Entries Tagged 'Family stories' ↓

Robert Tatin


Je suis pris depuis ce matin dans l’univers de Robert Tatin.

Qui est-il ?

Robert Tatin tente de jeter un pont entre l’homme et l’homme, de marier le ciel et la terre. Sculpteur, peintre, céramiste, il peuple la vieille ferme de la Frênouse, à Cossé-le-Vivien, de statues polychromes qui figurent son aventure intérieure : c’est le domptage-de-la-bête ; qui illustrent les grands principes vitaux : porte-du-soleil, porte-de-la-lune ; qui dressent un ensemble monumental en l’honneur de tout le monde : c’est Notre-dame-tout-le-monde. Depuis peu, la Frênouse est devenue musée. La place manque ? il prolonge son œuvre par un chemin de statues qui rejoint la route et peut-être ira jusqu’à la mer. Ce livre de dessins et poésie tend un nouveau bras. Alain Barré.

Le Jardin des Méditations

Comme la maison de Robert Tatin, l’œuvre est orientée est-ouest, la Porte du Soleil au levant et la Porte de la Lune au couchant. Ces dernières encadrent un bassin central en forme de croix d’où émerge Notre-Dame-Tout-le-Monde (6,50 m de haut), qui se dresse vers le ciel étoilé comme la promesse d’un cosmos à notre portée. Les petits personnages sculptés autour du bassin représentent les activités humaines et les grands événements de la nature, propres à chaque mois de l’année. Le visiteur est invité à découvrir ce patio en respectant le sens de rotation de la Terre.

De cet espace intérieur habité d’innombrables personnages à la polychromie éclatante, s’élèvent deux escaliers attirant une nouvelle fois le regard vers le ciel. Autour de l’ensemble, un déambulatoire nous conduit à découvrir les salles d’expositions…

A travers des images pourvus par internet et les sites web j’ai pris plaisir non seulement de connaitre l’homme mais également de puiser à travers des ses œuvres sa pensée. Pas une tarte je dirai !

Je retrouve ici, une parole de ma grand-mère, qui par tradition disait qu’il fallait toujours orienter son lit sur l’axe est-ouest pour bien se reposer. Bien plus tard, j’ai compris que notre corps situant dans cette position été moins exposé aux champs magnétiques de la terre !

C’est bien un voyage en Mayenne que j’ai entrepris aujourd’hui.

Are our talents inherted of learned?


Is there a gene for painting or drawing? Is the gift of Painting or Drawing in born or learnt?

I was talking to my mother in law( Chong Moy Fong) last night and congratulated her for the great success and talents of his son Mario Ng who for years in Mauritius lived off his art and teaching Art. Unfortunately, the market for Art is not locally developed enough for Mario to make a decent living; he has since migrated to Australia.

My mother in law told me the very interesting story of her father who in his days without training had the talent of drawing sketches. He was commissioned by his fellows’ villagers of Mei Shien to draw their pictures and their relatives. He was gifted. My Mother in law contributed this particular gift to have been genetically transmitted to Mario.

Last night going through Frickr of my nephew I saw the wonderful painting of his brother. Whereas Mario had undergone years of training in Montreal and later at Ecole des beaux Arts at the Sorbonne, nephew Steven Lam an architecture student did not receive training in Painting as far as I know.


I believe that the grains of the painting and drawing  are in all of us. The potential is latent and waiting to be developed. Our son Oliver in his graduate year of HSC attempted to Art as a subject. He did not pursue in the field.

Perhaps there is a special gene for Painting & Drawing, I trust most of us have received it, yet most of us have not developed it to excellence.

Are such gifts then in born or acquired by training?

Francette & Jessie (part 1)

During my last visit to Montreal, Canada, I made it a duty to pay a visit to two of my mother’s cousins who now lived in Canada. It was a very emotional visit both for me and for Jessie who was a  close person to my mother. More than sisters they were confidents to each other in their childhood and youth.

Mum had the misfortune to have been born in a poor family whilst her cousin Jessie was born and bred in an endowed s family. That was their fates. In the early twenties, just past the First World War, Mauritius then started to pick up economically. The steam ships restarted operating to link the various ports of the world. Port Louis was an essential halt port for the steamers serving the Eastern countries, namely China, the British colony of Hong Kong, Dutch colonies of Indonesia, the Malayan states and South Africa. Bold Chinese traders had risked their lives earlier a few decades before saw their lots improving.

Chan Chong Kwan the farther of Jessie was one of them. He moved to Mauritius as a boy of 15 around the turn of the century. He ran a retail small shop in Roches Noires area after having spent his years of apprenticeship with a prosperous Chinese a wholesaler of the capital.  Some years later having saved some money he decided to move from the country side back  to town to raise a family. Young Chong Kwan was a smart entrepreneur; he not only continued to maintain the countryside retail shop, he set up a wholesale shop and at the same time started with a wine factory. He married Germaine, daughter of Olezia Ah Fan and of Joseph Leong Son.

Unlike her cousin,  Francette, my mother  was orphan before she was born, Grand Pa, Emmanuel Ah Lim who was an employee of a Chinese gambling house, died leaving his eldest son Ignace aged 14 to look after the family of seven children. Grand Ma Anna daughter of Josephine Hitie and Mr Ahfan earned painfully a living by sewing shirts from her home to supply shops.

Solidarity amongst the members of the family prevailed. The Chong Kwan, the well to do, supported the rest of the family with clothes and in hard time money for food. On weekends and school holiday periods, the Ah Lim children stay over at the Chong Kwan in their large and spacious villa at Edith Cavell street.

Both cousins, Francette & Jessie were very close. Francette had to undergo the hardship described in one of my pervious blog to marry her love France . Hardly Jessie on the other hand was seduced by the intellectual brilliance of a newly landed scholar to the Chinese School and married Siao in grand regalia. However, few months after the wedding, Siao took the steamer back to China leaving Jessie in pregnancy. Daniel, his only son was born and for over decades, he never knew his father. Fate dictated that one cousin had difficulty in marrying and later had a harmonious family life whilst the other after a wonderful marriage had a broken family life with the absence of her husband. Indeed Siao will reappear few decades after.

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Cardinal Jean Margeot

Je l’ai toujours appelé toujours Monseigneur Jean Margeot quoique je l’ai connu Père Margeot dans ma tendre jeunesse. Il est partit pour la maison du Père ce matin.

Je jouais au football dans la varangue de grand père à la rue Joseph Rivière à Port Louis quand les deux Peres Margeot nous visitaient. J’avais peu être que 8 ou 9 ans, ils rendaient visite à nos parents qui étaient très impliqués dans les activités du diocèse. Ce soir la, le père Robert Margeot n’a pu s’empêcher de faire un tir de but vers mon frère cadet qui était dans les buts. C’est mon plus ancien souvenir de Monseigneur Margeot tout habillé de sa soutane blanche.

Au fil des années , nous nous sommes rencontres à maintes reprises. Un grand moment qui restera indébilement dans ma  mémoire : son homélie à la cathédrale pour les funérailles de Maman. Il connaissait tres bien Maman, d’autant plus que Maman participait à ses sessions de Méditation Chrétienne qu’il animait à sa retraite. Mgr Margeot faisait un hommage du travail de Maman auprès de la famille et de son entourage : il disait de Maman la cheville ouvrière pour la conversion de la famille YIPTONG et des nombreuses personnes à la vie chrétienne.

La relation de la famille avec Mgr Margeot était proche. Jusqu’au départ de Papa vers le Canada, chaque année nous recevons à diner chez nous Mgr Margeot pour la fête du printemps.

Peu avant sa maladie en 2005 encore, Mgr Margeot avait animé chez le cousins Jean et Annette des séances privées de prières à l’occasion du Carême.

J’ai une admiration pour lui, ce saint homme pour sa simplicité et son esprit d’avant garde. Pour ses 90 ans, il était encore tres averti et un utilisateur féru de l’informatique. Il avait encore des projets a mettre en place. Louanges aux Seigneur de nous avoir offert le cadeau d’une vie féconde de Mgr Margeot, un guide, un pasteur, un modèle et un grand mauricien.

Mgr Margeot nous accompagne autrement de la maison du Père.

Reiki Healing

I had a session of Reiki on me by my nephew who is receiving there on in Singapore. This is not my first encounter with this type of alternative health treatment. Some years back an old colleague took me to a Reiki Center in Quatre Bornes for two sessions. I did not experience any improvement of my health conditions then. I am of opinion that transfer of energy is possible from a person to another but I have yet to see any healing. Some psycho somatic conditions may find cure from alternative medicine, why not try? Is it the placebo effect that works? In any case no harm could be done, why not give it a try?

I am still very amazed by the amount of rituals that are performed during the session. As a patient I would feel the warmth of the practitioner on my body when he laid his hands. Did he heal me? My immediate answer is a definite ‘no’.

At least this session has given me the opportunity to search on the subject and to sharpen my knowledge on the subject.

I found that in the US, the Catholic Church has taken position recently.

In March 2009, the Committee on Doctrine of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a decree (Guidelines for Evaluating Reiki as an Alternative Therapy, 25 March 2009) halting the practice of Reiki by Catholics, including Reiki therapies used in some Catholic retreat centers and hospitals. The conclusion of the decree stated that “since Reiki therapy is not compatible with either Christian teaching or scientific evidence, it would be inappropriate for Catholic institutions, such as Catholic health care facilities and retreat centers, or persons representing the Church, such as Catholic chaplains, to promote or to provide support for Reiki therapy.”

I would like to understand more about the Reiki therapy that renders it not compatible with Christian teaching.Is it the practice and rituals used or is it the esoteric back ground or belief thereon?  I would more easily accept that no scientific evidence has yet been found. I believe that after all only God heals.

Chan Clan in Mauritius

Last night was a great celebration night for the Oy King Sar Chan Society at the Imperial China Restaurant. Three Chan were praised and given all honors by the  Chan community for their distinction in their respective fields  following their official recognition by the Nation recently.

What is the purpose of Oy King Sar Chan society? As in many countries where Hakkas have settled, it is customary for the migrants to form benevolent organisation to look after the needs of the poorer members. Solidarity and assistance to the poor are Confucian values that the community of Hakka have always lived amongst the other values. Oy King Sar Chan society which has always been present received a legal status in Mauritius in 1945. This society restricted to members of the Chan clan aims to nurture good relationship amongst the clan members, defend its members and provide social services to the community.

Interestingly enough the Hakkas have always respected the equal rights of the gender: Hakka women were given the nick name of big footed woman, as in the older days the Hakka women supported by their male counter parts refused to have their foot bound . It was traditional for the Han women to bind their feet to keep them small, as a small footed woman was then a sign of distinction.

Of the three Chan’s celebrated last night, the common thread was most importantly the acclamation of these leaders’ perseverance in attaining success through education. This is again a essential Confucian value.

Denise Chan Youn Sen was awarded National recognition for her hard work and dedication as a government civil servant. At a low entry level, Denise joined the service as a temporary accounts clerk; she retired from her service as the Chief finance officer of the ministry of social services.

Yves Chan Kam Lon was awarded by the high distinction of the 2009 US state Alumni a title given to American University student who have outstanding performance in their career. He is now heading the National library and archives of Mauritius, the guardian of the heritage of the country.

As for young Benoit Chan Sui Ko, he won the Economics award Laureate 2008. This will be the start of his career.

The Chan have to be proud of these distinctions. More importantly may the Chinese community continue to contribute to the building of the Mauritian nation.

Micheal Jackson Adieu

We are the world

We are the children

We are the one that make a brighter day

So let’s start giving

In 1985, you may recall the recording and publishing of this song that toppled at the charts. The revenue earned from this exercise was to raise funds to help the destitute children of poor Africa.

“We Are the World” written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie and recorded by a supergroup of 45 popular musicians.

In a few hours Micheal Jackson will find his eternal abode in the celebrity cemetery of Los Angeles Forest Lawn. Micheal Jackson made his mark in the world.

Last night, whilst having fun with my two grand children who are only 8 and 5, I asked them if they knew of Micheal Jackson. Surely enough they knew him and they eagerly attempted a few dance steps on his moon walking. I was not a great fan of his music but have to admit somehow my musician vibes were touched by his works and have vibrated in harmony on his top tunes.

Good bye Micheal Jackson and thank you for your contribution to world music.

Cars are there to stay

Having worked for a number of years in several car dealerships, my interest in cars got even more extensive and eager. I had the chance to visit assembly plants in Japan and India. The visit to Isuzu museum was very enriching, as I relived  the history of car manufacturing in Japan in 1998.

As a child I was always fond of cars as many boys of my age. I was lucky that  I was born in a family that owned  cars.  As such, I knew  about cars, more  than the average  teenage boy in my class. The  first time I drove was when I was 11 years old. At first I read and collected all I could lay hand on English cars, Rover as my grand father always had one. Later on, my interest got wider: one of my uncle had a red sports car Sunbeam Alpine, another uncle who was also frantic on cars has several sporty cars..Triumph, Ford and Toyota Celica.

I had my first car accident when I was only 12 or 13. It was a terrible experience, I attemped to move the cargo van in front of my parents store and seriously damaged my uncle’s car parked just in front. The clutches pedals were to high for the small boy I was. Dad did not get mad at me. I was myself full of shame. I still recall that I wrote a note to my dad to promise him that I was not drive till until I got a driving licence. I held on to my promise and got my driving licence a few days after my 18th birthday.

Should be  interested as I am in cars and particularly in the history of cars, I would advise you to purchase a DVD from Histomobile. There is little need today to possess a  hard copy car encyclopedia as I used to have.

In this world of today, carless society seems impossible. Cars of tomorrow, I imagine will be more efficient and more friendly to the ecology. Can you guest the number of persons in the world making a living off the car industry? The very recent shake out of Chrysler, GM and the major car manfacturers will give you an idea of the impact of the car industry and the related  industries on the world economy. Car industry is transforming and yet is there to stay for a long while.

Kristel & Olivier

The great day is here today the 4th July: In America it is Independence Day. For me this is a very special day. My whole family has come together to celebrate an occasion worthwhile for them to fly in from Toronto and Montreal. It has been a while since Stephane, our daughter and children as well as Olivier, our son are together with us at the same time. Marie Anne is going to perform her task of taking  Olivier to the altar!

We are going to be all ears  to witness the formal pronunciation of the vows of Olivier and Kristel to bond together their lives in the sacrament of Marriage.I am so pleased that Olivier and Kristel have decided  to come back home to take their vows solemnly in front of their parents and close relations. Sure, it is an undertaking, which in these modern times, is not as easy that before because of the fast changing mentalities and the pressures of the time.They have the blessing of God and the gathering.

Whilst one may think that a wedding is only the private engagement between the two persons, I still believe that this very private exchange of vows has an impact on the families and society at large. It is the creation of a new family unit. The ‘yes’ exchanged has far reaching repercussions. They promise to each other: to bond their lives together to love each other, to look after one another with all their might and to ensure their partners’ happiness afore of their own.

To pronounce these vows in presence of their love ones and more importantly in front of God is a well thought decision, when the matter has been thought of seriously in the preparation sessions which preceded this celebration. They had the time and leisure through the weekends spent together with specialists to discuss the issues which may crop up in their married life.

The family and friends gathering for this celebration and rejoicing is the record this momentous event and more importantly to accompany the newlyweds with their prayers and good wishes. In a way, the gathering by their presence not only witness the voluntary free will decisions of the parties concerned to bond their lives, the gathering promises support to the new family unit thus created with their support.

To Kristel & Olivier, May God accompanies you in your chosen common path…