Monday, December 3, 2007

A Big Surprise at Bintan Island, Indonesia.

In December 1996, my former colleague and close friend from HJC Arts Dept, Lee Hoon Cheong
had needed a helping hand for staff to accompany his Geographical field trip to Bintan Island. He approached me and I immediately agreed. Not only that I told him I would ask for D2 to come along too. And so it was, that we left for a 3 day visit together with about 20 odd students of HJC [ Bottom pic: Group pic ].
We had been given a 1/2 day city tour of the place covering the main historical and cultural sights which included remnants of the old Dutch fort [ Top pic: D2 and me at the fort ] temples and kelongs. Then the kids and Lee went on their field trip to study the eco-system. D2 and I had time to soak in the sun at the resort. I was just beginning to survey the sea front, looking far to my left and right, when I spotted a lone angler on my far right among a rocky outcrop. I told D2 to let us go check up the fisherman. He was too far away for us to discern anything, let alone whoever he was.
As we narrowed the distance between us, I could make out the general appearance of the angler.....and there was a 2nd person, probably his wife, I thought.
Then came the shocker!
All at once...we all recognised one another and called out to each other.
The angler was none other than Mr Cheong Cheng Swee and his wife Anita was with him. [ Centre Pic: CCS in Blue T-shirt and wife, Anita ]
CCS, a retired Insp of School, was not only my Primary 6 form teacher but my former Scoutmaster of the 19th Owl troop, Geylang English School. His wife, Mrs Anita Cheong, also taught me in Primary 5. They both met while at the school and I played a small but nevertheless important part as a courier of messages between them. Why me? I was only about 11 then. I suppose I could be trusted scrupulously to keep my SCOUT's HONOUR. I never told anyone, not my classmates, neither my schoolmates, not my scouting brothers.....no one. I'm only telling this sweet story now. CCS was a former S'pore National Doubles Champion with Ronnie Oon and also National Coach in Badminton.
He and Anita were the Best teachers I ever had.
I learnt much about many things from CCS.
From him, I improved on my fishing skills especially the technique for fishing ikan pasir pasir [snelts ]. In later years, we fished together at Changi, Loyang,Pasir Ris, Ponggol, etc..
Fancy meeting an angler who happens to be your form teacher, scoutmaster, Badminton teammate (MOE), friend and MENTOR in the most unlikely of places.......secluded Bintan!

2 comments:

Jacob said...

I am something of an angler myself and fishing at a Bintan beach resort can be very relaxing.

unk Dicko said...

Hi Jacob,
Do you fish there often?
I have fished in Batam too...very good fishing spot in the sea known only to the local villagers.
Came back with 3 boxes filled to the brim with good sized fish of all kinds.