Encounter with a photograph

Date Published:
August 27, 2000

Writing about James J. Puthucheary, my maternal uncle after he passed away in 2000 at the age of 77. The photographs were from my aunt Mavis Puthucheary’s photo collection helped find a different approach to describing my relationship to person who I knew as a child, then patriarch of my mother’s extended family, and a figure of some stature for those of his generation. The lawyer Sulaiman Abdullah thanked me for bring the photos out into the public but said nothing of my writing. Many of the photos were taken by the first husband of  Nalini Cioffi nee Nair who at that time was married to Anthony Schooling, who worked for the BBC in Singapore. How and why he had access to political prisoners is a question worth researching as a reflection of the times and the people who were incarcerated with James. In fact it was at this time that James’ penned a seminal contribution of Malayan economics. An archive –  The Life of J.J. Puthucheary – as well as a book on James – “No Cowardly Past” – edited by Dominic Puthucheary and KS Jomo are available. Recordings of James are available at the Oral Archive Unit and the National Library in Singapore.


Related Items