Tuesday, December 30, 2014

An Old Friend

Last week, I was very happy to meet an old friend of mine, from our days in Chua Chu Kang Secondary in the 90s, Pak Chik Samat. He is one of those friends who you never forget as he went through many school events and experiences with you.

Pak Chik was originally employed as a school warden when CCK was started by Ms Sum Chee Wah, the Principal in 1992. Before the first pupils arrived at the beginning of 1993, he guarded the school premises day and night. Once the school began operation, he was then employed as a gardener.
During those initial days, stocky Pak Chik, TSO Zulkiflee and I decided to transform the garden scape of the school. Bonsai plant, Wrightia was planted along the front fence boundary of the school. These plants are now more than 20 years old!!!! Many fruit and spice trees were also planted around the school besides the normal trees which NEA?PPD provided, to create a kampung atmosphere. Go into CCK compound now and you know what I meant.
Pak Chik also followed us to school camps outside school. He was such an integral part of the school then.

                                    Pak Chik with Mr Lee A L, Zulkiflee and his father-in-law
                                   Pak Chik's favorite food : Mee Goreng with potatoes

When I met him again last week, I can't help to have a sense of helplessness initially. However as we chatted I sensed an air of optimism and hope even at an age of 75. He is on a wheelchair and spent the weekdays in Swami Home (Sembawang). He has to learn to reuse his once powerful limbs again through a variety of exercises. However, his ever smile and optimism made me saw a light in a tunnel and is confident that he will lead a satisfactory life, though his problems cannot be easily solved. I have never manage to hold a good conversation with him, like chicken and duck. He understands but cannot speak in English. I can understand basic Malay but cannot speak it. However, somehow, we understand each other all this time!! An endearing part is that he always call me Mr Whoosh....

Pak Chik - retired in 2000. AM Wilson presenting him a gift from staff

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