A few days ago we bid farewell to GL, an easy-going, amicable Chinese brother from Yangzhou, Jiangsu. Before leaving, GL generously bought snacks and drinks for the staff and the migrant brothers and sisters at the Geylang drop-in centre, many of whom address him affectionately as “大哥” (big brother). We saw him off together with hearty laughter and an outpouring of well wishes.
GL came to Singapore in 1998 in search of greener pastures. He noted that the economy back home then was not as good as it is right now, and it was difficult to find jobs. With the money he’s earned, GL was able to put his son through university. However, his life in Singapore was far from easy.
While at work, GL was cleaning a wall while standing on a 90cm-tall bench. When he was coming down from the bench, a part of it gave way, causing him to fall on his side. He had fallen on his elbow which collided into his ribs – he fractured his ribs, wrist and some parts of his hand. Till today, he experiences numbness at the back of his hands periodically, especially when he is holding something heavy.
GL’s case was not resolved at the time he had to leave Singapore. Despite having to leave with a heavy heart, he was all smiles in the face of the brothers and sisters that made the arduous time after his injury a little more bearable. He plans to take a short rest before looking for work when he returns home, and we wish him all the best in whatever he chooses to do. 大哥，再见！