美國 符氏族譜 is for those interested in Foo Genealogy. This is specific for those who have linkage with Foo Hong 大焕 (31-73-108): means he is the 31st generation from 有辰（You3 Chen2）, 73rd from 雅（Ya3）, 120th from 黃帝（Huang2Di4）, 101th from 周公（Zhou1Gong1）. How remarkable!!Those from wen2 tang2 cun1文塘村 can trace their ancestry from the published genealogy book of the village. This blog may have links/ interesting materials important for all those Foo brothers from Hainan to trace also to their ancestry.
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
“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 variousarchitectural 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.”
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 andjust 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.
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
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.
is not how long one lived; it is how much impart one left behind.