Saturday, June 15, 2013


"What are your childhood memories made of? A game? A park? A special place you used to visit? OR Look around you. Watch for places and things you'd like your children to remember. Or maybe you see children creating memories as we speak. What will be the thing they remember as classic?" Ellisa

This is a sweet story dear to my heart and my siblings' hearts. It has a special meaning to us.

During the Second World War aka as the Japanese War in Asia, the Japanese soldiers conscripted all able bodied men to break rocks and build the road leading to the Sibu airport. 

In the morning, the men in our village had to walk, barefooted,  5 miles to the site and in the evening , 5 miles back. There was still animosity with the Foochows who had arrived in Sibu before us. The young immature green horns would get in a fight, and the Japanese punishment was harsh, both groups were punished.

My Grand dad was old, and it was back breaking work for him. The Japanese were cruel and beat the labourers at the drop of the hat. My dad knew my grandpa would not survive this cruel treatment and volunteered to take his place. Fortunately my dad who was in his late teens had studied his high school, and the Japanese relieved him of this hard work and gave him a clerical work going to the fields to assess the produce of farmers.

After the war, Dad and Granddad were proud that with their blood and sweat, they had built this road. When we were little, Dad would take us his his little Fiat and drive to the airport and watch the Fokker Friendship take off. He would say," I built this road."

These days, Fokker Friendships are not the only planes that fly from this airport. But for reminiscence, my brother Henry took his kids in a Fokker Friendship. He told them great grandpa and Grandpa's story and also by flying a Fokker Friendship, you get to feel how it is like to embark and disembark a plane.

Sam and I flew this Fokker Friendship to the Mulu Caves and he got to know a bit of his roots.

  • Cobalt Aviation Great story and memory Ann. The 

    Fokker Friendship was a real hard working plane those 

    days. I remember them coming into Miri- Lutong airport 

    back wen I was and too. This plane now going to Mulu Is 

    not a Fokker, but the ATR-72-500. I believe it's made in 

    Brazil. Fokker was Dutch made. But I think we just call all 

    planes " Fokker" coz that's our memory, right ?  I love 

    reading your blog !!
    Like · Reply · 14 minutes ago via mobile
  • Freddie Wong Ann Chin it is MAS WINGS ATR-7 and

     looks exactly like the pic
    Like · Reply · 1 · 9 minutes ago

  • Cobalt Aviation Yes, ATR-72-500 series

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