I have very fond memories of growing up in Petaling Jaya and especially living in a house know to all my cousins and friends as 611, well it was actually 6/11. That house had a very big garden and big monsoon drain next to it. During the rainy season that was our swimming pool when me, my cousins and friends used to build a dam and allowed the water to flood the drain enough for us to swim in it. We also had many fruit trees.
I will never forget my mother’s cousin, Auntie Hilda. We called her “Ada” which I attribute to the fact when we were younger we couldn’t pronounce “Auntie Hilda” so as kids shortened it to “Ada” so I guess that was generally accepted and that stuck because we never got a scolding for being disrespectful.
Ada, I must admit was the Portugues/Kristang influence in our lives. She always spoke Kristang to my mother and all the aunts who visited us from everywhere. That house was always full of people (and I can also attribute it to the fact I had four sisters) and one never starved because there was always food on the table. To this day and as far back as I can remember, I never saw Ada in a dress nor have I ever seen pictures of her is a dress. She always wore the traditional “Sarong Kebaya”
Combined with my mother, they cooked the best traditional food and made the best cakes. The curry devils, the fengs, and the archa, just to name a few. As always the good times had to come to an end.
At the age of 18, being a Singapore Citizen and because I had a Malaysian PR status, I was eligible for National Service in Singapore. I returned to Singapore and served my two years of National Service in the Singapore Armored Brigade and then signed on with the regular army for five years.
On completion of my contract, I worked in Jurong shipyard for about a year as a hull trainee in the shipwright department. Being very accustomed to a regimented life, I soon grew tired of an “unorganized civilian life” and decided to join the Port of Singapore Authority (PSA) Fire Brigade, where I started my career as a firefighter. After three years with the PSA Fire Brigade, the Republic of Singapore Navy was advertising for specialist vocations for fire fighters. Hence I re-enlisted in the Navy with the Firefighting and Damage Control Unit on the then, Pulau Brani Naval Base.
It was during my traineeship with Jurong shipyard I had attended my cousin Cheryl’s wedding (who coincidentally married a journalist, Gerry De Silva a former office bearer of the EA Singapore) and there ended my days of bachelorhood. I met my wife lovely Judy and after a courtship of four years, we married and today we have two wonderful children, Jeremy and Lindsay. After serving the Republic of Singapore Navy for ten years we migrated to Australia and settled here in Perth.
My son Jeremy and his wife Monica have made us proud grandparents of two wonderful boys, Liam and Ethan, and my daughter Lindsay, a proud and young Aunt.
Our involvement with the AEAWA was when Judy’s cousin Chad Beins decided to form a group and seeing my passion for playing the drums invited me to join the group who today are known as “Jam Session”. This has now led us to being nominated and elected to the Management Committee where I have been given the portfolio of Heritage and Culture.
Since accepting the portfolio of Heritage and Culture, it has reiterated the importance of preserving our heritage and inspired me to perpetuate our race, history, traditions and culture here in Perth for our future generations.
I would like to take this opportunity to invite anyone who has any thoughts, suggestions and ideas to preserve and promote our heritage at large. I can be contacted by email firstname.lastname@example.org or Mobile, 0416 709 106. Even if it’s to have a chat.
Born in Sing a pore and grew up in Malaysia, Petaling Jaya, My parents were Larry and Mable Carroll. My father Larry was a journalist and mum, the best mother and cook in the world. I have an elder brother and four sisters. I did all my schooling in La Salle PJ and St. John’s Institution. It is with a heavy heart that I have to make mention of my eldest sister, who was affectionately known as Geno, who lost her battle with cancer early this year.