Friday, February 23, 2018

a woman of substance

Today, I feel euphoric. I finally got an answer to a puzzle that was in my head for more than 50 years.

When I was in my early primary school, we were living at Padang road which was very near to the Sibu prison. On some evenings, after dinner, we would take a stroll among the government quarters and Father and Mother would take us to visit their friends.

The husband was LOU CHIONG, a colloquial term for Old Mr. Teo. What intriqued me was the wife we refered to as LEONG SIN SAN aka LEONG TEACHER. She was a real teacher in Chung Hua School, and was Father's collegue at the early stage of their lives.

On our way home, I was in amazement, here was a woman about Father's age and she was educated. I wonder why her father educated her. Fresh in my mind, was the family quarrel, that my Grandpa was adamant that girls had no need to be educated, and they were to be married.

I wondered more, as Mother didn't know her ABCs and this woman was a secondary teacher.

Fast forward to 2014, I was chatting on facebook with my ex colleague Lim Siew Lian, and I asked her who her mother in law is. My jaws dropped when I realised that she is the LEONG SIN SAN I admired when I was a kid.

Siew Lian invited us to Mdm Leong's house this morning. My jaws dropped further when I saw her using the computer, and I had a lock jaw and my mouth remained wide opened in awe. Her English was the perfect Queen's English. (Before then, I thought she was a Chinese teacher.)

When we left, she told me that she was the deputy principal of Chung Hua Secondary School. She is Leong Soong Foong, and in her humility, she said she was the assistant of Dato Wong Soon Koh, the  Minister who was the guest honour of my book launch.

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