Joy reuniting 40 years on
MALAYSIAN Teng Huat Ng who now goes by the name "Felix" had two objectives for his first trip to Australia, "see the places" and find Yangan resident Pam Albury, only the second part was easier said than done.
The two first met in 1970; Ms Albury (who was then Mrs Mcguin) had followed her then husband Michael, who was involved in the Royal Australian Airforce, to Malaysia in 1970 and took on a role at the Salvation Army Boys Home on Penang Island.
Mr Ng was an orphan who grew up in the home and moved in with Ms Albury and her family when he became too old for the school.
"She was very helpful," Mr Ng said.
"She taught us how to swim and speak English."
For three years she continued to work at the home before moving back to Australia. Mr Ng did not stay in Penang either, moving to Kuala Lumpur.
A group of boys from the school and Ms Albury kept in contact for a few years, but one thing led to another and communications broke down.
Over the next 40 years a lot changed. Ms Albury's marriage broke-up and she moved from Tarragindi, to Esk and then to Yangan.
In Malaysia Mr Ng worked his way up to being a manager of a steakhouse.
Three years ago he retired and this month he and four others from the boys home travelled to Australia.
"We went to Melbourne, Adelaide, Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane," he said.
"When we where in Melbourne I asked a tour guide if they had heard of Tarragindi and they said it was a small suburb in Brisbane.
"I told her how I knew her name, but didn't know Pam's address and the tour guide said to try the electoral roll."
When Mr Ng arrived in Brisbane all he could think about was finding Pam.
"We went to the electoral office in Mary St and started looking for an address."
"The boys thought my last name to be Mcguin... but I was registered under Albury," Ms Albury said.
Mr Ng and the other boys knew her first husband's name was Michael so they looked for him.
"There were so many names and we didn't know his middle name," he said.
They narrowed the search by looking at areas near Esk and Tarragindi. It took them all day before they came across a Michael Mcguin in Toowoomba.
They piled into their car and headed to Toowoomba.
"It was around 8pm when we found the right address," Mr Ng said.
"We knocked on the door and he didn't recognise us.
"I asked, 'did you work at the Salvation Army boys home in Malaysia in 70-72?'.
"He said yes and I said we were looking for Pam. When he recognised me, he hugged me."
Mr Mcguin explained how he and Pam were divorced and he did not know where she was living.
Mr Ng got one of Pam's daughter's phone numbers and rang her to get the address. The group then headed to Yangan.
"On the way we phoned Pam," he said.
She answered the phone about 9pm.
"I screamed into the phone," Ms Albury said.
"I was ecstatic, I couldn't believe it.
"It had been 40 years and I never thought I'd get to see them again."
It was 10pm by the time the boys reached Ms Albury's home.
"We talked until 5am in the morning," she said.
Mr Ng will stay with Ms Albury until Monday, when he will head back to Melbourne for his flight back to Malaysia having completed his two goals.