Han Chin Pet Soo is open! Book now at www.ipohworld.org/reservation
Han Chin Pet Soo is open! Book now at www.ipohworld.org/reservation

August 2011

A Bevy of Ipoh’s Pretty Girls

By |2011-08-31T08:29:09+08:00August 31st, 2011|Categories: Identify Photographs, ipoh, People|Tags: , , , |

Yes, these are girls from Ipoh and Raja Perempuan School. It is 1973 and this is the Community Service Club.

It was kindly sent in to us by Helen Philip who we think is standing fourth from the left and next to the tall girl with pigtails directly behind the teacher. Thank you Helen for the photo.

Now ladies, it is your turn to work. Who are the others and where are they standing/sitting. We look forward to hearing from you.

By the way, note the mural on the wall behind them, one carrying the national flag. Could that be 1Malaysia 1973 style?

Where Can We Find Them?

By |2011-08-24T10:43:10+08:00August 24th, 2011|Categories: Identify Photographs, ipoh, Memories, People|Tags: , |

Looking for fresh food with a good bargain? Nothing like visiting the local markets, eh? Here we have a couple of pictures (taken in 1988), showing¬†hawkers at a¬†local market….YOUR task for today – tell us WHERE these pictures were taken! ūüôā Perhaps there are some clues in the background that might help you.

Teaching In and Around Ipoh – Episode 1

By |2011-08-22T13:20:23+08:00August 22nd, 2011|Categories: ipoh, Memories, People|Tags: |

Here’s a short tale, from a Teacher’s point-of-view! Special thanks to UV for sharing his story with us ūüôā

MGS Staff, 1968

Teaching in and Around Ipoh ‚Äď Episode 1¬†


There are many major schools in Ipoh.  The famous ones being the Anglo-Chinese School, Ipoh, The Saint Michael’s Institution, Ipoh, Anderson School, Ipoh, Methodist Girls’ School, Ipoh, the Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus and Raja Perumpuan, Ipoh.  In addition, there were numerous National Type Secondary Schools such as Sam Tet, Ipoh, Yuk Choy, Ipoh and Poi Lam, Ipoh.  The oldest school that taught using English as a medium of instruction is the Anglo-Chinese School, Ipoh and its sister school, Anglo-Chinese Girls’ School (later both changed names to become Methodist Boys’ and Methodist Girls’ Schools respectively).

In 1895, the ACS Ipoh was established.  In those early years, schools ran classes from primary to secondary levels under one administration and in one compound.  It was only later that schools divided themselves into primary and secondary schools.  Most Mission Schools and even government schools kept to the same compound whereas Malay primary schools were usually separate as in the early years of education in Malaya, there were hardly any Malay Medium Secondary school in Ipoh!  Chinese educationists started many Chinese primary schools in Chinese enclaves and the town of Ipoh but through major dialectic associations, established the three secondary schools which initially used Mandarin as the medium of instruction but changed to using Malay after conforming to the wishes of the government after Independence.


Being a Teacher

To be a teacher, one has to be accepted by the school’s administration as in those early years, the schools had the right of hiring and firing (with the exception of government schools).  Even after Independence, Mission schools could still hire teachers under the Unified Teaching Service which differ from the Government Teaching Service.  I do not intend in these series of articles to go into the historical development of the teaching services but rather concentrate on a personal perspective of being a teacher from the day I joined it till the day I retired.

After graduating from the University of Malaya with a  B.A.Hons. degree in Geography, I asked Miss Ruth Ho for a job in Methodist Girls School, Ipoh.  I knew her through church connection and she accepted me because there was a vacancy for a Geography Teacher.  I joined the school in early January as my Final Year Examinations just completed after the New Year.


MGS Ipoh

MGS Ipoh was a well noted school with over 1000 students from Form 1 to Form 5.  I knew many of the teachers there, too.  When I reported for duty, I was given three Form 5 classes to teach and another 2 classes of Form 4s.  Please note I had no professional teaching qualifications and I was a rather young graduate, barely twenty-two years old.  Some of my Form Five students were just five years my junior in age!  I taught them Geography and English.


Miss Ruth Ho

The Principal, Miss Ruth Ho was a frail looking lady but with a very friendly and attractive smile.  With this smile, she could get most of us to do anything she wished.  She is soft spoken, and in all the years I served with her, I have never heard her raise her voice.  She was very patient in giving out instructions and you can never go wrong if you follow her instructions.

The Principal of the school stayed in the compound of the school in a double storey bungalow named Kenyon Cottage.  It was a lovely, stately building with ivy covering the front porch pillars and arch.  From time to time, some of us would be invited over for morning coffee/tea or afternoon tea if we stayed back for some extra-mural activities.  The living room where we sat for tea overlooked the school field and we could get a panoramic view of the Main Building of the school (see photo).  It had polished wooden floor.  This building was designed and furnished like a typical American home as many American ladies were head of the school.  Miss Kenyon, the first principal after which this house took its name, right up to Miss Moriera (local) before Miss Ruth Ho, every Principal carved out a portion of the rich history of MGS Ipoh.

Miss Ruth Ho is the daughter of the illustrious Dr. Ho Seng Onn, a famous Chinese educationist in the Methodist Education Mission of Malaya and Singapore and sister of Mr. Robert Ho, a renowned author of Geography books for Malaysian schools.  It is no accident that such a person from such an important family should be there to guide MGS Ipoh.

Most of the time, her staff would meet her in the office located above the porch of the Main Building.  It would occupy half the area above the porch, while the general office would take up the other half.  The Principal’s office, like her is simple.  She would seat herself behind an outsized desk that has a glass top.  It would be covered with files, papers, etc.  Her chair is not like those well-padded, shriveled executive chairs but a small wooden one with an armrest that curved behind her in a semi-circle to form the backrest and the other part of the armrest.  It has a thinly padded cushion.  I am sure it was not very comfortable.

Miss Ho is simple in her manner of dressing too.¬† One would often, if not always find her in a dress that has not waistline.¬† It would spot a high collar and would reach to just below her knees, fitting her frail form loosely.¬† Usually, it would be of pestle colours with some floral motifs.¬†¬† Call it a ‚ÄėCheongsam‚Äô of some sort if you like, but the slits would not be there.

One cannot expect to find any serious or distinct signs of make up on her face too.  Maybe there is a hint of powder to keep her face fresh and a gentle and faint perfume as she walks pass can be detected.  Her round steel-rimmed spectacles, which she removes from time to time to look up at you when you stand before her, suggests a middle age lady with long-sighted reading problems but a pair of eyes that is still 20-20 when looking at her staff and pupils.

It was my misfortune that I did not work for long with her but yet it was long enough for me to use her as a model in later years of my teaching career when I too became a principal.  She entrusted me not only with teaching her best Arts Students in Geography but also gave me the most challenging class to teach English in the Form Five year.  In addition, she made me take charge of Softball, when in that year MGS Ipoh was to chair this game in the Central Perak Sports Council (precedence of the Majlis Sukan Sekolah Perak, Zone Kinta).  During those days, it was not the Principal that was the Chairperson, it was the teacher-in-charge that chaired the game and sat with the Chairpersonof Central Perak Sports Council, then another imposing character, Mrs. Nadarajah of Raja Perumpuan School, Ipoh.

In addition to these responsibilities, that year I joined MGS Ipoh, they were planning a Fun Fair to raise funds.  Mission schools were always doing this or that to raise funds to finance new building projects or to run the school, like providing furniture and maintaining the buildings and utilities.  I was given the task of being the Chairperson in-charge of games for the Fun Fair!  What do I know of organizing games in a carnival?  Nothing except having participated in handling a game stall or two when I was in school and attending a few Fun Fairs in Ipoh.  However, with her guidance, we made a success of the whole activity.

These are the memories I have of Miss Ruth Ho.  She left MGS Ipoh for reasons only know to her and her close associates and served in Singapore for some time then eventually she landed up in Hawaii, got married to a Japanese American and settled there.  She is now alone, living in a senior citizen home under the name of Mrs. Ruth Lindley.  She would only be too pleased if any of her old girls or ex-teachers/staff would contact her.  If you are interested in contacting Miss Ruth Ho, please ask Ian to pass your email address to me and I would forward it to her.

Scenes from a School Concert

By |2011-08-19T15:20:47+08:00August 19th, 2011|Categories: childhood, concerts, Identify Photographs, Memories, People|

These pictures were sent to us by IpohBornKid.

IpohBornKid also wrote the following:

The attached photos were taken in the late 1950s, during the local primary school’s song and dance performances.

It is a tradition in Chinese schools to perform traditional song and dance as opposed to the Western arts performed in English schools.These performances were well attended by the school children, teachers and parents. ¬†Many teachers spent hours of their free time teaching the young to sing and dance. ¬†Unlike today where you can buy colorful costumes from China, most of the costumes were locally made by parents and volunteers. ¬† The dancers should be in their 50s and 60s now. ¬†I believe that the “old girls” who left the primary school were asked to perform on these occasions. ¬†It is more like a town performance ratherthan a school performance. As a kid, I did attend all these performances as my family members were involved in the stage production and performance.

To what we know, these pictures were taken at Man Wah Primary School, in Menglembu.

Wah! We Have Gone to Print

By |2011-08-17T17:45:47+08:00August 17th, 2011|Categories: Books, childhood, Heritage Books, Ipoh Town, Memories, People|Tags: , |

Yes, at last Ipoh, My Home Town has gone to the printers.

As you may know, I have been working on a new book for the past 20 months or so, editing and compiling original stories of people growing up in Ipoh over the last 90 years. It is entitled “Ipoh, My Home Town: Reminiscences of Growing Up in Ipoh, in Pictures and Words”.¬† In hard cover ‚Äėcoffee table book’ format,¬†¬†with colour on every page, there are 64 different stories from a broad spectrum of society encompassing all the main Peninsula Malaysian races, plus Caucasians and even an Iban. Together they represent Ipoh past and present.

There are¬†stories from a “Flying Tiger” who grew up in Market Street in the 1920s, Professor Wang Gungwu, a Greentown boy before the war, Lat (who has also written the Foreword) and a number of others from stage, screen and radio plus of course successful businessmen and women, housewives and mothers, but interestingly, no politicians. Our oldest contributor is 92 and the youngest 12. The book therefore is really a history of life in Ipoh through the eyes of young people. With 276 pages and a wealth of original photographs and illustrations¬†it has been a fascinating exercise for an expatriate, ably supported by his Malaysian wife.

The book will be launched by Tun Lim Keng Yaik on the morning of Saturday 17th September at the Royal Ipoh Club so if you can be in Ipoh that day¬†that will be the place to be. Details of the programme and invitations will be sent out as soon as possible, but if you don’t get one and would like to attend, please just let me know.

Regarding the price, as this is a self funded project we have been able to keep the price down to a bare minimum with no profit taking. Hence the book will be on sale in the bookshops at RM100 and direct from us at RM90 excluding postage and packing. There will be plenty for sale at the launch, but if you cannot make it then you can always pre-order via info@ipohworld.org , providing your postal address. We can then advise you of the total cost as soon as the book is in our hands. 

I look forward to seeing you at the launch.

Is this…..

By |2011-08-15T12:52:13+08:00August 15th, 2011|Categories: Identify Photographs, Memories, Natural Heritage, Restoration, What is it?|

….the Abdul Samad Building? (see picture below)

Was this what the building looked like in the early 1900s? Or, perhaps its an entirely different building altogether?

We’d like your ‘expert’ opinions on this one………

This picture is taken from the collection of the late Percival Moss, who tailored the uniforms for the Malay States Guides.

It’s 1956 at St Michael’s Institution Again

By |2011-08-14T13:04:04+08:00August 14th, 2011|Categories: About Us|

We did not do very well for Yip Chee Whye who is seeking his SMI friends from Form IV in 1954 ( see http://www.ipohworld.org/?p=3460) and so we thought that, thanks to AFR1970 who provided the photos below, we would give the SMI boys another chance.

So here we have Form IVA of 1956 and,

Form IVD from the same year.

So come on SMI and show us that your memories are as good as those from ACS.

‘Rosedale’, at Kledang Hill

By |2011-08-12T11:12:23+08:00August 12th, 2011|Categories: Identify Photographs, Memories, People|Tags: , , |

We thank Nicholas Jennings for these lovely pictures.

Here we have ‘Rosedale’, a cosy Malay-style house on Kledang Hill. This house was once owned by J A S Jennings (better known as Jack Jennings) – the former Editor of the Times of Malaya.

Do notice the two gun holsters on Jennings’ belt! Standing next to Jennings is his wife Freda.

The second picture shows another view of the cosy abode – notice the style of the roof!

Is this house still there?

Let’s March!

By |2011-08-10T13:40:58+08:00August 10th, 2011|Categories: childhood, Identify Photographs, ipoh, Memories, People|

(This was sent to us by IpohBornKid)

This picture was taken way back in 1961. That’s about the only thing we’re sure of. Maybe someone out there could help us with the following questions:

Was this taken at the Ipoh Padang?
Who are these pretty girls?
What was the occasion for the costumes?

Come on! I’m sure someone out there remembers this (probably somewhere in the picture too?) ūüôā

…what to do on a HOT day!

By |2011-08-09T15:53:05+08:00August 8th, 2011|Categories: childhood, Identify Photographs, Memories, People|

Yes, these boys seem to have found a solution¬†for the hot weather ūüôā

This picture was sent to us by Edwin Siebel. Apprently, this was taken at Teluk Anson (Teluk Intan). Anyone know WHERE in Teluk Anson this is? Was it taken at a swimming club?

Note: This picture was taken on 31st May 1956 ūüėČ

A Cry For Help from SMI Form IV 1956

By |2011-08-07T10:34:00+08:00August 6th, 2011|Categories: Identify Photographs, ipoh, Memories, People|Tags: , , , |


You may have noticed two comments and a Chatterbox entry from a new reader Yip Chee Whye (Chee Whye Yip) who is looking to find his old school friends of 1956 and in particular he is seeking Mr. Ooi Kim Huat and Mr. Eddie Che. He presently lives in UK but says he will be back in Ipoh soon. 

He sent us this photo today and if I understand it correctly he is the one circled in the back row and Eddie Chee is circled centre in the row in front. So readers all can we help? We have done well so far with reuniting the Old Salts from ACS and the HIJ Convent girls. Can we do the same for SMI?

As you can see we now have a clearer picture of that sent in by Yip. This was kindly donated by AFR1970.¬† He says,¬†“It is from my late father’s collection of photos. He doesn’t seem to be in the photo. I have Form IVA and Form IVD but he is not in those photos either. Sadly, Form IVB is missing. That could have been his class but I could be wrong.”

Thank you so much. I hope it helps us find the other classmates.

Aerial View of St Michael’s Institution

By |2011-08-05T13:15:38+08:00August 5th, 2011|Categories: Identify Photographs, Ipoh Town, Memories, Natural Heritage|Tags: , , , |

Here’s a lovely coloured postcard of St Michael’s Institution. Care to guess the date of this picture? Needless to say, those palm trees aren’t there anymore….and the space behind the school building is now where the new Primary Block is.

You can also see St John’s Anglican Church; notice also a green-roofed mansion (top most of the picture). Wonder whose house it was?

Wang Gungwu: Junzi – Scholar – Gentleman

By |2011-08-03T23:47:46+08:00August 3rd, 2011|Categories: About Us|

This new book is now available in all the usual bookshops at around RM80 to RM100.

This book of interviews with Professor Wang Gungwu, published to felicitate him on his 80th birthday in 2010, seeks to convey to a general audience something of the life, times and thoughts of a leading historian, Southeast Asianist, Sinologist and public intellectual. The interviews flesh out Professor Wang’s views on being Chinese in Malaya (he grew up in Ipoh); his experience of living and working in Malaysia, Singapore and Australia; the Vietnam war; Hong Kong and its return to China; the rise of China; Taiwan’s, Japan’s and India’s place in the emerging scheme of things; and the United States in an age of terrorism and war. The book includes and interview with his wife, Mrs. Margaret Wang, on their life together for half a century. Two interviews by scholars on Professor Wang’s work are also included, as are his curriculum vitae and a select bibliography of his works.

What comes across in this book is how Professor Wang was buffeted by feral times and hostile worlds, but responded to them as a left-liberal humanist who refused to cut ideological corners. This book records his response to tumultuous times on hindsight, but with a keen sense of having lived through the times of which he speaks.

NOTE: For those not skilled in Chinese, Junzi¬† was a term used by Confucious¬†to describe his ideal human. To Confucius, the functions of government and social stratification were facts of life to be sustained by ethical values; thus his ideal human was the junzi. Often translated as “gentleman” or “superior person” and sometimes “exemplary person”.

NOTE 2: Wang Gungwu was an Anderson School student before and for a while after, the Japanese Occupation.

The Memorable School Trip – by IpohBornKid

By |2011-08-03T12:47:35+08:00August 3rd, 2011|Categories: childhood, Identify Photographs, Memories, People|Tags: , , |

Here’s another little sharing by IpohBornKid, about a school trip to Penang with his friends!

This picture was taken in the 1950s where Mr Quah Kuan Teik took a bus load of ACS boys to Penang. ¬†It was a most memorable trip and of course, we gave the old boy heaps but he remained firm and show exceptional tolerance to all of us. ¬†For example, when you go to sleep at night, someone will squeeze some toothpaste in your mouth. ¬†On the journey to Penang and back, there were no toilets in the bus (an old ACS school Bus) and the boys would literally go to the back of the bus and “washed” the windscreen of an unfortunate car following behind the bus. ¬†If any of you recognised yourself in the photograph please own up.

Mr Quah also told us the story of how some of the boys were lost during the night on a trip to Emerald Island, an island west of Pangkok. ¬†Those adventurous ACS boys decided to venture across the island through the thick growth and into the other side. ¬†There was a big panic, alarm bells were raised and search party was organised. ¬†The boys were finally found safe and sound. ¬†Any normal teacher would have said ” I had enough of the buggers, no more trips for you fellas”. ¬†No, Mr Quah totally forgotten what had happened and continue the next excursion as if nothing had happened..

On an excursion to Cameron Highlands, Mr Quan took us to visit a vegetable farm.  One is supposed to ask the farmer to cut the cabbage if you want to buy it (only 20c each).  No, ACS boys were different.  Several boys gave a swift kick at the cabbage and it rolled down the hill until it hits an embankment.  I cannot remember whether they eventually bought the cabbage.

Nicky Chin, Mano, Me and Z.. : off to Penang we go on an ACS Excursion,  if you see yourself in the photo, please hands up.


A Tuesday Treat

By |2011-08-02T09:41:40+08:00August 2nd, 2011|Categories: Identify Photographs, ipoh, People|Tags: , |

We seem to be getting quite a few old photographs to identify recently and therefore decided to give you all a treat today with an extra Tuesday blog.

This well-worn¬†photograph was taken somewhere here in the 1940’s. Just look at the fashion of the day! The question is – where is it? The owner thinks he knows but he really does not seem too certain.

Perhaps you can put his mind at rest.

Guess this building!

By |2011-08-01T14:15:53+08:00August 1st, 2011|Categories: Identify Photographs, Memories, Natural Heritage|Tags: , , |

We know some of you out there love mysteries! Well, here’s one for you (see picture below).

Familiar? At first I thought it was the Shaik Adam Mosque (along Clayton Road, next to St Michael’s Institution)…..but then, could there be another building around the country with a similar design?

By the way, this picture was taken by the late Percival Moss. We thank his grandson Bernard for lending it to us!

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