Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Aunt Lily and her Morris Minor

This photo is taken by a friend from Hamilton. (Take a closer look at the signal indicator behind the front door screen)

This Morris Minor photo was taken in Bristol.

In the 50's and 60's Grandfather Kung Ping and various uncles and my dad would visit Singapore fairly often. Upon their return I would beg them for stories about Singapore. But being very taciturn men they were not able to tell any boisterious stories. Did they go to the Change Alley. Did they see the steamers in the Quay? What did they buy in Chinatown? What did they eat? What did Aunt Lily say?

I have three aunts living and working in Singapore. Aunt Lily Aunt Phyllis looked very alike and they wore mostly cheong sams. Aunt Ngiin Sieng is also beautiful like them but she prefers the western frock or shift as she is a capable well trained nurse.

My real bonding was with Aunt Lily who took to the caring of us children when my dad passed away suddenly leaving my mum and all of us feeling very lost and almost unable to live on because the loss was too great! Aunt Lily came for the funeral and we really felt that her presence helped us overcome the first hurdle of grief. She was there and that was very important. Someone did care about my mum and all of us. My youngest brother was only eleven months old!!

Later for about 10 years Aunt Lily comforted us through her regular mail. She would send us lovely cards and her beautiful cursive handwriting would be in the card. Mum keeps every one of them in her Bible. Unknown to us for many years Aunt Lily would send her a kind of stipend to ease her burden. The gift of money was God sent . She was trying her best to do something for her eldest brother's children. That will be forever remembered by us with deep gratitude.

Aunt Lily attended my graduation in KL together with my mum. She took my father's place and I knew that she and my mum were very proud to see me graduate with a degree and soon I would be a graduate teacher. During all the occasional brief meetings with aunt Lily I picked up a lot of gracious ideals and important values. When I stayed with her a few times I found her to be more than a very gentle and caring aunt. Her discipline was impeccable and in my little girl's eyes she was such a perfect lady for anyone to emulate. But I never developed that graceful walk (with the straightest of backs )of hers which must have been cultivated by Mrs. James Hoover. I continue to stomp around.

One amazing memory I have of her was the way she drove her Morris Minor. I would be seated at the back with her three girls and Uncle Goh would be in the front. I was really excited to watch the signal "hand" or indicator flip up and down. Not many people would know what that signal "hand" or indicator was like in those days. If you look closely at the photo of the red Morris Minor you would see an indicator between the front and back window. This little right indicator would flip up if Aunt Lily wanted to turn right. And the left indicator would flip up when she wanted to turn left.

Her car had no air conditioning so it was fairly hot sitting inside in mid afternoons. But I really felt like a princess riding in her Morris Minor. It was to me a huge luxury car .

Whenever I see a vintage Morris Minor on the road today memories of Aunt Lily would flash in my mind and I can even imagine her driving the car with her strong Tiong arms exposed to the sun. She was truly a gracious cheong sam clad and devoted aunt who had an immense impact on me. What she taught me I have treasured to this day.

5 memories:

Greenspot said...

Yes, I remember Minor Morris and Volkwagen as cars from those days before the advent of Japanese cars.

By the way, your link to my blog should be Perhaps you have link erroneously as

I Am Sarawakiana said...

Thanks Greenspot. I will change the address.

The rains have started to come again!! But this means that my herbs are going to grow. I have a new batch of basil. My ngia is doing fine but a little thin.

I am also trying to get a plot of herbs for lui char going.

Wish me luck!!

Just a Little Kindness said...

There a number of very vintage cars in Miri which are taken out rarely by the owners. There is a good old Volvo once but I am not sure where it has gone to.

And there is a good red sports car - mungkin Rover?

Vintage cars give a place like Miri more class. Like Penang :)

I Am Sarawakiana said...

Jalk - yes indeed vintage cars give a town its nice historical and classic feel. Old money often smells good.

Ann, Chen Jie Xue 陈洁雪 said...

CY, I tried to find yr father's accident post, I searched everything, and still can't find it.


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