Siblings describe late navy officer as loving, affectionate and their pillar of strength

From left: Honey, Diyyane and their elder brother Roderic Crister, 20, at Kampung Engkearoh, along Jalan Mongkos Tebakang, Serian.

By Karen Bong and Wilfred Pilo

KUCHING, April 25: Honey Vivianne Low will miss not having her elder sister, the late Able Seaman Joanna Felicia Rohna, around to nag and gossip with her.

The 16-year-old said Joanna will be fondly remembered for her affection, caring attitude and being a pillar of strength for her younger siblings. She also described Joanna as an unselfish person and sister who cared for all her siblings.

Honey said as the sisters got older, they tend to gossip and quarrel a lot but they always took her advice to be better sisters.

“Our sisterly affection was the bond of our sisterhood,” she told DayakDaily when met at Kampung Engkeroh last night, where Joanna will be laid to rest this morning at the village cemetery, along Jalan Mongkos near Tebakang, Serian.

Honey said she accepted her sister’s untimely demise but could not accept the fact Joanna left the family and her siblings so young.

“So she is gone and we now have to fend for ourselves and take care of each other.”

The youngest of the three sisters, 14-year-old Diyyane Yanz Love shared that she was looking forward to another jovial and festive Gawai Dayak with her elder sister, Joanna, her brother-in-law and their two children aged one and four this June after receiving Joanna’s telephone call last Saturday.

“Joanna told me that she will buy a lot of goodies, new clothes for me and my siblings and lots of food to celebrate the festival.

“She also reminded me to tidy and clean the house and be ready for the festival.”

When she was informed by family members of the terrible helicopter crash in Lumut on April 23 which took her elder sister’s life as well as that of nine other navy personnel, Diyyane initially could not believe Joanna was one of the victims but was devasted as reality sank in.

“I was looking forward to seeing her and her family and also to cooking her favourite ‘sambal petai’ which I had perfected and was a dish she loved.”

Viyyane also fondly remembers her elder sister as having a talent for sports and being an all-round athlete.

“She could play football and was good in track and field which also is why she was able to enter the navy as she could prepare herself physically.

“We are all good athletes like her and we might have that in common as siblings but we are not sure that we will follow in her footsteps and join the navy as our profession.

“Her life with us, might be short but we hope to keep and remember her fond memories, especially her kind affection towards her siblings,” she said. — DayakDaily