November 10, 2010

Welcome to the Feast

The Methodist Pastors and Teachers from Britain who worked in Sarawak would have a reunion every few years in the UK. Their  friendship was established since the 1950's which has become only stronger over the years.

So when the 2010 reunion in the UK was mooted to be held in Cornwal and presided by Rev Tomlinson  Judy thought that it would be a good idea if one or two of their former students and congregation would go all the way to England to convey our gratitude for moulding and shaping us!!  I also made up my mind to be there - and make it a dream trip.

Thus she liaised with Janet Tomlinson  and we were then all set to go and also give some of them a good Sarawak surprise.

Rev and Mrs. Chris Tomlinson. He founded the lst Boys Brigade Company of Sibu.

Mrs. MacDonald and Judy. Seated are Mr and Mrs. Jim Reutler.
Miss Mona Pengelly sitting with Judy and the Tomlinsons.

Rev and Mrs. David MacDonald. I was impressed by the pastors  and teachers who would dry the dishes (they did not have dishwashers then) and stacked the plates nicely for their wives.( I grew up in a conservative Chinese family where the menfolks were "invited" to the table when dinner was ready.)
Our pastors and teachers  would also make tea (put the kettle on) for their wives and ask politely who much sugar and/or milk they would like to have.  Rev. Tomlinson has since the start of their marriage bring a cup of tea or a glass of juice for Janet as soon as she opens her eyes in the morning!!  These are the little touches that we learn and keep in our hearts. And perhaps it is these which keep their marriages so strong and alive!! And Rev. MacDonald is always so courteous to his wife in his gentle manner!

Mrs. Pauline Wiltshire - one of the founders of the Sibu Family Planning Association. Pauline is always very polite to Mr. Wiltshire and gives him her ears whenever he speaks. They  are still  so in synch together from the days they arrived in Sibu!!

Mrs. Hodgkinson  served in Tulai and Sarikei for many years. She has a remarkable marriage and even though John has passed away seven years ago she still remembers everything in their married life to the minutest detail. Her love for John is just so powerful and so inspiring!!

Mr. and Mrs. David Johnson. These two teachers of ours are in awespiring harmony like a great symphony. Mr. Johnson plays the piano and so does Mrs. Johnson (Pat). Their children who grew up in Sibu always remember Sibu with great fondness.

Rev and Mrs. Dennis Capes who also served in Miri and later Kuching.

Mr. K.V. Wiltshire - Principal of the Methodist Secondary School . His remarkable mind still makes us think profoundly of the issues he raises.

Rev and Mrs. Philip Williams. Rev. Williams is a real Cornish gentleman who is very learned and good to converse with. The farewell photo taken in front of the Sibu Wesley Chapel  is the photo that we all remember extremely well.

A feast based on Sibu style was planned by Mrs. Tomlinson. Since the Sibu days most of the missionaries love Chinese food. Hence the welcome lunch was a fantastic Chinese banquet prepared by Mrs. Tomlinson who had planned months ahead for her exquisite menu. She is one of the most organised women I have ever known.
You can see the dishes she prepared. How we enjoyed the food. It was like a good harvest celebration.
Roasted Chicken
Ma Po Tou Foo
Meat Balls
Sauteed Prawns and broccoli
Three fresh vegetables platter - prepared by Guest Chef Judy .
Brinjal and Mushrooms

Lychee as desserts - reminiscent of Sibu days. (We told her that as children all of us expected to be equal number of lycees and our elders would make sure that none would be "stolen" from our bowls. It was fun counting the number of lycees we got.) We were really tickled pink when we started to chat about old days and shared jokes  about Sarawak.

What a wonderful feast - both spiritually and physically. Praise God from whom all blessings flow. May God bless them all.


fufu said...

meatballs i want!!!! roasted chicken i want!!!! oh...i want the food now :)

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Hi you know somewhere in a small place called St. Dominick (Saltash) there is a lady who can cook really good Chinese food!!

Here are some e-meat balls for you....Foochow meat balls on the other hand have a different texture and taste with Chinese mushrooms etc.....

How are you? Still in Brazil?

Anonymous said...

I love reunion. What a wonderful time you have had in UK. Any stories about London?

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Yes! Reunions are meant for people who would want to show their appreciation for friendship and memories...I think many people are worried about success and failures. It should not be the case. At the end of the day most of us are humans who want to love and care for each other. We treasure our childhood and youth...and especially shared experiences. All these are good for our health and souls....In Singapore Reminiscence Therapy is popular.

Yes ..putting London stories on hold....thanks for visiting.

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). ...