 8, 2012


Sunil Kokal, a senior petroleum engineering consultant at the EXPEC Advanced Research Center, was recently awarded the DeGolyer Distinguished Service Medal by the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) International.


The award recognizes his distinguished service and significant contributions to the SPE, the profession of engineering and geology, and to the petroleum industry.


“I would like to dedicate this award to my department that has given me great support to shine and serve in this professional society and greater oil industry,” Kokal said.


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