Notes and Postmarks

I don’t remember when I first started writing for pleasure but it was certainly a long time ago. Some time in Secondary School, I discovered the joys of letter writing and would write to classmates during the year-end holidays to stay in touch but mostly for the thrill of receiving replies. 

Linda and I used to write to each other.  While we were classmates, her father, Uncle Cyril, was my dad's former colleague.  As I was looking for stuff to use in the design of my blog, I discovered a gift from Linda – a folder with matching letter pad and envelopes. 

This message from Linda, written on the reverse side of a card in the folder goes to show how much I enjoyed writing so long ago when we started out together as classmates and we remain firm friends today.   

Postmark – One of my earliest joys of writing is derived from writing cards and letters. The pleasure of writing and posting them off is often doubled when replies are received.  In the days before electronic gadgets took over our lives, letter-writing is both a skill and delight.  While letter or card writing is now very much a thing of the past, I still send greeting cards for any occasion while my dad still keeps the tradition of sending hand-written greeting cards every festive season.

Personal note in background – This is an excerpt from a note which my dad wrote to me and enclosed with a delivered packed lunch.  Fresh out of college, I walked into an office in Johor Port to ask if they needed any staff and I secured my first job with a shipping company.  From the first day, I worked overtime and at odd hours to ensure that the ship’s manifest was completed to sail off with the ships. In the early days of Johor Port, there were no shops to buy food.  So when dad sent home-cooked meals to me, he would enclose a little note with some news update and jokes to tease me. Once he even enclosed two short lengths of matchsticks for me to prop up my tired eyelids!

Mum & dad in Istana Garden, 1953

My dad is probably my biggest supporter and with his help, I wrote about my mum and the daily challenges a midwife faced in her work, to send to the press.

I will never forget the excitement of seeing my first Letter to the Editor published in The New Straits Times in 1970. 

Looking back, this was possibly the point where I wanted to make journalism my career.

Even as I went from one job to another in a colourful career, I remembered dad's words of encouragement to, "Never stop writing!"

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