Monday, July 07, 2008

Kerosene Lamps

It was the duty of my third uncle to fill the lamp with kerosene, which our family would buy by the tin. (Hence the idea of kerosene tin - the rectangular voluminous tin with a hole at one of the corners for us to siphon out the oil.)

Each evening all the kids would surround uncle Pang Sing, waiting for him to light the lamp and then we would sit around for him to start telling us stories . Grandmother would be there too and the highlight of the evening would be her telling tell tales of China.

How many stories were told
under the lights of the kerosene lamp?
How many fears were quelled
because of the warmth of the light and the gentle tones of a mother's voice?
How many beautiful evenings passed
because grandmother was there mending a blouse, with her tiny fingers?
How many girls giggled and shared confidences in the room
bathed by the shadows of the lamp?
How lonely did life become when the light was put aside and the fragrance of old kerosene no longer filled the air?

Some stories to come soon.

4 memories:

Unknown said...

My parent told me that in the past before the advent of street lighting (electric), there used be man who would put a lamp on poles along street.

I Am Sarawakiana said...

I am still researching on how Hoover brought electricity to Sibu. This is very interesting indeed.
The Brooke Government did not share Hoover's enthusiasm in upgrading the social welfare of theFoochows.
The rice milling process could only be made possible by a rice hulling machine a gift from the USA. Rev. Hoover went around wearing his three piece suit. So it shows that at that time the temperature must be lower than 26 degrees celcius.

Unknown said...


I read in thebook, "Sarawak, Long Ago" that Rev James Hoover was a relative of President Hoover of the United States.


I Am Sarawakiana said...

Thank you for the Bako book. It is lovely. I like it very much...Will blog about my field trip to Bako. Exactly 40 years ago.

Can you advise me on how bakau became such an important part of piling and therefore significant in the construction industry of Sarawak?

I am putting a post up once my research is done. Please send to my gmail, if you have the time. sorry to bother you.


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