Remember the accounts of Brooke family in Sarawak? Other than Francis Light, James Brooke is arguably the second most famous British historical figure in our Sejarah syllabus. He was the person that ruled Sarawak and eventually given the title White Rajah.
On Sunday (Jul 28), a descendant of the Brooke family had visited Sarawak. She is the granddaughter of Vyner Brooke, the third and last Rajah who ruled from 1917 to 1941, The Star reported.
Lady Roberta Simpson, 82, is in Sarawak and she will be visiting Sibu on Friday (Aug 2) for a few more days before returning to her home in Barbados.
Growing up, Simpson said she heard so many stories about Sarawak from her mother.
“I don’t know what my expectations were, if I had any. I knew the history (of Sarawak) and the history of my family. I didn’t know where I fit in exactly because that was some time ago.
“But coming here and meeting the people has been one of the most amazing, wonderful things in my life.
“The people of Sarawak are so warm and have welcomed me. I understand now why my grandparents talked so much about Sarawak, because they loved the people, ” she told reporters today (Aug 1).
She arrived here with her husband, Sir Kyffin Simpson and daughter Heidi. She was accompanied by her cousin, Jason Brooke, the director of the Brooke Trust and a great-great-grandson of the second Rajah, Charles Brooke.
She said it was only after meeting Jason that she felt the need to visit Sarawak, citing reasons that she had been very busy to make a visit until now.
“My mother used to talk to me a lot (about Sarawak), and I think one of the reasons I didn’t want to come when I was younger was that she told me stories about finding cobras in her bed or about the crocodiles.
“But the stories that impressed me most came from my grandmother, who talked to me about the people and the different ethnic groups. She was a painter and did beautiful portraits.
“She used to tell me that the women of Sarawak were the most beautiful women in the whole world,” she said.
Simpson is an author of three children’s books. She had the opportunity to read them to the children here.
She is delighted that her Sarawak experience has lived up to the stories told by her mother.
Welcome, a cucu of the Brooke family. We hope you will have a wonderful time here!
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