A Kaleidoscope of My Life

Images of my youth . . . Queen’s Scout . . . St. George’s Institution, Taiping

Paul Chong
15 January 2019

Images are the best to preserve old memories . . . a picture after all is better than ten thousand words. Whatever your past, pictures will always depict the truth, for the camera will capture every aspect of your life in trues perspective – from the flashing charming & youthful smile to the wrinkling lines in your face.

In 2009, I posted a blog article entitled The Importance of Knowing Why “Roots To Grow, Wings To Fly” followed a year later on “The Years Of Growing Pain”. Therein I wrote: “Our children & grandchildren are so fortunate compared to the days
.when we were young. Growing up was definitely “growing pain” especially for a family of eleven (2 parents & 9 children). Except for the last three siblings, all used to pack into a one-room rented shop accommodation, sleeping on floor mats, before we had our own family home in Pokok Assam, Taiping, Malaysia. There was nothing for a long time we could call our own!”

Birth Place in Matang/Taiping – a dingy old shop/residence of our grand-parents. A one-street village.

749 Pokok Assam, Taiping . . . our first home in the resettlement village . . . remembering father spent MR800/= to build it. Remembering also the rambutan tree, planted by me in the front yard, with great fruits.

Following my father’s business after my birth in Matang, Taiping, we lived for a short while in Temerloh, a rubber plantation village qhen my father had a bicycle shop. We later moved to Bruas where my father lost his whole fortune when the Japanese came to occupy Malaya.

A brief sojourn in Matang before our parents made their way to Port Weld, some 11 miles from Taiping. Father’s business trade in bicycles & part sundry provisions.

In Port Weld I had two years of Chinese/Mandarin education. It was a small wooden school & a young couple were my teachers. I learned my arithmetics & reading well.

When father made & saved enough money, he decided to move & seek greater fortune in Taiping, then the old capital of Perak State.

163 Kota Road, Taiping . . . Father’s bicycle shop where our family shared one big room & sleeping on the plank floor.

To cut the story short, upon advice by a distant uncle, I was sent to an English school – St. George’s Institution. Initially, I struggled with learning English especially with proper pronouncement of English words particularly “crocodile” . . . just couldn’t manage the “r” sound and my poor palms, both right & left, bore me much pain from the teacher’s cane.

All that punishment fortunately turmed out for the better; for determined as I was to make good, I began to excel in public speaking taking part in school debates & elocution contests, & winning parts in school plays.

When I graduated from High School in 1957, I had a tempory teaching job in Bagan Serai, where two of my best students Hor Thean Chan & Saw Cheng Suan  later came to be taught by me again in the Sixth Form in Anderderson School, Ipoh.

I was selected on the government scholarship for teacher training in Kirkby College, Liverpool, England (1959/60). My two years in College saw me travelling a great deal . . . travelling took me from John-O-Croaks to LandsEnd, Scotland, Ireland, & 14 or more European countries, except those which were then under communists’ rule.

During my second College year, I fell in love with the sweetest girl I ever met whom I later married in 1965. She happened to be from my own hometown Taiping.

We shall fast-forward to cut my story short . . .
taught in Hamzah English School. Machang, Kelantan (1961 – 1963)
University of Malaya, Pantai Hills, Kuala Lumpur (1963/66)
Sr. Geography Master in Anderson School, Ipoh (1966-1970)
American International Assurance (1970 – 1972)
Malaysian American Assurance Bhd, (1972 – 1979)
Self Employed Real Estate business (1980 – 1982)

A completely new life engulfed us when we took the step to migrate to Perth, Australia. We didn’t like the idea of our three kids to be educated in the Malay language in Malaysia, and for want of a better future ahead, we headed our way “Down Under”.

No regrets whatsoever, though we had to make tremendous sacrifices coming to Australia. My Homeless Realty business was prospering then before we took the plunge across thousand of miles in search of a better education & social justice. Our daughter Agnes is a PhD holder working at Murdoch University, David our elder son is a medical specialist doctor (Anaesthetist) in Queen Elizabeth 2 Hospital, Hong Kong, and last but not least, our second son Andrew is a civil engineer with a double honours degree in computer science. They are all married and we have 5 grandchildren. Our eldest grandson is presently pursuing his HSC Level in Warwick, England.

For my part, I have been in the real estate business, a delicatessen shop, a short spell as a pastor after graduating from Western Australia Bible College with a postgraduate diploma in Christian Ministry.

I am a “million” blogger at https://paulchong.net with a million hits over. I am also a writer, both prose & poetry with two manuscripts awaiting imminent publication. They are entitled: “Be A Star . . . Forget The Scar” and “Swap Work . . . Play Golf”.

We have travelled a fair bit on land seas in two cruises covering Singapore/Langkawi/Phuket & New Zealand, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, China, East Coast of US & California as well and Canada. As mentioned, in our student days we covered United Kingdom and a greater part of the European continent.

Now, as octogenarians we live contented & happy in Perth Hills (Lesmurdie) with sweeping views of the valley & Perth City. The Lesmurdie Falls National Park is right at our doorstep beckoning us daily for morning walk for health & simple pleasure of life . . . watching glorious sunset during this twilight year of our lives.


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