WALK OF LIFE AT 85, MUM

Mum turns 85 years old today, June 14th. Woo hoo hoo! And Dad just turned 90 last month. Bee bup a lula…

We, (mum’s children in case you may be wondering who the “we” are. Not the French meaning for “yes’😉) that is Terence and his wife Mabel, and their daughter, Ashley; Malcolm and his wife Uma; our sister, Jennifer’s (deceased) husband, Ray; our brother Nigel’s (deceased) wife, Shirley and their daughter, Sarah; me and my wife, Jeannie; gathered (better word than “assembled”😏) last Saturday (June 11th) with dad and mum in Klang; to have an early birthday celebration for mum. As for the rest of the family – Laura is in the U.S. (She will be calling mum today to wish her); Alana, Tim and Jay were working.

While dad potters around with things to do and looks for every (I could be overly dramatic here) excuse…reason… to run on an errand, no matter how small it may be; mum busies herself with cake making – the lady that makes the best butter cake in the world; umpteenth year running 🏆💖. Woo hoo hoo…Do the walk…

Mum quite often reminisces her younger days, especially when she was very young and a few years later, in school.

When she was around 5 years old, the Japanese defeated the British in Malaya, who at that time occupied Malaya (part of the British empire) which is current day Peninsula Malaysia. Thus, they, the Japanese; took over occupying Malaya. This was the period during World War 2 (WW2). Mum, together with her elder brothers and sisters, and their neighbourhood friends; were the kids of Lorong Hicks Road.

They used to play in the street. When the air raid sirens sounded; all the kids would run to the nearby Bukit Nanas hill forest, jump into the dug-out trenches and stay there until the air raid sirens stopped. She said the braver boys would run up to the top of the hill to watch the British bomber planes (aeroplanes / airplanes) bomb parts of KL (Kuala Lumpur) which presumably would have been where the Japanese military army were and perhaps the railway station and tracks in Bangsar, and also the railway yard in Sentul.

Mum remembered how the Japanese soldiers would come to their house, as well as other houses in the neighbourhood; looking for girls to take away to fulfil the lust and other unimaginable deeds of these said soldiers. Her late father (“Oli Papa”, my grandfather), would hide her and her sisters under his king-size bed, and cover the bed whenever the Japanese soldiers came to their house. Oli Papa’s bed was one of those beds which was quite high off the ground.

At the end of WW2, the British recaptured Malaya from the grasp of the Japanese occupation when the Japanese surrendered. Mum said the same Japanese officers and soldiers that used to terrorize them, were made to cut grass with small scissors by the British soldiers.

Mum was a student of the famed Bukit Nanas Girls’ school, which was near her house. She, her sisters and friends used to walk to and from school. Over the many years since leaving school; she had managed to connect with some of her classmates. Her most recent connection is one, Ms Stephanie Pinto. “Recent” means, August 2020.

“Hi Alan, tq for your prompt reply. I was going to call Mum, but glad I waited a while. Now I have more news to share with her. Yes I knew Mum’s birthday was on Sunday, 14th June and that she just turned 83. I will be 84 in August and Mum never fails to call me on my birthday. Your Mum always was and is a very sweet lady and a dear friend. Mum was a very good dancer and had many, many friends, but Dad was the lucky chosen one. We had many good times together and we laughed and a lot. Those were the days when we were so carefree, happy and enjoyed innocent fun.” ~ Whatsapp message from Aunty Stephanie; June 17, 2020.

There will definitely be more wonderful memories and stories from mum to come soon.

All of us, her family, wish mum a very happy 85th birthday; with God’s choicest blessings on her. We love you mum💖.

NOTES:
KL Sentral which is in today’s Bangsar; is the central hub where the various main forms of land transport converge and connect to the rest of Peninsula Malaysia. The Kuala Lumpur railway station is very nearby to KL Sentral, but it has lost its importance as a centre for railway transport activity.
The railway yard in Sentul, still plays a very role for the railway.
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May the peoples of this world strive to be at peace with each other always.
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The photographs of yester-year is courtesy of dad.

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