Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A period of mourning

Syawal 1433 Hijrah arrived days after a period of mourning for me personally. I lost three friends in the holy month of Ramadan, when their souls returned to their Creator at death.

The demise of Datuk Husin Anwar on August 11 at 3.44 am came as a shock. I got the news from RTM's Hafizal Hamad around 5.30am. He was apparently suffering from cancer.

It was not a norm for a general secretary of FAM to have a Datuk as his PA, a question I duly posed to Datuk Seri Dr Ibrahim Saad, but cigar-smoking Husin was always affable and welcoming. He was once proposed to be nominated to challenge for the Malaysian Fencing Federation's presidency.

Allahyarham Husin (right) with the Prime Minister.

Allahyarham Husin with Indian superstar Rajinikanth

A few days later, my old colleague at the Malay Mail, Harny Abu Khair, sent me a private message on FB, breaking the news that former New Straits Times sportswriter Juli Suharni Jaafar had passed away. Read
here. As described by the paper, Juli was certainly an editor par excellence, with an intimate knowledge of the F1 industry and a true Madridista. It was common for her to come over to the Malay Mail sports desk and discuss La Liga with us when the rest of the world were transfixed on the English game.

Juli on the left, with Lim Teong Kim in Germany.

Read her piece on Alex Yoong here. Each time she went to Madrid, Juli would bring back for me mementoes, including the 2002 UEFA Champions League final souvenir programme which I treasure most. In 2010, Juli invited me to write for Brunei Times as a columnist, a privilege which I could not turn down. Read here. Years earlier when Intan was hospitalised following a major surgery, Juli and Harny were among those who paid us a visit at HUKM, a gesture that remains embedded on my mind. A generous and gentle character, Juli will be sorely missed. Her remains were laid to rest in Yan.

On Aug 15, we bade farewell to Datuk Punch Gunalan.

Al-Fatihah and Rest in Peace, my dear friends.

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