Monday, May 11, 2009

Girl with Paper Umbrella (My Third Aunt Pearl)

My grandfather Tiong Kung Ping named all his 13 daughters Sieng (fairies) and rightly they were beautiful beings. My Third Aunt was Pearl Fairy (Chuo Sieng) and she has been a very beautiful aunty and is now getting into her 9th decade of life.

When she was young she had great expectations and great aspirations being good at maths and her studies. She often tells me stories about her school days under the supervision of Mrs. James Hoover who was a very good mentor and teacher. She later became one of the earliest ladies to work in an office to the admiration of many. She and my uncle (eldest son of the Lau Kah Tii the second Kang Chu of Sibu after Wong Nai Siong) brought up a big family of professionals of lawyers and accountants now serving both locally and overseas.

This is one of the earliest studio photos kept by our family. It is a very representative of the era : before the Japanese Occupation when life was at its best for the Foochows in Sibu. To me every girl must have a studio photo taken when she becomes a teenager and this photo would be kept as a treasure to be taken out every now and then to be looked at. A very beautiful and sentimental moment in the life of a young girl. I remember many Sibu photo studio owners who were very pleasant and enterprising in the 60's especially and they too believed in capturing significant moments of one's life. A still life art picture!! A treasured memento of a different lifestyle and a special era.

Not long after this pretty photo was taken she was married to Uncle Lau Pang Kwong and she was "protected" from the Japanese scourge. My Great Grandfather Tiong King Kee was greatly in favour of this arranged marriage and indeed the whole community came out to celebrate it first at the Masland Church and then at the large house in Ensurai.

8 memories:

Yan said...

So, this is Peter's mum? Really lovely!

Ensurai said...

Yes she is Peter's mum...we Tiong girls have lovely skin..SKII must do a research on us!! (I' m not that pretty but all the others are....I have too much sun in my life....)
Peter looks like her.

天鵝江畔 said...

Really nice picture

Ensurai said...

This was approximately 1939!! The studio was most probably Heng Kwong (uncle? of CT Wong the lawyer).
the history of Sibu Photography probably starts with them.
But more interestingly is the Shanxi Porcelain Photoart ...there use to be a Shanghai Porcelain PhotoArt shop in Blacksmith Road. They did all the tablets of tombstones and home ancestral tablets....Very intriguing. See my post on Great Grand Father King Kee.

Robert Rizal Abdullah said...

Ho leng aaa....
Very pretty young lady.

I Am Sarawakiana said...

Hi Nice of you to pay my 90 year old aunt a great compliment!!

chung said...

She is so naturally beautiful!! (Don't know what else to say.) My grandmother (from both sides) never had any studio photo taken when they were young. After asking them they said they only started taking photos in the 60's.
this is just so historical! In fact my father had thought this was done in China or Japan.

I Am Sarawakiana said...

You have added more interest to me regarding old people!! Their stories are worth archiving!!

My aunt's paper umbrella must be from Fuzhou where the cottage industries make lacquered paper umbrellas. World famous today actually.


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