Strict But Compassionate

Classmate Fabian Wong (now Colonel Rtd) said the same thing about these classes.”As boarding master, Brother Columba was strict but compassionate at the same time, mingling freely with the boarders.”

He remembered on one occasion he was anxious to meet his girlfriend who stayed some distance from the school. He asked Brother Columba to lend him his bicycle.

Brother asked what he wanted it for and he said:”To meet my girlfriend.”

Brother, to the surprise of Fabian, said “okay, okay

” and let Fabian take the bicycle.

A sports enthusiast all his life, Brother Columba was a keen footballer.

Both Fabian and Aloysius said he was the best football full-back in Sibu at the time and his defence was “impregnable.”

He represented Sibu Division in the Inter-Division Football Tournament and helping Sibu win the Sarawak Cup in 1961 was a very proud moment for him. He still keeps that medal.

In 1962, Brother Columba returned to Ireland to further his studies at the National University of Ireland, where he earned an honours degree in economics and geography.

He also had the chance to play his favourite Irish game of hurling. But the most memorable times during these three years were those spent with his family. He was 27.-The Borneo Post

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