RIP Dearest Brother Lawrence

7 Aug 2021 – Celebrations To A Well-Lived Life

Appreciations&grateful to all for your kind&thoughtful condolences, prayers&words. Was hoping for the best, yet preparing for the worst when we knew of Lawrence’s condition since Jun. Will have to let grief take its course – sad for not being able to say goodbye under these COVID-19 circumstances, KL/Malaysia is under a total lockdown. Trying to find pix&words (not easy as the emotions are still too fresh) for an eulogy&tribute to a dearest beloved brother Lawrence.

LAM KwokFou/Lawrence, the eldest born (4Feb1934-5Aug2021) of 7 to a banker family (KwongLeeBank/KLB), LAM TinYue (father) who was also the eldest born for his father LAM SongKee (grandfather), the founder of KLB. From 1934 until early 1950s, only he knew what really happened, but understanding that era and the timeframe, it must not have been easy growing up in such a large family (1grandfather, 3grandmothers, 2parents, 14surviving immediate&half aunties&uncles, 3siblings in 1939, 6 in 1950), living together and going thru’ WWII.

I was born in 1950 after the war and blessed with a father and a brother like Lawrence (16yrs my senior) who pampered&spoilt me thoroughly, making me adoring these 2men and have put them on a pedestal throughout my childhood.

Lawrence left SIN for his further studies&work in the UK&Ireland 1955-56 and did not return until 1964. Remembered so vividly the day we saw him off by ship from Gate9 then, today HabourFront – mother&I were bawing our eyes out, she had to even used sun-shades to covered her tears-stained eyes. In those years, we looked so much forward to receiving those old big reels to hear his voice on the tape-recorder. And being the responsible and filial son as he always was, those tapes arrived regularly, in addition to all the letters&postcards he sent.

When he returned in 1964, mother was diagnosed with LungCancer/Stage4. He got married in May1965, mother passed away Jun1965 and I was sent off to Dublin/Ireland Jul1965. 1964-1967 was a traumatic time which is probably buried deep within with the keys never to be found again. Between 1967-1999, the seldom-short-visits back to this part of the world were somewhere in the clouds as the 2feet had to be on the grounds to raise my 2girls between Norway&USA.

1999 when I decided to stay on to work after a visit, was the time for me to get to know my roots+my siblings&their families better. Took many trips between then till 2019 to visit with Lawrence in KCH, Sarawak/Malaysia and he too took many trips to visit with us in SIN. Am glad to have gotten to know him, this time not from an innocent child’s eyes, but the eyes of someone who still loves him from the heart as the little sister who so adored him, thank you for being such a wonderful big brother – he will be missed.

Lawrence’s 80Bday from KCH, Sarawak/Malaysia in 2014: from left to right – Michael, Larry, Justin, Ivy, Leslie, Lawrence. Mabel, John, Sabina, Francesca, Joyce, me.

Condolences to his wife ONG Mabel+his family in KL/Malaysia – LAM YinChun/John& Francesca+Justin (not in the pix here), Sabina and LAM YinBong/Larry&Ruth. The last trip we (Lawrence, Leslie&Ivy+meJohn&Francesca) were together was in Penang/Malaysia Jun-Jul2019.

Edited 8Aug2021: goodbye dearest brother, gone but never will be forgotten.