I can still remember when I first met her, it was during our University days at The University of Queensland (UQ). I was in my final semester and she arrived to start her first semester. Being a smaller campus (Ipswich Campus) than her other main (a.k.a big sister) St. Lucia campus, the international students community were a lot smaller in size and it was easier to recognise and know who were fellow international students, as well as those who were from our home country, Singapore.
As I was one of the seniors there on the campus during that time, I tried to help in whatever possible for the juniors who just arrived from overseas preparing to enter university life. My first impression of her, as a junior from UQ, was very friendly and bubbly, full of life and enthusiasm. Her personality and character made her well liked among the international students community in the campus.
Upon my graduation and return back to Singapore, our paths did not cross again until a few years back, I met her again at one of our local alumni gathering events in Singapore, organised by University of Queensland Alumni Association of Singapore (UQAAS). Thereafter, she got more involved and active with UQ alumni as well as UQAAS events. Her energy, enthusiasm, friendly and bubbly character and personality, are like a shining light for the rest of the UQAAS community. She made many more new alumni friends that would also give her the same and even higher level of testimonial and recognition that I wrote here.
She was an amazing young lady entrepreneur, helping out in her family business, driving new ideas and innovation forward. Her leverage and usage of marketing in all different aspects and channels, combining old and new, made me respect and admire her a lot. She’s a very good role model for young entrepreneurs, as well as giving back to society too. She’s not just the brains, she also had the skills and hands on experience in running a business. When I saw her documentary feature on Channel 8, Tuesday Report, a Tuesday night documentary on local stories in Singapore and they were covering on local home grown businesses, she showed it all, with great confidence and pride. She was a trained and skilled butcher, oh yes, I sometimes introduced her as the “lady butcher boss”, to my friends, it might sound crude, yet this described her perfectly.
Her warm hospitality and friendship never fails to amaze me, as well as our local UQAAS community. Whenever I met her at UQ or UQAAS events, or event going down to her warehouse and purchase goods from her company. I would always have a chat with her whenever I can. Life goes on as usual, chatting and gossiping, exchanging stories and future plans.
Suddenly, on a Saturday afternoon in November 2016, I received a shocking message from a fellow UQAAS friend that Linda had passed on suddenly while overseas. Upon receiving that message, I was totally shell shocked, wondering what had happened to her. A few days later, the local newspapers picked the news and more information started to come out from the press. I decided not to talk too much about her sudden passing and just kept it inside. At her funeral wake, I saw her for the last time, a beautiful and capable young lady, gone too soon.
It took me some time for me to recover from her passing (and dealing with another passing right after) and pen out this short story sharing, to remember her and a testimonial to her character, personality, achievements and friendship.
Life is so unpredictable, she was still young. I (and we all) lost a good friend of our alumni community, a great role model.
Goodbye Linda, so long and farewell, you will always be remembered.