Getting to know My Liberica

A few years ago, when my coffee connoisseur friends invited me to join them for coffee at My Liberica specialty coffee, a café in Taman Molek, this was where I had my first taste of freshly brewed My Liberica coffee.

The Passion for 1% poster at My Liberica Roastery
On another occasion, it was interesting that my sister-in-law, a non-coffee person, arranged to meet with her colleague who lives in Taman Molek, at My Liberica café.

I was also there with them to indulge in an after-lunch coffee and I observed with much amusement that my sister-in-law was by then, a coffee convert!

As I soaked in the aromatic cloud of coffee flavours inside the café, I could understand why the My Liberica brand of coffee have become synonymous with quality coffee in Johor Baru.

Looking back, I remember hearing about the My Liberica coffee plantation for the first time from YB Wong Shu Qi, who was then a member of the Johor State Legislative Assembly for the Senai constituency from 2013 to 2018.

My Liberica tagline, Passion for 1%,
seen behind the counter at the Roastery 
I was privileged to be escorted by YB Wong, a fellow writer and journalist, on an eye-opening and exciting heritage tour of Senai.

And it was during this walkabout in Senai old town that I heard from her about that coffee plantation near Kluang and she even suggested that we plan to visit it soon.

My tour of Senai was published in Streets Johor in a cover and centerspread piece on the founding fathers of Senai and incidentally, this publication led to members of the Wong family, now based in Singapore, reaching out to me with more information on their family history.

A story about this experience is shared in The Wongs of Senai featured in my Book Two, My Johor Stories 2: Interesting Places and Inspirational People.

So, while I was busy with my book project in 2018, YB Wong was elected as Member of Parliament for the Kluang constituency and kept busy by her political work.

On the subject of specialty coffee, I researched its definition and discovered that it was one that coffee connoisseurs could trace the source of the beans from where they were grown and processed, with the best green beans selected for roasting before the ground coffee was brewed and served.

Signing My Johor Stories books to present to Jason
This clarification helped me to zero-in on My Liberica, a brand which, by definition, is a proudly Johor-grown specialty coffee!

I thought that this Johor brand fitted in beautifully into my Book Three, in the section for proudly Johorean brands that were established here and have gained national and international recognition.

Further research into My Liberica affirmed my hunch that theirs would be a story worth sharing and I did not hesitate to write them with an introduction of My Johor Stories and a proposal to include this Johor brand into my next book.

On March 30, I received a positive reply from Vivonne Soong, who introduced herself as their Tours Manager and she would be the liaison person for this project between me and My Liberica founder and Managing Director, Jason Liew.

My Johor Stories, Book One and Book Two presented to Jason Liew [Centre] with Tours Manager,
Vivonne Soong [Left], enjoying cups of freshly brewed My Liberica specialty coffee at the Roastery.
Among other kind comments, she said, “We are proud and grateful that you have extended the invitation to us and we will gladly cooperate with you to provide our story and any photos you might need.”

I couldn't wait to take a sip...
This initial contact was followed by an exchange of emails. But due to the prevailing Movement Control Order, it was some four months later that we finally arranged to meet on July 24.

I explained that a meeting with Jason will be a good start for us to get to know each other and for him to feel comfortable to share his story with me.

When I arrived at their Roastery located at the EcoHub in Taman Ekoperniagaan, I had a few minutes to take in the contemporary décor and spotted their tagline, “Passion for 1%” boldly emblazoned on the wall behind the counter.

On another wall, a poster provided a brief explanation in Chinese and English.

It reads, “Liberica is a coffee variety with less than 1% in world’s coffee production. From seed to cup, we are dedicated to specializing Liberica, in hope that through our focus on Liberica coffee, coffee lovers will enjoy with us our Passion for 1%.”

When we sat down together, I took time to introduce My Johor Stories to Jason and Vivonne and presented him with autographed copies of My Johor Stories: True Tales, Real People, Rich Heritage and My Johor Stories 2: Interesting Places and Inspirational People.

My Liberica specialty coffee packaging has
a uniquely Johor identity inspired by exclusively
woven Johor fabric designs by Gallery Tenun
As I briefly recounted my storytelling journey, we discovered people and places in Johor that were mutually familiar to us, and this set the tone for Jason to share with me his family heritage and his love affair with coffee, a story succinctly summarized in his tagline, “Passion for 1%”

Jason’s spontaneous sharing continued over cups of fragrant Liberica coffee and I could hear the pride in voice as he introduced – and let me taste – a series of coffee blends, uniquely created from his own research and technology.

When Vivonne showed me the packaging for the varieties of coffee popular with connoisseurs locally and abroad, she pointed out that the inspiration for the packaging design was from a visit to the Gallery Tenun at Yayasan Warisan Johor or Johor Heritage Foundation.

A range of My Liberica specialty coffee on the counter
I am familiar with this Gallery which produces exclusively woven Johor fabric designs and instantly recognised how the sides of their smart coffee packages presented a uniquely Johor identity.

Meanwhile, when Jason was speaking on a subject close to his heart, he was literally on a roll.

His eyes sparkled as he shared details about the humble beginnings in their family business, their plantation and the challenges they faced with finance and pestilence, the establishment of their coffee mill and farm tours, right up to the café and roastery and his future plans for My Liberica.

During a natural pause, Jason asked me, “Do you like chocolates?”

My reply was a spontaneous, “Yes!”

Two varieties of Jason's work-in-progress
specialty chocolates for me to sample
He went on to explain that along with the coffee trees, they were also planting cacao trees and he was doing serious research into making artisanal chocolates with the tree-to-bar concept.

I did not have long to wait because Jason went to retrieve two varieties of his work-in-progress and offered them for me to sample. Mmm…

With specialty coffee and specialty chocolates in the picture, I was more than pleased with the outcome of this meet-up with Jason, the first in a series of meetings planned with him before the manuscript will be finalized.

Next, I will arrange to join their Grand Tour, a plantation and mill tour with an itinerary to observe the growing and processing of coffee beans, and a hands-on experience in roasting and brewing freshly ground Liberica coffee at the Roastery.

Even after all these years, I am hopeful that YB Wong can avail herself from her busy schedule to join me on this Grand Tour.

Continuing my story-telling journey...

On 15 July, Grace sent her #ffijb a special memento to commemorate that special day exactly three years ago.

15 July 2017 at DoubleTree by Hilton Johor Baru,
book launch of
My Johor Stories: True Tales, Real People, Rich Heritage
It was a photograph she captured of me, speaking at my book launch event held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Johor Baru on 15 July 2017.

[When Simon McGrath, then hotel General Manager, introduced me to Grace in June 2014, I did not know that I would become her #ffijb First Friend in Johor Baru.]

While working with DTHJB on various projects and events, I had shared with Simon and Grace about the history of Jalan Ngee Heng and that my grandfather’s house at No. 154 was in fact, just across the road from the hotel.

Grandfather's house – a double-storey bungalow with an adjacent badminton court – situated directly opposite Wisma Maria was demolished to build Jalan Tun Abdul Razak and what was left of it is just part of our driveway.

Present site of grandfather's former house
at Jalan Ngee Heng is part of Jalan Tun Abdul Razak
An enterprising food stall operator quickly set up his business here and over the years, expanded its premises under a matured tree at this end of Jalan Ngee Heng.

On July 21, Grace sent me another photo.

This time it was my full-page feature published in Streets Johor on 21 July 2014, where I shared my experience on, Staying in Jalan Ngee Heng again.

It was significant that my return to Jalan Ngee Heng for a stay experience at the DTHJB was some 37 years since our family moved away from this neighbourhood.

In 2017, Simon and Grace were aware that I was working on my book project in partnership with Think City Johor Baru and MPH Publishing Kuala Lumpur and when I discussed about the venue for my book launch, Simon generously offered to host the event at the hotel, with their best compliments.

My feature published on 21 July 2014
It was so significant that I should host my book launch event at a venue which was located on the same road as our grandfather’s former house and I did not hesitate to accept.

I warmly recall the joy and pleasure of the support from friends and family – all you happy readers – who did not hesitate to buy my book for themselves or to present as gifts, because on the first week of its launch, this book went to the Number One spot of the MPH Non-Fiction Bestsellers List.

This title stayed on the MPH Bestsellers List for consecutive weeks and months, and at end 2017, My Johor Stories: True Tales, Real People, Rich Heritage was counted among the titles in the Best of MPH in 2017.

My exciting book journey which started with My Johor Stories: True Tales, Real People, Rich Heritage, continued with its sequel, My Johor Stories 2: Interesting Places and Inspirational People, launched on 1 December 2018.

Photo from IG Official Sultan Ibrahim
Book Two was launched in December 2018, on time for the Christmas season for readers to enjoy reading during the holidays and to present as year-end gifts.

For me, one of the highlights of 2019 must be the occasion of the Johor Sultan’s birthday when a copy of, My Johor Stories 2: Interesting Places and Inspirational People was presented to High Highness Sultan Ibrahim, the Sultan of Johor!

The two photos from Grace triggered a flood of fond memories and are urging me to press on to write my third book and complete this series of My Johor Stories books in an exciting trilogy.

I was already working on Book Three since last year and derived much pleasure in compiling the list of Contents before meeting with Dato’ Abdul Rahim Ramli to bounce off ideas and seek his comments and valuable advice.

In early March 2020, Dato’ Rahim and I shared a most profitable time together and I remember leaving his office with renewed energy to embark on my next story-telling journey.

Newspaper report on MPH Bestsellers List
with my book at Number One in July 2017
By mid-March, the global pandemic caused by the Covid19 virus was upon us and the subsequent Movement Control Orders, changed my plans for actively pursuing this book project.

While obeying the conditions of these lockdowns, it felt like I had lost some four months of my life but it also gave me the opportunity to focus on working on various parts of my book project while I was staying quietly at home.

As the Movement Control Order gradually progressed from the Conditional Movement Control Order to the current Recovery Movement Control Order, the mood throughout the nation improved in tandem with the reopening of the economy.

With interstate travel reopened again and fewer restrictions in travel, I am finally able to consider going out for events and appointments, albeit wearing the added accessory of a face mask.

Out there, it feels like a whole new world where the global pandemic and resulting lockdowns have caused drastic changes including loss of lives, loss of jobs and when small enterprises had no alternative but to close their businesses.

While this post-pandemic era may present real challenges for many, it spurs me on to document more Johor Stories to encourage and inspire as we recover together and rebuild ourselves to grow from strength to strength.

Supporting our local brands

When the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) came into effect from May 4 to August 31, I am sure everyone breathed a sigh of relief because the strict conditions under the Movement Control Order (MCO), were slightly relaxed.

My sister, paying for takeaways in Sedap Corner,
their flagship cafe at Jalan Abdul Samad
As the situation in the country consistently improved and the economy was gradually reopened, the CMCO continued with less limitations from June 10 in the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO).

While keeping a close watch on reliable news reports from both local and foreign sources, I was probably on a news-overload mode but I needed to stay informed about the Covid19 pandemic, an unseen enemy that was a threat to everyone, everywhere.

As we stayed at home to stay safe, it was a tremendous relieve that the use of modern technology was keeping family and friends connected during the lockdowns.

I was particularly pleased with the WhatsApp video calls with multiple participants – a maximum of four – that provided real-time chats and kept senior family members connected with others who were concerned for their health and wellbeing.

Logo for Heritage cafe on their namecard
From social media pages, I observed how local merchants were rallied to get their businesses online for wider exposure because there was then, no option for dine-in.

While I enjoyed looking at their attractive menus and promotions, I refrained from ordering online but waited till it was safe to pick-up takeaways. I usually made a brief stopover to collect food on my way back from grocery shopping.

After eating only homecooked food since mid-March, it was indeed a pleasant change and a well justified treat to indulge in items like baked tarts and layered cake.

During the CMCO, I also refrained from accepting any event invitations and it was only during the RMCO when I finally gave any consideration to attending anything.

Signature dishes by Heritage [Clockwise] Pine Chicken Rice
(2 portions) Pork Burger (2 portions) and Chicken Roulade
The first invite I accepted was to the reopening of Legoland Malaysia and SEA Life at a media event held in the morning of June 26.

I gave my support to this exciting reopening as I believed these attractions in Johor Baru were a catalyst that would draw visitors back to Johor for short trips and staycations, and help spur the economy with hotel stays, shopping and of course, restaurant and café businesses.

In the following weeks, I kept my outings to a minimum and only went out for essential grocery shopping.

I also wanted to limit going through the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) of providing personal info, temperature recording and hand sanitizing each time before entering.

Finally, on July 4, I agreed to accompany my sister to her lawyers’ offices to complete some paperwork and we had decided to buy takeaway lunch on our way home.

A range of cakes and pastries by Seven Oaks
enjoyed with cups of tea
When she mentioned her desire for a taste of her favourite Pandan Layer Cake, I suggested Sedap Corner, where I was sure she would find her heart’s desire along with a menu of local food for lunch.

She hesitated with the excuse that Sedap Corner was located so far away from where we were then, but I assured her that it was just a drive away. After all, I was doing the driving…

I was right. Inside the chiller placed next to the cashier counter, we spotted boxes of Pandan Layer Cakes, ready and waiting to be savoured!

It was 10 days later when I was faced with the decision on what food to buy for takeaway lunch and dessert on our visit with family friend, Uncle O’Keefe.

Aware that Uncle preferred Western cuisine, I pondered over the choices from nearby cafés and restaurants and flipped through my collection of name-cards for some inspiration.

Mum studying the menu at Village Briyani Cafe
It did not take long for me to zero-in on Heritage, a café with an outlet nearby that offered phone-in orders for self-collect takeaways. The best part was, they have a Non-Halal menu of Western and Local cuisine!

I snapped a photo of this name-card to share with my sisters and asked: “How about this for TP?” [TP = Colloquial phrase for Tah Pau or takeaway, in Chinese dialect.]

On the morning of July 14, I went to the mall to buy some fresh fruits from the grocers to present to Uncle but before leaving, I phoned Heritage to place my takeaway order so that I could conveniently collect it on my way.

Among the takeaway items from Heritage was their signature Pork Burger, made with a generous portion of pork patty, Chicken Roulade and their signature Pine Chicken Rice that comes with smooth steamed chicken and a side of three dip sauces.

Our favourite Starter dish at Village: Gobi 65
The next important item on my list was to get cheesecake for Uncle.

There were choices of bakeries in the mall and after careful deliberation, arrived at the decision to try out the freshly baked pastries and cakes by Seven Oaks.

When Seven Oaks Bakery opened at Jalan Serampang, I heard about the craze for their artisanal breads, the most popular of them all was their salted-egg lava filled croissant.

[No, I did not join the queue lined up daily to grab their share of freshly baked croissants when the craze was at its height!]

So, this leisurely visit with Uncle was a good time to sample a range of Seven Oaks cakes and pastries – must have at least one with cheese – with cups of freshly brewed tea.

It was good to be back at Fika Farmhouse, Horizon Hills
Then last Friday, July 17, my sister mentioned that my brother and his family were planning to visit us in JB again, but I was warned not to say anything to our mother... yet.

That was because we know our mother very well. 

She would be so delighted to see them again that she would not hesitate to cook up a storm to serve her dear son and family. My brother’s birthday had just passed, and it was typical for mum to want to celebrate his special day with a good meal.

We, however, did not want her to be busy in the kitchen but to relax and enjoy the pleasure of their company.

Iberico Spare Ribs with sweet potato fries and
a side of honey mustard dip sauce
On July 13, his birthday, mum mentioned that so many years ago, she was admitted in Hospital Sultanah Aminah for three days – suffering labour pains – before he was finally born on the fourth day, at afternoon tea-time.

In fact, on his birthday, we connected via video call with my brother and family to sing him “Happy Birthday” before he cut his cake, a pan-fried chocolate cookie specialty (to savour with a scoop of ice-cream) made by his daughter.

As he was then on the way back to JB, my sister decided on North Indian cuisine at Village Briyani Café and I made the reservation to ensure that a table was comfortably arranged for us.

The last time we dined here was with members of our extended family during Chinese New Year, but my brother and his family were not present because they joined a family dinner with his in-laws.

Shop, Spend, Buy Local, front page headline
in The Sunday Times of July 19
So, it was timely for them to enjoy the Village specialties again.

In fact, we have been so regular at Village that even the staff were familiar with how we always enjoyed an appetizing Starter dish of Gobi-65!

After five months of restricted movements, it was a heartwarming reunion with my brother and his family, safely back in JB again to savour a meal together.

The next day, our dinner together was a takeaway from Heritage – yes, again – for my brother and his family to savour their signature Pork Burger and other delights.

The very next morning, it was uncanny that the headline on the front page of The New Sunday Times of July 19 read as, Shop, Spend, Buy Local, an urgent call by the government to support local businesses and brands.

This was exactly what we have been doing to support local merchants who are struggling to stay in business during this challenging time.

Mee Rebus Haji Wahid, complete with whole boiled egg,
topped with crispy penggaram and chopped green chilli
While my sister and I were considering where or what to enjoy for Sunday Brunch, our mother – just as we thought – proposed that she cooked something for us!

Bless her dear heart. To stall her from pursuing this proposal, I gently suggested that maybe my brother and family had other meal ideas… so we shall wait and see…

When a decision was made for Sunday Brunch at Fika Farmhouse, I called ahead to arrange a table reservation for our group.

It was good to be back again and to see a new menu plus a separate menu for Tapas items. The best part was the food still tasted as good and the service attentive but unobtrusive.

Late on Sunday night, I received a text message from my sister-in-law that read, “Will TP mee rebus for brunch tomorrow.”

My sister-in-law holding takeaway
packages of Mee Ho Seng Kee 
Her message was crystal clear because Mee Rebus Haji Wahid is our family favourite and a familiar comfort food. I replied to acknowledge her message and asked her to kirim salam to Haji Halim who manned their outlet at Angsana Mall.

The next day, we enjoyed takeaway mee rebus for our brunch. When the gravy was topped onto the noodles, it was still warm and tasted good till the last drop.

Before leaving JB, it is the norm for my brother and his wife to order and collect takeaways of Mee Ho Seng Kee, duck-egg noodles unique to this brand, to savour with family members who live in Kuala Lumpur now and sorely missed this local specialty.

I could just imagine the eager mouth-watering anticipation of those in KL when they saw a shot of my sister-in-law holding the takeaway packages of Mee Ho Seng Kee, being ferried to share with them for dinner that evening.

We clearly do not need much encouragement to Shop, Spend, Buy Local as it is our pleasure and privilege to support local merchants and local brands!

Note: The stories on Heritage Traders, Mee Rebus Haji Wahid and Mee Ho Seng Kee are featured in My Johor Stories 2: Interesting Places and Inspirational People.

Reminiscing with Uncle O'Keefe

On a souvenir plaque displayed on his cupboard top, I read the words in a warm message of appreciation addressed to retired Pastor Claude T. S. O’Keefe for his many years of service with the church.

Uncle O'Keefe with Florence Liew [Left] and I
on one of our food fellowship outings
Curious about the abbreviated names, I asked Pastor O’Keefe – whom we fondly call Uncle O’Keefe – what the letters “T. S.” stood for?

He promptly replied: T. was for Theobald as he was named after his Swedish grandfather – his mother’s father – the late Dr Marcus Theobald Foenander.

And S. was for Samuel, named after his Irish grandfather on his father’s side, the late Dr Samuel Arthur Edwards O’Keefe.

So, Claude Theobald Samuel O’Keefe was the son of Mr & Mrs Cyril Claude O’Keefe.

Even in his advancing age, Uncle O’Keefe, a former music lecturer, still has a vivid memory and enjoys recounting names of people and places along with interesting anecdotes and the connection with each one of us.

A we-fie with Uncle O'Keefe on a lunch outing.
In previous conversations with Uncle, he told me about their family home and described that was on Farquhar Street in Penang, next door to the Gospel Chapel.

The brethren assemblies in Malaysia started at the Farquhar Street Mission House and Chapel and this assembly continues to have fellowship in its premises at Burmah Road Gospel Hall in Penang.

My relationship with Uncle O’Keefe started from Elim Gospel Hall in Ipoh where Uncle was a church member as was my dad, who grew up in the Boys’ Home started by missionaries, Mr & Mrs George Wilson.

In the late 1960s Ms Phyllis Rose Wilson, daughter of Mr & Mrs Wilson, started an assembly in Johor Baru and established Johor Baru Gospel Chapel (JBGC).

Uncle O'Keefe [Center] with Lilian Kong-Liew [Right]
and my dad [Left] together for a meal...a long time ago
From the stories that dad shared with us about his growing-up years with the Wilson’s at Elim Gospel Hall, we learnt that Ms Wilson was like an older sister to him.

In the early years of JBGC, brethren formerly from Elim Gospel Hall who were based in JB, got involved with the work alongside Ms Wilson.

They included my dad who was the Treasurer, Ms Lilian Kong, who later became Mrs K P Liew, and Uncle O’Keefe who helped to play music on the piano/organ keyboard.

But before JBGC started a meeting in JB, our family used to join the meetings at Holy Light Church, a Presbyterian assembly.

Presenting Uncle with a copy
of My Johor Stories Book One
In the years while our parents were based in Masai for work, my sisters and I lived with our grandparents at Jalan Ngee Heng and we used to walk from grandfather’s house to Jalan Gertak Merah to attend weekly Sunday School and the Girls’ Brigade meetings there.

After my siblings and I moved to live with our parents in Masai and commuted to school in JB, our family attended the Sunday evening service at Holy Light Church until JBGC was established.

I was still a child when I met Uncle O’Keefe, who was then one of my Sunday School teachers in Holy Light Church.

While Uncle remained close to JBGC, he continued serving at Holy Light Church and later also served as Pastor.

Over the years, Florence, daughter of Mr & Mrs K P Liew, and I often had food fellowship with Uncle, and soon we learnt that he preferred dining on Western food and enjoyed a good cheesecake.

Last year, Uncle was unwell and after undergoing major surgery, he rested and recuperated in a care home.

Presenting Uncle with a copy of
My Johor Stories Book Two
So, whenever we visited Uncle, we did not fail to bring him a slice or two of cheesecake, for him to indulge his sweet tooth!

As he regained his strength, we were pleased that Uncle was ready to move back to live independently in his own home.

In October 2019, JBGC celebrated her 50th anniversary and it was a joyful reunion of brethren – including Uncle O’Keefe – who were familiar with this testimony in JB.

At this reunion, it was also my privilege to share my memories of my experience with Ms Wilson, the lady with a yielded heart who started this assembly in JB.

Among the things I shared about Ms Wilson was her retirement and return to New Zealand, and that I had the privilege to visit her in the care home to celebrate her birthday on October 1, 2002.

My visit was coordinated with Mrs Margaret Brown, who cared for Ms Wilson when she could no longer live independently, and Christine Goh, fondly known as one of “Ms Wilson’s girls” from among the girls in the Girls’ Home at Elim Gospel Hall.

Our copy of God of the Oasis, the souvenir book for
the Centennial celebration of Elim Gospel Hall, Ipoh
Less than a month after our visit, Ms Wilson was called home to the Lord.

Fast-forward to the Movement Control Order when we were advised to stay home to stay safe and to go out only for essential grocery shopping or medical needs.

During the Recovery Movement Control (RMCO) where conditions were more relaxed, Florence and I finally met again, and in our conversation, we discovered that among the people we thought about during this difficult time was Uncle O’Keefe.

It was interesting that Uncle was also thinking about us.

Uncle called to say that he just “saw me” from a photograph featured in God of the Oasis, the souvenir book published for the Centennial celebration of Elim Gospel Hall (1913 – 2013) and then he asked me, when I was going to visit him again.

Page opened to the top photo with Ms Wilson,
Margaret Brown, Christine Goh and I in 2002
[I attended the 90th Anniversary of Elim Gospel Hall with my parents and my brother’s family and for the 100th Anniversary, my brother and his wife attended the celebration on dad’s behalf as he was no longer able to travel to Ipoh.]

A copy of this souvenir book was presented to my brother for dad and it remains a treasured item in our home.

Aware that Uncle was ready for visitors again, Florence and I arranged to visit him and to bring along Western dishes for lunch, of course with his favourite cheesecake.

In normal circumstances, we would have taken Uncle out for a meal but in the current RMCO, it was wiser to stay home to enjoy a takeaway meal.

My mother and Ruby, our eldest sister, joined Florence and I on this visit.

Another we-fie with Uncle O'Keefe, my mother, my sister
Ruby and I, taken by Florence's capable we-fie skills! 
It was a joy to meet Uncle again, to see him looking hale and hearty, all set for some food fellowship and reminiscing about family and familiar people from Elim Gospel Hall and JBGC.

After our leisurely lunch, I followed Uncle’s specific instructions (it was his house after all!) on his way to do the washing-up and how to put the tea to brew.

When I emerged from the kitchen, Uncle had handed my mother his copy of the Elim Gospel Hall souvenir book, opened to the pages with the tribute written by Christine to Ms Wilson entitled, “The only mother I ever knew.”

I smiled when I observed that he had book-marked the book to the 2002 photo of Ms Wilson, Margaret Brown, Christine Goh and I, a shot that brought back fond memories and a wonderful time of reminiscing with Uncle O’Keefe.