Zam, the unsung hero of NS Hockey is gone forever

Those in the Negri Sembilan Hockey fraternity will surely recall an individual named Mohd Zam Mohd Zain.

The forner town planner of Seremban Municipal Council passes away after a battle with diabetes.

He had during his tenure in Seremban served the NSHA as a Vice President.

And he served the sport with dignity, passion and above all with honesty.

My acquaintance with Zam began when I joined Seremban Municipal Council on November 2, 1981 as a Town Planning Assistant.

It was my first job and Zam was my boss.

Working with him have me invaluable experience as he helped shaped my character, my discipline and my integrity .

Zam was a stickler for rules and regulations, but he often used common sense when dealing with issues.

One incident that reminded me of his tolerance and respect for other races occured in 1987.

The committee of the Mantin Gurudwara has marched into my office situated next to Gurudwara Sahib Seremban.

They had sought help as a demolition order on a temporary langgar hall had been issued by the Seremban District Office.

I sought the help of Zam as it was out of our jurisdiction.

Zam made some calls to defer the demolition and advised the committee to look into a permanent building as an option.

And in stepped Michael Yen and Joseph Chow to sadist in the architectural and engineering drawings as well as survey. The rest is history as all went well.

I used to go to Mantin every Wednesday to check in updates on the construction and Zam allowed me to serve my community interest.

But it was Hockey that had earlier drawn us together, more like good friends then an employer/employee relationship.

Zam encourages me to pursue Hockey and together with James D’Cruz we started the Seremban Municipal Council Hockey team.

The Hockey team formation allowed us to start employing players and we participated in the Malaysian Hockey League in 1987.

Zam was also manager of the NS Razak Cup team that made the final in 1988, the first final appearance after winning the title in 1977.

It was through Zam that I got to know better the then Yayasan NS Director Mustapha Kamil.

And it was over daily breakfast that we discussed Hockey, though Zam played tennis and Badminton actively.

As the key man in the MPS Sports Club, Zam initiated the Seremban Half Marathon as well as the fishing competition. Go kart racing and helicopter competition for the MPS anniversary.

He was a joy to work with, often going down to the ground to work alongside instead of just giving instructions.

Being cool and composed under pressure were his virtues, something that made him stand out amongst others.

His astute knowledge in Town Planning gave him utmost respect amongst the authorities as well as the business community.

When I decided to leave MPS and join YNS, Zam encouraged me as by that time he had left and knew the sport needed a new man to help it.

And Mustapha Kamil was the right man to fill the void.

Over the years we had not met but constantly kept in touch till my health deteriorated.

And I was just informed by James from Perth on the passing of Zam.

To all who knew him, kindly say a prayer for his soul and live with his memories.

You will be missed Zam and your contributions to Hockey and building of characters amongst the Hockey players will never be forgotten.

May your soul now Rest In Peace.