Monday, March 20, 2017

Thomas Iboh and The Chans

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My Dad had the greatest love story. It was 1945, It was World War II. Dad was forced to find a wife to avoid being conscripted to the Japanese army. He was 20. Mum was forced to find a husband to avoid from being caught to be a sex slave.She was 15. Both strangers.
There is a Chinese saying, let us die at the same time.
Mum died in 1988. Dad was heart broken. Dad still cried and mourned for Mum everyday. Dad died in 2006, 18 years after Mum, on the same date.' on the 18th. and same month.
Thomas Iboh
Thomas Iboh YOUR DAD - THE LATE SARIKEI DIVISIONAL EDUCATION OFFICER- MR CHAN - WAS A MOST PERSONABALE PERSON TO MYSELF, AND MY 2 PARENTS IN 1975- WHEN 1ST POSTED TO BINTANGOR AS SAO CLASS 1. WHEN WE HAD NO FRIENDS IN SARIKEI UPON VISITING THERE. (HAVING READ SO MUCH OF THE COMMUNISTS BRUTALITIES WHILE STILL IN NEW ZEALAND IN BOOKS OF THE YR OF E RUNNING DOGS, AND ETC. WE/I SAW AS IF COMMUNISTS WERE LURKING EVERY WHERE ? AND OTHER PEOPLE WERE NOT TO BE TRUSTED? WE FOUND SOLACE IN ALEX ISUT A FORMER TAJONG LOBANG LOWERS 6TH FORM CLASSMATE AND AN EDUCATION DEPT TECHNOLOGISTS? AND YOUR DAD. WHO WITH YOUR MUM AND DAD SERVED US A SUMPTOUS DINNER - COMPLETE WITH COLONIAL STYLE COAK TAIL SERVINGS. (WHERE THE BUSINESSES OF GOVT PUBLIC SERVICES , AND FREQUENT TRANSFERS IN LATER YRS LED TO US TO OVER LOOK AND OVERSIGHTED TO THANKS). DR HENRY CHAN - YOUR BROTHER IS MARRIED TO KELABIT PN ELSIE?

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Sarawak born Author by chang yi

Ann Chin - Sarawak born Author - Brokerages & Day Trading Blog ...

brokeragesdaytrading.com/article/517156976/ann-chin-sarawak-born-author/
This is extra-normal way of introducing a new author from Sibu. Ann Chin (Chan) Kit Suet was born in the Rajang Valley. Her parents were both Cantonese from ...

This is extra-normal way of introducing a new author from Sibu.

Ann Chin (Chan) Kit Suet was born in the Rajang Valley. Her parents were both Cantonese from the Kwong Tung Pah (now Sg. Salim). I left Sibu in 1970 and she left Sibu in 1975.

How did I get in touch with Ann Chin after 40 years? This is an exceptional cyberspace tale.

In her own words "I..... was googling Billy Abit when I came to Sarawakiana's post on the boys hostel of Methodist school. The more posts I read, the more intrigued I was. I was convinced I knew who the blogger was. But this blogger would not reveal her ID for a long time, until I read the post of the blogger's dad's accident.So I  wrote: CY, I think I know who you are, don't let me stew in my own juice.
Finally, the blogger revealed herself. It was such a happy day, because the blogger was my hero in school.
The rest is history."


I couldn't be more surprised to be connected in this way. Here I was...blogging happily as a retired person who has been worried about Alzheimer's disease and Dementia. Writing a personal journal and taking a cyberwalk cost nothing but truly it has enriched me in more ways than I could believe. And being connected with a dear but long lost friend was really unbelieveable. She was only about 13 or 14 and I was already getting ready for university and the adult stage of my life. When I took off at the Sibu airport for KL I said to myself "I must leave my childhood behind and become a real tough female warrior....and nothing should stop me..."

My precious gem of a friend thus came in the form of Ann chin who encouraged me by her sheer strength and enthusiasm for life and writing via the blogging world in the last two years..

And on my part I am only too happy to help her connect with more people in Sarawak and the rest of the world.

She is no longer the shy little Form One kid in the Methodist School but a nice mature writer and teacher who has been inspiring people who have come in contact with her. She lives a full life in Auckland (New Zealand) .

My Photo
For several years she has been thinking in a very humble way how to get her book published.
Eventually it has come out. And it will be a hit with parents who have lost their children at a young age and for those who empathise with this agony.
Diary of a Bereaved Mother


For those who would like to know more about this Sibu born daughter of Cantonese ancestry she has done more than her share to serve Sarawak. You can read an article about her interview in a local newspaper or go to
http://www.theaucklander.co.nz/ http://www.blogger.com/img/blahttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifnk.gif



Ann has been away from Sarawak since 1975, and not many people know that she has taught in Kai Chung School in Bintangor I(originally Binatang). Although some students have already found her on Facebook recently many may like to find her by other means. It is interesting to note that most Sarawak students like to find their teacher and thank them in the later lives.. Hence school reunions are very popular and I have also noted that many teachers get invited to their children's weddings especially in Sibu because the ties are definitely maintained for many generations.

Ann Chan Kit Suet (her full name) was educated in the Methodist Primary School from 1961 till 1966. She then went to the Methodist Secondary School from 1967 to 1973 which was then still an English medium school. After she completed her Upper Sixth she taught in Kai Chung School, Binatang, Kuching High School and SMK Binatang before she left for Canada to further her studies.


Today she is teaching in Auckland and is married to Singaporean Dr. Chin. She has two daughters and a son.

Several of her siblings are still residing in Sarawak while others are all over the world. Her father the late Mr. John Chan Yui Fei served a brilliant career in the Sarawak Education Service as an Education Officer. Her late father was also an alumni of the Methodist Secondary School and a former teacher .

Her family photo below still brings a tear to my eye...how much I would like to have such a  family photo taken with my dad and mum and grandmother in this manner. This is the kind of family photo most Chinese Sarawakian families would still take in the 21st Century!!

You can read more of her writing in the three blogs she maintains. She is such an energetic and prolific writer. Sibu should be very proud of her!!

And the good news is - she would want to connect with you!


Friday, February 17, 2017

Chinese quake parents want lifelong visas to visit their children's graves

There is a Chinese saying, the worst tragedy is for a grey hair person to bury a black hair person. I started my Diary of a bereaved mum with this.

Six years ago, 23 Chinese students were killed in the CTV during the Christchurch earthquake. The heart ache lingers.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11802553

Chinese parents who lost their only child in the February 2011 earthquake are pleading with our government to grant them lifelong visas so they can visit their children's graves.
They want the right to enter New Zealand every year to tidy their children's graves as per the Chinese tomb-sweeping tradition where mourners clean gravesites and burn incense to bless the dead.
Their request has been declined because New Zealand's immigration policy does not allow for long-lasting visitor visas.
READ FULL INVESTIGATION: The parents who are afraid to cry together
Nearly half of the 185 victims of the Christchurch earthquake died in a language school on the fourth floor of the collapsed CTV building, including 23 Chinese students.

Friday, February 10, 2017

volunteering vigilante,



I read my friend's 7 dot , 8 dot post with a chuckle.
During the communist disturbance, the government imposed a volunteering vigilante, I am sure your Uncle CC Chang was a 7 dot, together with my Dad, they had to guard the police station and Queensway. One day, there was a double up, and the soldier in charge thought he was doing my Dad a favour by telling him guard the police station, you will be safe and winked he could sleep. While the others walked Queensway. Without thinking, my Dad agreed.
But later, he said, he almost wet his pants. The communists could easily bomb the police station. Those guarding Queensway walked in a row. Soldiers in front, and soldiers at the back. The 7 dot 8 dot officers tried to stay away from the soldiers. They reasoned, that the communist snipers would shoot the soldiers only. My grand dad who was sleepless the whole night lamented, why my son has 7 dots, 8 dots, only to be killed by the Communists.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Dad, the volunteer vigilante

https://www.facebook.com/sukasukisuku3s/videos/1614095351941778/

This looks like a recording of early 1970s when they were fighting the communists in Sibu. My Dad almost 50 was recruited as a volunteer vigilante with other senior government officers. The funniest anecdote was they never taught him to fire a rifle properly. They just gave him a gun. When the gun recoiled, it hit his shoulder. My mother had to apply sloan liniment on him. Jokingly scolding, old Ah Pek aka old man still be AH PING KO aka young soldier.

Going back to the World War II, my dad was chosen by the Japanese soldiers to be a Japanese Civilian worker.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Ching Ming Rites aka Grave visitation






From what I know from my grand dad, at least the Quang Liang people, there is a communal altar, where generally every family would bring extra food. These are the family less souls, or those who died without burial who have become Kuai Zais aka homeless ghosts. (Guess who ends up eating them? The grave construction workers.) 

My Ah Kung was baptised, we went to visit the grave with white candles and flowers, but we also bought some oranges for us while we were there. Ah Kung told us eat throw some peels and orange segments around the tomb. This is done in the hope that the Kuai Zai won't come inside the tomb area and snatch the food. 

For many years before my Ah Kung died, the clan had bought a hill for their cemetery, and we had Ah Kung's tomb prepared. Every Ching Ming aka grave visiting day, he took us there. He told us, when I am alive, if you guys don't go, needless to say, after I had died.