Thursday, March 26, 2015

Father figures

The recurring phrase heard these past few days is "founding father" (singular, see example below):

Interestingly, the United States also bandies this term. George Washington is sometimes referred to as the "father" of post-colonial America. But most references are in the plural context. Some people get their history mixed up and confer the moniker "founding fathers" on the Famous Four, ie, those chiselled hunks alongside Mount Rushmore...

Hello, these guys span 130 years of US history...that's a bit of a stretch to call them all "Founding Fathers"!  
Most Americans agree that their founding fathers are:

  • John Adams: He was a member of First Continental Congress and was active in drafting the Declaration of Independence.
  • Thomas Jefferson: Played major role in the Revolutionary War, later went on to become the third American President.
  • George Washington: Became the first President of United States after playing a critical role in the American Revolution as the commander of the Continental Army.
  • Benjamin Franklin: He was a writer, diplomat and an accomplished inventor prior to his involvement in the American Revolution. He later served as US Ambassador to France followed by serving as the Governor of Pennsylvania.

Then there is the variation "Father of xx country". Hence, Tunku Abdul Rahman was called "Bapa Malaysia". 

This one appeared in today's ST (March 26):

Which brings us back to Singapore. So, is Lee Kuan Yew Singapore's founding father? I found that there is this series of books published by (yes!) ST Press...

Each book in FOUNDING FATHERS has:
  • the story of one Singapore founder and his contribution in the endeavour
  • growing-up days
  • surprising things we never knew about the man
  • what others say about him
  • snapshots linking the past to present-day context
  • rarely seen pictures from family archives
  1. David Marshall - The Legal Eagle
  2. Devan Nair - The Rebel With A Cause
  3. Eddie Barker - The Gentleman Politician
  4. Goh Keng Swee - The Master Sculptor
  5. Lee Kuan Yew - The Man Of Firsts
  6. Lim Kim San - The Big Builder
  7. Ong Pang Boon - The Bespectacled Crime Buster
  8. Othman Wok - The Dashing Peacemaker
  9. S. Rajaratnam - The Voice Of A Nation
  10. Toh Chin Chye - The Quiet Revolutionary


Finally, methinks this ST Life! story below got carried away with the idea of "father figure"!...

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