Panoramic photo taken at Tanjung, Miri on Dec 29, 2018. Photographer – Abel Wong

Today is the last day of 2018. Reflection time.

As I write, my thoughts inevitably turn to the past twelve months of happenings.

Topping the list is of course, the addition to our family – baby Ariel!

Ariel, a gift from God, is our little treasure and bundle of joy. From her early three-month-old body turns to her wobbling first steps, I relished in taking photos and videos. I would smile as I think of her every morning when I awake. Truth be told, much to our joy, the apple of our eye has disrupted our daily rhythms though we do not stay under the same roof!

Perhaps in a more subtle aspect, being grandparents for wife and I, also meant that the parenting role for us is diminishing. Wife and I now take a front-seat row to observe our son and d-i-l navigate their parenting tasks that will surely bring new delights and unknown challenges.

On church ministry works, wife and I did our best to coordinate organizing the Brigade Council Meeting hosted in Miri. This Boys’ Brigade event is held annually in different nominated cities in the country. Miri Mayor Adam Yii was our Guest-of-Honor. More than 170 delegates from the various State Councils throughout the country were in attendance from April 20-21.

Wife and I are also grateful to be given the opportunity to serve in the BB Love Box from November 3 to December 8. Collectively, all seven Miri Boys’ Brigade Companies managed to raise 5,700 gifts benefiting needy students and families in 17 schools and longhouses. I’m thankful to Rev. Dr. Tie King Tai, President of Sarawak Chinese Annual Conference (SCAC) of the Methodist Churches, for taking time and effort to do a personal video with his mobile phone to promote the BB Love Box when I called for his help.

On healthy lifestyle, son managed to convince me to play badminton again after a lapse of five years. Playing twice a week on average, I now feel rejuvenated and fit. It was also a blessing that I was fine enough to donate blood in April, July and October. I also passed my annual blood tests.

Wife and I were reconnected with an old friend in Ipoh in June when we took a short break during the Raya holidays. We have not seen Alice since 1995 when she relocated back to West Malaysia from Brunei. Friends like her are gems! In Ipoh, we also met up with my 84-year-old 3rd Aunt (maternal side). Our previous encounter was way back in 1973! However, little did we realize that it would be the last time meeting her as she was called to The Lord recently. I also grieved when a dear friend and school mate in Sibu passed away due to illness.

In late August, wife and I joined her family for a Taiwan trip. There were 13 of us. The fellowship we had was priceless and we enjoyed each other’s company every bit.

Thank You, God, for your blessings in 2018.

Thank you to all our friends for being part of our lives in 2018.

Tomorrow is the New Year.

It fills me new hope and great anticipation.

For me and my family, we will continue to serve The Lord faithfully.


Group pic after Closing Ceremony. Photographer- Ling Ling

by Lt James TC Wong, 4th Miri

DEC 8, MIRI – After five weeks from its launching, the BB Love Box came to a close at Bintang Mega Mall (BMM).

The Guest-of-Honor was Dato’ Lau Siu Wai, duly represented by Allen Wong Lung Hing, the Event Manager of BMM.

Honorary Captain Hii King Ong, the Sarawak State Commissioner of The Boys’ Brigade In Malaysia (BB), delivered his speech during the Closing Ceremony.

Also in attendance were the BB Deputy Sarawak State Commissioner, Honorary Captain Lawrence Wong Ching Tuong,  Rev. Simon Ting Chu Yih, Miri District Superintendent of the Methodist Churches, Frankie Choo Ngie Ping from Sarawak Oil Palms Bhd, Petrus Lasong from BEM On The Rock, Miri Brigade Officers and Members.

In his speech, Commissioner Hii thanked Dato’ Lau Siu Wai and Bintang Mega Mall for their generosity and the free use of premises. He also congratulated the Northern Region Boys’ Brigade (Bintulu, Miri and Limbang) for collectively raising 5,500 gifts for the needy people and students in communities and schools.

The recipients were: Bintulu – SJK Sebiew, SMK Bandar, Perpikat Bintulu, PKKN Bintulu, Kidurong KM15, Sg Plan New Squatters, Rumah Panjang Jalan Sebauh, Miri – SMK Chung Hua, SMK Dato’ Permaisuri, SMK St. Columba, SMK Bakong, SMK Riam, SMK Pujut, SJK(C) Chung Hua Krokop, SJK(C) Chung Hua Lutong, SJK(C) Chung Hua Miri, SJK(C) Chung Hua Pujut, SJK(C) North, SJK(C) Chung San, SJK(C) Chung Hua Tudan, SJK(C) Chung Hua Bakam, SK Pujut Corner, SK St Columba, Tadika Riam, Mei Ann MC (BM Congregation), Gan En MC (BM Congregation), Taman Tunku MC (BM Congregation), Gereja Methodist Tudan (BM Congregation), Life MC (BM Congregation), Yi En MC (BM Congregation), Permyjaya MC (BM Congregation), BEM On The Rock, Tudan Learning Center, Rumah Panjang Peter, Rumah Panjang Nora, Rumah Panjang Kam, Rumah Panjang Gasah, Desarus, Limbang – SMK Limbang, SMK Kubong, SJK (C) Yuk Hin and SJK Chung Hwa Limbang.

For the first time since its inception six years ago, the BB Love Box was done simultaneously throughout Sarawak’s three regions Southern (Kuching and Sri Aman), Central (Sibu, Bintangor and Sarikei) and Northern (Bintulu, Miri and Limbang).

Publicity on the Love Box was further enhanced through major newspapers, the popular radio station TEA FM and social media platforms Facebook, YouTube and Whatsapp.

Rev. Dr. Tie King Tai, the President of the Methodist Sarawak Chinese Annual Conference (SCAC), personally helped to promote the project with video via YouTube and Whatsapp. Other pastors who also enthusiastically promoted the Love Box were Rev. Alfred Damu Bulang (St. Columba Anglican Church, Miri), Rev. Law Hui Seng (Eng Tao MC, Sibu), Rev. Nicholas Tan (Gereja Methodist Tudan, Miri) and Pastor Linberg Wong (Agape Grace MC, Miri), Rev. Winnie Lau (Gan En MC, Miri), Rev. Eric Hii (Hwai En MC) and Rev. Lu Yia Ping (Mei Ann MC).

A Mosaic of Generosity
Encouragement and support for the Love Box came in all forms of unexpected and pleasant surprises bundled with heartwarming stories.

When YB Dr Michael Teo Yu Keng, the Member of Parliament for Miri, pledged RM3,000 during the Opening Ceremony, the BB Sarawak State Council subsequently received RM5,000!

The community-at-large are such a generous and caring people. During the event period, so many good-hearted people came forward to donate unconditionally. Many were humble and chose to remain anonymous.

At the Bintang Mall Love Box booth, a group of five visiting students from SJK Chee Mung (Batu Niah), even pooled their pocket money to buy a 2-kg packet of Milo! Their testimony was uploaded to Facebook. “I’m sure these students have learned the good moral value of helping others who are in need. Thank you to Miss Choo Chung Mee, the teacher-in-charge of these students. You have taught them education is not confined to learning inside the classroom only,” commented Commissioner Hii in his speech.

A young family from Brunei bought three bags of rice, Milo, school bags without any hesitation when they were approached by the BB Officers on duty at the booth. Such acts of generosity were aplenty and encouraging.

“Helping people when they are down is the gift of a helping hand depicted in the Book of Ecclesiastes (4:9) and a friend brings warmth to our lives.,” continued Commissioner Hii, who is also the Honorary Captain of 7th Kuching Coy.

“We cannot deny there are needy people in our community. During this season of Christmas, it is a timely reminder for the more fortunate to render practical and emotional support to the less fortunate. In The Boys’ Brigade, it is our duty to lift them up. When we bless others, we in turn receive blessings, encouragement and strength,” he added.

Big corporations Pullman Waterfront Hotel Miri and Sarawak Oil Palms Berhad participated as collaborators in Miri. The former even organized a Christmas Lighting Ceremony on Nov 22 and extended their invitation to students and teachers of Tudan Learning Center to the event, followed by a scrumptious buffet dinner.

The Boys’ Brigade Sarawak State Council thank all who have donated and helped make the BB Love Box an overwhelming success.

BB Juniors Leadership Camp

One for the album – Group photo of participants and officers.

by Lt James Tc Wong, 4th Miri

Miri – The Sarawak State Boys’ Brigade Council organized a Juniors Leadership Camp from Sep 8 – 9 held at Permy Methodist Church.

Officers and Helpers from 3rd Miri, 4th Miri, 6th Miri and 7th Miri were involved in the 2D/1N camp attended by 42 Boys and Girls ages 10-12 years.

The goal of the camp was to inculcate good character values and to prepare the Juniors for leadership roles in the future.

Ice-breaking – “Trees and Squirrels “.

Moreover, Juniors are now at a vulnerable age when character-building needs to be firmly instilled before they reach adolescence after which the moulding of good character will be more difficult and challenging to fulfill.

Sarawak State Training Chairman Lt Aaron Tieng (1st Sibu) was the event trainer. “I’m delighted to work with the Miri BB Companies. Today’s young people are heavily influenced by social media. They learn the world through the tiny screen in front of them. They may not be adequately prepared to face any challenges growing up. We have a huge responsibility and task ahead to guide our young Members,” he emphasized.

Before the camp commenced, the participants were briefed on the importance of:

1. Punctuality

2. No gossiping/unnecessary chatting

3. Caring for fellow Members

4. Respect for all

5. Honesty

During the camp, participants learned to work with others. They learned to follow instructions, to focus on the given objectives, to be responsible for their own belongings and doings, to admit their mistakes and commit not to make the same mistakes again.

11 year-old Leading Boy Andy Sii (White Lanyard, 6th Miri) shared his testimony during the camp debriefing: “What burdened me during this camp was the responsibility looking after my balloon; making sure it didn’t burst due to any carelessness caused by me. I’m really relieved when our trainer announced that the task was over which meant that I took good care of my balloon. I also aspire to be a higher-rank Leading Boy.”

7th Miri Emily Kiu commented that she was apprehensive in joining the camp initially because it was her first time away from her parents hence making her feeling insecure. “I’m glad I joined because I’ve learned a lot and made new friends.”

In closing, Lt Aaron Tieng said: “I do hope the camp is not the end for them, but a new beginning to grow with a good character. The Juniors are our future leaders and we need to train them well. I believe with this training, and the support from schools and families, we are able to transform our Juniors to be better leaders for tomorrow.”

(To enroll your child in The Boys’ Brigade in Malaysia, kindly contact Lt James Tc Wong, Miri Outreach Coordinator, at jamestcwong@hotmailcom).


With Hee Mang and Terry at Signal Hill Eco Farm Restaurant on Aug 23.

By Lt. James Tc Wong, 4th Miri Coy

Aug 26, Miri – I was attending church service last Sunday morning when an unexpected message from my good brother-in-Christ via Whatsapp was delivered to my mobile phone.

To my disbelief, Ho Hee Mang informed me that he had sudden chest pain the day before and had undergone an emergency angiogram and angioplasty on that same afternoon! Medicated balloons and stents had been inserted into his clogged heart arteries.

As I tried to clear my dazed disposition, Psalm 56:3 came to mind: When I am afraid, I will trust in You.

Wife Roseline and I had arrived in Kota Kinabalu just last Thursday (Aug 23) from Taipei. Enroute home Miri, we had planned a night stopover to meet up BB Officers for outreach discussion.

Ho and his wife, Terry, came to fetch us for dinner. The following morning, Ho even brought us for breakfast before sending us to airport. There was no signs whatsoever that he was feeling unwell, I recalled.

On Sunday afternoon, I managed to speak to Terry. Thank God for His mercy, the wife proclaimed! And thank God for BB Asia, she continued to praise God. If not for BB Asia, my husband would have a less hectic schedule and he would have participated in marathons, she added.

The following is the transcript of Terry’s message via Whatsapp:

Thank God, my husband was discharged within 24 hours, with five stents inside his coronary arteries that supply blood to the heart. Sorry for the medical information overload but I just wanted you all to know that God’s healing hand is in this! Let me testify that the Lord God is so good to us.

Ho could have had a massive lethal heart attack that day. He had one 99% blockage on one of his coronary arteries. He had another one major coronary artery that was 100% blocked. All in all, a total six sites of severe blockages in a four-vessel disease.

The miracle is this: he could have had a heart attack way before this but he didn’t. Because another artery was sprouting many small arteries called collaterals to cross cover the part of the heart that was supplied by the 100% blocked artery.

The sudden chest pain happened because these collaterals were also starting to get critically blocked recently.

And this is an inherited disease as he has a strong family history of heart attacks. This disease occurred despite my husband being a non-smoker, not obese, no diabetes and not-so-high blood cholesterol. He only had a well-controlled hypertension.

In the old days, he would have to undergo bypass.

If I may add to this testimony, the other thing is this: You might know that Ho was running full 42km marathons many years back. Because of the nature of his traveling job in Boys’ Brigade Asia, he didn’t register for any over the last two years. This also is God’s grace and mercy. Because from the way the coronary arteries looked, the doctor informed that the blockage had been gradually increasing over the last two years as well!

Imagine if he had been running full marathons during this period of time! He would be in the news; sudden death during the run!

Ho didn’t have any significant early signs of chest discomfort. It would have been one major lethal attack during the run!


While I’m not the first of God’s people to praise Him for His unfailing love and mercy, I thank God for giving Roseline and I a “front-row seat” to witness His miracle given to the Ho’s family in unexpected ways.

All glory to God!

(Ho Hee Mang is currently the Sabah State Commissioner, The Boys’ Brigade in Malaysia. He is also the Executive Secretary of The Boys’ Brigade Asia. A warm and friendly BB Officer, Ho is also an avid mountain trekker and marathoner. In his leisure, he also enjoys deep-sea fishing and photography. Ho is married to Terry Huang, a medical doctor who owns a paediatric clinic. Both husband and wife serve actively in 2nd Kota Kinabalu Coy. A God-fearing family, they have two wonderful children.)

2018 Miri Love Box Committee – (4LR) Rev Winnie Lau, Capt Law Sie Siek, Capt Sim Tze Sian. Photo credit – Eric Yu

by Lt. James TC Wong, 4th Miri Company

Jul 9, Miri – The Miri Love Box Committee for The Boys’ Brigade in Malaysia (B.B.) was formally commissioned at Gan En Methodist Church during the 5th Miri’s Enrollment Sunday Service yesterday.

The commissioning was conducted by Rev. Winnie Lau, who is also the Chaplain for 5th Miri Company and Pastor-in-charge of Gan En Methodist Church.

Also present to witness the commissioning was Capt. Sim Tze Sian, the Organizing Chairman for the B.B. Sarawak State Council 2018 Love Box Project.

Since its inception in 2012, the B.B. Love Box community project has collected and distributed 27,000 gifts to needy families and students irrespective of their race and religion during the Christmas season.

Capt. Sim, who is also the B.B. Sarawak State Council Chairman for Social Welfare and Community Service, flew in from Kuching to witness the commissioning.

Clearly elated, Capt. Sim who is also the Captain for 2nd Kuching Company, commented: “Thank God for Miri and Limbang Love Box Committees. I can see their passion in this project. This year, this project is on a state-level platform (Southern Region – Kuching, Sri Aman, Central Region – Sarikei, Bintangor, Sibu, Northern Region – Bintulu, Miri, Limbang) which is unprecedented. We want to ensure the project’s effectiveness by synchronizing and utilizing B.B. resources through Sarawak with the purpose to benefit more recipients. Well done, Miri and Limbang Committees! May God use us and the Love Box as a channel to share His Love with the needy.”

Miri Love Box Organizing Chairman Capt. Law Sie Siek expressed his appreciation and thanks for the positive responses received. “In particular, we wish to thank Bintang Mega Mall for sponsoring us a free kiosk during our project period from Nov-Dec as we seek gifts from the generous public. We also wish to express our thanks to schools, Pullman Waterfront Hotel, Sarawak Oil Palms Berhad and BEM On The Rock which have expressed interests in collaborating with us in this community project.”

The Love Box targets to solicit and distribute 17,000 gifts based on the following: Southern Region – 8,000 gifts, Central Region – 3,000 gifts, Bintulu – 2,000 gifts, Miri and Limbang – 4, 000 gifts.

Each gift the donor gives in kind is worth around RM25. The five specific gifts are Milo, Rice, School bag, Towel and Stationery.

For more information about the Love Box, please contact via Whatsapp: Southern Region Lt. Michael Hung (012-8881314), Central Region Capt. Tang Sing Onn (019-8884388), Bintulu – Capt. Henry Chew 016-9807411, Miri – Capt. Law Sie Siek 013-8305779), Limbang – Hon. Capt. Lawrence Wong 013-8398778).


One for the album! Photo credit: Helper Mr Edmund Wee of 4th Bintulu using drone.

by Lt. James TC Wong, 4th Miri

MIRI – “Still work in progress,” announced Capt. Loh Pau Joo, President of The Boys’ Brigade in Malaysia in his opening address during the 54th Brigade Council Meeting.

The Brigade President was referring to the revamping of the Exco’s structure and functions. New programs and activities centered on the various sections and age groups needed to stay relevant to the changing times. “But if we work together, I’m sure we will be able to come up with an ideal system for the benefit of our young people,” he added.


Brigade President Capt. Loh Pau Joo making his speech. Photo credit: WO Lim Thiam Hee, 1st Ampang Jaya.

The Brigade President also mentioned the revival of the National Bible Quiz after a seven-year abeyance. He extended his thanks to Officers for their action because they had encouraged Members to participate. “I’d like to record a special thanks to Scripture Union Malaysia and Pristine World for partnering with us in making the revival of this quiz possible.”

Other important items articulated by the Brigade President included the Constitutional Review, and a revamp in the Seniors’ Section syllabus and programs that would help Officers in better carrying out awards syllabus in schools.

In winding-up his speech, Capt. Loh said, “Moving into my final year as Brigade President, I ask that you join me in prayer that the Lord our God will send the right volunteers and groom the next generation of leadership.”

He reiterated that he was encouraged and pleased with the current younger and proactive Exco this term. “With more young people coming onboard, I’m confident that BB Malaysia is in good hands. Indeed our hope has always been in our Heavenly Father, who has given us this hope like an anchor, that is ever Sure and Stedfast. For those of us already in the Brigade, it is our calling and responsibility to carry out the BB Object, which in many ways is a reflection of the Great Commission but with an additional educational aspect to it. It is our role to serve our young people, and indeed, serving God with our very best,” he concluded.

Over 170 delegates from the various State Councils throughout the country attended the AGM in Miri from April 20-21.


Lt. Raymond Tie (4th Miri) inviting Datuk Bandar Miri Adam Yii to receive the General Salute from Guard-of-Honor. Photo credit: WO Lim Thiam Hee, 1st Ampang Jaya.


Brigade President Capt. Loh Pau Joo escorting Miri Datuk Bandar Adam Yii during the Guard-of-Honor. Photo credit: WO Lim Thiam Hee, 1st Ampang Jaya.

The Guest-of-Honor gracing the event was Miri’s Yang Berbahagia Datuk Bandar, Adam Yii Siew Sang.

Other invited guests included Mr Tham Leong, Malaysia’s Honorary Brigade President, and representatives from the Sarawak Convention Bureau – Senior Business Development Manager, Mr Donny Tan and Bid Designer Mr Aaron Siaw.

For the Opening Ceremony, Datuk Bandar Adam with his entourage, arrived at Mega Hotel around 9:45 am on April 21.

He was warmly welcomed by the BB Sarawak State Commissioner Hon. Capt Hii King Ong, followed by Brigade President Capt. Loh introducing the respective National Exco members to the Datuk Bandar.

The highlight of the Opening Ceremony was the General Salute from Guard-of-Honor, which was solemnly received by the Datuk Bandar.


Welcoming Datuk Bandar Adam Yii with a pua kumbu (Sarawak Iban shawl) and a colorful-beaded necklace. Photo credit: WO Lim Thiam Hee, 1st Ampang Jaya.


Students from SMK Bakong performing a magnificent traditional welcome for all. Photo credit: WO Lim Thiam Hee, 1st Ampang Jaya.

Much to delight of the guests and delegates, a pua kumbu (Sarawak Iban traditional shawl) and a colorful-beaded native necklace were presented to Datuk Bandar Adam as he entered into the hotel foyer for the Indigenous Welcoming dance performed by SMK Bakong (1st Beluru).


Delegates welcoming the Datuk Bandar. Photo credit: WO Lim Thiam Hee, 1st Ampang Jaya.


Datuk Bandar Adam Yii making a speech. Photo credit: WO Lim Thiam Hee, 1st Ampang Jaya.


Brigade President Capt. Loh Pau Joo presenting an appreciation plaque to Datuk Bandar Adam Yii. Photo credit: WO Lim Thiam Hee, 1st Ampang Jaya.

In his welcoming speech, Datuk Bandar Adam thanked Brigade Malaysia for inviting him to officiate the event. The good Mayor also welcomed all the delegates and congratulated the Miri team for doing an excellent job in coordinating the organizing of the event. “Well done, Sarawak Boys’ Brigade – YOU BOLEH!” commended Datuk Bandar Adam.

Datuk Bandar Adam also challenged the Boys’ Brigade to reach out to more rural schools. “Learning in classrooms has its merits and limitations. To equip our young people to become committed and responsible citizens, it is imperative to bring them to learn outside the classroom too. This is where The Boys’ Brigade comes in. May I suggest that you introduce your BB program to more rural schools because I believe the rural students will benefit tremendously through activities that inculcate discipline and leadership skills,” added Datuk Bandar Adam.


Brigade National Chaplain Rev. Chieng Yu Hoo presenting an appreciation plaque to Mr Donny Tan, Senior Business Development Manager of the Sarawak Convention Bureau.

In his exhortation “We are the Saints in Christ”, Brigade National Chaplain Rev. Chieng Yu Hoo used Ephesians 1:1-4 as guiding verses.

The key points were:

  • We have been called by God to be His new creation, new community, new kingdom, and new household family.
  • Only Jesus alone is our Salvation and our Lord; no other Gods or persons can we rely on and stand for.
  • Because of our different and unique identities, we have to carefully to live our life.
  • Our life on earth is temporary because our destination is eternal life in heaven.
  • We are vulnerable to undesirable influences and material things in our environment but we need to stand firm on the Truth and Salvation.

In concluding his message, Rev Chieng asked all present to reflect on two things:

  • Fix our personal values and identities in Christ, not on worldly perceptions.
  • Persevere to serve in the BB ministry though it is challenging.

“May God continue to bless BB ministry through us, the Saints of Christ, in Christ and for Christ,” said Rev Chieng as he ended his exhortation.

Special Awards
President’s Badge – Sgt Ng Kie Cheng, 5th Miri
President’s Badge – S/Sgt Chew Zheng Kiat, 4th Kuching
Founder’s Badge – L/Cpl Than Ye Hao, 7th Kuching
Bronze Service – Lt Yeoh Kee Sing, 16th Penang

Lauding the event in Miri, visiting delegates had these comments to say:

“First of all I would like to congratulate Bro James and team for hosting a wonderful BCM in Miri. Appreciate the personal pick-up from the airport upon my arrival. It’s these small gestures of personal touch to see to the needs of the guests which makes your service 1st Class. I enjoyed my first trip to Miri very much and the fellowship and catching up with old friends in the BCM. All our needs were very well taken care of by the host. Well done and thank you!” – Capt. Jason Chong, 1st Johor Bahru

“A great BCM 2018 meeting, well organised with great support from B.B. companies in Malaysia. Really glad to Sarawak Northern region team willing to take up the challenges and working together for this annual event. It is a real great experience to me ! All Glory to Our Lord! Thank you!” – BB Sarawak State Commissioner Hon. Capt. Hii King Ong

“Everything was excellent; the food and accomodation were ‘mou tak teng’ … which is a bit out of BCM norm, haha!” – Capt. SP Lin, 1st Kota Kemuning

“It was great! Love the hospitality, food and people!” – Capt. Tan Giok Hui, Selangor State Commissioner

BCM 2018 Miri-based Organizing Chairman Hon. Capt. Lawrence Wong praised the efficiency and unity of the Miri team. “I also wish to express my heartfelt thanks 1st Bintulu for sending us two trumpeters and two drummers when we needed them for the Guard-of-Honor. All glory to God!”

The Brigade Council Malaysia Committee wishes to acknowledge and thank the Sarawak Convention Bureau for their generous sponsorship of door gifts and banners to the event.


Flor Nera Woodford reminisces the sweet Methodist International Fellowship Night in Kapit way back in Dec 1964. At her left hand is the Bentara Bintang Sarawak (BBS) Award to her late husband.          

A tribute to Lt. Edward Woodford of 4th Miri Company, The Boys’ Brigade in Malaysia

By Lt. James TC Wong, 4th Miri Coy

My wife Roseline first received news of Eddy’s passing via her Whatsapp a day after our return from Sibu whereby over the weekend, we had attended the Boys’ Brigade Sarawak State Council’s AGM and 1st Sibu Company’s 50th Anniversary celebration.

Though we knew Eddy’s health and gait had deteriorated over the past few years, and conditions worsened a couple of months ago, still the news of our former BB Officer’s demise ached our hearts.

Roseline received a call on the afternoon of March 19 from Amy Lau of GMC, asking if she would be attending Eddy’s funeral wake. Amy had also hoped that my wife could share a few words during the wake as Captain of 4th Miri which Eddy had served previously for more than 10 years. Sensing my wife’s sad apprehension, I quickly volunteered to do it on her behalf.

The wake was held at a commercial funeral home at Riam at 5:00pm on Mar 20, a day after Eddy’s passing. Most of the people present were from GMC. Pastor Linberg Wong, from Agape Grace Methodist Preaching Centre, led in prayer. He also spoke fondly of Eddy, and so did Alex Tiang and Keith Chin who reminisced the good times they shared in mission trips and church activities.

Below is the full text of my eulogy delivered during the wake service:

Mrs Flor Nera Woodford and family,

On behalf of 4th Miri Captain Roseline, Honorary Captain Mr Frederick Wong, Chaplain Mr Tan Kok Chui, and fellow Officers – I offer you our deepest condolences.

Rev. Law Hui Seng, the previous Pastor-in-charge of GMC, has also asked me to convey his deepest condolences.

The writer of the Book of Ecclesiastes writes:

To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

For us today, we have lost a wonderful, church brother. For the bereaved family, Flor has lost a loving husband, and the family; a caring dad, granddad.

It would be time to break down, a time to moan, a time to weep, a time to heal; and a time to build up in due course.

The loss of someone dear can be sometimes surreal and traumatic.

I, for one could not accept it when my dad suddenly passed away in 1986.

And at that time my wife and I just started working in Brunei and our first born son Aaron never had the chance to meet his granddad.

It took me years to get over my grief because I loved my dad so much.

We, at 4th Miri Company also love Eddy and Flor.

Eddy together with Flor, were part of the founding Officers in 2002 when 4th Miri was formed. Pastor Law Hui Seng was a strong supporter of the Boys’ Brigade Ministry. Led by Honorary Captain Mr Frederick Wong, the team of dedicated Officers and Helpers began the ministry by recruiting Juniors from Sri Mawar Primary School because the church simply didn’t have the numbers.

Now into our 17th year, 4th Miri Company, our church-based ministry has expanded to two schools with membership adding the Sarawak’s BB membership to 4,000 members in 40 Companies.

Like all church ministries, we face challenges from time to time. But we are encouraged by Eddy’s “I can do it” attitude. Eddy and Flor never stopped serving in 4th Miri if they could. They only stopped during the past few years when they faced frailty and health issues.

Many of you know Eddy as the cheerful and happy-go-lucky man. But I can say many of you don’t know that Eddy was instrumental in setting up a BM ministry that eventually led to the formation of Tudan Methodist Church.

In 2005, Eddy proposed to Rev Law Hui Seng to start a BM ministry in the areas of Pujut 7 and Tudan. The first family contacted were the Gemongs. Together with 20 others, Mr Gemong and his family were the first group to be baptized. During Tudan outreach, Eddy and Flor together with several GMC members like Mr and Mrs William Ketit, Mr and Mrs Mak Mek, Margaret Lee and Audrey Lui persevered relentlessly in the BM ministry.

Eddy was also passionate on short-term missions to Ulu Belaga, Kapit, Balingian and Rh. Tatom in Selangau. His talent in languages and dialects made his a ‘people’s person’ – easy to relate to and get along with.

Eddy is my role model. Eddie never missed any prayer meeting for no good reason. At that time, prayer meeting was on Tuesday night. I would see him and Flor seated at the aisle left seats.

It was hardly surprising to see him present or participate at church events because he made the effort to be available.

I want to thank God for sending Eddy to me and my family, to 4th Miri Company.

Till we meet again, Eddy, Rest In Peace, my dear brother.


Wedding of Eddy and Flor on Dec 18, 1965 at Kapit Methodist Church. Photo credit: Flor Nera Woodford.

Born Edward Kenneth Thomson Woodford in 1937 in Kuching to an Australian father and an Iban mother, Eddy grew up and studied in Sri Aman and Kuching. He worked as an Overseer in the District Council from 1961-1967 in Kapit.

In early 1960s, many Americans believed they were standing at the dawn of a golden age. Kapit soon became a thriving evangelism hub for American-sponsored Methodist missionaries as they built school and hostel to cater for the local indigenous children’s education.


Eddy and Flor in Kapit. Photo credit: Flor Nera Woodford.

It was in Kapit that Eddy met and fell in love with his future wife. The beautiful, petite Methodist missionary Florentina Nera hailed from San Roque, San Manuel, Pangasinan, The Philippines. Initially Florentina was reluctant to commit to a relationship as she was on a working contract. Eventually true love prevailed and the couple tied the knot on Dec 18, 1965 at Kapit Methodist Church with the wedding service conducted by Reverends Burr Baughman, Joseph Andrew Fowler and Terence Joseph.


Eddy and Flor taking a stroll by the river in Kapit. Photo credit: Flor Nera Woodford.

Over the years, Eddy also worked in commercial companies in Sarikei, Bandar Seri Begawan and Seria before joining Sarawak Shell Berhad. He retired in 1992. Besides actively serving in church ministries, Eddy was also passionate in community services and deserving of the ‘Bentara Bintang Sarawak’ (BBS Award) in 2000 by the then TYT Sarawak Abang Muhammad Salahuddin Abang Barieng.


Lt Eddy (4th from left) attending the BCM 2005 in Miri. Photo credit: Flor Nera Woodford.

Daughter Sharon remembered her dad with much love and gratitude. “Dad was strict and straightforward. He seldom raised his voice or got angry. He was responsible and looked out for his family whenever he could. Dad was thrifty but not with time. He would make time for his family and other people who needed his help. He didn’t express his love but I know he loved us a lot.”

The Boys’ Brigade Sarawak State Council Executive Secretary Lt Hu Wei Ung commended the dedication of Eddy and his wife. “Despite their advanced years, Eddy and Flor were always enthusiastic about BB and the advancement of Christ’s Kingdom. We were very privileged that they were our team in Sarawak,” he added.


Eddy during his church mission trip to Ulu Kapit. Photo credit: Flor Nera Woodford.

This Easter, as I conclude this tribute, and when no words are enough to express our gratitude to Lt Edward Woodford – let us take a moment to ponder and appreciate the ‘Eddys’ in our lives; the  Officers (past and present) who dedicated themselves unconditionally to The Boys’ Brigade. Sure and Stedfast, all glory to God!