Tuesday, 10 February 2009
Poetry: The Passing of a Teacher and a Friend
Poetry: The Passing of a Teacher and a Friend Mr James Foh was my woodwork teacher in Tanjong Lobang School, Miri, Sarawak from 1962 to 1967. He himself was one of the earliest students of TLS, when the school was set up in 1957. I met Mr James Foh once in Kuching in 1973. I was then serving in the Army and was doing operational duties in Serian District. Towards the end of the year, I contracted Malaria and was admitted to Sarawak General Hospital for about 3/4 days. That was when I met Mr James Foh. He was visiting his mother in the same hospital. He saw me and we chatted for a while. The next day he came again and brought me a hot flask of ginger juice. It was a kind gesture I always remembered. Thank you James Foh. Then on January 22, 2009, I heard the sad news that he had passed away in the same hospital, after being admitted to the ICU for a month. He was 73 years old. I wrote a poem, an eulogy, for him and it was passed to his children. They were grateful and thanked me for it. Here's the poem: The Passing of a Friend It seemed yesterday we were talking and laughing. The echoes in my ears are still ringing. The tears and glint in your eyes said it all. Tanjong Lobang imprisoned us all Tanjong Lobang is a bygone era. The memories, however, are still crystal clear. What magic? What power has Tanjong over us? Even after an eternity, we still have the crush? Today we received the sad news of James Foh’s passing. Seemingly, a page from our book is torn and missing. He was a teacher and a friend. Sad, it is a loss we could never regain. Dear friends all. Let’s wish him a happy journey. May he find the eternal peace and happiness, That we find so elusive on this Earth. For the rest of us all, Life must continue to roll. A given path we must follow, To complete and fill the hollow.