Thursday, April 30, 2015

Freshwater Report Card Wairoa reporting area State of Auckland

This site links some of my blog posts.

Duck tales

When I was very little, my mum kept ducks, we were living near the swamp. Mum let the ducks swim in the swamp, and soon our ducks became wild ducks. It was difficult to catch them when we wanted a duck for dinner.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Rooster for a husband.


Last Saturday,  during my book presentation I spoke about this unusual, unbelievable incredible custom, marrying a rooster.

I wrote in my From China to Borneo to Beyond, my dad whilst still a baby was betrothed a another baby girl.

Dad came to Borneo, and the girl remained in her home in China.

World War 2 came, and Dad was forced to marry to avoid being conscripted into the Japanese Army. Likewise Mum was forced to marry to avoid being caught to become a Japanese Comfort woman.

Because the Confucius customs permitted multiple wives, a wedding ceremony was performed in China. A rooster acted as a proxy for Dad, and I had a mum in China, The poor girl, married to a rooster. We often joked, what did they do to the rooster?


Picture of the Human Tonsils

Did you or your kids have your tonsils out?

As a child,  I had bad sore throats, and the doctor thought I had tonsillitis. I was told I would have the operation, the surgeon over rules him. I still have my tonsils.

As an adult in NZ, I found I am allergic to peanuts. I wonder if the peanuts caused my sore throat.

Monday, April 27, 2015

old playground for civil servants

Photo borrowed from my friend Sarawakiana,

Reposting this for an old friend who used to live near the playground. Maimunah.

I could never understand why the makers of playground equipment made these things that go round and round. When I was little, we lived near a playground provided by the Government.

Whenever I see equipment that go round and round, I think of this incident with my Cousin Catherine. I posted this last year.

I never liked the "Merry Go Round" aka roundabout, it was like a bird cage of 8 feet diameter. Otherwise, it was like a giant rattle, with the handle stuck in the ground. We could sit on wooden planks or stand. It was two feet from ground. The braver ones hold with one hand and stand on one leg with the body outside the cage. A person or two stand on the ground and spin the cage. Usually the bigger boys did that. I was prong to dizziness but it didn't deter me from joining the rest to be spun round and round.

In those days, our cousins always came in the holidays and they would go crazy in the playground as they didn't live near one.

My fondest memory or one that impacted all of us was we were all on it, and the boys were spinning us. There were two little cousins M and C. Cousin H who was my age was eating a preserved plum and carrying one of our other cousins.

I was screaming because I always getting dizzy. H dropped her sour plum and was bending down to pick it. She didn't know that when you are on it, you must hold on to the rails very tightly. The little cousin's head was almost touching to the ground as we spun round and round. H tried to grab hold of cousin M or C. She was spun like rag doll or a head banger when an ice skater spins his partner holding her legs.

Initially the boys just spun faster and faster. It was terrifying, all the girls were screaming and our little cousin was crying. Realizing what was happening, the boys pulled the Merry Go Round to make it go the reversed direction before it finally stopped.

Luckily our cousin was not hurt, and only shaken. In fact, we were all shaken. It was our secret. We never told anyone. Catherine, H and I belonged to different sets of family. We bribed Catherine and her sister M to keep quiet.

I am reposting part of my blog, Now that she has retired, she will laugh again on our childhood shenanigans.

your book: From China to Borneo and Beyond

 so happy to hear from a reader.

I have just started reading your book.  It is giving me some insight into my family history as when I was growing up it was never talked about nor did we sit down and have a talk or discussion about and I do not know why.  To complicate stuff we were brought up Catholics and went to Convent and Brother school thus do not know any cultural heritage at all.
Did you publish your book yourself?  It is great that you had family support and help in writing your family history down.
Thanks for your inspiration and wish you all the best?

I borrowed it from the Public Library.
A friend has read it and mention it to me.
I am living here in Auckland.


Sunday, April 26, 2015

June is bustin' out all over - R&H's Carousel 1956

another song I remember.

Carousel A Real Nice Clambake

45 years, and I can still remember part of the song. One day, whilst watching a gane quiz show, they asked what is a clambake, my friends were surprised I knew what it is, and even know how to sing it.

Carousel - I loved you

Coming from Primary school to Methodist Secondary school fun. I was in Form 1 that 1967, and the school had put on a Musical. I didn't know the Perfecting Arts Society was on, and my girl friend Dayang Soraya had a lead in the junior choir.

 My teacher Mdm Mamora had taught me this song If I love you from the musical Carousel. I can still sing it.

My part in this Musical was to sell tickets. There was a price for the class which sold the most number of tickets. The price was half price for that class to buy the tickets to watch. I was lucky, across the road from us, were the very senior Government Servants. They were usually English Senior servant. 

I went to sell them the tickets and it was very daunting to knock on the door. The other groups were peace corps from USA. They were friendlier and were colleagues of Dad. My class, basically me, sold the most number of tickets. (Paki Paki me.)  this one by Hugh Jackman



The news of the earthquake in Nepal saddens me. I have a special passion in this country.

In 2000, I was privileged to be involved with two Siamese twins from Nepal. I answered an appeal and set up my own appeal in NTU. I made a scrap book with all the emails, newspaper cuttings and photographs. I saw Jamuna and Ganga while they were still conjoined. This is a great privileged.

It was a very intensed and hard work. But if I have to do it again, I will happily do so.
Sadly, Ganga died in 2008.

In the photos, the young couple are the parents, Sandhya Shrestha and Bhushan. Sandhya is reading my scrap book. Manchala is my very good friend. Shrija is from Nepal. The elderly gentleman is Shrija's father-in-law. Both Manchala and Shrija were involved in the donation drive.

Now I have a special friend Pasang Friday from Nepal.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

World War 2 and Dad, an unsung hero

My Dad, John Chan Hiu Fei.
Dad was barely seventeen when the Japanese soldiers invaded Borneo.

Dad was an unsung hero.
All the men and boys 15 and over were forced to do the Romushu, the Japanese forced labour.

First it was hard labour to build the road to the airport.
Then he was forced as a civilian worker as a field clerk for the Japanese.

After the war, he was thankful that while he accompanied the Japanese soldiers to the villages, there was no revolt by the people, or he could have been killed. Many a time, he was spat at.

In School, we have been teaching the students about Anzac and Gallipoli. I told my kids my Dad was a hero.

Ann's speaking engagements

Ann's writing has led to speaking engagements. Here Ann spoke at The New Zealand Chinese Association.

Ann has spoken on many topics from Asian Culture, bereavement, to doctors, to libraries,  to university students and high school students.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Joshua Chan. my talented nephew"

Joshua Chan, my talented nephew

The Gypsy Baron performed by Methodist school

The Gypsy Baron Operetta by Johann Strauss рremiere on the stage of National Music Theatre

In 1968, I was in Form 2, a 14 year old. I was eager to join the performing arts club. The year before, I didn't know about it, when my girl friend Soraya had a good role in the Carossel, and my Geography teacher Mr Mason had a lead role. Can't remember if she  Soraya, his daughter.

The seniors had a lot of roles and singing. The junior choir, about 8 to 10 of us, had just one song. We sang it with the other leading actress. Norliza Zulakhai . She was beautiful and her long beautiful hair meant she didn't need a wig.

My best memory and proudest moment was the teacher in charge/director(?) chose me to present Norliza a gorgeous bouquet at the grand finale. Soraya present hers to Maimunah. The others must have gloated at us. You see, we were coached to curtsey before her.

Then we went on a tour, on the big double storey motor launch to Kapit. It was fun going up. My fun was stopped when I fell sick and didn't go on stage. This turned up something for memories, I was rushed to the hospital, in the arms of some of the senior boys, among them were Billy Abit.

It was the first time I had been in the hospital, and it was quite frightening. An junior choir boy Sii Tieng had to stay the night, He came to see me in the morning. It was also the first time I ate American/ Western breakfast. Our Teachers were Americans and English, and they gave me bacon and baked beans.

That was my foray into show buz, LOL.

I recently found my leading lady of facebook, for her, this blog post is written.

Amazing Video of Sibu by Braden Tiong

Feeling much connected with my home town where I left 40 years ago. I came home in 2013.

Published on 24 Aug 2014

Sibu 詩巫 (Xīn Fuzhou, 新 福 州)

a nostalgic pictorial of Sibu and an old loved song, GIN TIEN BU HUI JIA of when I was growing up. My Sibu connection.

Uploaded on 3 Nov 2010
This is dedicated to all Sibu-ans who are now living abroad but left their hearts in the hometown. I hope that you will all enjoy this nostalgic journey down memory lane. For popular local songs in the 60's, you can visit:

Ann's Book CV English, April 2015


Ann Kit Suet Chin-Chan.

Ann Kit Suet Chin is a New Zealand Chinese writer. She was born in Sibu, Sarawak, Malaysia. She attended Methodist Primary and Secondary School in Sibu. She graduated from Windsor University in Canada, Auckland University and Auckland University of Technology.

Ann is the fourth child of the late John Chan Hiu Fei and Mary Kong Wah Kiew. She is married to Chin Chen Onn, PhD. She has three surviving children, Deborah, Gabrielle and Sam. Her third child, Andrew died when he was a baby and is the inspiration of her first book.

作者 陈洁雪



Diary of a Bereaved Mother
ISBN 9780473187095

This is a real life story of losing one's only son. This experience has made the author strong and caring. This tragedy has been a great help for her to help understand other bereaved people. The author is very brave to write this book. It has not been easy and she aims to touch,...

featured in the Aucklander.

I appeared in Television 1 Down Under program. It's ok to cry On baby bereavement.
I spoke in the Baptist Women's Annual Convention, North Island Chapter.  
My book was exhibited  at the Peacock 
Art Gallery, Upton Country, Dorset, Park England.

I  presented a workshop on Asian Infant Bereavement at the Sands National conference for Sands families and medical personnels for 200 attendees in September 2013

Used as a reference book for NICU staff at the University Hospital, Toronto. 

Dr Simon Rowley is a consultant at Starship Children's Hospital who's been given a copy of the book.
"It is a good reminder to all health professionals that when our patients leave us, the story does not end for the parents. The detail is amazing, and every little thought and action seems to have been recorded as it happened, and then has been reflected upon.
"For parents undergoing similar experiences this book could be a great comfort. For health professionals, I would see it as essential reading."



By Chin-Chan, Ann Kit Suet
ISBN 9780473239008  English
ISBN 9780473309626  Chinese


This is a hundred-year-old journal of two families, the Chans and the Kongs. It traces the first movement in 1907 from Kwang Zhou, China to the jungles of Borneo. It is a six-generational record with the second wave of movement to England, Canada, Japan, Singapore, Australia, USA ...

This book records with humor the life of a busy and active family through World War II, the formation of Malaysia and Confrontation. It is a personal reflection of a way of life that has moved on and provides insight into a family and its relationships. It is most of all a work of love and respect for the Chan and Kong families and for Father and Mother.

M M Ann Armstrong

Lodge International School
She explained the people in Sarawak, especially among the Chinese community, could relate to the book as it traces their roots and identities.
“From China to Borneo and Beyond kindled a lot of interests in the state. I am very happy to hear a publisher is going to print a Chinese version of it.”
From China To Borneo and Beyond was her second autobiography book, which is a hundred year old journal of two Families, the Chans and the Kongs. The book contains records of historical events and current affairs endured by her family from 1907 to 2006 such as the Opium war, virgin tropical jungle, the Japanese World War, colonial days, revelation and fighting with the communists. 


This book is about the embodiment of the darker side of today's society.
ISBN  978047325414-8

1 July 2013

a fiction novel – Mail Order Bride. The story, set in Auckland, New Zealand, touches on social issues such as teenage pregnancies, drugs, paedophile and the like. The book took two months to finish.

Her third book, Mail Order Bride is the first fiction piece from Ann. She said that the book targets an audience of young adults and that it appeals readers interested in social issues and ills that young adults have to face.



Women suffers from oppression. This story traces the life of Nadine who overcomes her own problems of oppression, grows up to be a social worker and helps women who have suffered from physical and mental violence, domestic violence, rape, pornography, swinging, sex slavery, human ...
1 July 2014
Interest Age
All ages

Judy Lawson, Counsellor
A book I would use in my work as a reference.