Looking for money was his objective from a very young age after moving to Sibu from Kapit. Even his studies were on hold and he ended up in the same class as his younger brother ..He sold tofu fah even before that was considered a health food. He would walk with a tub in his hand and his little brother would be carrying a kettle of sugar syrup behind him. Like Apaches walking in single file they would go from house to house calling out to housewives to buy their freshly made tofu fa...
As a young teenager he upgraded himelf to a musician to finance his own studies in the UK. (not Ulu Kapit).He "even controlled the music of three nightclubs" for about 10 years!! And those were the days he and his friends cannot forget to this day...He could get help from any of the timber merchants but he did not. There was one community leader who even wrote by snail mail in his own handwriting to ask about him and his well being when Frankie was studying in the UK. But Frankie would always reply..he was OK.
Here are some photos he is willing to share with me..A Sibu blogger cannot NOT write about the history of this famous son of Sibu.
Sibu like any other town in the world had its share of rock and roll music in the 1960's after being impacted by the rock wave created by Elvis Presley and Ricky Nelson to name two famous singers. This wave of music also coincided with the timber boom when tycoons could spend money in nightclubes.
|Those younger than this blogger would know about the Swining Swallows who used to play in the Merrido Hotel Lounge...Frankie was part of the band.|
Sibu was waking up after the years under Communist threats and the unrest due to the birth of Malaysia. The teething problems seemed to solve themselves and by sheer coincidence timber boom helped Sibu to become a reall "happening place" with Taiwan singers swinging into the local scene. Bands became popular. Dances were held in SRC and hotels had their lounges and night clubs. Musicians could make a living. More and more night clubes opened. Some were seedy while otheres were quite reputable.
|Frankie also played in the Sibu Music Society Band|
Rock musicians performed in cinemas too as well as open air concerts. School boys bands were being formed too to fulfilled the dreams of school boys and school girls.
|He was a good runner for Sibu's Sacred Heart School and later for the Methodist School (where he studied Lower Sixth in 1972) Here he is running against Jimmie Ting Chek Ming (now a Miri lawyer)|
Frankie was also a good runner.
|Frankie in action...MOON GLASSES were the rave in those days...|
|Frankie with family members..posing for a farewell photo before he left for the UK at the old Sibu Airport in 1975|
Frankie was always a hardworking young man who supported himself and his family. He worked hard to earn his own money for his UK education. After he completed his education he worked in KL for many years before he migrated to the US.
|Frankie is now a Texas man.....a man with a heart of gold...and a good friend to his school mates and fellow Sibu-ians and Kapit-ans.......|
|Frankie with his Sacred Heart School mates in a recent Miri homecoming gathering... Frankie is on the left. Mike Wong (Dave's Deli) is in the middle with Joseph Siong on the right..Strong friendship is the only term to summarize their ties even after 40 years of separation across the seas and continents.|
(With permission from Frankie Lea..some photos are from his album...Thanks Frankie I am really honoured.... And thanks for the great memories ...and stories... of Sibu.....thanks to all friends of Frankie...and Gabby too...)