Saturday, February 23, 2013
Why I wrote my book:Chan Kee Seng
Grandfather Chan Kee Seng aka Ah Kung.
In the 1970s, Grandfather Kee Seng wrote our first genealogy. It was difficult as half of the family was in China and the other half in Borneo. It was a daunting job, but he completed a family tree, with details of birthdays. He encountered opposition from some that it was a futile exercise.
They grumbled, "Who cares for a family tree."
Grandfather was unfazed. Even back then, some of us had gone abroad. He explained that it was for the future generations to know who they are and who their relatives are. He said his aim was so that relatives would not pass each other in the street and not know each other.
In this how true this is, I left Borneo in 1975, and I have not met half of my younger relatives. My Grandfather has foresight.
Here I quote from his book:
1: In order to commemorate and to commend my father's noble and adventurous spirit as a Pioneer to a wilderness
2: To enable the younger generations to understand and realise the hardships and experiences of their remarkable ancestor, so that they can follow his example and emulate his achievement, whenever they read this.
Indeed, those of us who were fortunate to be growing up with Grandfather were blessed with the knowledge of our ancestors. We were told constantly to remember our Great Grand father Kwong Kuok was a Siew Cai in the early 1900s. A remarkable feat for some one from a small village at the time and age. * A Siew Cai is an equivalent of a university degree. This was very important because other Chinese settlers to Borneo looked down on us the Kwong Ning people as uncouth, uneducated country bumpkins.
Grandfather died in 1976, I was in Canada.
(I forget to add this in my book. In my next edition, I will)