November 19, 2015
Sibu Tales : "Returning to the Homeland"
Before Malaysia was formed, Sarawakian Foochows were free to travel to China. The Pioneering Foochows came in 1901 and many actually went back to China for many reasons, for funerals, to tend to the aging parents and grand parents, to find wives for themselves and their son, for medical treatment, for further education and sometimes to spend their last days.
Hence "returning to the homeland" was a big deal.
Photos taken in those days would also have captions written at the bottom of the photo. This is a good way to help relatives to remember the occasion, and this particular photo would probably be taken back to China to Gutian, especially for the Tiong relatives and other friends. The message was also very clear, "We are doing fine in Sarawak."
Photos like these are very meaningful because they tell us what people were wearing, whether economically they were already stable etc. And this photo particularly tells us that the Foochows were still very God fearing. The caption says that the Church Sing Hook Tong's committee members bid farewell to Rev and Mrs. Wong Lee Huo. 1948 (May 11th)
God helps those who are faithful to prosper. One of our most fervent Methodists in the history of Sibu is Uncle Tiong Wang Ming.