Monday, July 14, 2014

The wonderful life of Foo Hong by RJ Schneck

The wonderful life of Foo Hong

a man owns––by right––
every second of his life––
he is one
with every inch of space he touched––
with every vista he cast his eyes upon
which in turn touched him
a man resides as a soul in the center
of every heart he loved
& cannot die––
he lives as a spirit in every act
of loving-kindness––
in the presence of
his ancestors
love is a seed that propagates
in the roots of the past––
surges upward through & beyond
the present––
expresses itself as a wandering
green garland
radiant with abundant flowers
the good man lives for his family
& his family revolves around
the goodness of his heart––
his children are a poem
of many seasons––
the music of peace––
the odes of harmony
father was a gentleman
& a sage who lived
simply & plainly,
with few desires
he dwells among the good
& the wise––
sharing the sky
with the brightness
of a forever sun
by RJ Schneck

Thursday, April 3, 2014

A wonderful Life: Foo Hong

Let's roll

(Click above to link, and  save   file on your computer , or you may open and play)
We shared only some days together with all our love one. Of those limited times,  only a few glimpses of dad's character was captured in photos. Most of the images I can find were taken with Yang in Cambodia 2005 and the cruise to Bhukat island 2004.  With that I like to share some of his believe and lively moment. Please click above link to the dropbox's file.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Foo Hong 符大煥 Calligraphy 3:Poem for FY 揚永遠怡

fy 4 16.jpgfy4 gongg 4 2011.jpg

In April 2011,dad was 89 year-old, and we talked about circular poem 迴文 ( hui2 wen2 shi1) one day. I mentioned my artist friend wrote a poem using my 4 children's first names to start each of the sentences. He was very interested and wrote me later a poem using "揚永遠怡“ to start each of the four lines too. Since dad know what my children are doing , so his poem is about  each grandchildren and used each first name to start each sentence. The artist,  黃成彬 ,on the other hand was using the first names to describe what I was doing.

Foo Hong  2011

名四海慧愛侶    The wise lovers Spread their good names to the four seas
Yángmíng sìhǎi huì ài lǚ

居高庭辯是非     Always stay in the high court to debate for right against evil
Yǒng jū gāo tíng biàn shìfēi

眺朝霞鴛鴦游    Looking at the glorious distant morning cloud, the mandarin ducks go
Yuǎn tiào zhāoxiá yuānyāng yóu      swimming

懷訟訴益萬民     with cheerful heart, she  advocate for the benefit of thousands people
Yí huái sòng su yì wànmín

fy4 poem.jpg

帆破浪稱心事             Spreading the sail, breaking the wave smoothly to my heart’s content
Yángfān pòlàng chèn xīnshì
世壽人志不移             My unremitting desire of healing people will never  change
Yǒngshì shòu rén zhì bù yí
眺青山綠水景             gaze  at the distant green mountain and water  
Yuǎn tiào qīngshān lǜ shuǐjǐng
情悅目樂滋滋             may heart is cheery, with  the pleasing sight
Yí qíng yuèmù lèzīzī

To read more about circular poem 迴文 ( hui2 wen2 shi1) , please click

Foo Hong 符大煥 Calligraphy 2:Endure忍


Foo Hong 符大煥 Calligraphy 2

Rěn    Endure

忍一時 風平浪靜
Rěn yīshí fēngpínglàngjìng

退一步 海闊天空
Tuì yībù hǎikuòtiānkōng

To endure for a while, The wind will calm down and there  will not be any wave
To take a step backward, the sea and the sky will be  wide open

Dad wrote this piece on new year day  2009 at age 89  while he was in  Hainan  . This  verse is difficult  to  translate. In the internet, I find the following. “By tolerant you gain peace and calm.; By humble you reach new horizon”
compromise will make a conflict much easy to resolve.” “
If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow” However,
Endurance is a difficult act to do.  the Chinese logogram  of " 忍 endurance"  is written with a "knife 刀 刄 "  on  top of the "heart 心"

At the same time, he also calligraphed the following poem. he wants the family to unit and not fighting each other.

《七步诗》Quatrain of Seven Steps
曹植 Cao Zhi


Firing the beanstalk to boil beans,
The beans in the pot weep.
We are nurtured by the same root,
Why should you fry me so haste?

Foo Hong 符大煥 Calligraphy 1 : 做 To Do

(Zuò) To do*[1]
做人就應該做  Man has to do   
Zuòrén jiù yīnggāi zuò
不會做學習做  If one does not know, One has to learn how to
學會做自己做  After learning, one has to do himself and not to rely on others
做不熟常常做  If one is unfamiliar, then one has to practice
想要做立刻做  If one considers doing, one should not procrastinate
應當做趕快做  If it should be done, one should execute it immediately
窮時正當要做  If it is appropriate, one should do it even when one is poor
富時更加要做  And should do more if one is prosperous
做不好改良做  If one did not do it right, one should improve
做到死才不做  One only stops doing when one dies

In 1994 at age 82, dad suddenly took his brush and calligraphed articles and poems and pin them to the wall. it reflected what was in his mind. He went through a lot in his lifetime, and he tried to share with us but sometimes it is difficult to find the right time, so this might be a better way of expressing.

On this particular piece above , he added his prose: “Give more thoughts to all things and don’t get angry abruptly. Even if it is not applicable today, there may be a need in the future.”
click for more

Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Foo Ancester's Stories 符氏先祖的故事

click for full stories 
above is from you may see more of Foo history from the site. You may also request the printed edition  with nominal contribution.

also you may click on the following  Ytube video

Direct ancestry of Foo Hong 符大煥(31-73- 94-108)

 Direct ancestry of Foo Hong 符大煥(31-73- 94-108)

Please click to view the
 Ancestry of Foo Hong 符大煥(31-73- 94-108)
宗铭系 (仁煥  魁 之桂 与铭)朝利支

Saturday, January 4, 2014

friend 1960 ksl

Friend 1960





On 1960, Mr. KS Lim’s family including his mother- in- law came to Brunei. Dad said, “I have a car. I will meet them in Customs and help them settle in our house at 3 Jalan Teraja.”  Dad designed and built that house for Booty &Edward on leased land from Mr. Cheung. Mr. Lim moved into the smaller northern section of the house with a separate staircase (right side of the left picture below). That night “There was a blackout. It turned out KS tried to fix something and triggered a circuit break.


“He was a very hard working young man. He borrowed a tricycle, carried the unwanted wood and made furniture himself.” Dad was also very impressed by a very memorable feast organized by Mrs. Lim and their mother.

In order to make ends meet, KS and dad soon took a side job conducting pilling survey/evaluations at SOAS college. This required both of them to dig a big square holes 4x 4x6 feet for $50.  They took turns to dig and to carry out the dirt. They concentrated so hard , they  forgot to eat dinner. The wives went all over to look for them and Mrs. Lim was in tears when she saw her loving husband in the hole digging. They soon quit this laborious job and took up lighter contracts to do Fence and window screen work. The family became very close , and we called him Uncle Lim. Soon, Uncle Lim was transferred to Kuching after 2.5 years before they returned to Singapore a year later.

“Uncle Lim is very kind to me. Every time I went to Singapore, I always had a room. I stayed sometimes up to a week without any charge. I was introduced to all his family. They were all very kind to me.” I vaguely remember that Mom and I stayed with Uncle Lim’s family in Singapore several times and enjoyed their hospitality very much.

“I borrowed money from him, many times, sometimes up to S$7000. He always gave me the money without question asked. He was not rich, It is likely he borrowed  the money from his family.” A college graduate might get S$300 /month. I questioned why Dad needed so much money on his trips to Singapore. He explained, “I did not have enough cash and I had to send money to China.”

“He helped me with various  architectural  work. This included a 6 stories Hotel in Tawau, North Borneo. After that, I wanted to give him a S$5000 bonus for his work and kindness, but he refused.”


End note:

On my last trip to Brunei 2011,   I taped many hours of Dad’s audio stories.  It has been a challenge to pin him down and have him concentrated on one subject.

He has shared stories about three of his very best friends in life. I have summarized the experiences here.   Money, house and other material aspect were mentioned to give some perspective of the times and  just to show lucky we are today. I am amazed of his memory of the details.

These stories show me certain life lessons: It reminds me that life is quite random, that small interactions can mean so much. We should be mindful of how we treat others. And we could make our trip on earth a pleasurable one with these lessons in mind.

Friend 1953 QHW

Friend  1953
By Sun-Hoo Foo 符傳孝 (32-74-109) January 28, 2012

1Brunei Town: Booty Edwards (front circle); Pier (rectangle next to water)
In 1953, Booty Edwards from Kuala Lumpur wanted to expand its business influence in Brunei.  Dad and his boss, Mr. Bailey were the only two from the company that were transported to live under one roof in Bandar.  Soon, Qing Hao Wong, a young engineer who just graduated from Hong Kong University, applied for and accepted the new position with Booty Edwards.   Dad remembers this site-engineer had to walk under the hot tropical sun to work.  He suggested to Mr. Bailey that the company should buy or give Qing Hao B$10 for a bicycle.  That was good for both.

2 QingHao sits in the middle
In 1954, mom and 3 children spent seven days in the sea on a Singapore cargo ship to arrive in Brunei.  On the day we arrived, Dad was working overtime and still in the office.  Qing Hao came into the office; learned of the situation; and immediately, volunteered to greet us in the pier.  Later, Mom complained: “how could you just have a young man to help me with all the luggage. Luckily, he was superb”
She would not have known how to manage the situation with us around. At that time, the youngest of us, Chuan Yee was only 40-days old.  Travelers were on their own getting in and out of the ships. 
Qing Hao wanted Dad to practice and speak English with him. “Talk to me in English. I will teach you what I know.” He helped Dad to master the English terms of their trade. Bailey commented to dad one day, “Why you two speak in English?” After he helped to select a West Germany surveying instrument, Qing Hao gave dad a survey book and taught Dad the surveying technique.
One day, Qing Hao asked Dad out for a walk after dinner and asked if he had any savings:
“I have 11 people to feed and I send money back to China. I have no money left.”
“You are like a tree; you have to build the foundation. If something happens, your children will fall like leaves. They will have to clean the road then.” He advised dad to save at least 10% of his wage.
“so, I take extra job. Like this 5 story hotel and make $1000 /month” A university graduate engineer was paid highly around $500 then.
Before he left for vacation to Ipoh, Malaysia to visit his parents, Qing Hao told Dad that he wanted to buy two bungalows in Serangoon, Singapore with the money he saved. “One is for you and you may pay me back in the future.”  At that time, Qing Hao made $700 and put around $550-$600 each month in his savings.  With further support from his parents, he believed he could afford the down payment. Although the plan never materialized due to a sudden sharp inflation of real estate prices, Dad vividly remembers this spontaneous and extremely generous offer.
Soon after, Qingao went to England to advance his studies and, unfortunately died suddenly from a ruptured appendicitis. I remember Dad was very upset, and later named his daughter, Nin Hao, after him. Although they worked for less than five years together, Dad regards Qing Hao as one of his best friends.  He has a lasting impact on our family. 
In Brunei back in 1955: a bicycle cost B$10; a down payment for a Singapore bungalow cost S$8,000; but, friendship and trust were priceless.
 Life is not how long one lived; it is how much impart one left behind.