Building On Friendships (Part 3)

by Patrick Liew on October 10, 2011

I met Peter, my best friend in Primary School. We spent some time chatting about the great time we had.

Peter and I were in the same class from Primary 1 to Primary 6. He was also my neighbor and he used to stay about 200m from my house.

Our parents had to work very hard. They were too busy to watch over us. We could do almost anything we want.

We spent most of the time after school together. As we were both athletes, we played many games, including football, gymnastics, softball, basketball, ‘chapteh’ and whatever games we can create.

At other times, we would wander all over Singapore. I have to confess, even as a child, we knew about and would roam around brothels (without going in of course).

I was not a ‘latch-key’ kid. I was a ‘key-less’ kid.

There were many nights, I would climb out of the window and down the pipes to leave the house and have fun.

I would return in the same way just before sunrise and before my parents woke up. They used to wonder how I could sleep the whole night and day.

My friends and I would walk all over town. Sometimes, we would jog for hours, a mini version of what Forest Gump did in the movie.

In case you are wondering, the educational system then was less pressurizing. There were hardly any homework (They should call it ‘funwork’).

All I had to do was to study just before the examinations to be promoted to the next grade. And that was good enough for me then.

Once, Peter and another friend had a misunderstanding with a ruffian. They ended up beating him.

When they told me the incident, I thought that was not a wise thing to do.

Weeks later, while we were walking along Serangoon Road, Peter was pounced upon by the ruffian and his gang of street kids.

When I looked around me, I was shocked to find we were surrounded by many fierce looking guys. Many of them were carrying sticks, chains and pipes. (Gangland fights were common in those days).

Until today, I did not know what got into me. I went calmly to the gang leader and told him, “You have beaten up my friend. You have had justice meted out.

“Please go your separate way. We don’t need more troubles.”

Shortly after, the gang leader withdrew his members. I believe I saved the day and maybe, our lives at that moment.

That was one of my most heroic acts. I learned never to run away from troubles.

Peter and I continued to be close friends until we were 14. Gradually, we went our separate ways.

34 years later, we met again. The sense of closeness was still there. I want to have more friends like Peter in my life.

I believe if I want to have friends, I must first be a friend.


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please go to ‘Notes’ found below my profile picture.

Visit my Transformation blog at

Visit my Inspiration blog at

Please read them and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!


Question: How can we be a good friend to others?



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