Siti was Lau Ah Mee's first wife of Iban descent. If you remember the days of the 60's a very popular place to hang out and to be seen by people was the Airport Cafe . It was owned by Lau Ah Mee, a most pleasant Heng Hua towkay.
He was also the contractor for MSA and later MAS airline meals. Contract was simple then: coffee, tea, a piece of cake, a packet of peanuts. Probably the contract was only a few thousand ringgit, not like today's hefty million ringgit contracts.
Ah Mee loved her and dressed her up in some of the most beautiful sarong kebayas people have ever seen in Sibu. The Ibans loved her very much and wished the husband and wife team well. Siti and Ah Mee had two two children together.
Photo below is from a friend who now lives in Perth. Menai and Siti are cousins.This was taken not long after Siti married Ah Mee. Look at the way she dressed her hair!!
According to friends from Sungei Merah, Siti was pretty and very active in socialising with every one in Sibu and Sungei Merah. She frequented the hair dresser in Sungei Merah and talked very warmly with friends in the market. If I am not mistaken, she was also one of the first Iban ladies to learn to drive in Sibu!! Ah Bee was just happy to see her so happy.
He bought her a lot of gold to delight her. In fact people were amazed by the gold she wore. But in those days, wearing of gold was common. If you had money, flaunt it. If you were happy with the gold bracelets, why not. There was no chance of robbery. In fact, Ah Mee was always near by and she was behind the counter , helping here and there. There was a helper in the kitchen .
However unknown to any one she disappeared one day, and actually according to her relatives there was no reason for her to run away at all from a lovely home. And from a man who totally adored her.
She just disappeared. This was a very sad part of Ah Mee's life and we were quite sure that he was really heart broken.
Ah Mee however a long time later married a nice woman from Kapit. His children grew up and the airport cafe continued to be a happening place.
We kids particularly loved to have our evening walks at the airport when planes were no longer scheduled to touch down. Security was lax and in fact many people learned to drive their father's cars in the tarmac.
Ah Mee went on to prosper and became a very beloved community elder amongst the Heng Hua people.
November 4, 2013
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