Thursday, September 12, 2013

Sarawak will always be special to Brooke family

KUCHING: For Operation Peace through Unity co-founder Gita Brooke, Sarawak will forever hold a special place in her heart, as well as the Brooke family, whose rule ended when it was ceded to the British Crown after World War 2.

The widow of the last Rajah Muda of Sarawak, Anthony Walter Dayrell Brooke, the octogenarian has been invited by the state as a special guest to celebrate the 50th year of Sarawak's independence in Malaysia and Malaysia Day, which falls on Monday.

"I think Sarawak has such a unique position within Malaysia, in the sense that it has traditionally sought for solutions to relate among the different tribes, who have respect for one another.

"Its wealth is profound," she said after visiting the Batu Lintang Memorial here, in conjunction with the 68th anniversary of the liberation of the Batu Lintang prisoner-of-war camp and Sarawak from Japanese forces.

Gita, 83, who was accompanied by her grandson, Jason Brooke, 28, who had served as the Brooke Trust honorary secretary, said it was wonderful to be in Sarawak again to share in the anniversaries, with the people continuing to embrace the Brooke legacy with warmth and close ties.

She said it was always her husband's wish to be buried in Sarawak, which would be fulfilled when his remains are interred at the Brooke family graveyard beside Fort Margherita here, after a memorial service at the nearby St Thomas' Cathedral on Sept 21.

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