Granny's face powder

The lady on the box of "Sam Fong" face powder made by Sam Fong cosmetic Co Ltd, Hong Hong, is a nostalgic inspiration to me.  

The box contained a cake of traditional "Hoi Tong" pressed powder which grandma used in her daily make-up routine after she had her bath.

This white face powder was probably the only cosmetic that grandma used on her face throughout her life.  

For special occasions like weddings, grandma would wear a bright red lipstick, very much like this lady on the powder box.

It was interesting that even as grandma aged, her skin remained smooth and flawless.  I guess her secret to good skin is a healthy diet and the use of "Hoi Tong" powder!

Grandma [Seated] with daughters,
[Left to Right] Sylvia, Lily,
Lucy [my mum], Annie and Polly
After grandfather or Ah Kong passed away, grandma lived alone.  She used to spend a lot of time in our home and each evening we would send her home to an empty house.

I knew she was lonely and disliked living alone so I invited her to live with us. At that time, there was no extra room in our small house so she became my room-mate.  

When my brother was married and moved out, I shifted into his room and gave mine to grandma.

Grandma lived with us for almost 20 years until three years ago. She gradually aged from a robust lady to a one who needed more and more help.  

To keep my cousins and siblings informed about our grandma, I wrote vivid accounts of the happenings, especially her health, to share with them by email. 

These juicy pieces were an important source of information particularly to relatives who lived abroad as they depended on it for updates on grandma.  

My cousin’s wife, who was then based in the United States, enjoyed reading my "Granny Updates" so much that she suggested that I compile it all into a book. 

Grandma had a vivid memory that rivaled any electronic database and through the years, she shared with me, many snippets of family history in Johor Baru and insights into life during World War Two and the Japanese Occupation.  

The memories and experiences from the years I lived with her at No. 154 Jalan Ngee Heng as a child and when she lived with us in her twilight years, are so precious.  

I can now draw on this rich resource, safely filed away in my heart and mind to add more colour and detail into My Johor Stories.

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