July 31, 2009

Paper Bags - Bitter Sweet Memories of Childhood

I have always looked at paper bags all my life with respect and awe and enjoy using or reusing them.I have a few very good ones in my collection as "souvenirs". You must think that it is unusual.

When we were young and having just lost our dear father my siblings and I had to help our mother make ends meet. My mother was just 40 and I was barely 16. And worst of all my youngest brother was only ll months old.

And one of the money earning means which all of us could easily do was gluing or makihg paper bags for a family friend's sundry shop - Chop Chai Hong - just near by and within walking distance. We kids would collect use-able paper (which included the reccyle-able hard parchment paper used to make cement paper bags)from the towkay or just any one who would not mind giving us useable paper. Luckily we did not have to go to a rubbish tip to collect the paper!

Mum would boil the glue (using tapioca flour) over the wood fire in our traditional Foochow stove. To this day I can recognise the sourish smell from boiling starch. In fact later on in life I used to make my own glue for my children when they had to "cut and paste" for their art work. (This is different from "cut and paste" of our computer age.)I taught my children that if we could make it ourselves we did not have to buy it.

And I remember how the whole brood of my siblings would be at the "home assembly line" making paper bags! From the parchment paper we glued together perhaps many tons of paper bags in exchange for rice and corn. Paper bags made from newspapers were used by the shop keepr to hold lighter sundry goods like green beans and red beans or peanuts. the strong paper bags we made were used to fill rice and corn kernels. Some were used to fill broken pieces of charcoal.

These were days before plastic bags or raffia strings in the 60's. Each paper bag of sundry goods would be tied together by a gunny or hemp string or just a kiam chow (natural straw). The straw or gunny string would come from a tin hung overhead. It was amazing how innovative Mr. Chiong was. (Mr. Chiong who was the owner of Chop Chai Hong was a typical Foochow shop keeper who on hot days never even wore s shirt! But later on in life he wore very well ironed Dacron shirt most probably from Ngui Kee.)

Mr. Chiong would use a felt pen to write the weight and the price of the good. So it was very easy to calculate how much the customer bought. This was also a very practical way of learning maths! I learned to calculate mentally in this way. We all had to calculate well because we did not want to be cheated of our precious money.

In retrospect we had a wonderful and memorable childhood albeit with a touch of great sadness and loss of a loved one - the gluing bonded us and we learned great economic and domestic lessons. Furthermore we learned to treasure time and would not waste it by lazing around.

In fact I am so glad that we "survived" and kept ourselves well above poverty line. Some selfish relatives would only have been happy to see us in the dumps. Sometimes whenever I think of the past experiences I am very tempted to write a TV drama including these childhood experiences as they would be just the right ingredients.

This is a paper bag used by Body Shop and I really like the social touch the company has.

I am glad that many school teachers are still teaching their students how to make paper bags as part of their English lessons. (Listening to instructions).

But for me paper bags always remind me of hardship and growing up without a father. But on the other hand they too remind me of my mother's selfless sacrifices and how the family worked hard but struggling in harmony and unity.

Some one said this to me a long time ago in Chinese : "Little weeds can only grow up strong when nurtured by strong winds and rain".

July 30, 2009

Aqua Aerobics in GCM Pool Miri

I signed up to join a group of happy ladies for aqua aerobics in the Gymkhana pool recently. But since then I have so many reasons for not wearing a swim suit and getting into the water.

But today I went - and just to take photos!!

The pool was beautifully blue and inviting and the weather was fabulously cool after the morning rain. It was nice to feel the breeze on my face and watch my friends having a good time in the water. I had promised not to photograph them from the front!

Aqua aerobics is not only a great way to get fit but it is also one of the safest. It keeps the heart and lungs healthy whilst toning the body and reducing fat, and also provides a good opportunity for a splash about in the water. Sounds great and I have been thinking in three months I would look like Cindy Crawford! Ha...ha..

Mandy has been teaching A.A in GCM for sometime now and ladies turn out to do water tricks called rocking horses and jumping jacks, cross-country skiing motion and walking and running backwards and forwards. The rubbery tubes are called ‘noodles’ or 'woggles', which are used to aid floatation and resistance.

As these exercises are considered "Safe" I should be working them as my leg ligaments have been playing up for some time after a bad fall before Chinese New Year! I like the idea that my body only weighs about 20 lbs in the water. And another good news is that the water support in the pool also means that those with back or knee problems can take part in aqua aerobics without fear of pain or further injury.

Most importantly performing aerobic exercise in the water increases cardiovascular fitness, promoting the service the heart provides in pumping blood around the body, and improving aerobic endurance. That is exactly what I need!!

the beautiful Olympic sized pool from the south-west.

the shallow end of the pool giving out an azure blue splendour.

The ladies putting their best foot forward in the water. Graceful like swans.

Colourful tubes in my favourite shades.

Ladies practising their steps by the side of the pool.

Mermaids swimming away.


I hope more ladies (and even guys) could come and join this very interesting activity in the GCM pool of Miri. They are just such a wonderful and cheerful group of ladies who will welcome you warmly.

I think I should be brave enough to join them next week! That's a promise to myself as part of my retirement happy hour session once a week at least! What say you?

Sibu News: Cing Ang Tong of Sg. Sadit Caught Fire

This is a very old photo of the original Cing Ang Tong in which Rev. Hoover and his beloved wife Mrs. Mary Hoover would worship some Sundays throughout their 35 years in Sibu. The church had a beautiful portrait of the couple hanging on the wall until very recently in their honour.

50 years ago many of the worhippers walked barefoot to the church early on Sunday to sing praises to God for his blessings upon them.

So much progress has indeed come to this beautiful land. And during the Japanese war a new concrete church was built next to it to accomodate the bigger congregation.

The wooden Church of True Peace (Cing Ang Tong) of Sg. Sadit was razed to the ground leaving only two walls standing on Thursday 30th July.

The fire was purported started by a group of labourers who wanted to get rid of a hive of bees . They were to prepare the grounds for a new building when they accidentally set the church on fire. The Fire Brigade came from Sibu but they were too late to save the 70 year old American style wooden church building.

However most of the important items of historical value have been kept aside by the care takers.

These three wooden plaques : the Ten Commandments - The Apostles' Creed and The Lord's Prayers had graced the walls of the the Church for more than 50 years. They are some of the best calligraphy works of our Kutien forefathers.

A beautiful painting of Jesus by Lau Mang a famous Foochow artist of the 50's. His colourful life history is well known but his art will also remain in the hearts of those who appreciate his talent.

Further development of the church and the church grounds would be seen in the near future.

All photos are from Wong Meng Lei.

Wheel Chairs

Gemong lost the use of one of his legs when he was involved in a freak car accident five years ago. He not only lost a leg but his job and his wife. Photo shows Pastor Chan Jin Mei of Tudan Methodist Church with Gemong.

He has been relying on these crutches since then. Because the crutches are not really fitting he has added two inches of wood with rubber tyre padding to each clutch.

Group photo of wheel chair recipients.

Here Gemong is going home with his "love in a box" : a brand new wheel chair.

Whereas a stone slate in China dating back to 6th century has an inscription about a wheel chair the Europeans only discovered the wheelchair during the German Renaissance.

The first mass produced modern wheelchair was by Ernest and Jennings in the 1930's. Harry Jennings was a mechanical engineer who invented the lightweight collapsible wheelchair for his friend Ernest who had broken his back in a mining accident.

Wheelchairs come in various designs and shapes and sizes. But a good study of them would really take your breath away. It was like buying a car no doubt but it is more than a vehicle as it is so personal and life changing.

But after having seen wheel chairs in several sales outlets (prices range from B$300 to B$4999) in Brunei and Malaysia I begin to wonder how prepared our society at large is to accommodate the growing population of wheel chair bound citizens!

Would our Malaysian buildings have the facilities to allow easy mobility/accessibility of a wheelchair bound person?

I know in Miri only the Grand Palace Hotel besides the hospitals has ramps for the coming and going of wheel chair bound citizens and tourists.

The Boulevard and Imperial Malls have lifts going up from the basement but the lifts are rather small for lots of people and a single wheelchair.

How would any one in a wheel chair get to the Mega Hotel's Ballroom on his own for instance?

The Musical Corridor of the East Wood Valley Resort is a lovely place but people in wheel chairs and even in crutches have been avoiding it. And I think lots of grandparents who lack mobility do not wish to have a party there due to such inconveniences. I have seen people tripping and falling down in several places in hotels and restaurants like East Wood when the lighting is too dim or the floor is too wet after a heavy downpour (No offence to the cleaners).

Other important adaptations we should be considering are powered doors; lowered fixtures such as sinks and water fountains; and toilets with adequate space and grab bars to allow the person to manoeuvre himself or herself out of the wheelchair onto the fixture. In the United States, most new construction for public use must be built to ADA standards of accessibility. Beijing recently has made sure that all new buildings are disabled friendly.

Are our buses having low floors? But before that I think our bus drivers and bus conductors need to have lessons on special courtesy towards the disabled and older citizens. One woman in Sibu was killed because the bus driver did not want to stop his bus for her destination and she just jumped out of the bus. Too bad she was blamed for the accident.

I hope our Malaysian architects will incorporate better accessibility for people with disabilities.

Or at least we should be like the UK where the owners of inaccessible buildings are advised to keep a lightweight portable wheelchair or scooter access ramp on hand to make premises disabled friendly.

Here are some other good examples to follow.

In Los Angeles there is a program to remove a small amount of seating on some trains to make more room for bicycles and wheel chairs.

In Adelaide, Australia, all public transport has provision for at least two wheelchairs per bus, tram or train. In addition all trains have space available for bicycles.

Disneyland and Iceland have Disabled Getaway Packages.

I read that someone has even come up with an innovative Tai Chi technique for the disabled on wheelchairs and that many parks in China are now extremely accessible to the disabled.

And in recent days I have read articles by bloggers about old age and retirement. Perhaps it is time for home renovators to study seriously about making homes more friendly towards the disabled too.

In the 2lst century no one should lose his human dignity when he needs to use the bathroom. It is the least we can do to provide easy accessibility to disabled people who have already contributed so much of their time and labour to our society.

Source : Wikipedia

July 29, 2009

Remembering Mr. E.A. Temple- Beloved Biology Teacher

the latest photo of Mr. EA Temple who served in Methodist School Sibu from 1960 to 1968.

The Temples lived in Hoover House for a short while. This was where Girl Guides and Sunday School children learned the art of housekeeping and cake making from Mrs. Temple who was the first Captain of First Sibu Girl Guide Company. They also lived in Journey's End and Jasmine (Hose Lane)

In 2006 Mr. Temple came back to visit the school and Sibu where he served for 9 years and left a lot of beautiful memories for all those he came to know. Here he received a love gift from Miss Ida Mamora who taught with him in the Methodist School.

Mr. Temple with two of his students and a colleague.

My Form Five Class with Mr. Temple.

When Mr. Temple came back in 2006 we made him write on the black board (the same one in the 60's and in the same Biology lab). He remembered what he taught and how he taught us!

Family photo on the stairs of the Sibu Girl Guide Hut.

A group photo in Methodist Secondary School's science lab with Mr. Chong Chung Sing a former school staff.

Dinner for Mr. Temple - Bobby Ling and Mr. Yong the present principal of MSS.

Mr. Temple making a speech.

The young Temple family when they first arrived in Sibu.
Where do I begin to tell a story of a wonderful and inspiring teacher who more than 40 years ago came all the way from the USA to teach in a little concrete school block which was too close to a rubber garden?

When almost every one walked to school and Sibu had probably less than 200 cars Mr. Temple (we never called him by any other name) cycled to school from Journey's End bringing in his basket a flask of tea and some sandwiches lovingly prepared by his wife Mrs. Temple (we could not bring ourselves to call her Lora too).

Mr. Ed Temple was inspiring as well as intelligent and indefatique-able. He taught us soft ball in his spare time and played great basketball. But most importantly he inspired us to sing in a choir. We had always been taught music by ladies but he was the first man to help us learn music. So a lot of boys took up singing as a result. He helped us realise that every minute in our life counts. He was a very disciplined man as a result of having served in the Navy and being brought up in a Christian family. That rubbed off on us and most of his students did very well in science subjects because we learned how to be disciplined science students.

His biology lessons were always interesting and hands-on. He was an educator way ahead of many educational thinkers. He taught us how to map out life cycles of insects (ahead of Buzan) and he got us to love doing practicals and writing patterned notes (experiential learning). He got us to read voraciously all the beautiful hard covered and coloured science books. And we caught his sense of humour which was so contagious!

He was one teacher who great knowledge at his finger tips. He never had to refer to any text when teaching. For that I really admire him.

And outside school hours he provided the model of a Christian husband and a good sportsman. Unfailing and faithful he had been happily married to Lora for 51 years - half a century and a year more of joy and mutal support. He kindly brought chocolate biscuits made by Lora in a Girl Guide Tin all the way from Medina USA for me and my family when he last came back to Sibu. Not many men would do that. And I on the other hand had not been able to reciprocate as few travel to Medina and would do such a favour!!

We still have the Girl Guide Tin to remember them by. And I can only with shame type out "Thank You" here!

When I received news that he passed away after a short illness of perhaps only a week I just could not accept the fact. He had been so healthy and I kind of think that he was immortal. And then I had this pain in my heart : I will miss his personal annual newsletter to friends and loved ones.

But the reality was there and it was in black and white on my notebook screen : "Edwin Allan Temple, 82, of Medina, passed away Tuesday, April 21, 2009. He was born February 7, 1927."

The news printed in the Medina Gazette reads "Ed served God in the mission field for nine years in Sibu, Sarawak, Malaysia. He loved teaching and made science fun at Highland High School. He was a tenor in the Medina United Methodist Church choir for 36 years. Ed was active in volunteer in mission projects, both locally and internationally for many years. He was a veteran of WWII, serving in the U.S. Navy.

Survivors include his wife of 51 years, Lora Mae (nee Mort) of Medina; children, Becky (Teena) Temple of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Steven (Karen) Temple of Seville, Nancy (Robert) Pitz of Medina; sister, Edythe (Howard) Housworth of Berwyn, Pennsylvania; grandchildren, Shane, Airin, Troy and Brent.

Ed requested that his body be donated to Case Western Reserve Medical College.

And true to his faith in God and belief in science his last request was to donate his body for scientific research.

My very dedicated and committed biology teacher has gone to heaven where he can sing in harmony along with other angels in his wonderful tenor.

Source : Medina Gazette

July 28, 2009

A Brunei-Dayak Luncheon Gathering

It is often said by many that the streets of Brunei are fabulously clean and no rubbish bin is ever seen to be overflowing. And this is indeed the impression I have whenever I am in Brunei.

The secret of this cleanliness? It must be a great team of street cleaners and scavenging truck drivers well supervised by an equally great team of Municipal Council Street Cleaning Unit who have great civic mindedness and good work attitude. A very simple maxim - once thrown rubbish must be removed by another human being. My secondary school domestic science teacher use to say over and over again that the only way to keep a home clean was that "some one has to pick up the rubbish and remove it and only then the house will be perfectly clean. It can be you or another person. It is your choice! If you want a clean house - remove all the rubbish. Remove. Remove. And Remove!"

Just last week I had the opportunity to attend a great home cooked celebration lunch with an Iban or Dayak extended family who are cleaners and private truck drivers in Brunei. three of the men have married Iban ladies from Kanowit. They are particularly grateful to a very special "Apai" who helped bring electricity and water supply to their "village" situated near a small river. Whenever they have the opportunity they would slaughter an animal or two during a special day off ( e.g. special public holiday) and have a "party" and relax . They are glad and grateful that they have work which brings home the proverbial bacon.

While many would pay a great sum of money for hotel cooked food these happy subjects of the state would celebrate their existence with gratitude in very simple ways. Here are some photos of their simple lifestyle which you might find a little unique. Perhaps?

Wood ready for a wood fire. Piped gas is not available in this village.

A roaring fire to cook meat in the traditional Dayak way. See the food filled bamboo or ruas roasting at the side.

Roasting ketola/petola on the fire which is a traditional Dayak method of cooking. the natural skin will peel off and the cooked inside could be beautifully cut or sliced.

Roasted ketola (sliced) served on a bunga kentang leaf. Delicious and naturally cooked over fire the ketola retains its natural flavours. A garden of Eden food.

This is the head of a small special animal freshly slaughtered in the morning for the occasion. The diners enjoyed picking the meat off the bones and it is believed by both the Chinese and the Dayaks that the cooked brains would help the children to become mentally and physically strong to face all adversities in life. One of the daughters of the family is a top student in her class.

The Happy Benefector - Simon Gelang. Here in this special home you can be your real self and enjoy every drop of the kiam chye soup flavoured by natural ingredients. May he enjoy a long and prosperous life! May blessings be upon him.

Ketupat - a special three sided delicacy made from glutinuous rice and wrapped with jungle palm called grinis. The grinis palm can be collected just thirty meters away from the village on the shoulder of the hill.

Music came from a DVD player and as the ladies drank at their corner a lively Dayak lady in her fifties started to do the joget and making every one merry in the warmth of the day. And the smoke from the wood fire just created a very special ambience.

The Dayak men sat quietly drinking their rice wine or iced cola and once in a while they would pick a piece of roasted meat from the several plates placed on the low home made coffee table (if you can call it that) and discussed the topics of day - hunting and fishing. Occasionaly one would come up with a great memory of a past hunting trip.

Nothing bonds family together better than freshly cooked food and a warm hearth.

July 27, 2009

Bonanza for Monkeys in the Park - Kelampu

Years ago when we were children growing up by the river bank of the Rajang we would often meet Ibans rowing their boats and offering to sell some of their products which were commonly wild boar meat and fruits like keranji and kelampu and an occasional snake. The favourite meat my father and my uncles would buy would be deer meat of the freshest quality.

I remember most of the hunters and the Chinese at that time had absolutely cordial relationships. My dad and uncles spoke good Iban and those who could not speak Iban would speak a smattering of bazaar Malay.

the jungle fruits then slowly disappeared as Sibu became bigger and traders began to congregate in Sibu to sell their jungle products. Then when the timber trade boomed many of the natives even stop selling their products including engkabang. Unknown to me at that time this was indirectly caused by the rapid felling of all kinds of trees in the jungles. Engkabang and kelampu to name a few slowly disappeared from the traded items in Sibu and Kapit.

Today some engkabang and kelampu can be found in places which are protected like special parks and forest reserves in Sarawak according to some experts to generate interest in natural habitats and equatorial biomedicine.

The kelampu tree is very shady and can be planted in parks. In fact many parks maintain their original trees which often would include several kelampu trees like the Reservoir Park in Bandar Darusalam.

In the past lumbermen have cut down this tree for furniture and light construction. When logging was at its height in Sarawak almost all the kelampu trees were cut down and sold as mixed wood. In this way the wild animals of Sarawak have lost a very good source of natural habitat food.

However unknown also to many the roots of the kelampu can be used medicinally. And the bark has been used for tanning nets and also for Iban cloth dyeing. Traditional pua has a real natural colour which no chemical colouring can imitate.

I have been observing the kelampu trees in the old Reservoir Lake Park in Bandar for several months now. And Lo and Behold - three of the trees are fruiting in the last week or so.

This morning I saw several monkeys near the waterfall. And I am sure at night they would be out hunting for fruits.

When the fruits turn yellow they will be edible.

I cannot wait for my chance at eating at least one. But the bonanza may be for the wild animals. We human beings might not stand a chance!

Sandoricum koetjape (Burm.f.) Merr., Philip. J. Sc. Bot. 7 (1912)
Latin for the local name of this species (Ketjape).

In this park I counted at least 5 kelampu trees and three of them are fruiting. They have all grown to their mature height of more than 40 m. tall.The leaves are small (tri-foliate).Kelampu have tiny white-yellow flowers.

The fruits as seen in the photos are rather tiny although many indigenous people have come across several varieties which grow to be as big as fist size. The fruits are green before maturing into yellow or greenish yellow. These fruits are drupes in botanical terms.

Kelampu are found naturally near or along rivers and streams. Their root systems often protect the banks of the rivers from erosion.

It is always a pleasant sight to see kelampu trees because they are pre-disturbance remnants. Thus the Old Reservoir Park in Bandar D.S has indication that many of the trees are original trees and the Forest Department has done a great job preserving them! To many a sighting of kelampu trees will be great moments for reminiscing of the good old childhood days.

Besides being found in Brunei and Sarawak Kalimantan also has a large forest of kelampu. Local names are Bua apo, Kelampu, Kelampu bukit, Lalamun, Sinlol, Sintol, Terapu.

In olden days in Peninsula Malaysia padi farmers used to observe the flowering of the kelampu trees. This would indicate the correct time to start planting their padi according to one local saying.

Source : http://nationaalherbevarium.nl/sungaiwain

Sibu News : Long House with Chinese Headman

華人屋長洪心聲(左)與遠道由吉隆坡而來的「椰樓映畫」國際影視製作公司4名人員合影.左3為洪心聲的伊班籍母親尤悠(Uyu).右為砂拉越攝影師許保德. Chinese headman of an Iban long house, Hong Sing Sing(left), together with his mother Uyu(3rd left), and a local photographer Philip Hii(right), took a group photo with four members of Kuala Lumpur based Yellow Pictures production company, who were documenting a story on the headman or Tuai Rumah, which is expected to be aired on ASTRO AEC channel later on.

This is indeed an exceptional piece of news from Sg. Bilat Kanowit written by Steve Ling (Going Places). Could TR Hong Sing Sing be the first foochow/Kutien Iban long house chief in the world?

He is officially known as Tuai Rumah Hong Sing Sing and indeed this is an honour not only to him but to his mother Uyu. His mother speaks Foochow with a Kutien accent even. And this is a credit to his late father (Mr. Hong) for instilling Chinese learning amongst his children with Uyu who is now almost 100 years old. All the children were brought up in the longhouse and they too have intermarried with the Ibans of the longhouse. TR Hong is now 66 years old.

According to one of my Iban blogger friend the Iban longhouse way of selecting a chief has always been very democratic and usually the best leader is selected by the process of slow deliberation and open discussion and voting. Thus for hundreds of years the Tuai Rumah has always be revered and well respected. He and his family would always be "listened" to and they are what we would consider "royalty" to a certain extent because so much respect is accorded to them by the longhouse community.

He said "However as time goes by more and more selection has been government prompted and the best person reckoned by the longhouse community might not be the one appointed by the government!"

This is a great example of lMalaysia concept if you are looking for one! the longhouse (Rumah Panjang TR Hong Sing Sing) should get an award for Malaysian Unity!

July 26, 2009

Heng Hua Noodles

The Bruneian Heng Hua Community is a fair sized community. Most of the men operate the old buses and taxis while some are owners of bicycle and spare part shops.

I have been friends with a family who have come from Sungei Merah and later Bintulu. And the most unusual aspect of their life is their ability to speak very good Mandarin and Foochow!! All the children are very good students and the mother is a very good cook.

Mrs. He never fails to amaze me by her ability in producing some of the most fantastic dishes (e.g. meat roll wrapped in seaweed). If you have the chance to meet her and her family you can understand why her children have such good skin and are so healthy!!

The Heng Hua Noodles shown in this posting are available in Soon Lee Supermarket in Sg. Liang besides other outlets.

You can prepare it fried or in soup. If you are preparing the Heng Hua mee sua soup you will have to use fish slices and fresh oysters as the base or to make the stalk. You then add mustard greens and chicken slices. Fish balls and black fungi would provide additional flavours! Add a lot of pepper!


July 22, 2009

Grand Ladies of the Tiong Family

While the world was watching the Solar Eclipse this morning I had a very pleasant surprise when my adopted cousin Tiong Yew Ping (aged 80) called me up to visit her. She had her daughter in law call me the evening before but I was out of the house on an errand. So they did not reach me.

I thought it was unusual to be summoned at such an early hour (by old lady's standard) and at such short notice too. I decided that I had to accept her invitation since I was at fault for not being at home when she first called.

Then sure enough I had one of the biggest surprises in my life!

When I opened the kitchen door I saw five cheerful-- articulate--joyful-- blessed --beautiful--warm hearted -- grey haired ladies of the Tiong family all seated around a round table laden with Foochow mee sua -fresh from the farm free range Foochow style boiled chicken -fish rolls and siew mai.....and hard boiled eggs!!

Our conversation went from one topic to another - how they shared the same bed(not the 20th century context); rowed small home made boats across the Rajang River from Sg. Bidut to Pulau Kerto (Hua Hung Ice Factory where my grand father was the manager);how Yuk Ging Goo Poh got married with 6 pairs of flower girls and boys (the wedding of the decade) and how the Japanese came to frighten them.....All my senses were at attention and I drank in the scene and the words! For me it was a historical moment.

I was glad that my faithful Sony was with me and I took several precious photos.

Here is one group photo of the occasion.

Can you guess the ages of these ladies ? They were all born in Sg. Bidut and Sibu after their parents arrived in Sibu as the second batch of the Sibu Foochow pioneers in 1903.

I was born in Pulau Kerto and all of them already met me a few days after a I was born!! But because of my education and my marriage it has taken me so many years to meet up with them in Miri!! So three of them could really say "Long time no see" to me because my Ah Ling Koo and Cousin Yew Ping meet up with me very often in Miri here.

Clues :
1. The oldest is 93 years old.
2. The youngest is 59 years old.
3. The two sisters who are my grand aunts (cousins to Grand Aunt Yuk Ging) are 93 and 90 years old.
4. Aunty Ling is 82 years.
5. My adopted cousin is 80 years old.

If you are from Sibu and your guess is correct you can claim your pow from Meng Lei during his Monday Tea Party. If you are from Miri you can claim your pow from me personally.

Another clue : All of these ladies attend Huai Eng Methodist Church in Miri except me.

Longest 2lst Century Solar Eclipse

22nd July 2009 will see the longest solar eclipse in the 21st Century.

The first who will be able to see it are the inhabitants of the Gulf of Khambhat, India. Instead of the sunrise, people will see a black hole rising in the sky and birds will be unsure if the day is beginning or not.

The eclipse will last exactly 6 minutes and 39 minutes, being the longest of the 21st century and will only be surpassed on June 13, 2132. After those from the Gulf of Khambhat, also Chinese and Japanese will be able to see the solar eclipse.

The largest cities that will offer a view of the eclipse are Shanghai, Surat, Vadodara, Bhopal, Varanasi, Chengdu, Chonqing, Wuhan, Hefei, Hangzhou and millions of people will be able to witness it.

Source : Google News and Images.

Sibu Tales : Making Bah Gui from Scratch

The pioneering families of Sibu Foochows continued to practise the  adoption of girls from poor families who become their maids (slaves). ...