October 26, 2007

Meeting with the Founder

1st Penang Company, the oldest BB company in Malaysia, was founded through the idea of Dr. Khoo Oon Teik, who shared the idea with his father, the late Rev. Khoo Cheng Hoe. This idea led to the formation of Boys' Brigade in Penang.

Dr. Khoo initiated the idea and gathered information from Boys' Brigade in Singapore (BBS), where he was studying prior to World War II. This young gentlemen contacted Mr. Fraser, the founder of BBS, to seek advice and assistance to began the ministry in Malaya.

Coming to Singapore after the 60th Anniversary Celebration of 1st Penang Company, I was privileged to meet with Dr. Khoo Oon Teik in person in August/September 2006 (can't remember the exact day). He is currently residing in Singapore, where he once was a renown medical doctor. Among his most notable contribution is the founding of the National Kidney Foundation of Singapore.

I did not know much about him since I joined BB until I began to study the history of 1st Penang Company. Then exploring further, I came to know Dr. Khoo is actually one of the founder of 1st Penang Company, and more happily, he is in Singapore. Dr. Khoo is recorded in 1st Penang Company history as co-founders along with Mr. Robert G. Davis.

I could still remember arriving at his house, the feeling of anxiety to be meet with this important person. I have done quite a bit of research about him and corresponded with his son and daughter-in-law during the writing of the 60th Anniversary Commemorative Book but nothing could prepare you as what to expect.

I went into the house and saw Dr. Khoo, sitting on a wheelchair and watching Don Moen Praise and Worship video (if i'm not wrong, it's Don Moen). Then with the help of his daughter-in-law, we began to talk. It was a pity that Dr. Khoo has lost a major part of his memory and have difficulties in talking. Throughout the one hour I was there, he asked me 3-4 times, "How old are you?" We chatted on several things like family, career, church etc., with the help of the daughter-in-law.

The most unforgettable moment of the meeting was when his daughter-in-law asked him about the good old days of BB, he said he can't remember much. But when ask what's his rank or position, without any hesitation he replied, "Founder!". His daughter-in-law and me could not help but broke out in laughter and yet Dr. Khoo maintained his expression-less face.

Sure and Stedfast
Chang Da

If you are interested to know more about the history of 1st Penang Company and the Boys' Brigade in Malaysia, be quick to grab a copy of First Anchored in Penang. More details of history could be found in the book. Limited copies left!

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