Sunday, May 1, 2016

60 Years On

 Dear Schoolmates,

Greetings and thank you for being my friends.  I have known some of you since Kindergarten days and I must admit you are special. Spending time together in school was different from time at work. Those were the care free days when only exams mattered.  But then there was still a lot of time when we thoroughly enjoyed our friendship be it in school or out.

My memory is beginning to fade and I think this is the best time to pen down some of the fond memories which we experienced together.

I attended the Wesley Church Kindergarten.  Regret to say I cannot remember who was with me then but some of you would.  So please tell me!  But I do remember the building which is now a multipurpose hall located beside the Horley Hall Gymnasium and Wesley Church. However I will always remember an European teacher who was very kind (unfortunately I forgot her name).  One day my parents came very late to fetch me from school and this lady attempted to take me home on her motor bike.  Well, we never arrived at my home because my travel guidance at that young age was horribly wrong!

My Standard 1 classroom was in the historic school building.  Beside it was a suspended iron rod which was used to sound recess time and the end of the school session.  I fondly remember Mr Foo Choy Wan, the senior assistant, who taught me how to make my first speech during school assembly. He would place / marks in sentences to tell when I should pause to emphasize a point.

Then there was Mr Seow the magician.  I was very enthusiastic about his tricks and even bought some magic potions from his shop in Anderson Road.  Mr. Seow was also in charge of the Projector Club and the first movie I saw was the "Return of the Mummy"; a rather frightening film for kids.  It was screened in one of the classrooms in the new building block and the admission fee was 50 cents.

I loved the swimming lessons taught by "Donald Duck" and Mr Henry Yee. Yew Thye, also known as "bamboo", had some difficulty learning to swim. But then bamboo can naturally float and so in the end he became a life guard with the award of merit. I only took on the bronze medallion under my student coach Chee Ngee On.

I never excelled in sports.  But, then there was this "tug of war" with a thick rope which my team and I won on several occasions for the "Eu Tong Sen" House.  We had numerous practice sessions below that huge "Angsana" tree near the Horley Hall gym.

Below is a picture of the Tuckshop Prefects with our cute sashes worn during duty time.  I loved the art sessions with Mr Lee Kah Meng and Mr Tye Chee Yin.  They were so creative.  Typewriting with Mr Yeoh Cheang Wah was fun. The typewriting lessons came in handy since we now type so much on our computer keyboards.  Mr Yeoh also taught commerce.  My current knowledge of credit and debit columns came from his classes.  Some of the other teachers who had made an impact on my life were Mr Mak Kim Yeng; the discipline master who was also very much into photography; Mr Lee Hoo Keat; the maths teacher who had called almost everyone a "stupid boy"; Mr Brian Foenander; the history teacher who called upon every student to score a higher mark in the history test than the previous test, with a minimum of 80 marks!  Anyone who failed to do so would be caned. We are all experts in history now! These teachers had gone the extra mile to make sure we students learnt what had been taught. I salute all of them. There are many others whom I respect but don't have enough space in this Anniversary Booklet to write about.

Tuckshop Prefects

The six years in Primary School passed by really fast ending with the LCE exam.  The results came out while I was in Bangkok on a trip organised by Mr Quah Guan Teik.  On returning to Ipoh by bus, I was pleasantly surprised by the good results which was posted below the staircases of the main ACS building. During this trip Mr Chan Chee Yin met his future wife. There was romance throughout the excursion.

Canning Garden Methodist Church
I was baptised by Rev. Richard Liew in the Canning Garden Methodist Church.  The founders of this church were Mr Fong, Mr Tye, Mr Mak, Mr Havelock and other teachers from ACS.


With Teh family in Cameron Highlands

The late Paul Teh was one good friend whom I can never forget. He broke his arm when I pushed him off a high wooden bench below the Tembusu trees during some childish play.  We often played marbles and spun tops together below these trees as well.

Mr Seow the Magician

The Magic Club

Secondary School

It was another seven long years in ACS. We were all becoming more matured both mentally and physically. According to the school motto we prayed well and studied well. But I must admit it was only towards the exam time.

As you can see from the photos below we all had great fun. We visited each other on our bicycles. We even cycled to Tanjong Rambutan for a swim. Music was in the air. We held parties not only with MGS girls but also with Convent girls.

It was also a time to serve in various Societies.  I was in the Science Society, Interact Club, Prefects and Librarians Board.  

ACS 1st Grand Prix - Slot Racing

Wong Chee Choong organised this Social

Letting the hot air out before an exam

Now Everyone Can Travel

The Guitar Man and Singers

Better than Friends

Mrs Liew and Librarians

Appreciating our Teachers

A Friendly Lot

I became the Head Librarian during Lower Six Form. Mr Oi Chee Hong was my mentor. The teachers in charge were Mrs Liew and Mrs Lee. The librarians were closely knit and we had many social gatherings together. We were like a big happy family and the library was our second home.

Looking back, I have this advice for students. Please do not get yourself involved in too many extra curricular activities. While in school, study well and score well in exams.  Join only 1 or 2 societies of interest and learn soft skills.  Success in life is not dependent on the number of distinctions one scores in exams but with good exam results there are more career choices and tertiary education opportunities both locally and abroad.

Why do I say this?

Well, I was one who was too involved in school activities. I often had to skip lessons in class because I had to attend meetings or to perform duties. I did poorly in my Lower Six exams. I remembered Mr Woon, my chemistry teacher, who warned me of impending disaster if I continued to neglect my studies and took on unnecessary duties in school.  I took his advice well and returned to my studies as quickly as I could upon starting Upper Six. I took private tuition with some of the brightest students then to play catch up. Truly, things went very well for all of us who studied hard.  For the first time in ACS history, five of us went into medical school, University of Malaya. Medical school was another 5 years of hard work and we went through it without much fuss.

Receiving the Baton

Passing on the Baton

After HSC Exam
Learning is life long. Life is short and even shorter when we reach 60. The questions then for me is what will be the best things to do before I fall "asleep"?

Revisiting ACS Primary

A Meal with Friends
The future is still bright for most of us who can still walk, run, swim, sleep and eat.  I am up and about after my cataract operation in April. I can see clearly now.

Here are the few areas I am heading into: 1. Be deeper rooted in Christ and to spread the good news 2. Building a stronger family unit and making sure my kids are adequately provided for. 3. Building up ESL Healthcare a social enterprise with emphasis on home care. 4. Continuing medical practice until my eyes go dim again. 5. Taking Perak Chest Society to the next level.  6. Establishing TO BE to train and uplift youths. I pray and hope to complete the race in this 3 score and 10 years (Malaysian life expectancy: Male 72 years, Female 77 years).

A heartfelt thank you to all my friends for all the encouragement and support throughout these years. May our friendship continues to grow and prosper.

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