(From Rama’s e-mail of 20 January 2008)


My Dear Kirkbyites,


In the beginning of the month, Teresa Voon rang me to convey the sad news of the passing of Tunku Faridah’s husband. Following this, I rang Faridah on two occasions but unfortunately she was out and as such I did not have any details to pass on to our friends.


For various reasons I was not able to make contact with Faridah until on Friday, 18-1-08. In fact, when I rang her in mid-morning she was out. Finally on my fourth attempt during the night I was able to speak to her.


We had a long chat over the phone and I conveyed my condolences to Faridah.


Tunku Faridah was from the 1958/1959 Kirkby batch which makes her my Senior in college. I had not met her since college days until our Kirkby Reunion in Ipoh in 2006. I was amazed and pleasantly surprised that Faridah had managed to remain as she was in college: very friendly, very broad in outlook, very sociable and very warm.


I can empathize with Faridah over the great loss of her husband. They had been married for 45 years. When one has been a constant and loving companion for that long, we can imagine what the pain of that loss could be. By all accounts, they were devoted and committed to each other, and remained a very loving and inseparable couple all these years.


This brings to mind a saying that must specially be very poignant to Faridah: There is no greater grief than, in misery, to recall happier times. 


Faridah met her husband, Encik Omar - an Englishman who was then known as James Brian Fiddler - while playing hockey in Sungai Petani. He was the President of the Hockey Club and she was the Vice-President. That’s how they met and married, a union that was blissfully blessed and lasted 45 years. Faridah is naturally thankful that they were a pair for so long.


Faridah tells me that Omar was a man of many guises – I put it as a man of many talents! He was a planter; he was in the police and the army and was also a teacher. He was not only a man of vast experience, he was also very friendly, jovial and likeable. Salma Deen and the others who have kept in touch with Faridah would vouch for that.


I’m told that Omar underwent a successful bypass 15 years ago. Before his passing, he was suffering from a number of ailments but these never dampened his spirit or his love for Faridah. In fact, he kept saying that he was happily married to Faridah.


Though he was in a wheelchair that did not prevent him from driving Faridah around. He used to send her to school and fetch her home.


He was warded for 11 days before he breathed his last on 29 December 2007 at 11.55 p.m. The funeral took place the next day which made it possible for Faridah’s relatives from Kedah to attend the funeral.


They have a daughter who is married and residing in England.


Those of you who may want to contact Faridah may find the following information useful:


Tunku Faridah Bt Tunku Ibrahim

20, Taman Kamariah,

Batu 5 ˝, Jalan Gombak,

53100 Kuala Lumpur

Tel: 603 6189 2789 


With very warm regards,