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Thursday November 15, 2012

An anchor to her children

Iron Lady: Khatijah polishing the anchors and (below) crafting the iron, which will be made into anchors, at her workshop in Kampung Rhu Dua, Marang. Iron Lady: Khatijah polishing the anchors and (below) crafting the iron, which will be made into anchors, at her workshop in Kampung Rhu Dua, Marang.

MARANG: Khatijah Mohamed is literally the “Iron Lady” of her family, providing an anchor to her children after their father passed away.

The 55-year-old mother of eight makes iron anchors to support her family after her husband Wan Abdul Kadir Wan Jusoh died of a heart attack last year.

Khatijah's world collapsed as the 73-year-old was the sole breadwinner.

“At that time, I almost gave up hope as the love of my life was gone. However, I knew I had to go on for my children's sake,” she said in an interview here.

Fortunately for Khatijah, she had learned the skills behind the making of anchors from her late husband, and started her own business near her home in Kampung Rhu Dua here.

The anchors range in length from about 0.3m to about 1.5m, depending on the size of the boat.

“The largest I've made was 1.5m. It took me about a week to finish. The price ranges from between RM15 and RM700,” she said, adding that she could make five small anchors every day.

Khatijah said she felt like she was honouring her husband's memory by making the an-chors.

“He used to do it as a hobby as he was fascinated by ships. His legacy lives on through my work,” she said in between tears.

She usually starts crafting the anchors at about 6am every day and is proud to claim that “every anchor is unique in its own way”.

“My sons help me with some of the heavier ones,” she said.

Besides anchors, Khatijah also makes iron platforms, which restaurant operators use to put their wok on.

On her plans for the future, Khatijah said she hopes to expand her business further and pass on her knowledge to the younger generation.

“Anchor makers are almost unheard of these days,” she said. “If anyone is interested to learn, then I am prepared to teach.”

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