Gerawat pays tribute to his late father

Gerawat (centre) delivering the eulogy for his late father.

MIRI: It was a touching scene when State Legislative Assembly (DUN) deputy speaker Datuk Gerawat Gala bid farewell to his late father Gala Raut at his final resting place in Borneo Evangelical Mission (BEM) Miri cemetery, Lusut here yesterday.

Gala, 81, passed away at Columbia Asia Hospital around 1.40pm on Sunday, leaving behind his wife Damaris Isak @Sinah Laba Ayu and their three children Gerawat, Lorrain Gala and Grace Remy Gala.

During the funeral service at BEM Airport Road Church, Gerawat, in his eulogy for his father described Gala as a “devoted and loving father, who showered us with love and did all that he could to provide for us.”

Gerawat said his late father who was born in 1936 was the youngest sibling among three brothers and had a very hard life growing up.

Gala, who studied up to Primary 3, had to help his mother and siblings to do farm work, fish, hunt and do all types of adult work at an early age just to survive. He was then selected to go to Kuching for military training and was enrolled in the Border Scout and served with the British Army during the Confrontation.

“Although he was only a Primary 3 leaver, he taught me the most, including living skills such as farming, hunting and fishing. He always stressed that success is to be earned and only comes from hard work and perseverance.

Gala, who was a deacon for over 40 years in Bario, was a member of Bario Church Council.

He was awarded the Jasa Perkasa Persekutuan (JPP) by Yang Di-Pertuan Agong for his bravery during the Confrontation.

Over 1,000 people paid their last respects to Gala yesterday, including Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, Minister of Utilities Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom, Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Lee Kim Shin, Piasau assemblyman Datuk Sebastian Ting, Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) Youth Wing chief Gerald Rentap Jabu, Miri mayor Adam Yii, Federation of Orang Ulu Association of Malaysia (Forum) president Antonio Khati Galis, former deputy state secretary Datu Ose Murang, Rurum Kelabit Sarawak president Dr Philip Raja and Berawan Sarawak Association president Datin Catherine Awing Wan.