Bersamamu Ros

EVERY NOW AND then, someone comes into our lives and leaves an impression; Ros is one such person whom I first met in Hong Kong in 2009.

Catatan hari ini khas untuk Ros. Walau apapun cakap Ros, hakikatnya, Ros tetap seorang pengawai, saya sekadar suri rumah. Sepanjang saya mengenali Ros, sebagai seorang pegawai, Ros amat rajin, cekap dan ceria menjalankan tugas. Sebagai seorang individu, Ros seorang rakan yang baik hati, ikhlas, amat rendah diri dan sentiasa ceria dengan senyuman. 🙂 🙂 🙂

Berikut saat-saat kenangan kita bersama di Hong Kong.

(Kiri) Pertemuan awal kita di mesyuarat agong persatuan (25 April 2009); (Kanan) Mesyuarat seterusnya, Ros dilantik menjadi Bendahari (31 Julai 2009).

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(Kiri) Mesyaurat agong tahun seterusnya, Ros kekal sebagai Bendahari (12 Mac 2010); (Kanan) Rakan-rakan meraikan harijadi Ros yang jatuh pada bulan Mac.

Pertemuan kita pada 2 April 2010… selepas mesyuarat, sempat berjoget!

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Perjumpaan kita pada 9 Julai 2010.

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Perjumpaan di pejabat pada hari Sabtu 8 Ogos 2009… bukan untuk bekerja tapi untuk menikmati bersama-sama “raja dan ratu buah-buahan” – durian dan manggis; terima kasih En. Fadzli dan En. Shidi yang bekerja keras membuka buah durian!

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Terima kasih Ros kerana menjemput kami beraya di rumah Ros (21 Sept 2009); beraya lagi bersama-sama di pejabat (26 Sept 2009).

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Terima kasih Ros sekeluarga kerana sudi meluangkan masa bersama-sama meraihkan Tahun Baru Cina di rumah kami (20 Februari 2010).

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Bersama-sama kita melawat adik Maira pada 13 Ogos 2010; dan menghadiri majis berbuka puasa pada 28 Ogos 2010.

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Turut menyambut Hari Kemerdekaan pada 2009 dan 2010, di Island Shangri-La, Hong Kong.

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Ros rajin menyumbang tenaga dalam apa jua aktiviti, termasuk masa kita beramai-ramai menyediakan karipap (15 Mei 2010); bersama-sama kita “menjaja” karipap dan nasi lemak di One Malaysia Fair, East Point City, Tseung Kwan O, HK (22 Mei 2010).

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(Kiri) Perjumpaan terakhir kita di HK pada 7 Oktober 2010; (Kanan) Pada hari kami bertolak dari HK pada 8 Oktober 2010, Ros tak dapat menghantar kami kerana komitment kerja, tapi telah menghantar “wakil”, membuatkan saya amat terharu dan berterima kasih atas perasaan bertimbang rasa dan keikhlasan Ros.

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Akhirnya, bertemu kembali di Putrajaya pada 30 Julai 2012!

          Sehingga kita bertemu lagi…

My Love for Sewing

IN MY CONTEST CRAZE days (link), I even entered sewing competitions in my younger days, and surprisingly won some prizes too!

My first attempt was back in 1989 when I was a varsity student. I entered the 1989 National Sewing Competition organised by Urusetia Hal Ehwal Wanita (HAWA), JPM, Bahagian Kemajuan Masyarakat (KEMAS) and Berita Harian Sdn Bhd.

Mind you, one had to go through the preliminary round (by sending in entries to the organiser in May) and semi-finals (held at Jaya Supermarket, Petaling Jaya, on 18th June 1989 for the Central Zone) to reach the finals.

(Top) My two entries that got me into the semi-finals, I took a photo of them atop the organ, not expecting to see them again once I mail them off; (Bottom) My semi-finals entry which was put up on display together with my preliminary entries.

(Top) My two entries that got me into the semi-finals, I took a photo of them atop the organ, not expecting to see them again once I mail them off; (Bottom) My semi-finals entry which was put up on display together with my preliminary entries.

Berita Harian news of the semi-finals results (19 Jun 1989).

Berita Harian news of the semi-finals results (19 Jun 1989).

The final round was held at The Weld, Kuala Lumpur on 9th July 1989. I received a Telekom Malaysia telex (yes, a TELEX) on 7th July that requested me to turn up for the registration the next day at the Grand Continental Hotel, where all the finalists put up for the night as well.

The competition was divided into two categories: schoolchildren and the public; and for each category there were embroidery or appliqué; in total there were 60 finalists.

I entered the public category and did appliqué. For the finals, we were required to sew a ”chair back” within three hours. Much to my surprise, I got third place and won myself a Singer sewing machine. My parents were there to see me receive the prize from (then) Prime Minister’s wife, Datuk Seri Paduka Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd. Ali.

My beloved Singer served me well for over 20 years and travelled with me to Moscow and Hong Kong, before finally calling it a day last year, sob sob (link)

At the finals held at The Weld, KL on 9 July 1989; accepting the third prize from the PM’s wife; in the background is TV3 personality Nurfarahin Jamsari who emceed the event (little did I know I would join TV3 some 5 years later).

NST news of the finals (10 July 1989).

NST news of the finals (10 July 1989).

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Berita Harian’s news report (10 July 1989) which elevated me to “Puan”/Mrs!

My subsequent attempt at the National Sewing Competition was in 1992, shortly after I joined The Star. Once again, I managed to thread my way into the finals, doing appliqué in the public category.

My preliminary entries which earned me a spot in the semi-finals.

My preliminary entries which earned me a spot in the semi-finals.

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I found later that my design was used in Singer’s advertisement brochure!

The final round was held at Nagaria, Kuala Lumpur on 29th September 1992. I have no records (nor recollection) of which hotel we were put in but I recall sharing a room with one of the finalists, Chantha who went on to emerge the winner in our category, in which I didn’t make it to the top three but won consolation prize. Chantha sent me a Christmas card that year but we lost touch after that. I just googled her and learnt that she’s now a dressmaking shop owner Down Under!

The 1992 National Sewing Competition finals held at Nagaria, KL on 29 September 1992; with winner of the public category (appliqué), Chantha.

The semi-finals was held at Kuala Lumpur Plaza on 27 July 1992; then Law Minister Datuk Syed Hamid Albar’s wife, Datin Sharifah Aziah Syed Zainal Abidin presented the prizes. (NST, 28 July 1992)

The semi-finals was held at Kuala Lumpur Plaza on 27 July 1992; then Law Minister Datuk Syed Hamid Albar’s wife, Datin Sharifah Aziah Syed Zainal Abidin presented the prizes. (NST, 28 July 1992)

Years later, I met Datin Seri Sharifah again and received a certificate from her in an event in Putrajaya on 19 May 2004; and who knew, even shared a table with her (then wife of Foreign Minister) in Moscow on 19 June 2007.

 

London 1993

FROM MOSCOW, WE arrived at London’s Heathrow Airport on Saturday, 24th July 1993 about 1pm local time.

After a meal at the (old) Malaysian Hall (that has moved to a new premise in Queensborough Terrace, Bayswater since 2004) and dropping off our luggage at the rented apartment, it was evening by the time we headed out and ended up at Harrods on Brompton Road, Knightsbridge.

The old Malaysian Hall near Marble Arch; we wanted at picture specifically with the Harrods sign, but whoever helped take this photo was obviously looking elsewhere, the bobby perhaps?

The old Malaysian Hall near Marble Arch; we wanted at picture specifically with the Harrods sign, but whoever helped take this photo was obviously looking elsewhere, the bobby perhaps?

Day 2, Sunday 25th July 1993: We ventured out to the suburbs of Slough to check out a Sunday market and car boot sales and went fruits-picking at a farm there. From there we moved on to Stonehenge (UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986). On our way back to the city, we stopped at Windsor Castle, the weekend home for the British royal family that survived a fire just the year before in 1992.

Stonehenge, where cold hard rocks are an attraction!

Windsor Castle; musicians providing entertainment on the lawn.

Windsor Castle; musicians providing entertainment on the lawn.

Day 3, Monday 26th July 1993: City tour of prominent London landmarks including Buckingham Palace (and caught its Changing of the Guards procession), Trafalgar Square, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Tower Bridge, among others.

Prominent sights in London including Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square and Big Ben.

Day 4, Tuesday 27th July 1993: Paid a courtesy visit to the Malaysian Embassy in London, before making our way to 221B Baker Street to “meet” Sherlock Holmes. Spent the evening at Covent Garden and a night out at Soho, ahem.

A female Sherlock?; With colleagues at Covent Garden.

A female Sherlock?; With colleagues at Covent Garden.

Day 5, Wednesday 28th July 1993: Spent the morning with celebrities, legends, presidents and premiers, royalties, sports figures, at Madame Tussaud’s. Entrance then was £7.40 which included Chambers of Horror and the Spirit of London ride. This ride just opened two months earlier in May and brings visitors on a journey through London’s history with vivid sights and sounds, as they travel in cars resembling London’s famous black cab.

With the Madame herself… based on a self-portrait, it was her last work before she died in 1850 at the age of 89; one Beatle for each of us :-)

With the Madame herself… based on a self-portrait, it was her last work before she died in 1850 at the age of 89; one Beatle for each of us 🙂

Hopped into the black cab for a journey through London’s history in the Spirit of London ride.

Day 6, Thursday 29th July 1993: A day out shopping, followed by a relaxing evening at Hyde Park. Then it was back to the apartment to pack for our departure the following morning.

(L) “Mom, just calling to say I had a good time and will be home tomorrow!”; (R) Outside Malaysian Hall once more awaiting departure to Heathrow Airport (30 July 1993).

(L) “Mom, just calling to say I had a good time and will be home tomorrow!”; (R) Outside Malaysian Hall once more awaiting departure to Heathrow Airport (30 July 1993).

 

Diana the Grandmother

DIANA, PRINCESS OF Wales would have been a grandmother at 52, if she were alive today.

Diana, born 1st July 1961, would have made a perfect picture with her first grandson Prince George, born 22nd July 2013 to her first-born Prince William and wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.

Come 29th July 2013 would have marked her 32nd wedding anniversary to Prince Charles had they not divorced on 28th August 1996 (after four years of separation).

She died in a tragic car accident on 31st Aug 1997 in Paris, at the age of 36.

As the world rejoice the birth of a prince who is third in line to the British throne, I also reflect on the princess who made that possible.

The “famous kiss” on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, first between Prince Charles and Diana in 29 July1981 (picture scanned from my scrapbook); later between Prince William and Kate on 29 April 2011 (picture captured from my TV set, yes, I still own a TV which has a box attached to the back when everyone else is into flatscreen!).

The “famous kiss” on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, first between Prince Charles and Diana in 29 July1981 (picture scanned from my scrapbook); later between Prince William and Kate on 29 April 2011 (picture captured from my TV set, yes, I still own a TV which has a box attached to the back when everyone else is into flatscreen!).

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Princess Diana and Prince Charles with Prince William born 21 June 1982 (picture scanned from my scrapbook); Prince William and Kate with Prince George born 22 July 2013 (picture credits to US magazine).

I used to be an ardent admirer of Princess Diana, and had a small collection of books, magazines, postcards and newspaper cuttings on her.

My first two books on Diana, the left was a gift from a classmate Chin SC in 1984.

My first two books on Diana, the left was a gift from a classmate Chin SC in 1984.

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Other books.

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Part of my magazines collection.

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My scrapbook on Princess Diana, and postcards collection.

30th Anniversary of Moon Landing, 1999

BACK ON 20th July 1999, when the Newseum celebrated the 30th anniversary of man’s historic moon landing, Apollo 11 crew members Neil Armstrong, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin and Michael Collins were there at Arlington’s interactive museum of news to re-tell their great moment in history; so was I.

moon_1American astronaut Neil Armstrong made history being the first man to walk on the moon surface, followed by Buzz Aldrin. Their feat was well documented in history books including our Sejarah textbooks back in my old school days. Who knew I would one day find myself under the same roof with the trio!

Back in 1999 I was living in Arlington, Virginia which was a mere 15 minutes walk to the Newseum (then located on 1101 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Va, but has since re-located to Pennsylvania  Avenue, Washington DC).

That Tuesday, the Newseum extended its opening hours to mark the 30th anniversary and held a “Moon Mania” Family Day where “families can participate in a full day of moon and space-themed programming, hands-on activities and showings of the actual TV coverage of the moon landing” (source: Newseum June-July Exhibits/Programs pamphlet).

Although I did not get to see the trio in person, I joined hundreds in the packed Newseum and watched their live interview in the domed theatre unfold on the giant 126-foot-long Video News Wall, fully aware that I was under the same roof with the history makers.

I suppose I helped create history that day being one of the Newseum visitors which hit a record 5,237 in a single day (statistics sourced online).

So, while I will NEVER get to walk on the moon surface, I CAN claim that I walked on the same grounds as the men who walked on the moon 🙂

(L) Another pamphlet collected from the Newseum on “Dateline Moon: The Media and the Space Race”; (R) Me with the giant Video News Wall in the background, superimposed onto the pamphlet 🙂

(Top) A display of front pages of major newspapers on the 1969 historic flight; (Bottom, R) At the Newseum Store that sold one-of-a-kind news-related merchandise, met NBC journalist Mil Arcega who happened to be covering the event that day.

The 21st July 1969 edition of The Washington Post headlined, “The Eagle Has Landed – Two Men Walk on the Moon”. It quoted President Nixon as telling the astronauts by radiophone from the White House that, “For every American, this has to be the proudest day of our lives. For this priceless moment in the whole history of man, all the people on this earth are truly one.”

For the rest of the world, the late Armstrong’s legendary quote remains the most unforgettable: “One small step for man, a giant leap for mankind”.

A metal plate of the Washington Post front page dated 21 July 1969 which hubby received as a souvenir during his visit to the WP printing plant; now hanging on the wall of our home.

Also hanging on the wall is the Moscow Times front page dated 22 October 2007 autographed by Malaysian angkasawan Datuk Dr. Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor.

Also hanging on the wall is the Moscow Times front page dated 22 October 2007 autographed by Malaysian angkasawan Datuk Dr. Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor.

Links to my other encounters with astronauts:

1) Angkasawan Day! (2007)

2) Meeting the First Muslim Astronaut (1993)