October 27, 2010

Mrs. Frederick Mawar

Do you like to get connected ? Today in the digital age it is much easier. In olden days as a student I had to queue up to make phone calls home (after we had a house phone). Otherwise we had to write letters trot to the post office and mail the letters. That was the slow slow life style then. Today we use terms like flash back...fast forward...click and see....even dialing seems to be a slow word.

Yesterday Flor and I arranged to visit a friend of mine from 1974.

Here's the story.

All of us in these photos are connected in one way or another.

I was newly married and teaching in a government school in a small town of Limbang in 1974.

One of the best times during the week was to visit the established families and households in the government quarters near St. Edmund Primary School . Another favourite past time was a sit in a nice coffee shop and wait for the kuihs to arrive...just in time for the civil servants to enjoy their "happy hours". In those days those were the happy hours...not jug of beers or dangdut girls.

And one of the most important families of the day was the Mawar family. Mrs. Mawar is very perceptive and gentle. She has several young children in those days and the youngest was about 9 years old - Jacqueline. Christabel was slightly older. Gregory was already quite a young man by then.

I would always remember the bag of buah kedundong she sent to me when she heard that I was expecting. I ate only those fruits for three days as I could eat nothing else. I could not tolerate the smell of frying onions. And when my husband played Ringo Starr's music...I got more sick. To this day I would associate Ringo's music with bad pregnancies.

Buah Kedungdung is a saviour and a balm to me whenever I am sick until today. I really remember Mrs. Mawar for that. And it has been almost 36 years since we were together in Limbang.

Gulang - or Mrs. Howell is Mrs. Mawar's niece. The daughter of her sister.
Gulang and I have known each other fairly well well over the years since our children went to St. Columba's Secondary School together. We met as parents and at times at social gatherings in Miri. But I never thought that she is Mrs. Mawar's niece!!

Mr and Mrs. Mawar have indeed brought up a fine family. The children are very proper and hold good jobs and help improve social development amongst the Ibans and the public. Gregory Mawar is a good writer and has put a lot of traditional knowledge on paper. Jacqueline keeps traditional Iban music and culturre alive through her active service in DAM and other organisations. Amazing children indeed!!

florence Enau is the Headmistress of my children's kindergarten. Well it seems I have known her forever here in Miri. She is someone we can always depend upon. She definitely has a broad shoulder to cry on.

florence is Mrs. Wawar's sister-in-law. Or rather Florence was married to the late brother of Mrs. Mawar.

I exclaimed to Jacqueline and Christabell that we did not have the chance to take photos in 1974 to remember our good times together. Today we have handphones and digital cameras to snap moments of good memories!! Their father Frederick was a civil servant and they were transferred out of Limbang. Frederick worked in many places and finally retired in Saratok. However there was one occasion in 1980's when Christobell and her father came to stay with us in Sibu...after she finished her Form Five. And then like every one else we were busy raising children and "cari makan". We heard that Mr. Mawar was not well. We had news from time to time through some relatives.

And now these "kids" are in their late forties!! How time flies.

By God's grace Mrs. Mawar came all the way from Betong this week to be with the family. And I have just come back from overseas to grab this opportunity to meet up with her. It has been 36 years!!

Indeed it is a small world....but it takes the culmination of 36 years to get this group photo taken...in 1974 I did not have a camera to take photos....we depended on one family - William Ting's family to take studio photos and school photos.

Today...William Ting is still a friend...and someone I can call upon to take photos....Again...once more....

We are still connected today .....Ties that bind us cannot be broken as the hymn goes.


fufu said...

and may the bond continue forever!

Anonymous said...

Hi Sarawakiana,

sarawak is such a small place which is what i always tell my friends and reminds myself!

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Thanks Fufu....thanks for visiting me in cyberspace....come around often...and one day come to Miri!! (of course after visiting your friends in Sibu).

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Dear Anonymous...Sarawak is a small place because Sarawakians care for each other and reach out to connect.... When you don't want to know any one...that's when the world is too big and too lonely.


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