Grandpa ventured forth to the new world, starting his journey from this river in the early 1900’s. He was probably in his late teens. On his final journey to his homeland - he was already in his mid 60’s.
Probably it was the heart that ruled the mind. Home is where the heart was & the land of his childhood beckoned.
In the December of 1945, soon after the end of the Japanese occupation of Malaya, & over a period of close to a period of two years he started a regular remittance from Ipoh to Tsungkeau. He had plan to bring his entire family home, and a greater part of his fortune went in advance to prepare for the uplift of the family members.
Perhaps Menglembu – 万里望- the mining town located in the outskirt of Ipoh in the then Malaya - had always been the distant land. Though he had toiled there for many decades and where he had all his associates, friends and relations – Tsungkeau was still where the heart was.
However less than two years or so after he returned home – he passed away of a stroke age 65 in the Autumn of 1948.
As they say, the rest was history, and the rest of the family was left in Malaya -
a) The assumption that Grandpa returned to China possibly in the months of Aug 1946 was derived from the entry made in the record of remittance –
大人亲手收款 - -
Remittance record – 1946 copy
1946 Oct 07)
Chop Li Sanmao remit Republican Dollar 2 million
Chop Guangtong Zhuang - Straits Dollars $1,220.00
To be received personally by the respected Father 。
(This entry in the account book was probably made by Dad – as the writing resembled his)
The remittance entry prior to this entry - dated Aug23 1946
Asum of Republican dollar 100,000 to be hand carried by Brother Lim ( 锦琳兄- 4th son) who is returning to hometown (Tsungkeau ) to be handed in person to 锦荣 (eldest son) -equivalent to Straits dollar $79.00 & remitted thro Chop Li Sanmao.
Chop Li Sanmao was - a merchant shop in Ipoh.
b) Tseungkeau – Hakka pronunciation for Song kou 松口镇, Meizhou County – 梅州市， Guangdong Province - 广东省
c) Grandpa’s last day - during this trip over dimsum conversation in HKG with relation – age 76years - got a glimpse of Grandpa’s last day. She said that on the night of his stroke, Grandpa loving touched her head – a teenage girl of 13years, then. When he was struck with stroke, he aunt who was living next door was called over to help. She said that Grandpa & her aunt were –bosom friends - sworn fellow mates - 死党. They would often meet to chat.
d) To Songkou : 23-24Dec 2012 – went on a 2nd visit to Songkou,a day after the winter solstice - exactly to the day 14 years ago, first visit was in 1997, when the Asian financial crisis was rising storm. The town is in a desolate condition. Due to season flood the occupants have moved to upper grounds and almost abandoned the old buildings.