|Photo by Juray - rubber sheets smoking in a smoke house|
Now that we have Ah Jib Gor and An Hwa Gor I am delighted to write stories about Foochow relatives with similar names.....
The Rajang Foochow settlements had many people with names like Ah Kai Gor - Ah Sek Gor etc. There's another one called Muk Gor (Wood Brother) who has 10 beautiful daughters.
What about Number 12 as a name? Sek Ni or No.12 was a bachelor for years. His older brothers were No.10 - Ah Sek and he also had a brother called Sek Yik or No. 11.
In Sarikei there is one man called Number One. (Go to Sarikei Time Capsule).
Now Lady Gaga must have found out that there were lots of Gaga's in Sibu while searching for a fancy name for herself....Well in the Foochow community we have lots of Gaga's.
Pang Nga Ga Ga (Dumb Uncle). Each time I see the name Gaga (as in Lady Gaga) I think of all my Gaga..or uncles in Foochow. There was Buong King Gaga...Pang Hung Gaga..Pang Teik Gaga...I think my friend Meng Lei is also Meng Lei Gaga to all his nephews and nieces...
Maternal uncles are QQ. So I do have a lot of QQs...e.g. Pang Sing QQ and Pang Hung QQ.
Foochow names can bring back a lot of memories to us these days.
Here's one story realted to No. 12 or Sek Ni.
My shy uncle went to Sibu to sell his rubber sheets. His family depended on the sale for the household expenditure badly since he was out of job at the moment and Sarawak was in a chaotic state after the Second World War.
But being very gentle and shy he was always very timid with relatives.
He met a cousin called No.12 who wanted to borrow some money. My uncle had $120 in his pocket after selling his rubber sheets and that was a big sum of money in those days!!
Any way he lent the money to No.12 who promised to pay back immediately when he returned to the village (the money was with his wife he said) and being so trusting my uncle was willing to part with his hard earned money...a Foochow man's word is HIS HONOR!!
So No.12 bought his rice with the money and went back by motor launch with my uncle..
As you have guessed...my uncle never saw his money again even though he met No.12 again and again..and my aunt cried for days because life was hard for her and her new born child. Today such memories can really keep one awake at night!!
But my uncle continued to be a very honourable and respected man until his dying days. God blessed his his children who grew up to be brilliant and successful.
I often wonder what happened to Number 12 or Sek Ni and his descendants.