July 3, 2016

Sibu Tales : A Cabbage for a Lottery Ticket

This is a very old Sarawak Turf Club advertisement which was kept by my father in his drawer for a long time, 1961, when the numerical characters were still written in the old Classic Chinese style. I have kept it until now. My father was never a lottery buyer but he would get a few once in a while from his Singh friend. He would tell my mother, "I may not win, but it is one way of helping the ticket seller to get a bit of commission and to generally support the good causes of the turf club. My father in his life time never became lucky where horses were concerned.
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The Chinese businesses in Sibu would print Calenders to give to their well wishers and customers. And Horse Racing days would be part of one particular kind of calender like the one shown. Horse races are all scheduled for each month. Very convenient.

I often think about lottery tickets and about how so many Foochows are reluctant to bet on anything. Perhaps this was due to the early responsibilities of the Foochow pioneers who were not allowe bad habits in the New Foochow, Sibu, as ordained by Wong Nai Siong and Rev. James Hoover. The Foochow pioneers were not allowed to gamble, womanize, smoke, drink ,and take opium. Lying was prohibited too. If caught committing these sins, they would be threatened to be sent back to China. I was told Rev Hoover did some some gamblers back to China.

Gee Jakee, a facebook friend told us the story of how a vegetable seller bought a winning ticket after he was persuaded to buy one by the Singh. Since he was not willing to part with his cash, the Singh suggested he paid with a head of cabbage. The vegetable seller won $400,000 and he was so happy that he gave Mr. Singh a special gift of money. Mr. Singh went back to India with his commission and the extra from the grateful vegetable seller. Mr. Singh eventually passed away at home.

That was a very princely sum in olden day Sibu!!

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