07 February 2011

Madame Wellington Koo

To begin with, she was a daughter of the richest man in Asia Pasific. Married with a prominent politician, no doubt she was something in her era. Her real name was Oei Hui Lan, she was born in Indonesia, Semarang precisely, at 1899. Born in a very affluent Chinese family, she was a trained lady who mastered 4 languages. Her father, Oei Tiong Ham, had more or less 18 concubines with more or less 42 children. She was the youngest daughter from his father’s first wife, Goei Bing Nio. Her elder and only sister, named Oei Tjong Lan, married twice. While she only married Wellington Koo, a widower with 2 children, which made her known as Madame Wellington Koo nowadays.
Oei Tiong Ham

Her childhood was spent in Indonesia as a princess to her loving father; she was his favorite. Her mother was closer to her sister, Tjong Lan, because her sister was more lady-like than her. They went to saloon and shopping together, while Hui Lan preferred spending her time in her private zoo. Nah, don’t be surprised yet, she was a daughter of sugar magnate, Oei Tiong Ham, remember? Anything was possible for her. She had 200 rooms, kitchens, villas, 2 big pavilions, and an artificial lake  in her home, ah, palace. Oh, anyway, have I mentioned how many servants, gardeners, and cooks she had? Don’t make me do that. She had 100+ !

Not long after her sister’s marriage, her mother decided to take her and moved out from their palace. Why? Because her father married one of her so-called cousin, Lucy Ho. Her father tried to thwart her from moving out, yet as he failed, he told her something which I remembered the most, “ must be the first instead of second”. Then they moved to London, and began their jet set lifestyle. Due to her mother’s ambition, she married Wellington Koo, a famous but not well-off Chinese diplomat. After having her not-very-happy  marriage, she began to met important people, and acknowledged her new name, Madame Wellington Koo.

Wellington Koo

Her father sent her pocket-money every month, which she spent at dresses, jewelries, cars, and houses.  She loved dogs, she had more than enough dogs to play with. She also spent her money to buy her dogs the best food. After her father’s death, she inherited $AS 15million. She decided to part with her husband after hearing some rumors about her husband’s new woman. She wrote an autobiography, No Feast Last Forever, at 1975. The title reflected her life, no, not just hers, but ours!
She was a real lady, she was rich from the very first time she was born until her very last breath. I can't tell you how splendid and extravagant her life was. Ehem. Anyway, do you know why I wrote about Oei Hui Lan? Actually, I bought Agnes Davonar’s Kisah Tragis Oei Hui Lan (true story). I didn’t buy it literally, my uncle insisted on paying this book for me. Thank you!


1 comment:

  1. Will u be willing to sell ur book to me ? If yes pls email me to : sste.tang@gmail.com (or if u are not selling it, i'm willing to borrow it for a while)
    Let me know, thx