Han tops in ACS (Anglo-Chinese School) in Singapore

It was a special day for Han on the school's 122nd Founder's Day

He receive 4 certificates or awards and a cheque. Read the details at the success story post. 

For his past achievements up to the current date, Dad felt he deserved to have his own profile webpage created here.

Our Closing Ceremony for Chinese New Year Celebrations

Our family tradition is to have a tea ceremony on the 15th day of the Chinese New Year to have each child kneel before the parents to give a verbal wish to the mother and father individually. Following each verbal wish, the child would serve a drink(herbal tea, orange etc) in which he would get a red packet or 'ang pow' containing money from his parents.

This year, because Dad came too late from KL on the 15th night and some of the boys had slept, it was done on the next day but still considered on the 15th day, according to American time! Dad lives on with his motto, "Better Late than Never!"

The oldest present, in this case Han, prepared the drinks and was the first to give his wishes.
Shuan follows to give his verbal wish to receive an 'Ang Pow' from Dad

Mom receives the cup of drink after hearing her wish from Ern.

Last is Ray to give his wishes.

Oh... Mom gets to give a wish to Dad too and receive an 'Ang Pow' as well!

Before you continue on with the rest of the year, you must listen to the last lecture of Professor Randy Pausch at http://video.stumbleupon.com/#p=ithct48cqw

Post dated comment :  I discovered in Feb 2011 while finishing the Chinese New Year blog that referred to this post to discover that the link to a video of the last lecture above did not work any more. A new link that works is now found here here . Coincidentally I had started off the year 2011 with a post on the 'Last Lecture' by Professor Randy Pausch. An overwhelming feeling came to me that I had picked up the video in Feb 2008 when Randy was still alive but forgot about it until 2011 to feature him in the January post as I had just finished reading his book. Randy had passed away on July 25th, 2008.

Ushering in the New Year

The New Year kicked off with major events of a Death, Marriage and a Birthday in January.

On New Year's Day on January 1st, I received messages on my phone regarding the passing away of the father of one of our classmates from school, Kuan Kah Soon and a few of us gathered at the wake activity in the Crematorium in Petaling Jaya:

That's Kah Soon on the left and on his left is me, Raymond Loh visiting from Australia, Chin Kee and Kwok Hung

Ee Rong, the only daugther of my fourth brother and the first in his family of three children to get married had a big bash on January 12th. A video brief of the event that started from morning to evening follows :

The family gathered together again a week after the wedding to celebrate, as we have done for many many years in the past, my father's birthday who turned 87 on January 21. Here is the video clip of us singing the birthday song to him :


Now for the Chinese New Year
The forthcoming photos and stories will be about how we celebrate the ushering of the Chinese New Year which is the Year of the Rat. Our Greetings are found in our webpage here and so let's celebrate together!

It all started with a drive in the dark from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur for a reunion at my fathers home.....

Keeping up with the majority of Singaporean cars on the highway to KL

Keeping the kids happy with cartoons on a 4 hour journey that turned to 6! Our adventure will cover KL, Ipoh, Penang and back to Singapore again to visit relatives and friends throughout the journey!

We made it to Grandpa's home in KL where a only a few family members were in town to have a reunion dinner together. Pictured is Woon Ming, the boys' cousin

With Woon Ming's father, Sun Yit, my oldest brother

A special visitor this Chinese New Year is Mei Lean, my 2nd sister who lives in London pictured on my right. We are without mom on this trip as she is still undergoing her Chemotherapy treatment in Singapore and did not feel fit to travel. (See the post here.)

While in KL, the boys got to feast themselves with their favorite Indian 'Roti Canai' meal and just as well as all the other Chinese food stalls are closed anyway.

Soon we are on the road again and with the familiar limestone hills in the horizon, we know we are reaching Ipoh. Memories of my mission days in Ipoh flow to my mind as I see those hills. They are recorded at the post here.

It's been a long time since the boys got to see their nanny 'Auntie Diana' pictured on the top left who has been there for all their births to help take care of Mom and the new baby for the critical one month period after birth. Diana's parents and two sisters of the Toh family, Anna and Doris, are also in the picture. (See Papa Toh in an old pic of the first Church meeting in Ipoh on 22nd Feb 1981 at the post here.)

We were on the road again and when we reached Penang at the toll gate to the Penang Bridge to cross to the island, there was a massive traffic jam.

We finally made it through the jam and crossed the beautiful bridge with the island in view

First stop was to visit my old missionary companion, David Soon in his home in Tanjong Bungah. Memories of our first meeting together is recorded at the post here.

Then it was time for dinner in a beach hotel in Batu Ferringi that we visited annually when the kids were young for beach and pool activity

Of course there was fun at the games room too!

With some cheating at the pool table.

We ended the evening with a walk in the night market outside the hotel

With my oldest brother,wife and son in his Penang home

With my oldest sister in her home discussing family history. Our family pedigree chart is posted here.

Left to right: Hui Chiang, Hui Pin and Hui Chuang (Children of her oldest son & wife - Chong Fong & Nee Geok)

From left to right : Hui Chieh and Hui Xing (children of her 2nd son and wife - Chong Beng & Ai Lin) Hui Xing or Jessie Lim is a November baby born on the 18th as our Ray is on 2nd and Shuan 8th of November.

From left to right : Hui Zern, Hui Fern and Hui Ern (children of her 3rd son & wife - Chong Hee and Kim Ling)

From left to right : Hui Yen and Hui Yeang (children of her 4th son & wife - Chong Huat and Sun Cheng,Cindy)

We said goodbye to my sister at the front entrance of her home, decorated for the Chinese New Year. We promised to be back later in the year on 6th Sep to celebrate her 70th birthday!

Here is my sister seen on the far left of an old photo taken on the same entrance of the house in Lorong Seratus Tahun in Penang. She was living then with our grand mother, Cheah Suan Kee. On her right is Sun Yeh, Sin Whye and Sun Yit. Find them all in their relative positions under our family pedigree chart posted here.

A trip to Penang island is not complete without savoring its local food and that was exactly what we did before starting our journey back.

Instead of using the bridge, we decided to enjoy a ferry ride across to the mainland.

It was a long drive back south and Han clocked over an hour's worth of driving experience on the highway under his father's supervision.

We broke journey in KL to give us a chance to give Simba a hug.

We made it safely finally to Singapore on Sunday night. The traffic to Singapore was reasonable but we were happy that we were not on the other side where from the photo you can see the continuous string of white lights of cars returning to KL.