Inaugural aircraft flight 1947

In May 1946, my father France Pak Lin got the permission from Grand father to marry Lise Francette Ah Lim on the condition that they would soon after move to China to prepare the grounds for the return of the family back home in China. My grand parents wanted my mother to learn to speak Hakka and to embrace the Hakka culture. Soon after, they boarded a ship to Hong Kong. After a short stay in Hong Kong they traveled to Mei Shien via Swa Tow: sea ferry to the port of Swa Tow from Hong Kong and by a river barge up stream from Swa Tow.

They had never travelled outside Mauritius before. Their knowledge of English and French were helpful. Fortunately, father had many Mauritian friends settled Hong Kong of the like of Edouard Leung and Li Wan Po, who helped them during his transit in Hong Kong.

Poor mother, an island young girl on her first trip to foreign land, pregnant of me, her first child, migrating to a small village in China where she could hardly communicate with the extend family and relatives. It was hard time there. There was no running water nor had any toilet in their home. She had to learn to live in a farm in remote China. The ways and means of living as well as the standard were well below what she was used to before.

When the time of delivery came, mother told me that she was taken on a bicycle from the ancestral home and farm to the hospital managed by German catholic nurses in town. It was in the hospital that I visited in 1999: 52 years later that I was born.

Only a few months after my birth, the situation in South China became unbearable for my parents: they lived the invasion of hooligans in the province and the imminent civil wars reaching the region. Father immediately got me and mother in a flight on a small military aircraft to SwaTow whilst he got on a river barge to the port. That was my inaugural aircraft flight. Then together, all three of us took a sea ferry back to Hong Kong where we stayed for sometime in Wan Chai at St Francis hostel before catching a steamer to Mauritius.


#1 Olivier on 11.26.07 at 8:40 pm

This is a fascinating story. I’d like to read more

#2 joseph on 12.02.07 at 10:32 pm

You will get more on and off

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