Friday, September 10, 2066

1966 - Transition Class - 13 years old.

1966    I was 13 years old.


In 1966, I studied only two school terms in Sabah College in Sabah then came to Sarawak to continue the third school term in Kuching High School in Kuching.

Why this transferred?   Well, while in Bridge Class in Sabah College, the government launched a Tuberculosis (TB) skin test (TST) on all students in the school.  I was found positive in the health test.  My parent immediately called me back from Sabah.

During that health service to the schools, a medical assistant came to the school. With an injector, he gave a very shallow injection into the skin in the lower part of the left arm.  The injector has eight tinny needles. The injection was shallow and quick that no one felt any pain.

After couple of days, the health care worker came back to school to look at each of our arms. From the needle marks, the medical staff would know whether the student is TB positive or negative.  A positive TB skin test mean the student has been infected with Tuberculosis (TB) bacteria.

There were two boys in my class shown positive TB skin: a Chinese student and me.
Yes, I was TB Positive, means TB bacteria in my body.

The medical team gave me packages of tablets and instructed me remember to take a tablet each day. No chest x-ray. No clinic visit. No doctor.  Because TB infection does not indicate TB disease.  But it will develop into TB disease if no medication.

So it’s lucky to be able detected earlier before develop into lung disease. The government health authority has done good health care to the schools even back then in 1966.

Few weeks later, my father in Sarawak sends a telegram to Uncle Choi (James) in Sabah with only two words “COMING SOON”

“YOU COMING OR I GOING?” Uncle Choi sent a reply question the very same day.  Uncle Choi was who I stay with that time (in Grandmother’s old wood house).  My father suddenly sent a telegram because I wrote home a letter mentioning the school found out about my TB Positive.  So my parent decided to bring me back from boarding with Grandmother and Uncle Choi.

This explains why I came back to Sarawak again from Sabah.

1966 impression of the old wooden house

1966 impression of the old wooden house where I was born.

I was born inside a wooden house surrounded by rubber trees in 1953. But I did not live and grew up here except a brief period 1964-1966 when my parent send me back to stay at this house with grand mother and uncle James’ family.

I left that wooden house in 1966 to Kuching to continue secondary school. Those who stay in that wooden house also moved out to a new concrete building just several meters above near by.

The house was abandoned and left to slowly decay.  By 2004 I came back with a digital camera, the complete house was gone.

There is not a single photograph on this wooden house. So I sketch the house out with a pencil.  

Wednesday, September 9, 2065

1965. I was 12 years old.

1965. I was 12 years old.

My primary six was completed in Chung Hwa Primary School, Kota Kinabalu in 1965.

My exam result was grade B and was accepted into Sabah College the next year 1966 to continue secondary education.  I started with a year of Bridge Class before starting Form one. As I came from a Chinese school and now wish to continue in an English school, a year of English training was necessary as according to the Government education system.  Such Bridge Class or Transition Class system still continue till today.

Tuesday, September 9, 2064

1964 I was 11 years old

1964 I was 11 years old

For 6 years of staying in Simanggang Town, our family only had one photograph session.  A photographer from one of the two (or three) photo shops was invited to come to our Government Quarter to take some family photos.  Normally ordinary family like us could not afford to ask a photographer to come for photo session. We could afford it.  But my parent decided to call for one indicate the occasion was a very important one and must be remember.

True enough, shortly after the photo.  One of the brother and I were send to Kota Kinabalu to stay with the Grandmother.  But another more memorial moment were the narrow escape of dead from XXX illness of Stella.  A young doctor arrive in time to Simamggane Hospital and performed an operation and safe her life from the very critical moment.

This photo was a couple of months after she was discharge healthy after weeks of stay in hospital. My mother plucked a few bunch of flowers for her to hold during the photo taking. Flowers as a symbol of blessing of a second life. One may not remember now how serious this hospitalization was. It was talk of every relative in those years.

And secondly, this family photo was also to welcome the birth of second girl to the family.  Everyone Wong was seen a few months old baby in the family photo.

Saturday, September 9, 2062

1962. I was nine years old.

Family photo taken in 1962 at Simanggang Town (Now Sri Aman Town) in commemoration of birth of a new family member a girl for the first time Stella Wong. My mother looked happy with the first baby girl and she was right. Decades later when she was serious ill, it was the daughters who took care of her.