BERITA DUKA: Ibu Agung Kompiang (Puri Bongkasa), wife of the late Raja Bongkasa Drs I.Gusti Agung Oka, is dead
Ibu Kompiang died peacefully in her Sanur home yesterday, aged 79. She had been playing cards with friends in the morning and was gone(lebar) by lunchtime. If any lady deserved a peaceful transition, after a full life of service to her family and community, and to the Indonesian Republic, it was Ibu Kompiang. Her popular husband, ‘Bapak Oka’, had been head of DekDikBud(Dept. of Education and CUlture) in Bali for almost a decade and went on to be head the National Sports Council in Jakarta, always with Ibu Kompiang as head of the Dharma Wanita Ladies Auxilliary.
Born into Denpasar’s brahmana house , Geria Tapakgangsul , the daughter of Pedanda Gede Karang — and sister of the well-known boulevardiers Gus Ping, Gus Pong and Gus Pung — she was part of a generation of smart, uber-elegant ladies which included Ibu Ida Ayu Diwangkara, owner of the Diwangkara Hotel next to the Grand Bali Beach.
I first knew Ibu Kompiang when she was secretary to (the then) Hotel Bali Beach G.M., Sigfried Biel, the German visionary who first gave Ubud-based artist Hans Hoefer a leg up –in 1970, as publisher of the first APA GUIDE,”The Guide to Bali”– on his way to becoming South-east Asia’s most successful travel book publisher.
Ibu Kompiang was my first ‘mentor’ in Sanur society (when I was tennis coach at the Bali Beach). I learned at this time that she had had to deal with all the 50s and 60s legends–including President Soekarno, artist Le Mayeur, antiquaire Jimmy Pandy, Cultural Tourism pioneer Wija Waworuntu, Diparda head Pak Riyasa and artists Donald Friend and ARi Smit– and would have had a pivotal role in stabilizing society, with her young husband, postthe tumultuous and bloody era of the Communist Insurrection.
She ran an artshop in the Bali Beach arcade and hosted gatherings of the legendary Chicago Group of upper echilon local goverment officials — the ‘club’ of royals who loved Charlie Chaplin movies, Frank Sinatra music and Balinese Culture of which she was the last survivor. She raised five perfectly-mannered children who all married children of other first families (Puri Agung Sukawati and Puri Agung Klungkung amongst them) and was a loving grandmother to many grandchildren.
In later years she was a permanentt court fixture at all royal weddings and cremations and guided her home palace, Puri Bongkasa, into its position as a popular, classic venue for lavish Balinese feasts and dance performances.
She was a peoples’ princess in the true sense of the expression, and a great lady.
She was as egalitarian as she was royal — her smile and trademark giggle could warm a courtyard of stuffy courtiers from 50 paces.
She is survived by five children and her brother Pedanda Gede Ngurah Karang, founder of Hotel Segara Beach Sanur .
Her ‘penyiraman'(body-washing) will take place at Puri Bongkasa on the 12th of September(purnama) and her PELEBON (royal cremation) will be on the 22nd October.
AUM Shanti Shanti Shanti AUM
By Made Wijaya