That is what sums up the work of James Hoover and his wife.
At 27 years of age, James Hoover set out to be missionary in Malaysia. he worked at boys school there and learned about the people of Borneo. Being fascinated by the stories he heard he researched all he could be Borneo. He discovered that the "wild men of Borneo" were a people called the Dyaks. Fierce fighters and head-hunters for whom work did not appeal.
He also learned of a white rajah who ruled part of the land the Dyaks inhabited. He had created a settlement of Chinese Christians. They farmed the land for him, but were a people frightened of the Dyaks, and were beset by illness. They were becoming a people discouraged, so they asked if a missionary could be sent to them to help. James Hoover and his wife answered the call.
Like the Chinese they were frightened of the Dyaks.
One night the Dyaks came into their settlement. They were preparing for battle. They demanded food, and then later shelter. They practiced their battle moves and were working themselves up to a fighting frenzy when Hoover's wife Mary suggested they take out their portable piano and make music.
Through their "music box" they were able to lull the Dyak to sleep. The Dyaks stayed with them for a week, being lulled to sleep every night by the portable piano.
Despite their fear.... they acted!
James and Mary, worked tirelessly among the Chinese, helping to establish ice plants, sawmills, schools, radio stations, churches and more. With no children of their own, the Chinese people became their much loved family.
A park was set up as a memorial for all the work that the Hoovers' did among the Chinese settlement. It is called the Hoover Memorial Square.
He was known for being an honest man.
Hoover created history and modernized Sibu by being the first person to pioneer the use of the following items to Sibu:
- The very first rubber seedlings (1904)
- The very first steam launch
- The very first rice huller (1906)
- The very first girls’ school (1911)
- The very first generator (1912)
- The very first agricultural school (1913)
- The very first bicycle
- The very first ice making machine
- The very first circular saw
- The very first wireless telegraph machine