State scouting movement mourns great loss

Simon during his active scouting days; this photo was taken circa 1984.

KUCHING: On Wednesday May 26 Sarawak lost a great, exceptional and senior scouter.

On the same day our local scout headquarters announced with sadness and regret that Simon Lee Hock Lye, aged 90, departed peacefully for heavenly abode at his residence in Taman Hui Sing, Jalan Sherip Masahor here. His demise was  due to old age.

Known popularly as Uncle Simon (28.04.1932 – 26.05.2021), he was the father of Arthur Lee Cheng Chuan, a lawyer and the chairman of Scout Property Development of Sarawak Scout Council.

To the state, Uncle Simon was an exemplary scouter, event spending his free time to be among the scouts, irrespective of gender, teaching skills including humorous storytelling and scout songs. But to this writer, he was not only a senior scouter but was an idol and friend; after all in 1984 he and wife stayed overnight at the principal quarters of SMK Sedaya, Kanowit during a trip where Simon was to officiate at the launch of Kanowit’s first Local Scout Association held in the school, then headed by this writer who was also the pioneer scout district commissioner. Simon was then state scout organising commissioner and was known to travel statewide to reach out to the all the scouting districts especially those newly formed.

It was in 1982 that this writer and Simon befriended each other, namely during a Part Four A Woodbadge Scout Leadership Course in Santubong under the leadership of four-bead Woodbadge holder Peter Lim. When the writer was rendered ‘immobile’ after breaking his glasses on his way back to camp from Telok Belian (after a compulsory overnight stay), it was Simon who led the rescue team with a speedboat. Also in the team was then Scouts chief state commissioner Datuk (later Tan Sri) Safri Awang Zaidel. Yours truly was waiting under by the beach under a shade.

The local scouting fraternity was led by its state chief commissioner Captain Zainuddin Tan Sri Datuk Amar Hamdan Sirat in giving condolences and paying last respects at Lee’s residence during the funerary wake in full compliance with the funeral standard operating procedures (SOPs) set by the National Security Council whereby only a maximum of 10 persons were allowed at a time.

Sarawak Scout Council, all the scouts and scouters of Sarawak convey condolence to Arthur Lee and family. May the soul of Simon Lee Hock Lye rest in everlasting peace.