Beta was my sister-in-law, married to my brother Aloy. She died recently at the age of 99. Aloy and Beta had no children for the first ten years of their marriage, which took place in 1941. My father was very worried. He was very happy when he got the news that she was pregnant. Then in 1951, Jit was born. Jit has written an appreciation of his mother. I decided I would do the same.
Beta and I were very close as they lived with us in our parental home for many years, before they decided to move into a house of their own. I do not remember how many years they lived with us, as I am now 92, and my memory is not what it used to be.
Beta and I attended Kathleen La Brooy’s sewing class together. (which was just a stone throw’s away from our house at the top of Vajira Road.)When Kathleen suggested I learn to sew a lined coat to wear after tennis, Beta said, “Give me the material, and I will sew it for you, as I like to learn it”. And she made it for me. Both of us also attended a one-day class by a reputed cookery expert (Mrs Lucian Jansz) on the making of Lamprais, and we then together tried making it at home.
We did much cooking and baking together, including the Portuguese sweet Bolo Fiado, when my brother hinted that we had not made it for a long time.
I remember when my mother had to enter hospital for surgery (strangulated hernia), Beta sewed some bed jackets for her in record time. So she was adept at both cooking and sewing .
It is only now, after she is gone, do we realise what an asset she was to our family. Yes, I do miss her. May she rest in peace.