09 April, 2010

My Sabah roots

I spent a week recently in Sabah tracing my roots. James (nga chjai) is my first cousin (our fathers were brothers, Chin Yet Onn and Chin Voo Sang). I have not seen him for more than 50 years. He was the little boy on the extreme right in this Kodak photo taken in 1958. (I am, ai-chjai, 2nd left). Rose is on my right and Steven* is behind me.

In the colour photo here, James and I are seen standing on Ah Kung's land in Kudat, last week (31st March 2010). The coconut trees behind us were planted by our grand father (Chin Yu) over 100 years ago. He was given the land

James Chin
by the British North Borneo gomen. (999 years, freehold land, undivided shares). It was planted with coconuts and some rubber trees. I can still remember following my grandma on her rounds to collect the latex every morning. Yes, grandma (Wong Siew Yin) was tapping rubber and making copra (dried coconut) in Kudat in 1951. I was 7 years old.

Alice Luke
I looked up another cousin, Alice Luke, in Penampang. (Our mothers were sisters.) We have not seen one
 another for more than 40 years. She lives in a small terrace house and she seems very happy.

Agnes Chin

I also met Agnes Chin in KK. Her father and my father were brothers.

Peter Chin

Peter is the elder brother of Steven, James and Agnes.


  1. David....like your sites....you are one busy fellow! As a fellow golfer, I enjoyed these "golf" posts....My latest post is called "Geezer Golf Goofs" at http://tmac-traveltales.blogspot.com .....some input on Senior play at our local resort course.

    The best to you,
    Mtn Doc

  2. I think it is great to get in touch with your relatives while they are still around. Our family is scattered in Australia, Canada and Taiwan, as having come from UK sometime in our generation. But we are part of some great diaspora - mostly Irish, some Yorkshire - that has been going on over the last 150 years or so. We had German input in Ireland before the Famine of the 1845 period; they intermarried and came to Birmingham; some are still there; we are in Surrey; our Son in Taiwan married to a Taiwanese Chinese with their little son; our sisters in Canada and Australia. We had a corroboree of the UK residents a few years ago and passed around a piece of long paper for everyone to write on what they knew about their part of the family. What an evening!


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