MISSIONARIES to Sarawak: Ng Tuck Wai First Peninsular Malaya Missionary Teacher to the Ibans in Kapit

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OF the 209 overseas missionaries serving in Sarawak Methodist Churches, only two of them, Ng Tuck Wai and Lam Khuan Seng, were from Peninsular Malaya. There was another missionary Lee Bee Jin who was married to Lau Kuok Ding. Her married name is Lilyc Lau. Ng Tuck Wai was the member of the Wesley Methodist Church, Ipoh.

Missionary Ng was born on November 19, 1923 in Ipoh, Malaya. His parents were Ng Jee Wong and Peh Yong. After graduating from the Anglo-Chinese School, Ipoh in 1941, he worked in a business firm. He served diligently in church and was the vice president of the youth fellowship, the conductor of the church choir and a Sunday school teacher. Ng set up a Sunday school in Sg Siput together with some youths, and in three Sundays they recruited 165 children.

In 1947, the District Superintendent, Rev Burr Baughman was sharing about the gospel work amongst the Ibans and Ng felt the calling and wanted to be a full time missionary to serve the Ibans. In 1952, during the Malaya Annual Conference he was assigned to be the first missionary from the Malaya Methodist Church, as a teacher, to serve the Iban communities in Kapit, Sarawak. He was also the first missionary of Ipoh Wesley Methodist church.

In July 1, 1951 Ng was officially sent by the Ipoh Wesley Methodist Church to be a foreign missionary (“foreign missionary” because Sarawak was still under the British colonial rule). Thus he came to Sarawak, the other side of the South China Sea, to become a teacher in the Methodist Secondary School, Kapit.

Lam Khuan Seng Came for A Month
Coming to Sarawak during this same time was Lam Khuan Seng, also from Ipoh. He came as a volunteer teacher to work with Rev Baughman for three months. But only after a month, he felt that his calling was not with the Ibans so he left to work in the Dental Faculty of the University of Malaya.

In 1952, Ng was posted to Kapit District to serve in the Methodist School and hostel. He served with Rev. Baughman’s wife, Madam Teck Lin. In 1953, Ng’s name was listed in the name list of those serving in the Sarawak Provisional Annual Conference. When Rev Baughman was furloughing in America, he was appointed to oversee the churches in Kapit in the middle of the year.
Rev. Baughman in his report to the Malayan Annual Conference, 1952, wrote that Ng was a man of great potentials and competence, especially in his work in the school.[1] In December 2, 1953, the then District Superintendent Rev Louis R Dennis wrote in the District Report that Ng was the only Pastor-in-charge in the Sarawak Annual Conference with two assistants. The two assistants were his helpers at the Methodist School. In April the following year, he set up the Youth fellowship, inviting only the three senior classes to join the fellowship. The response from the students was good and even the Malay students also participated. The work among the youths in Kapit had a good start. [2]

In 1954, Mr Ng was transferred from Kapit to Sg Majau and Nanga Melinau, a place further upstream Rajang River. Every Sunday morning, he led the worship at various longhouses and at least once a month he would visit different fellowship groups.

From the 1955 to 1956 appointment list, we found that Ng was the preacher of Kapit Dayak Preaching Point and the principal of Kapit Methodist School.

The 1957 appointment list showed that he was on “one year study leave”. He left Sarawak for further studies in America in May 1956. From Rev Baughman’s report during the 5th Sarawak Provisional Annual Conference, held 13 to18 November 1956, Rev. Baughman described Ng as a dedicated teacher and they served together for many years. He wished Ng success in his studies and be a great instrument for the Lord.

Mr Ng served in Kapit for five years. He later left for America and did not return.

In 1961, Ng graduated from the Faculty of Arts and Craft of Berea College, Kentucky with a Bachelor Degree in Science and in 1963 he obtained his Master Degree of Science in Industrial Arts Education from the Bradley University, Illinois. He was employed by the Washington County Board of Education, retiring in 1989. He also taught at Springfield and Cascade High school. After he retired, he taught woodworking and sculpture at Homewood Retirement Village. He was a member of the Hagerstown Choral Arts and worked with the Literacy Group teaching adults to read and write. He was also a member of the Halfway Trinity church.

In his old age, he stayed at the Williamsport Home in Halfway District. He rested in the Lord in 2012 at the ripe age of 88.

Mr Ng was married to Marjorie@ Margie Louise Harvey. Marjorie was born on May 2, 1936 in Kitzmiller, Maryland, USA and grew up in the farm. Her father was a farmer, her mother was a housewife and she had a sister and a brother.

After graduating from the Alderson-Broaddus College, West Virginia State with a degree in nursing Marjorie worked in the Broaddus Hospital. She was the pianist of her church, a counsellor in the Youth and Adult Fellowship and the conductor of the children’s choir. She also served as an instructor for the student and Youth fellowships.

In January 20, 1961 Marjorie was posted to Sarawak. Owing to the lack of record, not much was known of her duration of work in Sarawak before returning to US. Perhaps Marjorie and Ng met in Sarawak and married at the age of 31 (1967) and Ng was 44 years old. They had a child, Mike Ng.


Compiled by Menglei
Translated by KT Chew & Christina

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