Friday, August 14, 2020

July 1, 2019

Chew Hock Choon - a Trusted Name

Chew Hock Choon is an old brand in Sibu, trusted by Foochow families for three generations. From Grandfather Chew Chiong Tack to his daughter in law, the medications prescribed have been the boon to the people of Sibu. In fact many lives were saved and many lived longer and healthier lives.

Chew Hock Choon started off as a small shop selling Chinese medicine with some reading of pulses and presciption. It was not known how he started to have an interest in Traditional Chinese Medicine but soon he and his wife started to prosper as more and more people came to realise the value of their services and their accurate prescriptions.

Mr. Chew Chiong Tak was actually born in China and arrived in Sibu before the Japanese war at the age of 14! He eventually started the Hock Choon Dispensary with the able support of his wife. Many children, including me, were seen by Mrs. Chew (Madam Kiew Sui Nguk) who was a kind lady.

Mrs. Chew Chiong Tak actually carried on serving the people of Sibu by providing traditional herbal treatments until her old age.

My grandmother used to comfort me, "Don't worry about taking her bitter medicine. What is bitter is good for you." And after drinking the bitter soup, I would be given a small piece of rock sugar as a reward.

Over the years the couple educated their children well by sending them overseas. They truly believed in education. Their children are all qualified professionals.

But one son (James) and one daughter in law decided to carry on their business which really made the people of Sibu very happy. Hock Choon Dispensary was a trusted herbalist company.

I grew up recognising the skills of Grandma Chew and knowing how important it was to have trust and integrity in business. Service was always with a smile in their shop along Bank Road.

For a long time the people of Sibu would remember their old wooden cabinets and drawers which were full of herbs from China.

Pearl Powder from Grandmother Chew was a sure cure for heatiness and children's fever.

Besides, the 8 Treasure Herbs for Duck Soup was very popular and memorable. People would visit Sibu and bring back half a dozen packets as gifts for their relatives and friends overseas.

It is very meaningful to be able to visit a favourite herbalist in your old home town and talk about old days. This shop will always be part of the tapestry of my life in Sibu.


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