Saturday, June 22, 2013

Honoured for producing high achievers.

I was curious how Father's friend's sons connected us. I found the blog post that my friend Chang Yi, aka Sarawakianna posted. She mentioned that she had a story to tell about Mr. Chew.  I did a bit of investigating journalism myself and found this article in the New Straits Time.

Honoured for producing high achievers.

New Straits Times

| May 04, 2010 | Copyright

SIBU: Chew Chiong Tack's schooling was halted by the Japanese occupation but such has been his life-long commitment to education that 41 family members are now graduates. 

On Sunday, Chew, 86, and his wife Kiew Sui Nguk, 87, received Kolej Laila Taib's achievement award from Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak for having such a big number of high achievers in their family. 

The couple have 11 children.
"I am so proud of my family. Though I failed to achieve my ambition, I am proud to be able to raise a family of professionals," said Chew.
Chew is a first-generation immigrant from Fuzhou province, China, who worked in a Chinese medicine shop when he first set foot here. 

His wife was a rubber tapper.
"Life was tough for the both of us. The war, the Japanese occupation and the post-war period were the toughest times we have had to endure.
"Nonetheless, we set our goals and we wanted to make sure that our children got the best education. 

"We did not want them to live a tough life in future," said Chew in fluent English.
"Without education, there is no way for anyone to progress in life. To achieve that, one must dare to sacrifice for the future generation," said Kiew, who also spoke in fluent English. 

Dear Ann,

Thank you for the quick reply.
My Dad says it is ok to use the photo, I have not checked with my Mum about who made the dress.
My Dad says your Dad was a brilliant student, able to discuss openly with the teacher, unheard of during those days. During the War, they were classmates at Tung Hua, but your Dad was one year senior to my Dad. You fingered that out! My Dad started going to school only at the age of 14, having just arrived from China and they were in a composite class.

We are a large family.
Rose is in Melbourne, commuting frequently to Kuching.
James is in Sibu and next weekend we are assembling to celebrate his eldest son's wedding.
Cel is commuting between Kuching and Perth.
Angela is in Wollongong .
Myself am in Kuching , commuting to Perth. I am an Anaesthetist.
Paul is Ortho Surgeon in Kuching . Two children are in Singapore and the youngest is going to Bristol soon.
Michael is in Sibu, children in KL and Perth.
Lawrence is in San Diego.
Ita is married and settled down in Singapore.
Helen had settled down with her 6 children in Perth.
Evelyn is currently in Suchou, where her husband works for an aircraft parts factory.
My wife Esther has a sister in Auckland 

That wedding dress that produced 11 professional children, Mr. and Mrs Chew Chiong Tack. May be it was the dress, Mum was lucky to wear it and produce 9 kids.  

How did the people of our parents' generation do it?

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