Christmas is also a time where families congregate and fond memories remembered. It is a melancholic season for some though…

On this Boxing Day it is also a memorial anniversary for one great person whom I never had the chance to meet.

I have never known my great grandfather. He died on 26th December 1923 in a drowning tragedy off Pulau Lakei. He went on a fishing expedition with his friends near the island on Christmas Day but on his return trip it was raining and the sea was rough. Their boat capsized. Great grandfather swam to safety but he went back into the rough water when he feared for his friends’ lives. That was the last time great grandpa was seen alive by the villagers. Great grandpa left behind 12 children and my grandfather, who was the 7th child, was only 13 years old at that time. Imagine how devastating it must had been for the younger children growing up without a father.

Sometimes I wish my great grandfather hadn’t went on that fateful fishing trip, he might had lived to a ripe old age. I might even had the chance to meet him as I did my great grandmother.

It is 86 years today and I feel my great grandfather didn’t die in vain. He left us a legacy, an act of heroism that every descendents of his ought to be proud of. I believe that it was his goodness and selflessness that his descendents (a conservative estimation of 1000 of us residing at the four corners of the globe) turned out to be a happy and blessed lot.

I am proud to be his great granddaughter because I know his selfless act, his kindness, love and devotion flows in my veins and I hope to never fail him.

LIM SWEE KIM

Sarawak Gazette, January 2nd 1924

My great-grandpa, my hero.

We love you great-grandpa… rest in peace.