The biggest surprise was the homecoming of the Wu clan. I would estimate that of the 100-plus people at the dinner, about 85 percent of them were the descents of their patriarch, Ng Khee Hock. Dr Wu Lien-Teh was the eighth of 11 siblings.
From what I understand, this was the first time that the Wu clan had descended in such numbers for a family reunion and meeting with relatives that they didn't even know existed. And they came from the far corners of the world such as San Francisco, Belfast, Perth and Sydney. Nearer to home, some of them came from nearby Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya, Ipoh and of course, Penang.
As a committee member of the Dr Wu Lien-Teh Society, I was privileged to have witnessed this gathering at the welcome dinner which also saw the official launch of the reprint of Dr Wu Lien-Teh's own auto-biography, Plague Fighter, by Areca Books. I've no idea yet how much it will cost when it hits the bookstands.
The book last saw print in 1959, the year before Wu Lien-Teh's death in his house in Chor Si Kheng Road, Ayer Itam, Penang. Maybe, there was only a single edition then as I doubt that it had a wide circulation. I'm one of a very few people that still owned a copy of that first edition, but nevertheless, I am still glad that there is now a reprint of this book. With careful promotion, I hope that many more of the present generation of Malaysians will get to know how great this man was.
Welcome speech by Anwar Fazal, the president of the Dr Wu Lien-Teh Society
What's that behind the red cloth?