95-year-old raises money for autistic kids

Artist at work: Liang making paper flowers at her daughter’s home in Medan York.

GEORGE TOWN: Nonagenarian Liang Mee Lun managed to raise RM53,000 for a centre for autistic children by simply indulging in her hobby – making paper flowers.

Generous donors snapped up her 10 paper flower bouquets, which her daughter Chia Kien Eng put up for sale in aid of the Association of Resource and Education for Autistic Children (REACh) in Bukit Gelugor.

Liang, 95, usually crafts the intricate paper flowers to pass the time when visiting her 11 children who live in Penang, Johor, Kuala Lumpur, Melaka and Singapore.

Chia decided to promote the bouquets among her contacts through social media after learning about REACh’s plea for funds.

The Johor-born great-grandmother was bowled over and honoured by the huge amount her 10 bouquets fetched.

“I learnt to make paper flowers when I was 15 years old while studying at the Nanyang Girls’ High School in Singapore.

“Everybody had to do it. It was part of our extra curriculum,” Liang said at Chia’s home in Medan York.

During the interview, she demonstrated crafting a rose from crepe paper.

Each blossom took 30 minutes to take shape.

Chia, 61, said her mother only started making the flowers after her father died 25 years ago.

“She was busy raising us, which left her with no time at all for such a hobby. These days, she spends several hours a day making paper flowers. She is extremely neat and keeps all her craft material in a box under the table.

“It’s quite calming to see her making the flowers,” Chia said.

Besides offering the paper flowers to be sold for charity, Liang also pampers her 26 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren with her handmade flowers.

“In 2013, she made 600 roses as the door gift for guests at her 91st birthday. Last year, she made 99 bouquets for the guests at her grandson’s wedding,” Chia said.

Chia’s husband Chow Chee Keong, 61, spoke highly of his mother-in-law and her cooking skills.

“She lives her life very much like her cooking – simple and unpretentious yet tasting so good. She is elegant, dignified and magnanimous,” he said.

Lions REACh chairman Lim Eng Chye said the club was touched by the gesture as it would help cover the operating expenses of the centre.

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