Gong Gong says

This is a posthumous blog of our father's (Lim Kok Ann) life. When our father passed away on 8 March 2003, he left behind an unpublished autobiography. We'd like to celebrate his life by sharing his autobiography through this blog.

"I have dredged these anecdotes from memory just to pass the time; if they amuse my grandchildren their purpose will have been served; if they provide any instruction, it will be a happy coincidence; that they are disjointed is probably to be expected.

Aurora was the name of my grandfather’s house in Kulangsu.   Amoy, where I spent the first five or six years of my life.   I still have vivid memories of events that took place when I was barely three years old.

Lim Kok Ann
October 1996"

Friday, August 01, 2008

2. 3 Lim Chong Eu

I did not know Lim Chong Eu until we met somewhere in the University for he was two years ahead of me in the medical school. Though he went to Edinburgh only a year ahead of me, he had the advantage of having passed his Physics and Chemistry A levels in Penang Free School and so was admitted directly to the medical course. Chong Eu knew all about me, however, for the students Penang Free School Special Class took their studies professionally. They found out as much as they could about their rivals in Raffles Institution, who their teachers were, and how well regarded the students were. In addition, Chong Eu’s father was Dr. Lim Chwee Leong, a great admirer of Boon Keng. From his early youth, Chong Eu’s father would hold up Lim Boon Keng as an example for Chong Eu to follow and Chong Eu had had enough of my family by the time he got to Edinburgh where a further trial awaited him.

After a distinguished career at Edinburgh University, my Uncle Robert had accepted an appointment in 1922 as Professor of Physiology in the Peking Union Medical College. Many professors of Edinburgh University either knew Robert Lim personally (might have been his students) or had heard of him, so when Lim Chong Eu turned up in their classes, they would ask him if related to the illustrious Dr. Robert Lim. “No, I am not”, Chong Eu would say, and deftly add, “But his nephew is already here, one year behind me.” When in due course, I turned up, I often had to tell what Robert Lim was doing, not an easy task as I never had any direct contact with him. I had second-hand information, however, through the China Campaign Committee, a left wing organization some said was a Communist front, that was raising funds for China and agitating against Japan. That was before Pearl Harbour and Britain did not have any energy left for Far East matters, after having to cope with Hitler and Mussolini.


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