In Memory of Friends

EVERY TIME I look at old photographs of friends/acquaintances/colleagues, I often wonder where they are and what they are doing now.

Thanks to the internet and social media, I have been able to find some online, read updates about them and also re-connect with a few.

In my recent search for acquaintances of CWA whom I made while in Washington DC more than a decade ago, I learnt sadly that two had passed on.

Mrs. Sharon Arneaud was the wife of the former Ambassador of Trinidad & Tobago to the US. Online news reported that she was involved in a boating accident while on vacation on Gasparee Island back home on 19th September 2009. She was 64. I have had some privileged moments with Sharon who was the CWA President in 2000 and I was involved in the committee as the membership secretary.

Lady Sheila Butler was the wife of the former Ambassador of Bahamas to the US. She passed away due to illness on 20th August 2013. She was 69.

May they rest in peace.

(LEFT photo) CWA Meeting on 14 Sep 1999 hosted at the Australian Residence… (L-R) Datin Kamilah Abdullah of Brunei; Mrs Kathy Harrington of Australia and Lady Sheila of Bahamas; (RIGHT photo) CWA Bazaar on 30 October 1999 held at the New Zealand Embassy… (L-R) Lady Gloria Blackman of Barbados, Mrs Joanna Masirewa of Fiji, Mrs Margaret Bernal of Jamaica, Mrs Sharon Arneaud and Lady Sheila Butler.

(LEFT photo) CWA Meeting on 14 Sep 1999 hosted at the Australian Residence… (L-R) Datin Kamilah Abdullah of Brunei; Mrs Kathy Harrington of Australia and Lady Sheila of Bahamas; (RIGHT photo) CWA Bazaar on 30 October 1999 held at the New Zealand Embassy… (L-R) Lady Gloria Blackman of Barbados, Mrs Joanna Masirewa of Fiji, Mrs Margaret Bernal of Jamaica, Mrs Sharon Arneaud and Lady Sheila Butler.

(LEFT photo) CWA Meeting on 24 Oct 2000 hosted by Bangladesh Ambassador’s wife Mrs Khaleda Shehabuddin at her Residence… (L-R) Mrs Wendy Bockhorst-Heng of Singapore, Mrs Khaleda, Mrs Sharon Arneaud and Mrs Yvonne Saliba of Malta; (RIGHT photo) A farewell lunch on 11 Nov 2000 hosted by Mrs Sharon Arneaud at her Residence for Lady Gloria Blackman… (L-R) Mrs Margaret Bernal of Jamaica, a guest, the hostess Sharon, a guest with her grandchild, another guest, Lady Gloria and Mrs Joanie Barclay of New Zealand.

CWA Meeting on 7 Nov 2000 hosted by Australian Ambassador’s wife Mrs Deborah Thawley at her Residence … (LEFT photo, L-R) The hostess Deborah, Mrs Louisette Mendouga of Cameroon holding Baby M, a guest and Mrs Sharon Arneaud.

CWA Meeting on 12 Dec 2000 hosted by Malta Ambassador’s wife, Mrs Yvonne Saliba at her Residence. This was my final meeting with Sharon, seen here holding Baby M.

CWA Meeting on 12 Dec 2000 hosted by Malta Ambassador’s wife, Mrs Yvonne Saliba at her Residence. This was my final meeting with Sharon, seen here holding Baby M.

JFK’s Passing… 50 Years Later

TODAY MARKS THE 50th anniversary of the death of US President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Popularly known as JFK, he served as the 35th President from January 1961 till 22nd November 1963 when he was fatally shot in a motorcade in Dallas, Texas, with his wife Jacqueline beside him. He was 46. A state funeral was held in Washington DC on 25th November and he was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

Visited the gravesite of JFK in Arlington National Cemetery, VA on 10 Sept 1999 (the only other US President buried there is William Howard Taft who died in 1930). At the head of the grave is the Eternal Flame which was created at the proposal of Mrs. Kennedy. She was buried next to him in 1994.

Visited the gravesite of JFK in Arlington National Cemetery, VA on 10 Sept 1999 (the only other US President buried there is William Howard Taft who died in 1930). At the head of the grave is the Eternal Flame which was created at the proposal of Mrs. Kennedy. She was buried next to him in 1994.

JFK’s famous quote is also immortalised here: “And so my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world, ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.” Visible from here is the Washington Monument.

JFK’s famous quote is also immortalised here: “And so my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world, ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.” Visible from here is the Washington Monument.

Related Post: A Visit To The Cemetery (link)

Iwo Jima and Tugu Negara

WHEN I FIRST saw the Iwo Jima War Memorial in Arlington, Virginia 1998, it instantly reminded me of our own Tugu Negara (National Monument). Little wonder, because I learnt later that both the monuments were done by the same sculptor, Felix de Weldon, an Austrian.

Officially known as the Marine Corps War Memorial, the monument of five US Marines raising a flag was sculpted in 1954 based on a photograph taken by American photographer Joe Rosenthal on 23rd February 1945 during the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II. The photograph named “Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima” won the Pulitzer Prize for Photography in that year of 1945.

When Malaysia’s first Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman visited the US in 1960, he was reportedly inspired by the Iwo Jima War Memorial and met with Felix to design a similar monument. Our National Monument was officially unveiled on 8th February 1966. The bronze monument depicts a group of soldiers with one holding the Malaysian flag, to commemorate our fallen soldiers during the Japanese occupation in WWII and the Malayan Emergency.

(L) My first visit to the Iwo Jima War Memorial in Arlington VA which was just a short drive from our home then, 7 Jun 1998; (R) With relatives on 16 April 2000.

(L) My first visit to the Iwo Jima War Memorial in Arlington VA which was just a short drive from our home then, 7 Jun 1998; (R) With relatives on 16 April 2000.

It is here that one gets the best spot to see three of Washington’s landmarks together – Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and Capitol Hill. (16 April 2000)

A zoomed-in view of the three landmarks together. (16 April 2000)

We brought our daughter there on 18 Nov 2000 for a picture, because I had one taken at our own Tugu Negara as a child.

We brought our daughter there on 18 Nov 2000 for a picture, because I had one taken at our own Tugu Negara as a child.

Family at Tugu Negara, 15 October 1969.

Family at Tugu Negara, 15 October 1969.

Re-visited the National Monument with delegates of the “Youths For Peace” conference, organised by University of Malaya in 1990… (L) Group picture with the delegates; (R) With Cambodia’s delegate Marina. (3 Jun 1990)

Re-visited the National Monument with delegates of the “Youths For Peace” conference, organised by University of Malaya in 1990… (L) Group picture with the delegates; (R) With Cambodia’s delegate Marina. (3 Jun 1990)

Fall in DC

AS MUCH AS I love winter and snow, generally there wasn’t much snow in Washington DC to gloat about (unlike in Moscow, Russia), except when a snowstorm hit DC (link) on 9th March 1999 and 25th January 2000.

So the next best season for me when in DC was fall and its foliage. The vibrant change of leaf colours – to shades of yellow, orange and even bright red – was a sight to behold. The transformation typically occurs towards the end of October into November.

Shenandoah National Park (link) in Virginia is a scenic place to view the fall foliage, but closer to home – a short drive around DC and VA – there were ample places to experience the wonders, splendors and colours of nature.

Rock Creek Park in Washington DC, 1 Nov 1998.

Rock Creek Park in Washington DC, 1 Nov 1998.

Rock Creek Park, DC with family on 13 Nov 1999 and 2 Nov 2000.

Rock Creek Park, DC with family on 13 Nov 1999 and 2 Nov 2000.

(L) Rock Creek Park, DC on 13 Nov 1999; (R) A bright red tree spotted near Potomac Mills, Woodbridge, VA in Nov 1999.

(L) Rock Creek Park, DC on 13 Nov 1999; (R) A bright red tree spotted near Potomac Mills, Woodbridge, VA in Nov 1999.

Outside a friend’s home in McLean, Virginia, 27 Oct 1999.

Outside a friend’s home in McLean, Virginia, 27 Oct 1999.

(Top) A place close to home in Arlington, Virginia, 1 Nov 1999; (Bottom) At the same site, with the snow thawing, 26 Jan 2000.

Our final fall at the National Mall, Washington DC, 3 Nov 2000.

Come to think of it, spring in DC with its cherry blossoms (link) was nice too 🙂

New Chancery in DC

WHEN WE WERE in Washington DC in the late 90s, plans were underway for the building of a new Chancery. When we left in February 2001, construction had begun on the new site with the expected completion by the end of that year.

Hubby was fortunate he was able to return to DC in October 2004 for a meeting (and again in March 2011) and got to see the new Chancery. The visit was meaningful for him as he was involved in the Chancery project at the initial stages along with then-DCM Dr R.

Chancery_1 (29Aug1999)

At the designated site of the new Chancery. (29 Aug 1999)

Construction underway when we last checked out the site. (19 Nov 2000)

Construction underway when we last checked out the site. (19 Nov 2000)

The completed Chancery. (17 Oct 2004)

The completed Chancery. (17 Oct 2004)

The old Chancery on Massachusetts Avenue, DC. (7 June 1998)