To widen our search for our root through my mother's side, I remembered one KadazanDusun old lady who attended my mother's funeral and who also sang during the funeral service. This lady Stelli Majanggan Benggon used to be my mother's playmate during their childhood days in Kampong Pulutan.
Through my cousin Yee Sze Moi, I managed to meet up with this lady at her house in Kg. Pulutan situated not far from my grandmother's old house. She is friendly and talkative. Through our conversation, it's also not hard to understand that she is also a very independent and industrious person and has worked very hard for the family. After her husband passed away in an accident three years ago, she now stays alone.
Her greatest gift is probably her singing and her ability to compose songs without any training in music. She has in fact already produced 4 CD's containing songs done in collaboration with other singers. Even during our first meeting, she just sang a number of songs for us even without our request.
Through Stelli Benggon, I came to know that I am related to the Rampas. The most prominent figure is this Datuk Louis Rampas, the current State Legislative Assemblyman for Kiulu who is also the Chairman of the Sabah Rubber Fund Board. He is the son of Rampas Gumpai, the brother of my grandmother, Lotimboi Gumpai. In hierarchy, he is my uncle.
Through conversation, I got to know that her daughter Jo-anna Sue, was crowned the Unduk Ngadau 2007 of Sabah.
From Sulah, I was told that I also have many Muslim relatives residing in Kampong Darau. To my surprise, this Muslim connection happens to be a long time friend of my cell member, Chio. This Haji as well as an Iman has worked for over 10 years compiling the genealogy of the family tracing from the Gomorun ancestry.
With Chio's help, we had no problem locating this relative's house in Kg. Darau. This relative, Hi. Mantamin is an uncle of mine. His grandmother Lopis was the sister of my great grandmother Rombis. His relationship with me was further reinforced when he showed me a photo of my grandmother which he kept with a number of other people.
When he showed me the 20mm thick genealogy book he compiled with two other persons, I found my mother's name. This is truly amazing! Now my job is to compile list of names of my siblings and the rest of the families and pass on to him to update his book.
kept by Hj. Mantamin
|60 01’ 15.40”N, 1160 08’ 35.23”E|
With my uncle Hj Mantamin and cousin, son of Hj Mantamin's brother
My great grandfather Gumpai married Rombis,
a descendant of Gomorun
My grandmother Lotimboi Gumpai had 2 children, my mother
Yee En Jin (nicknamed Amoi) and
my uncle Yee Tshan Fah (nicknamed Atai)
We were told that when they organised a family gathering of the Gomorun's descendants in 1 Borneo, more than 5,000 turned up.
P.S. I discovered from the Gomorun's genealogy that Stelli Benggon is also related to me. My grandmother came from one of the 4 children of Gomorun called Gorodong. Stelli Benggon is from the line of another Gomorun's son called Guminggon.