Monday, October 26, 2009

My Sarawak Governor's Honored Uncle

One of the most memorable moments in Auckland was the time I spent with my well-known uncle, Chong Yuk Hien, formerly the Miri District Council (Now renamed as Miri Municipal Council, following Miri's elevation to city status) secretary. A qualified architect, he retired to New Zealand in the eighties. With his departure, our Anglican church in Miri lost a very generous, gracious, God-fearing and humble gentleman. It was because of his love for Christ and church that he did a lot of architectural drawings for free without charging a single cent. There are indeed so few humble, kind and warm-hearted human being I know like him. Meeting him and spending time with him was the answer to my dreams as some of you are aware I did mention his story and his heroic actions in defending Sarawak against the offensive launched by the Brunei rebels to take over the Sarawak government in the sixties' Brunei Rebellion. For his courageous actions, together with a handful of local Ibans, in holding the northern front against the invading rebels, he was presented the colonial government's governor's award bu the last British governor, Governor Sir Alexander Waddell. In the pictures, my uncle and I climbed up Mount Wellington which is near his home. In my two weeks with my relatives, we had a marvelous time walking and climbing various places. Mt. Wellington is such a fascinating site. There was a Maori settlement at the summit, and it is believed that warring cannibalistic Maoris fought each other up there in many pitched bloody battles. I managed to reach the summit myself as my uncle found it quite tiring considering his age, and I went to the actual spot where there could be seen the remnants of a stone settlement. There were lots of stones and rocks in certain parts of the area. I could almost feel the presence of hundreds of blood-thirsty Maoris with their bloody curling cries in the lonely desolete place, as the wind howled and blew fiercely and the warm sun beat my face high up there ...

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