Friday, August 30, 2013

Dad, who were your best friends from childhood and what were they like

I have some friends that had kept in touch since our primary school days. The people that you may know are Uncle Tan Ah Chai, Uncle Dr David Quek, my late cousin Thomas Wong, Dr Yong Kwet Yew, Benedict Chang and Uncle Ong Meek from Ulu Tiram. Basically we got to know each other through our membership in the Crusaders, Interact Club, Boy Scouts as well as we were classmates for a very long time. We were quite close and some of us share a same Godfather for Confirmation, that made us God Brothers.  We use to pay visits to the hawker stalls after our Saturday meetings or take the bus to visit each other homes.

I remember this funny scenario when we were visiting Dad's friend, a Corporal Gill who stayed in Larkin. This Corporal loves to drink with Dad in the Johor Civil Service Club and also in each others home. On the vist to Corporal Gill's house one night I think they ran out of cigarettes or stout, so I was sent to buy these items in a provision shop.

I was very surprised when some one called me from another row of the shop when clearly the person had not seen me. It seems from his row he saw my ugly shoes and called out my name. Only when I answered he came out and told me that this was his Mum's provision shop. The guy was Uncle Chai and he helped me a lot in school when  I was slow to understand my Mathematics and Science subjects

Uncle Kek Met, my cousin became my classmate in Form 6 although we were also friends in St Joseph School. He use to disturb you when you were young but unfortunately he died in May 1997, 3 months after his mother passed away in February 1997. Sadly Kung Kung also passed away in October 1997. It was a very tough year for our family for in December 1997, Uncle Wey was diagnosed with leukemia and our family had to go through the frighful experience where he stayed in hospital for almost 6 months. Thank God he recovered well in 1998.

Dr David, although was a junior our school was a close friend as we visit each other often when we were in school and I remember his as a very meticulous person who had perfect handwriting. Based on handwriting itself I should have been a doctor as I can write prescriptions that even I myself cannot make out afterwords. Dr David is a man of principle and he became the MMA president and till date did not want to receive any awards from the the State or country ie he did not want a datukship until he gets one from his children I suppose. Uncle Chai, David and myself use to meet at least once a year, ie we drink in David's house or at Easter they visit us. Uncle David was a Head Prefect and Uncle Alex too was one in a later year

Uncle Ong Meek was a holy person who parents run a furniture shop. He stays in Ulu Tiram and he even supplied my wedding wardrobe when we got maaried in July 1983. These days he acts as a caretaker for the Ulu Tiram Cemetry where Kung Kung and many other relatives are buried.

Uncle Ben was staying just beside the school but we were also quite close and he was quite a leader in school too. If I am not mistaken he was President of YCS. He became a successful entrepreneur when he obtained the  Domino's franchise and he sold it a few years back. He is currently based in Hong Kong and Singapore.

Dr Yong Kwet Yew was also another close friend who became a Head of Department in Nanyang University. He was so kind and was instrumental to introducing us to his Aunty Soo who accommodated us when we were studying in College in 1973-1976. He was a very well mannered friend and was the Head Prefect of St Joseph School in 1970. 2 years ago Uncle Chai and Lin See, Dad & Mum and few other of our classmates were privileged to attend his sons's wedding in a posh Singapore hotel.

Guess these are the closest friends that I can remember for now.

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