Saturday, June 18, 2016

PaPa Dearest

You're a strict father. Walloped me for red marks, & naughtiness. Honesty equals Poverty, you mentioned often but you still believed in Honesty. To improve my academic results, you engaged many tutors for me. Most interesting was that former school Principal who conducted many tuition classes in his home. Important was the famous Art Tutor & Artist Mr Seow Cheong Choon. After a few sessions, the school art teacher saw my instant improvement. Initially he thought i got someone to do my homework. For some years, I taught Art in some private schools for the 0 & A level students. You shaped My Life & made me a Good Man. Thank You, PaPa.

Many things you taught me were Golden. How to Cha Cha, Drink, Pen, wear Necktie, etc. I was unsure to accept Lions Club's invitation to be member in the 80s. You coaxed me to accept & explained that to be invited is an honour. The membership fee was sponsored by you.

In your younger days, in addition as a Foundry & Engineering Works man, you learned Book Keeping, Electrical Works, Social Dancing & Photography, etc. Your will to quit smoking in dinosaur time was an Honour.

Papa, i'm sure you're very happy in the Western Paradise. You told me you're there in a dream some years ago. Also grand aunt Yoke Sim joined you. Received the news through a one sentence email by  Christina that HK grand uncle Shu Hong had passed away.

As the eldest child, you took care not only your folks, but 3 sisters & 1 brother too. You also helped all relatives especially granny's side, all the way to HK. Remember once or twice in a month you'd bring me to a professional letter-writing man in Jalan Besar or Chinatown area to pen letters to your mum's family in HK.

In the 60s, you arranged a big ship to sail your mum to HK to meet her relatives. Her probably first visit after her marriage to grand father in S'pore. All of us sent her off at the harbour. In the early70s, you  & your mother flew to HK. Your first time meeting all the relatives after years of correspondence.

In HK, they brought you to visit your granny's grave. You were shocked to pick up some Paper Money instead of the camera you left on the ground! They said it's Red Packet that your granny gave you.

In the mid 70s you brought your wife & son to HK after the Taiwan trip. Since it's the first time, mother met with the HK relatives, she offered Tea to all elderly. A form of Chinese respect. We're given Red Packets. For both the trips with your mum & us, you're a little surprise that the HK relatives followed us everywhere, & we paid for all their expenses.

After your departure, the HK relatives come here quite often. Interestingly, they picked up most of the bills. They also did that when we visited HK the last few times. It must be the good karma planted by you.

About your departure 33 years ago, it's kind of sad. You won over the decade old diabetes but lost to the sudden few months old liver cancer! You felt it's due to the last few years of excessive hard liquor of business entertaining.

Your teaching & the love for the family are always in my mind. As you know, Mama is reaching 90. Due to old age, few years ago, she fell & broke her hip. Few months ago she'd a mild stroke. All under control now. As your only child, I'll manage her well.

You're a no nonsense man. Many were surprised that you disowned your 3 younger sisters & their families. For they're unfaithful & caused lots of problems between your mother, her sons & their wives.

You're fight whoever bullied your parents. You got your dad to quit as he's often bullied by the boss. Then you & him started the Foundry business. Although you don't like me to carry on the foundry business for it depended heavily on manpower & a sunset trade, I managed to keep the Company Name & Shop till the landlord based on conservation property ruling took the shop back. It's a big relief to mummy. Not cos of the little compensation but the burden, I think.

Mama loves you always. Often she told us you're the Best Husband. Brought us to many countries for holidays. Also whenever there's new restaurant, we're usually the early patrons. She, a happy housewife.  

Shortly after your departure, Your only brother helped quite a lot, eg getting buyers for the scrap metal. Recall you're the one who persuaded him to study English, & your mum made you pay for his English fee. Without English, he would not be such a successful businessman till now. Once I asked you why don't we go into Engineering Works too. You replied that your uncle were have no business. Once again, it showed how much you loved the family.

My family including mama are doing all right & will be fine.

This Sunday, 19/6, is Father's Day. You're always in my mind not only for the occasion. Now social media is interesting. I still keep many of your things, eg 60s XO Hennessy, model SLR camera, photos, etc. Last Nov, managed to visit Dongguan, the birthplace of our Ancestor.

Keep the Dreams coming. I Love You, Papa.