Saturday, March 22, 2008

Remembering a pioneer of modern Ipoh town

Because today is not the exact date in the Chinese lunar calender for Qingming, the Guangdong Public Cemetery in Ipoh, which is situated just beside the Tambun Inn, was not crowded and our tomb-sweeping exercise took only two hours. The very first and paramount tomb we swept belongs to my great grandfather Wong Siew Meng who was laid to rest in 1923 AD (or the 11th Year of the Republic) after he, having accumulated sufficient resources by working in Califonia ("Old Golden Mountain") in the US during the Gold Rush and also engaging in petty trade in Thailand, opened up the part of Ipoh's New Town centred on Clare Street, transforming it from tropical bush to a hub of business. The inscriptions on the tomb stone record that my great grandfather Wong Siew Meng was born in the Panyu district in China's Guangzhou.

May Mrs. Sybil Kathigasu's spirit shine forever


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