Friday, February 23, 2018

My Grand Uncle and Grand Aunty.

My Grand Uncle Leong Hiang Kim aka Hee Kung and Grand Aunty aka Hee Po are war heros of a different kind.
In 1941-1945 they were living at upper Lanang Road. They were living in a long wooden house with many rooms. I had been there in the sixties. Little did I know they opened their house to the town people . My friend RC , a famous historian remembers as a child, his family had to evacuate from the town and they stayed with my Hee Kung. RC told me other people from the town came too.
In the town, they had nothing. At Hee Kung's , they could plant crops like sweet potatoes, tapioca and pumpkins and they didn't starve, there was plenty of Rejang River water thanks to Hee Kung's kind hospitality.
I am going to add this to my next edition of my World War II book.

Susie Pang My mum told me that story too. I’ve to get fr my mum.
Susie Pang Ann Chin I knew that big wooden house on high stilts I was still very young that time.
Susie Pang The front portion of the house was where JKR office was along Lanang Rd.
Susie Pang Ann Chin I knew that big wooden house on high stilts I was still very young that time.
Susie Pang The front portion of the house was where JKR office was along Lanang Rd.

the above conversation is by Susie Pang. Susie is the grand daughter by Hung Hang, the second child/ oldest daughter.

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a woman of substance Mdm Liong

Today, I feel euphoric. I finally got an answer to a puzzle that was in my head for more than 50 years.

When I was in my early primary school, we were living at Padang road which was very near to the Sibu prison. On some evenings, after dinner, we would take a stroll among the government quarters and Father and Mother would take us to visit their friends.

The husband was LOU CHIONG, a colloquial term for Old Mr. Teo. What intriqued me was the wife we refered to as LEONG SIN SAN aka LEONG TEACHER. She was a real teacher in Chung Hua School, and was Father's collegue at the early stage of their lives.

On our way home, I was in amazement, here was a woman about Father's age and she was educated. I wonder why her father educated her. Fresh in my mind, was the family quarrel, that my Grandpa was adamant that girls had no need to be educated, and they were to be married.

I wondered more, as Mother didn't know her ABCs and this woman was a secondary teacher.

Fast forward to 2014, I was chatting on facebook with my ex colleague Lim Siew Lian, and I asked her who her mother in law is. My jaws dropped when I realised that she is the LEONG SIN SAN I admired when I was a kid.

Siew Lian invited us to Mdm Leong's house this morning. My jaws dropped further when I saw her using the computer, and I had a lock jaw and my mouth remained wide opened in awe. Her English was the perfect Queen's English. (Before then, I thought she was a Chinese teacher.)

When we left, she told me that she was the deputy principal of Chung Hua Secondary School. She is Leong Soong Foong, and in her humility, she said she was the assistant of Dato Wong Soon Koh, the  Minister who was the guest honour of my book launch.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Grandma Lee and her foster family.

Grandmother Chan Fung Dai nee Lee
Grandma was born at a wrong place and wrong time as were most of the Chinese women of her era.
I almost forgot this important part of Grandma's story until I got connected with my Hee Kung and Hee Po's grand daughter.
In the past when a woman came from China to Borneo without a relatives, she would find a family ,however distance related, to be their foster daughter. This family will "socially" take her in.
Grandma, a Lee found a Lee family. (The daughter married the Liong family). Dad called the mum Bodai, and we called her Bodai Tai. The daughter, we called Hee Po and her husband Hee Kung. We were very close and we visited them often. Hee Kung worked in town, and is the most knowledgeable of the Kwong Liang people.
He is a man of great inspiration. When we passed our public examination, he had a prize for us, usually in the form of a parker pen. When I was going to New Zealand for my Masters, the family gave me a dinner. He asked me what kind of Economics I was going to do. I was shocked, most people did not even know what Economics was.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

ABC G for goose

not sure why this goose has feathers like this. Looks like a Sebastopol Goose, a big ball of fluff.
Image may contain: bird, grass, outdoor and natureWhat makes the Sebastopol so unique are its curly feathers, giving it that “curly perm” look. The frizzled feathers are the result of a genetic mutation and curl due to the lack of a rigid feather spine or quill. The feathers curl downwards and are up to four times the length of the feathers found in other geese.

 a mother goose protects her clutch of eggs. been in NZ for more than 25 years. the only time I saw this.

I learned this nursery rhyme as a child. When my daughter was a toddler, I was an administrator in a creche. Some parents were unhappy for their kids to learn it. They say it is too violent. They said we shouldn't be teaching our kids about kicking so and so the stairs. 

Goosey goosey gander,
Whither shall I wander?
Upstairs and downstairs
And in my lady's chamber.
There I met an old man
Who wouldn't say his prayers,
So I took him by his left leg
And threw him down the stairs

Saturday, February 17, 2018

building trade-related qualification

In the old days, being a builder doesn't need to be education. Grandpa teased a cousin to become a construction worker since she was struggling in school. Now you need a degree.

Manukau Institute of Technology
Are you ready to move into the role of a construction supervisor or manager?
Already have a building trade-related qualification and want to move into a supervi...
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Option to study part-time in evening classes, one night a week, at MIT Otara.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Thoughts of Mum and Dad.

When the bottom house was constructed, Father moved from the top house at Repok Road to this house off Repok Road next to the Sarikei Fire station. It too has an upstairs setting. The domestic worker stayed downstairs.

Today , the second day of the lunar new year is the anniversary of Mum and Dad. Mum in 1988 and Dad in 2006.

Yesterday, a new friend brought up the times when Father was working in Sarikei as the DEO. Mother by default was the Vice President of the Women's Institute. She taught women to cook and housekeeping. Guess what brought that memory? The current President of the women's institute,

How did the poinsettia play it's role. I have a plant in my house and is flowering really well. My very good friend Chang Yi said that it won't grow in the tropics. Something jotted in my mine. I guess that  once, white officers lived in that house, and may be the mam planted those plants to remind them of home in England.

30 years ago, in that house at Repok road, there were stumps of roses and a poinsettia. They were shaggy and hardly bloomed. I remember Mum learn from somewhere, that she could use rose petals to make her Cha Siaw pao. She sent me downstairs to pick some roses. I felt sorry for the plant as it only had a few flowers.

I learn that the poinsettia is the Christmas tree. In New Zealand, it blooms in July. Some people celebrate Christmas in July to get that winter feeling.

That's my Mum. 

Thursday, February 15, 2018

World Day of Prayer

World Day of Prayer
Mt Albert Baptist is the venue for the World Day of Prayer this year. It will be held on Friday 2 March @ 7pm. The programme is put together by an international Christian women’s movement. Christians from all churches and denominations are welcome.
The theme this year is "All God's Creation is Very Good" organised by the women of Suriname (a country situated between Guyana and French Guiana). Both men and women are welcome to the event.