April 26, 2012

Meeting Professor Xu Qiaozhen

It is not every day that one can meet an alumni in Sibu. Therefore it was all the more meaningful when you get to meet one in Xiamen on the first day of your arrival in China!! My grandmother's village was next to his (Tanjong Kunyit) and when he was in Senior Middle Three in the Chinese Department of the Methodist Secondary school in 1951-53 I was still a little girl living in Kerto.

In 2012 April 12th I had the opportunity to meet this remarkable Sibu born Physics Professor of Xiamen University.
A very simple cover of the Year Book (Sarawak Sibu Methodist  High School
 1954 class
Graduation Memorial/Remembrance Book (Note that the middle Chinese characters for Sarawak  is not the same as today's)
Prof Xu was  gracious when points out HIS PAGE in this posed photograph
Message from Mr. John Pilley (the Principal) in the Year Book

But what was even more incredible was the Year Book he brought to show my team!! 1953 Methodist Secondary School's Graduation "Memorial" Book contains many precious pages...and if you are interested you can see a copy of this (we made a full copy at the university copy centre) at the Methodist Message Office Library...You are always welcome to Tea and Bao Session on Mondays 4.-6 p.m. there with Wong Meng Lei as host...and enjoy turning pages and pages of reference books available there.
The Editorial Committee wrote very succintly about Prof Qu..."He is a very hardworking boy from a poor family. He was self supporting - working part time and studying at the same time. In the morning he went to school and in the afternoon he taught in another school  and did everything possible to earn a few cents..."

In 1956 when China promoted its new government and new ways..Prof Qu saw his opportunity to seek a FREE UNIVERSITY EDUCATION he quickly took a slow boat and arrived in Xiamen. Thus he began his brilliant career in Physics which at that time was in need of good brains like his.

He servered Xiamen Univeristy until his retirement. Now he is Vice Secretary General of Xiamen Senior Professors Association and Chief Supervisor of Xiamen Solidarity of Retunred Overseas Chinese from Malaysia. He is also Secretary General of Xiamen MEMS Research Society. He continues to be Professor of the Physics Department of Xiamen Unviersity.

He and his wife continue to live within the university campus.

I was so so touched by his kindness towards our team. He came to the airport to receive us at 9 p.m!!. Took us to a VIP Cafe where we enjoyed  Blue Mountain Coffee - a special brew and very expensive per cup in the morning when he arranged for a meet up with another professor  who has special interests in our work...and then when we departed the next day for Xian Yew he came to say good bye even though he had only a few minutes to spare before a meeting.

He has indeed lived up to the Methodist School Motto in his very special way and capacity


(P/s another similar story is available in Steve Ling's blog "Going Places".)


Anonymous said...

Inside was traditional Chinese characters, whereas outside was the simplified one?

Sarawakiana@2 said...

You are very sharp..I am only making a guess. The content was probably typeset by the printing company. And the cover was probably done by the Committee members who were probably just beginning to use the Simplified Chinese characters.

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