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‘Wanderings’ anthology a birthday tribute to Aristides Katoppo

Ni Nyoman Wira
Ni Nyoman Wira

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Tue, April 17, 2018  /  02:30 pm
‘Wanderings’ anthology a birthday tribute to Aristides Katoppo

During the Apr. 15 book launch of 'Tides Masih Mengembara', fellow writers and journalists took to the stage at the National Library, including (from left) Saswinadi Sasmoyo, Rosmiyati Dewi Kandi, Aristides Katoppo and Eka Budianta, to celebrate senior journalist Aristides 'Tides' Katoppo's 80th birthday. (JP/Ni Nyoman Wira)

The name Aristides “Tides” Katoppo rose to prominence in international journalism in the 1960s, when his exclusive reports headlined leading newspapers such as Indonesia's Sinar Harapan and The New York Times.

In one of his articles, Tides covered the January 1964 visit of then US Attorney General Robert “Bob” Kennedy to meet president Soekarno in Jakarta. Kennedy brought with him a letter on West Irian from his brother and American president John F. Kennedy.

Although Kennedy was accompanied by an entourage of US journalists, Tides was the only journalist who was given access to the American president's letter. 

To mark his 80th birthday, which actually fell in March, the anthology Tides Masih Mengembara – Hadiah Ulang Tahun ke-80 Aristides Katoppo dari Mimis Katoppo (Tides Still Wanders: Aristides Katoppo’s 80th birthday gift from Mimis Katoppo) was launched on Monday, April 16, at the National Library in Central Jakarta. 

Edited by writer Eka Budianta, the book contains more than 20 writings on Tides by friends and family.

Read also: Indonesian titles in high demand at London Book Fair

In "Tamu PPLH yang Pertama" (The Environment Minister’s first guest), for instance, former environment minister and senior economist Emil Salim describes Tides as an environmentalist.

“[…] He shook my hand and introduced himself as head of Himpunan Untuk Kelestarian Indonesia (HUKLI) [a community organization for Indonesia’s sustainability],” wrote Emil. “I was stunned and became interested in listening to his explanations about his environmental activities.”

Emil, who spoke at the book launch, commented on the title that, “What [we] consider as ‘wanderings’ are Tides’s ideas and mind for developing Indonesia.”

Sasmiyarsi “Mimis” Sasmoyo, Tides’s wife, explained the reason behind presenting the book to her husband as a birthday gift. 

“Tides is a writer and a journalist, [but] no one seems to remember him. So his wife took the initiative,” Mimis told The Post on the sidelines of the event, adding that she wrote the foreword while Eka wrote the closing to the anthology. 

Eka, who contacted Tides's friends to contribute to the book, expressed his hope that many more books would be written about Aristides. (wng)