We thank our donor Ong Su-Ming for this picture, which was taken from the 100th Voyage 1895-1995 (an ACS, Ipoh magazine).
Do you remember this play, back in 1952? Or, perhaps you caught the later adaptation in 1962?
We thank our donor Ong Su-Ming for this picture, which was taken from the 100th Voyage 1895-1995 (an ACS, Ipoh magazine).
Do you remember this play, back in 1952? Or, perhaps you caught the later adaptation in 1962?
This photograph was taken during the official opening of the new ACS Library and wing, on 11 June 1955. The gentleman unveiling the tablet is said to be the Perak Deputy Menteri Besar. Does anyone know who he was?
Also in the photograph are: Methodist Bishop Raymond Archer (left) and school Principal Ralph Kesselring (right).
Special thanks to our donor – Ann Kesselring Hamon.
Calling all Alumni of ACS Ipoh! Keep the 3rd of August 2013 free…..for a “an unforgettable evening of fun, laughter and friendship”. This get-together will be held at the Kinta Riverfront Hotel, from 6.30pm-12am. Those interested can contact:
Ms Lim (05-2532882); Mr Looi (012-5151116); Mr Hum (012-3360770); Mr Lau (017-8820608); OR book online at http://goo.gl/XENKL
Nostalgic flash back in Ipoh ACS – The little park in the site of the current Carpentry Shed 1953
Prior to the erection of the Carpentry Shed, there was a little park of green grass with a middle line of trees, one of which was a frangipani tree of nearly 12 feet tall. The park was bounded by a bamboo plant fence parallel to Lahat Road, the main entry road to the Ipoh Anglo-Chinese School (ACS) Main Building, the impenetrable fence (south) and a deep grassed slope (west). On top of this slope was a School Residence (see illustration above). From the park looking towards Lahat Road, you can see the Hindu Temple.
Some students waited in the park to be picked by private transport. Many activities occurred in that area within a space of 30 mins after school.
When a piece of leaf from the palm tree was found, it was everyone’s favourite to do “bob sledging” down the steep slope. You climbed to the flat top, position your bum on the end of the wide leaf (bark side), move it on the edge of the slope, and with one shove, you make a quick descent to the bottom of the slope. It was a cheap thrill. Sometimes, your pants could be severely stained if you accidently slide off the leaf and continue downwards without it or you simply fell off.
The frangipani was a source of entertainment and prankish behaviour. One day, whilst I was sitting under the tree for shade and was waiting to be picked up,I felt something wet dripping on my head. My hand reached for the spot and felt wetness. I inspected my fingers and found the wetness was caused by a sticky white liquid. At first, I thought it was bird shit but the consistency and the smell (rather sweetly) eliminated my first guess. On looking up the tree, I discovered that the latex from the tree was dripping on my head. What a sigh of relief because if that was bird poo, it was considered unlucky and to reverse the curse, I would have to buy lollies and shared it with my friends. However, I did remember seeing someone known to me, had climbed up the tree as I was sitting down. He had cut the bark of the tree (or carved a grove in the bark similar to tapping rubber). The latex then flowed to the opening and when it accumulated, gravity did the rest. It was the “dripping latex on your head” trick. I had a fight with him then but we remained friends.
After learning the trick from him, I was able to do it to another person. You climbed up the tree and waited for the next victim to sit in the spot where the cut in the tree would result in the latex falling into his head or body. All you need is a good pen knife. All bad things can be learnt from ACS boys if you are willing to learn.
The little park is only second to the ground below the gymnasium for fighting. Many scores were settled in the park after school. It was a good place because the teachers were busy preparing to go home in the teacher’s office and the park was unsupervised. I had cut lips, sore arms and black eyes during my early primary years. As a young boy with classmates 2 years older and bigger, you need to defend yourself when they dislike you being more intelligent than them or you being the teacher’s pet. Or they were just bullies. Once you have established that you can fight back and not necessarily win the fight, you have gained their respect and they will not touch you again. The motto “I can bleed all over you” .was a principle that we smaller beings lived by in ACS. Despite these fights, we were all friends in the later years and we seem to have forgotten our past disagreements.
My maternal uncle attended the afternoon school in ACS called the Methodist Afternoon School (MAS) with Mr Wong Wai Lam as the Principal. He parked my Grandfather’s green Vauxhall near the little park and he had the driver’s window wound down so I could use the horn to summon support if the boys tried to wallop me. His classroom was in the Main Building where he could see the car from where he sat. Fortunately, I did not use his service because I was able to take care of myself.
The ice-cendol Indian man always came and parked his tricycle store in the front lawn between Lahat Road and the bamboo fence. If I had 10 sen in my pocket, I would also get a bowl of ice cold cendol. Very tasty and when I think of it, my mouth watered. As boys we were curious to investigate whether there is any truth in the matter about earthworms at the bottom of the cendol pot. The Indian man obliged us by scooping out the green cendolwith his large spoon and declared “see, no earthworms”. We were satisfied. I found out the truth whilst I was overseas when the discussion of the earthworms in the cendol pot started again. Yes, there were earthworms but they were carefully wrapped in a white piece of cloth and it sat on the bottom of the pot. Some said that it reduced the chances of the coconut oil in the coconut juice turning rancid, ie an anti-oxidant. Believe it or not!
One last comment on the bamboo fence – there were no fighting spiders living there but you can make a single note flute by pulling a young shoot of the bamboo and pulling other joints out and use the one part with a leafy stem. You can make a single note by either blowing into it or sucking it. Another old ACS boy trick.
I believe the fence on the south boundary did have some spiders (fighting ones). True or False?
P/S Does anyone remember the rabbits that were kept at Horley Hall, adjacent to the railway line?
We received these interesting pictures from Ralph Khaw (from Perth, Australia). He also emailed us a short explanation for the above pictures:
“I can’t remember the date of the singout organised in MGS , involving students from MGS,ACS,SMI. I played a small part as a member of Choir. The teacher singing is Eddie Chin,teacher of MGS. One of female lead singer is Lim Siok Kim.( who later became my
sister-in-law and now residing in St Albans,UK). Miss Devi was the teacher and conductor/director of the musical “Sing-out”. A few months later it was performed in KL, due to its popularity but can’t remember the hall /venue. I can’t remember the name of the other female lead singer. The songs were from Oklahoma, and a few musical plays.
According to Ralph, he was also in this choir (back row, top from right). Anyone remember this singout? It couldn’t have been that long ago. Perhaps, some of the singers are reading this now? DO tell us MORE about this singout 🙂
We thank Howard Tang Hoy Wah (from Falim, Perak) for this picture. Howard now lives in the US, and was formerly a student of ACS Ipoh. He was also well connected to the Wesley Methodist Church – his brother, Tang Kin Wah, once served as a Methodist Pastor before he too left for the States.
This picture was taken in the 1950s. Are you in it? Do you know anyone in it?
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.
For those who have been waiting patiently, here is UV’s Episode 8 of ‘Schooling in Ipoh’! 🙂
Episode 8: Schooling in Ipoh
Life in Lower Six quickly went by. Soon we became the seniors and new Lower Six students were coming in. Many of those, especially those from MGS Ipoh were my friends from MYF (Methodist Youth Fellowship). ‘Ragging’ was the usual activity for these new Form Six students. It was really mild as each one had to appear before the whole Upper Six and was asked various questions. It was more like an introduction of themselves to their seniors.
With that done with, academic work became our priority. We have the HSC (Higher School Certificate} Examination to worry about. This is one hell of a tough nut to crack! We sat for four main subjects: English (English Literature), Geography, History and Economics as well as General Paper. There were 3 papers in English and Geography and History and Economics had two papers each. The minimum requirement for entry into local university (Only one then in Malaya – University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur) was two A Levels Principals and two A Levels Subsidiary passes (equivalent to an Ordinary O Level pass). If one does not pass with at least a Six in all the papers in a subject, one would be given a subsidiary pass.
Most of us would be concentrating on getting at least two Principal passes or three at best but the brighter ones would strive for 4 and even try to score distinctions in as many subjects as possible. Arts students are not noted for academic excellence and to get one or two distinctions would be very outstanding in those days. I decided to go for three and decided to leave English out, merely hoping to score a Subsidiary pass in that subject. Why? Our English teacher was Mrs. Teerath Ram Senior. She was boring to tears and I could never appreciate her teaching. I think the only thing I learned from her was the title of the poem about Omar Kayam! Until I started teaching poetry to some students as a private tutor, I really did not know what the content was!
In order for us to pass those three papers even at Subsidiary Level, we had to beg Mr. Chin San Sooi to give us extra lessons on poems. Passing the paper based on Shakespeare’s plays was not difficult as we could learn on our own with the help of guidebooks (something very popular in the 60s among students). However, the Romantic novels were left aside by those, like me, who didn’t want to get a principal pass. Thanks to Mr. Chin San Sooi, many of us were even able to get a principal pass, the writer included!
I banged on getting a distinction in Geography, as it was my favourite subject and taught by my favourite teacher. History was great when we had the late Ms Tye Soh Sim (Mrs. Eddy Chin) teaching us in Lower Six, but unfortunately she left for a scholarship to do her higher degree in Canada at the end of our first year. Ms Chong Nyuk Mui took over the subject. I was her ‘artist’ drawing those Historical Maps on the Board for the rest of the pupils to copy. I vaguely remembered they were European maps (rather difficult to draw) as we were doing European History from the 15th Century till Modern Days!
Economics was taught by a Ms. Wan and later a Ms. Tan. I remember Ms.Wan as someone who would come to class wearing cheongsam. She has a ‘unique’ way of pronouncing certain words and names. I can always remember how she would call Chevarani (Mrs. Siva now). Most of us would try to suppress our laughter each time she called her to answer a question. Many a times, the class almost brought her to tears! She left teaching after a short period with us. Ms Tan took over and was a direct contrast. She spotted the then fashionable slanted white framed glasses. She wore mainly Western dresses and was slim and petit. Many of the boys must have ‘fallen’ for her (writer not included). Her teaching was excellent as most of us did well in this subject (except for some girls)!
General Paper was taught by Rev. Butler White, a pastor of Wesley Church but also taught as a teacher in ACS Ipoh. His lessons were never dull. I did not shine in this during my Form Six days. I was only a moderate writer then and still is now.
In Upper Six, the Prefects were being scrutinized to be selected as Head Prefect and Deputy Head Prefect. Manogaran would has slotted easily into the Head Prefect slot and the post of Deputy would go to a Science Stream Upper Six Student (if any qualify) or an Arts student when they fail to get one from the Science Stream or the Girl Deputy Head comes from the Science Stream. However, Manogaran was a playful character and very often seen by the teachers to ‘misbehave’. His greatest sin was to go around poking girls on their side of their waist to make them scream and was caught doing so, one day, by a teacher! He was therefore not made the Head Prefect but the Deputy Head Prefect. The Head Prefect posts went to Yap Teong Aun (became an Engineer later) and the Girl Deputy Head Prefect went to Ung Swee Kim (daughter of the famous Mathematics teacher from Anderson School, Ipoh, Mr. Ung Kwek Chow).
At the end of the year, we sat for our examination in MGS Ipoh. Yes, the Arts HSC Centre for us was in MGS Ipoh and not in our own school as we had no hall big enough to accommodate both the Form Five Examinations and the Form Six Examinations. I already had my scooter (Lambretta) license in Lower Six and I transported my good friend, Loh Chin Hin from Rose Garden, to MGS every day we had a paper.
The examinations were soon over and it was a period of waiting for the results which came some time in March the following year. Some of us went to work, others took up various courses. I did neither but lots of church works – helping in the office, etc. When the results came, most of us qualified to enter university but some couldn’t because of financial restrains and so had to go into teaching colleges.
I was fortunate to get into University of Malaya, although at first I wanted to opt for law in University of Singapore, but because PSA sent me a set of application forms for University of Malaya and stated that I was on the reserve list for a Teaching Bursary, I submitted my application for an Arts Course in University Malaya instead. They never granted me the bursary! My parents struggled to pay for my fees and boarding.
On a sad note, Mrs. Teerath Ram died before the results came out. It was rumoured that she took her own life by burning herself at the back of her house. When my results came out, I dreamt of her walking from her house (in the school compound) towards the porch of the Main Building of ACS Ipoh and asked us for our results. I was there, in the dream, with a few of my classmates. I woke up with a start! It was so real. She was dressed in her usual flowing saree!
Life in school as a student ended in December 1964. I would return to ACS Ipoh not as a teacher but as a Principal 46 years later! I never taught in ACS Ipoh although I was a teacher, Senior Assistant, Afternoon Supervisor and Principal in other schools in and around Ipoh before returning to ACS Ipoh.
We thank Ignatius Chew for these pictures – taken at the Anglo-Chinese School (ACS) Ipoh, in the 1930s.
Perhaps Ignatius or any of the other ‘Old Salts’ (as they call themselves) could tell us MORE? 🙂
Looking forward to your comments!
We did better than just comments for AP(at)IpohBornKid sent us the following picture and words.
Dear ACS Old Salts
Having read ACS 1930s and looked at the photos, I suddenly remembered that I am in possession of an 1932 ACS School Certificate Class photo of my late father. He was in the first standing row fifth from the right. Would someone bother to comment on the similarities and differences between the photograph already published and the one I just sent. Can someone name the teachers or the students?
My mother showed Mr Kesselring the photograph and I was immediately accepted to ACS Primary School at the age of 6, one year earlier. The old school tie system always works and what a great British tradition. Maybe UV@Valiant Knight might be able to explain to us what Form would the School Certificate Class be equivalent to?
PS:I was born in Ipoh General Hospital , hence the name IpohBornKid.
It is said that the main building of the Angle Chinese School (ACS) was ‘erected and opened in 1914’. It was also said to have a ‘landmark, Edwardian-style building’ which stood ‘parallel to Lahat Road’. Interestingly, this building was designed by C H LaBrooy! (for more on ACS, click here)
This picture here was sent to us by Ignatius Chew. Do you recognise anyone?
Here’s the 2nd Episode from UV-Valiant Knight.
The Central Mental Hospital, TR. This picture was taken in 1952; the Writer’s mother is seated next to the Matron (an English Lady).
Aerial view of the ACS School, Ipoh
Mr. Samuel Welch later joined the newly formed Royal Malaysian Air Force and became a very high ranking officer before retiring. He married a woman police officer, Blossom Wong, who became famous when she was the bodyguard of Queen Elizabeth II when she visited Malaysia.
I remembered the time when Mr. Welch was teaching us English and we were reading from the reader a story about Red Riding Hood and he wanted to dramatize the story. He got some of us to act out the various parts. Unfortunately, I was given the role of Red Riding Hood and had a handkerchief for a headscarf and rosy cheeks plastered on by using a red chalk! From that day, my classmates always teased me and being new and quiet, I was nicknamed a sissy! I only managed to rid myself of this ‘title’ in Standard Four when I took on the class bully in a fist fight!
This class bully was much taller and of a bigger size than most of us and he would pick a fight with anyone at any time. I decided to put a stop to this and decided that the only way to get him out of my back was to fight back. Fist fight was common in boys schools then. Disputes would be settled with a fist fight that eventually would end up as a wrestling match. Usually the weaker boys would be beaten up, have their shirt and pants dirtied or torn, sometimes they would end up with a black eye or two black eyes, a bloodied nose and swollen cauliflower ears. I was lucky to end up with a dirtied shirt and had to answer to my parents as to why it was so.
Fights in school were not tolerated and if we were to be caught, we could be caned by the Supervisor or the Discipline Teacher. Mr. Aw Boon Jin was the Junior Primary Supervisor (as he was called then) and he has a thin cane that would land smack on your open palm. It was a real sting and one would carry the cane mark for at least a day. One has to hide this from one’s parents or else one would get another caning at home!
I was saved by the bell that ended our recess (a short break for pupils to ease themselves and have a bite to eat). Pupils in primary schools usually bring along some packed food from home with a bottle of drink. Most students then would use a tomato sauce bottle that would contain a pint (we were using the British Measuring System then) of drink. I love coffee and this was the drink of the family. Real black coffee from ground fresh coffee beans would go into the brewing of the drink. I suppose that’s how Ipoh White Coffee became so famous today. Most Ipoh folks were great drinkers of coffee. We never had Tupperware then and we make do with containers made of metal that once contained sweets or biscuits. They were of all shapes and sizes and displayed colourful pictures of people or scenery.
Big bullies would demand a share of one’s food or drink. Many pupils would rush to the canteen (also known as the ‘tuckshop’ in ACS Ipoh) to buy some food and a drink. One could easily get a bowl or plate of noodles/rice for ten cents and a drink for five cents. In ACS Ipoh then, we had to line up to exchange our coins for tokens (made of metal) and use these tokens to buy food from the various hawkers. The ‘contractor’ (one who runs the cateen) was the late Mrs. Ng Ah Fook, the wife of a teacher in the school. Mr. Ng Ah Fook later became the Headmaster of the ACS Primary School.
There were various stalls in the canteen. Since recess was short and there were hundreds of us from each session (Lower Primary would have their recess first, followed by Junior Primary and then Lower Secondary and Upper Secondary), the bowls and plates of food would all be dished out and neatly arranged on the counter of each stall and all we had to do was take one and pay with our metal token and go to the side for the soup to be added if it is a soup noodle bowl we took. There were hardly any changes in menu! Day in and day out we ate the same stuff. Next we would queue up for a drink and this was when we had to be very careful not to spill our drinks. If it should spill on someone, a fight may result there and then and we would not get to eat or drink that day. Worse still, we would be hauled up for caning.
To avoid all the hazels, most meek and mild pupils will bring their own food. After all, home cooked food is always the best and you can sit anywhere to eat. There was no rules to say one has to go to the canteen to eat. One could bring any kind of food, too. There was no such thing as ‘halal’ or ‘haram’ food.
Most pupils will also use the interval time to ease themselves. ACS was and still is, notorious for poor toilet facilities. At my time, there was only a toilet way behind next to the Horley Hall (hostel for outstation pupils) and it was so far away that one had to run there and back if one wanted to eat as well during the break. Then, it was so small that not all can use it at once and a long queue would result. Inside was an open system where all the boys would line up on two sides of the building and pee into a drain that runs the length of the building. Sporadically, water would sprinkle from a lead pipe that runs about 4 feet from the floor and if you are unlucky, water might splash onto your shoes or pants while you are peeing! The stench was overwhelming. If you have to do the ‘big one’ you have to wait even longer for your turn and you wouldn’t want to eat after you have finished. The flush system would not work so regularly for each user! So the excreta of the previous user would remain while you add yours and so forth.
Yes, life in the Primary School has lots of interesting events. These are common, I suppose in all schools during the early Fifties. We only had a few teachers and they taught us various subjects. Specialization was not common. Our class teacher would normally teach us the important subjects like English, Mathematics, Geography and History. For Art we would have a different teacher as this subject needed talent on the teacher’s part. During my time, there was this old teacher, Mr. Wong Hean Lin who would remain in his Art Room and we would all move to his room to learn drawing and painting.
Most of the time he would give us a topic for imaginative composition and we spend about two periods producing something on a large piece of art paper. We had to bring our own pencils, water colour, brushes and water containers (usually a small glass bottle [Brands Essence of Chicken bottles were the first choice then]. After each lesson we had to wash our brushes, palettes and containers and this would be the time for some bullies or cheeky characters to flick their brushes still wet with colours on someone’s shirt or pants. Here again a fight would start!
Serious fights might at times occur. If such a fight was scheduled, it would usually be arranged for the fighters to meet after school behind the famous gymnasium of ACS Ipoh. This way out corner of the school was selected because it was secluded and out of the way from the school’s office and Principal’s house. All those with news of the fight would gather and it would be a real show then. Very often, it would only be stopped when one of the fighters plea for mercy! It could be rather bloody at times, being fought with bare fists!