Streaming of Funeral Service

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8 comments on “Leon Comber”

  1. Leon knew my father when he arrived in Malaysia in 1948 to serve as a doctor for his military service. Leon had badly cut his finger, and went to stitch it up at the hospital where he me my Dad, Ivan Polunin. Many years later, they met again and renewed their friendship. Leon even showed me the scar on his finger. Leon was a frequent guest at our home, and we were always enthralled by the tales of his adventures. He was a true and loyal friend to my parents, and even when my dad passed away and then my mom, Leon was still a good friend of our family, keeping in touch. We spent many lovely evenings together and I will always cherish my memories of him. Dear Takahi snd Akii, Please accept my sincere condolences

  2. What a wonderful celebration of a life well lived. A truly moving service, fitting for the great man that he was. Sincere condolences Takako & Akii.

  3. Takako and Akii
    Thank you for allowing us to join in this last farewell for Leon.
    It was a wonderful ceremony which must have brought on the tears from all his fans across the globe.
    I do hope at some time a proper biography will be published for this one of a kind true last of the Tuans.
    My condolences to you both.

    Ronni Pinsler

  4. Rest in peace Leon. It was really a wonderful experience meeting you at MAI. Loved chatting with you. You were my walking encyclopedia on Malayan history!!!

    Takako San, okuyami moushiagemasu.

  5. A heartfelt ceremony for a humble and talented man, I have wonderful memories of Uncle Leon and was honoured to know him. Thank you Akii and Takako, his funeral was a wonderful tribute to him. Sleep tight Leon, with much love, Claudia xx

  6. ps the MAI newsletter went out to 225 readers globally last week and the South Asian Studies Association of Australia also distributed the tributes to Leon’s life. I am happy to provide any interested person with a full copy of the tribute by email. Just contact me with a request on

  7. A beautiful celebration of a wonderful mensch and extraordinary life.
    Thanks to Takako and Akii and to Julian for a memorable service in Leon’s honour.
    Marika Vicziany

  8. I met Leon in the 1980s when he decided to make Singapore his home.
    I already had most of his books in my possession, in particular “Chinese temples”
    I was able to request he autograph these on one of his several visits to my flat , which he was happy to oblige.

    I was enthralled by his personal anecdotes of his post WW2 experiences, for example the trip to Kota Bahru as part of the group despatched to take the Japanese surrender..his run in with MPAJA and saving his own life and his colleagues, being mistaken for Japanese collaborators, by being able to respond in fluent Mandarin.
    Another adventure when he greeted Lady Mountbatten in Singapore wearing soiled working clothes because there was no time to change.

    His personal insights into the Baling conference trip, where he met and talked to Chin Peng as part of David Marshal’s entourage at that iconic meeting which he played a major part in setting up.

    Details of his life living in Johor working with Special Branch…including details of a tense meeting with his boss ..G Templer, when he was given the choice of divorcing his wife Han Suyin or being forced to resign his job.. we all know that outcome.

    I remained in silent admiration at these and so many other adventures , each of them related with humour and compassion that was so much part of his personality.
    I will always remember when he visited me in Penang and I showed him some of my favourite spots, one of them being the old Lu Ban temple in Love Lane… where there was a mahjong session going on with 4 or 5 tables busy clacking away. Leon addressed an elderly carpenter who had made eye contact with him…in perfect Cantonese he said ” Kindly direct this humble flea to the place where he can wash his hands”. The entire room went silent as the 6 footer Guailoh continued speaking in fluent Cantonese dialect.

    Leon Comber was my dear friend, I love him, loved him as a dear brother.
    I mourn deeply his passing… but I also celebrate a glorious life lived.
    Bon voyage dear brother…. you will always be remembered by those you interacted with.

    Ronni Pinsler

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