December 13, 2014

Hedda Morrison

 Today 13.12.2014 is 106th Annivesary of Hedda Morrison's birth.

How many of you have read books on Sarawak and enjoyed some nice photos?

I have a photographic memory of a different kind. If I see an exceptional photo, I can remember it and most probably can also remember who had taken it if the credit has been given. thus since my primary school I remember the name Hedda Morrison and naturally I remember her exceptional photos of Sarawak.

There were also not many photos floating around in the 1960's about Sarawak! I was thus bitten by the shutter bug since then. Her photography has inspired me all these years.

Hedda Morrison was born in 1908, in Stuttgard, on Dec 13. She was a graduate of the State Institute for Photography in Munich. In order to leave German politics behind she chose to work in Peiping (later Bejing) in 1933. " She soon took many photographs of the old city and its people, temples and markets,mostlyusing a Rolleiflex, medium-fornat camera.

IN 1940, she met Alastair Morrison, son of the famous George Ernest Morrison, the influential London Timews correspondent in Peking. They were married in 1946 in China and left for Hong Kong.

However fate took her and Alastair to Sarawak. Alastair Morrison was recruited and assigned as District Officer, a big position in those days. They stayed in Sarawak for over 20 years. She took the opportunity to travel with Alastair on official journeys into the ulu. She herself also made many personal photographic tours, visiting farming settlements of the Chinese with whom she was very close (e.g. Sarikei and Lawas)

She wrote two very significant books on Sarawak, SARAWAK (1957) and LIFE IN A LONGHOUSE(1962). In 1967, she and Alastair moved to Australia and settled in Canberra.

Hedda died in Canberra in 2003, age 82.

Note : Exhibitions of her works have been mounted by the Australian National University, Canberra, the Canberra Photographic Society, the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, and the National Library of Australia. Many of her images are archived in the Harvard-Yenching Library, Harvard University and at Cornell University, NY. There is a large collection of her German, Asian and Australian work in the Powerhouse Museum.

Further reading

  • Edward Stokes, Hedda Morrison's Hong Kong: Photographs & Impressions 1946-47 - (Hong Kong University Press, 2005).
  • George N. Kates, The Years That Were Fat: Peking, 1933-1940 - (Oxford in Asia Paperbacks, 1989).
  • Hedda Morrison, Travels of a Photographer in China, 1933-1946 - (Oxford University Press USA, 1987).
  • Hedda Morrison, A Photographer in Old Peking - (Oxford University Press USA, 1986).
  • Alastair Morrison, Fair Land Sarawak: Some Recollections of an Expatriate Official - (Cornell University Southeast Asia Program Publications, 1993).


  1. "Hedda Morrison: photographic collection", Powerhouse Museum. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
(Source : Wikipedia)

December 11, 2014

Christmas Message from Rev and Mrs.Lionel Muthiah

   Christmas 2014

“ Stir up our hearts , O Lord, to make ready the way of your only Son, so that by his coming we may be enabled to serve you with pure minds, through your Son,  Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, One God, world without end. Amen.                         (Service Book and Hymnal, 75, adapted)

           “Are we there yet?” “Is it Christmas yet? No. It is Advent. What is that? So, some of us who follow the Liturgical calendar have to educate, interpret and explain biblical history. However, we know you would rather have news about us! Marion and I are doing well except for the usual aging issues.

            This year we were able to attend three High School graduations---Micah Coffey in Batavia, IL. He has been accepted by the University of Minnesota and given academic and baseball scholarships. Jacob Helton of Franklin, TN decided to take a year off (although was accepted by a couple of Universities) to work for a while on the Unkenholz family farm, where Marion grew up,  and to help neighbors with “fix it” jobs. Then we went on to Pasadena, CA to attend Samuel Muthiah's graduation. He was accepted by Westmont University, Santa Barbara, CA and given a four year scholarship.

            By doing this Marion and I missed two College graduations----Jordan Coffey from Taylor University and Sarah Helton from Union University.

            After working as a Nanny during the summer, Sarah went off to Kenya, Uganda and then Malaysia (lots of relatives) where Sarah’s mother, Lora, joined her. Together they flew to Singapore. After visiting more relatives, Lora flew back to Tennessee. Sarah then went on to Australia, New Zealand, and Hawaii. She visited her Uncle Rob and family in Altadena, CA and brother Josh and wife, Jessica, in Morrow Bay, CA. She came to visit her Uncle Rick and family and us in Newberg, OR. What an adventure for a young lady!

             We have some travel plans for the New Year and trust they will work out.  We’ll report next year!

            We continue to be grateful for our Friendsview Retirement Community where we have lived since August, 2009. It has been said that sometimes God leads us where we did not plan to go! God has indeed surprised us in many ways!

May your life also be filled with God's surprises! Create a
        Merry Christmas and have a joyous New Year.

Marion and Lionel Muthiah, 1015 Cherry St. #7, Newberg, OR 97132  Tel. 971-832-8533