Grandpa Augustin

I am privileged to be the eldest son of the eldest son. I feel that this privilege gives me some responsibilities; I guess I have to be an example to carry the flag that Koung Koung planted, meanwhile I assume the responsibility to share some of the great experiences I witnessed during the days when I was with him.

I have the memory of a grandfather who all of us feared whilst being very respectful to, and more importantly he was the grandfather we cherished and loved for his great integrity and rightfulness. Grandpa was a wise with no time to fool around person. His stringent respect of his promises was known to all the persons that knew him. He had extraordinary capacity to analyze complex situations be it in business matters or be it in human relations. It is precisely for these charismas that many persons came to him for counseling.

Interestingly enough, I was told that he decided to retire from the business after  having paved the way and made sure that a structure was in place for his succession. For some time acting as the non executive chairman of the business, he used to run a meeting every Friday evening with the sons who were running the affairs of the company. To occupy himself, he undertook the responsibility of administrating the immovable properties. From memory, I can recall the building of the Ciel Bleu property, the upgrading of the bungalow at Baie du Tombeau, the reconversion of the back yard of Joseph Riviere property into two apartments, and the refurbishing of La Paix street property.

I was indeed very blessed to have been the teenager boy who had accompanied him in his work. Grandpa was very thorough in work. He was a hard worker and was very systematic and practical. Whilst the design and engineering works for building the ‘Ciel Bleu’ were assigned to Mr. Chuck and his then junior Frank AHKOON, Grandpa himself together with foreman Mr. Gaston undertook to build the 2 storey building. Several times I accompanied him to Mr. Chuck office which was at Desforges street where he discussed of the plans. For long hours, he sat at his desk, thinking and working out the details of the work as well as monitoring the costs. He was assisted in his task by Uncle Francis in this project. Hats off to the shopkeeper who graduated to builder at the late age of sixty over.

What was his secret?

He was an astute observer. No action was taken before a thorough thinking was done. He would analyze the consequences of any initiative he would take. He planned minutely before execution. He would draw and put on paper all his plans. He monitored his execution. He noted all details and compare with the plans. He reflected on his actions and though of possible improvements. He reflected and learned from his actions. He documented all his work and systematically and methodically filed all his work. He was always calm and serene as a good Chinese he showed little emotions. He lived and practiced the principles he learnt and believed – temperate and thoughtful.

An unforgettable incident

One day we were being driven in the Rover car C141 to the bungalow at Baie du Tombeau by Bye Mamode, our faithful driver. We were late as grandpa requested Bye Mamode to speed up. On the road towards Roche Bois, a herd of goats crossed the road, Bye Mamode braked. He knocked down a goat causing a dent in the grill of the car. After the accident, Grandpa told Bye Mamode: Excuse me for having caused the accident, the next time I ask you to drive fast, just say yes to me and keep on driving slowly as usual. This is my permanent instruction.


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