Have you used these to write? Perhaps not…maybe your parents or grandparents did? Anyhow, these were what I would call the ‘early pencils’. And of course, you used them on slate boards (not paper, as they were rather costly back then). Incidentally, I looked up ‘slate pencils’ on YouTube…and to my surprise, there were many videos of people EATING slate pencils!
The Grandchildren of Chong Soon Fan’s eldest daughter lived in the “old house” at Main Road, Menglembu. They were all studying in the English schools in Ipoh. At the break of dawn, they all got up, brushed their teeth and started to walk towards the Chong Family bungalow opposite the Wan Hua Primary School. There were two reasons for going to the bungalow, to have breakfast and getting a ride by car to school in Ipoh.
There were also 6th, 8th and 14th Aunties going to school in Ipoh, Breakfast was served starting a 6:30 am. Breakfast menu were usually, toast with Kayang and Coffee, porridge or simple rice meal. Sometimes the late comers (usually getting out of bed late or spend too much time making up or some unexpected circumstances) would take their breakfast in the car. Generally speaking, the aunties spent too much time making up their faces in the morning and they were causing the delayed departure to school They were the elders and hence no comments or protest or you would get “hot tongue” for additional breakfast.
The Grandchildren living in the bungalow were spared these delays as they just walked from the front door of the house, cross the road and they were in school. Lucky for them, but when they started to go to high school, they had to join the crowd. By that time, most of the aunties have graduated from high schools.
The driver arrived at the bungalow at 7:00 am and his job was to take us to school. Sometimes the car would not start because of flat battery and we had to push it to start. Luckily there were plenty of people who can push. We all piled up in a Red Vauxhall Cresta 1956 model (AA9788) l with 3 forward gear, column shift and a bench seat in the front (seated 3 people including the driver). Later in the early1960s, a Ford Galaxy (BH2131) was used to transport the kids to school in Ipoh.
The journey to school started usually at sunrise 6:45 am. Turning out of the gateway to the right, it passed the Movie Theatre and at the junction of Lahat Road (Main Road), the car turned left and headed for Ipoh. Passing through the Menglembu Police Station on the right, it continues north passing the saw mills and iron foundries before reaching Falim. Passing Foo Nyit Sze bungalow on the right, it then crossed the Sungei Pari. The road then became divided with lamp post in the centre. Sometimes, the driver, on the urging of his passengers would overtake cars weaving pass the lamppost and crossed to the right hand side of the road and then weaved back between the lamp post into the left lane, It was exciting start of the day to be thrilled.
In those days, there were plenty of bicycles and motor cycles competing for the road. Bicycles were 2 to 3 abreast and sometimes they bunched together in a group of 12 cyclists. Cyclists did not wear helmets in those days and it was amazing that accidents were quite rare with bicycles.
Prior to arriving at the railway crossing, the car would turn left into Maxwell Road. After passing the road tunnel below, it turned left heading into the direction of the Kidd Bus Station. Then it turned right into Ipoh Tutorial, dropped off an Aunty and returned into the main road and this time heading for Guru Nanak School. From Guru Nanak, the next stop was the Convent and Rajah Perempuan, and it continued to Perak’s Girls High School in Kampar Road. On returning from Kampar Road, it went to Jalan Datoh and headed in ACS Ipoh at Lahat Road. In this route, the poor fellow who went to school in ACS was mostly late. If the car is driven up into the main building, you are sure to be caught. by the Prefects. The penalty at ACS Ipoh was one 220 yards round in the field for every 5 minutes late.
After much complaining and a change of circumstances, where there were two ACS students, the route was changed to ACS the first stop. It then went ahead through St Michaels to Yuk Choy High School, then to Convent, Raja Perempuan and Perak Girls High School. A few years later, the ACS boy got smarter and rode a bicycle to school.
There was no afternoon pickup service as the Grandfather used his car for business all day. Most of us take the bus home.
There were no TV in those days and it was fortunate for the Grandchildren of Chong Soon Fan to have a picture theatre next door and the admission is complimentary. I believe, the movie theatre leased the premises from Chong Soon Fan and he was given many complimentary tickets. Coming home after school, one would throw the school bag into the dark corner, eat lunch and headed straight for the movies which started at 2.00 pm, school day or not. It did not matter what language film was showing as long as we could sit there for one and a half hour entertained. In a year, we can have seen at least 50 movies (twice a week) and sometimes seeing the same movie twice.
The favourite food for the movies were ice kachang or ice ball, With the ice ball, you sit on the rattan seat (full of ticks) and you attempt to suck all the melted ice with the fan blowing hard under you. Of course, your clothes were dripped with coloured ice water. After the show, we cool our heads with the picture theatre tap located inside the cinema complex before returning home.
If we had seen a sword fighting movie, most of the boys would get some sticks and started to imitate the swordsman. Yes that was fun until one of the younger boys got hit accidently with the stick and started to cry. In a whiff, we all disappeared so no one can take responsibility for hurting the young brat. We swore not to include him in our activities but he also managed to get in because he could invoke the elders to fix us.
By 6 pm, the local appointed time for evening meal. Grandchildren can choose to eat at the bungalow or at the old house. Most of the time, , the old house Grandchildren ate at the bungalow.
After dinner, we had a bath and changed into pyjamas. We did our homework from 700 pm till 9:00 pm and were expected to go to bed by 9:30 pm. .
We’re featuring another photograph about SMJK Poi Lam. From what our donor (Veronica Woo) told us, the Poi Lam Alumni will be having a gathering this Saturday. With that in mind, how many of you former Poi Lam teachers/students recognise this (see below)?
This is a photo of teachers of SMJK Poi Lam, Ipoh during the school general assembly on 12 November, 1970. SMJK Poi Lam, a Chinese-based secondary school, was founded by the Perak Hock Kean Association in 1955. In the early years, the school started off with only three classrooms and an enrolment of 120 students. Then, in 1962 SMJK Poi Lam was granted status as a government-aided school. The first principal of the school was Mr Ng Cheng Aik who retired in 1976 after 21 years of service in the teaching profession.
Here we have a picture of Nigel Jennings on the verandah of Rose Cottage in the Cameron Highlands. He is wearing a green blazer and cap both sporting a school badge. We would love to know which school this was.
Inserted in the picture bottom left you can see the badge is an “S” and then a “T” or a cross amd possibly an “M”. No prixes except that you have helped Nigel remember and enhanced our site with more information.
Incidentally, Nigel was born in December 1924 so this photo is pronbly from the early 30’s.
We look forward to your comments.
Here are two more school photos with almost no information.
Again we seek your help please: Which School, Which Class and What Date?
Photograph C. THis one said to be Class 3C, 1971, but which Convent?
Photograph D. Said to be Class 4B but when?
We look forward to your advice.
More to come over the weekend. Keep on looking!
Here’s part 5, from UV.
Episode 5 – Schooling in Ipoh
After two years with the brightest of ACS for this batch of students which included Yee Woon Chee, Nga Tung See and others who constantly hogged the first and second place in the form, my various extra-curricular activities took its toll on me. In the crucial Lower Certificate Examination (Form 3) year I went to the ‘B’ class again.
In Form 1 and 2 I had Mr. Rasathurai for Mathematics. Incidentally, he was the son of the Head Master of the TR ACS Branch school. Later I understand, Mr. Rasathurai’s daughter became a teacher too and I think I met her once in Taiping when I was giving a talk to one of the schools there. Mr. Rasathurai was a fantastic Mathematics teacher but his jokes were even more fantastic. He would not fail to crack a joke every time he is in class and until today we can always recall some of them and oft-time we would use it whenever we are called upon to do some Master of Ceremony work.
In Form 3B in 1960 I was taught Mathematics by Mr. Balagopal. He is most noted for his bicycle and simple rattan woven bag. This greying, almost bald Indian gentleman would come into the class in a no-nonsense manner and would solve Mathematics problems rapidly on the blackboard for us to jot down, those who couldn’t solve them the previous day. Then he would stop half-way and asked some of us to complete the solution. Most of us couldn’t or would try and make some awful mistakes and he would be at at back, rubbing it with his open palm a few times before raising it to slam it hard down on our back! It would usually be accompanied with the words, “Idiot, it is?” Then we know for sure it isn’t the right solution! However, one would never forget how to solve a problem let it be Arithmetic, Algebra or Geometry after that whacking!
Mr. Balagopal gave me a strong foundation both in Mathematics and Mathematics 2 and it helped me qualify the next year for Four Science A. I have him to thank for this but I never pursued a career later in life that would require my using my Mathematical skills.
In Form 3B too we were blessed with Mr. Oh Boon Lian, our Geography teacher. No one would dare play the fool in his class. He wasn’t Mr. Quah Guan Teik who would cry when boys do not pay attention to his lessons. You pay attention to every word that comes out of Mr. Oh’s mouth when he is in class, so I missed nothing during his lessons. That was the start of my interest in Geography. In those days we had to learn all the Southern Continents and the whole of South East Asia for the LCE Geography syllabus. That is why today; those from that era could tell you the capitals of practically every country in South America, Africa and States in the Continent of Australia and New Zealand.
The Lower Certificate of Education Examination was a major hurdle to cross. It would decide whether you continue in Form Four in the Science or Arts stream. Most of us would sit for seven subjects. Others may also offer languages like Chinese, Tamil and Punjabi. O yes, I took up Latin in Form 1 and 2 but learned more to take punches for not being able to conjugate Latin verbs from our teacher who taught us during Saturday mornings for free! Some of you might recall him. He was the one instrumental for the start of Berita ACS! (No, not Mr. Jamit Singh)
When I visited Venice, Florence and Rome after I retired, I recalled some of the words I learned in Latin class but it did not help me at all when I was lost in Rome and luckily English was such a universal language, I was able to find my way back to my residence using it.
Science always intrigues me since Form 1 when Mr. Low Kum Wai started teaching us. He would make science come to life with all his stories of how to apply Science to our daily lives. I can never forget his lesson on friction when he described how he nailed nails into the sole of his clog and when cycling fast at nigh down the road he would let it glide over the surface of the road and would leave a trial of sparks to attract the attention of young girls! That’s Mr. Low Kum Wai and his Science lessons. How can one ever forget the facts with such a tale to fascinate you?
History was boring as usual. With the ‘What is Bronze’ teacher (see Episode 2) spending the whole year asking us to define bronze as the main part of our History lesson in Standard Four, I never took a liking to History in school. All we need do then was to buy a revision guide book written by a particular Indian gentleman (not a teacher in ACS) and memorize it and we are sure to pass! I did that for Form 5 too and even scored an A!
However, History was still the British version unlike what we have today. We learned Colonial History and History of the British Empire. We learned about Ancient Civilizations. We learned very little of Malaysian/Malayan History as there was so little of it except from book written by Englishmen! Parameswaran was a Hindu Prince then and Hang Tuah and Hang Jebat were heroes! I have often been involved in arguments with younger people over this! They do not learn what I learned in the past about these same characters!
In this episode I tried to give you an idea of what being in lower secondary was like. It was not so much the subject matter but who your teacher was that made you remember enough facts to pass your crucial examination! The teaching methods (Pedagogy) may be unique but it was effective, at least, for me. Learning was fun despite the threat of a major examination. Why so? It was so because our teachers made it fun! Even the whacking on the back with reprimands of “Idiots” and “stupid rascal” never deterred us from wanting to study and perform well.
What has changed today? Should a teacher lay a finger on a pupil the press will make a big issue out of it, police reports would be made and politicians will cry blue murder. I too have cried for the ‘blood’ of some teachers who went beyond the point of decency in handling students (especially girl students). Times have changed and teachers no longer can do what their own teachers did. I would accept a lot of things teachers did to my son but I don’t think he would accept the same being done to his children.
Do we call those days when I was in Lower Secondary school the ‘good old days’ or the ‘bad old days’? It depends on who is reading this. You share your comments on this, please.
Here’s part 4 of our series, written by UV.
A photo of the Author, in a Boys’ Brigade uniform during a Methodist Intermediate Fellowship programme. The American boy in the picture is the son of Bishop Lundey (Lundey was the pastor of Ipoh Wesley Church then).
Episode 4 – Schooling in Ipoh
I crossed over into secondary school education at the same time Malaya achieved independence. In January 1958 I entered Form 1. I was among the elite of ACS Form 1 students, many of whom today are famous professionals or business captains. Having taken things easy for the last few years in the 2nd class each year, to catch up and change my style of studying was rather difficult.
In the secondary school I became interested in singing as the teacher in-charge was a charming lady, Ms Wong Suet Lan who was also my Form Teacher. I joined her junior choir that would sing for some church services. It was this year too that I took part in a Christmas play and played the role of Joseph. Of course there would be a Mary and of course my friends would link us together for years to come, but we never became more than just choir mates.
In the primary school days, my parents would send me to Sunday School conducted by Wesley Methodist Church Ipoh. Here I obtained my religious education in Christianity. I was also involved in the Methodist Intermediate Fellowship and the Boys’ Brigade (2nd Ipoh Wesley Company). I have already selected my path I wanted to follow from those early years. The Church would become a very integrated part of my youth.
I took my studies as something that was essential but I would not devote all my time to it. I decided that my extra-mural activities must also play a very important role in my life. My parents, thanks to them, left me alone and never pressured me like some modern parents do to their children to just study and do nothing else. In this way I had a very full and rich life in my lower secondary school days. It was because of this that I never imposed on my own children the need to just concentrate on studying.
I never attended a single day of tuition throughout my school life. My tutors were my fellow classmates who were better in certain subjects than I was and I too became their tutors in subjects I was better in than they. You would be surprised that the telephone was a great way to communicate with your classmates to ask for help in doing homework in the late 50s and early 60s.
Yes, singing was fun. Parading under the hot sun every Saturday Afternoon when it was not raining with the Boys’ Brigade was great training for discipline. I had to spend the whole morning on Saturdays to polish my shoe until I could see my face on its surface, polish the metal buckle of my belt, all the metal badges and make sure my shirt and pants were starched stiff and ironed smooth. After Boys’ Brigade meetings, the whole group of us would then adjourn to the Kidd Road bus station for a cool drink or the famed ABC (Ais Batu Campur or then known as Ice-kacang). Our mode of transport was our bicycles. [Some of my BB friends have already contacted me through this website.]
During the holidays we would go hiking or camping. The Kinta River was the favourite spot for hiking or camping. We also attended an all-Malaya gathering of Boys’ Brigade Companies know as the National Boys’ Brigade Parade (same as Jamboree for Scouts). It would take place in various towns in Malaya. I attended those held in Penang, Kuala Lumpur and the local one in Ipoh.
Methodist Intermediate Fellowship was a church organization for youths below 16 years old. Here we were involved in social activities centred on Christianity. We had an elected organizing committee like any society with counsellors giving guidance. Here too we had the opportunity to socialize with girls. Something other boys my age never had, except for those girls in their neighbourhood. Many of these girls were from Methodist Girls’ School, Ipoh but there were others from other girls schools too. Here too developed some puppy love among the boys and girls.
Life was rather interesting in those early days in lower secondary. I would continue with more interesting in-depth stories in the coming episodes.
We have here a contribution by one of our readers – UV -ValiantKnight. He would like to share with us his childhood memories, especially from his schooling days at the Primary branch of ACS (in Ulu Kinta). Below is his story, together with a couple of pictures. Happy reading!
S.K. Methodist, Tanjong Rambutan
T.R. Methodist Church
Schooling in Ipoh
Would you believe it if I told you that I started schooling in ACS Ipoh’s branch primary school in Tanjung Rambutan (Ulu Kinta)? Yes, there is such a place as ACS Ipoh’s branch primacy school then in the early 50s. This school is now a full fledge primary school. However, back then, it was only a branch school housed in a church building (TR’s Methodist Church (Chinese) but used by all congregations – Chinese, Tamil and English).
I went to that school because my mother was a nurse (the first Mental Trained Nurse certified by the Registrar of Nursing, England) in Central Mental Hospital, Tanjung Rambutan (now renamed Hospital Bahagia Ulu Kinta). Yes, my siblings and their school going friends were object of teasing and ridicule when they were dropped at their respective schools in Ipoh by the CMH bus! However, many from this unsavoury place associated with mental disease became famous Malaysians.
I never had the experience of travelling to Ipoh by this bus. I was registered in the ACS Ipoh Branch Primary School and my father who was a temporary teacher there took me to school on his bicycle every morning until he left to join the Home Guards during the height of the Emergency. From that time on, I had to walk about 2 Km from my mother’s nursing quarters to school and I usually take a short cut along the railway track that ran from just behind my house to the front of the school.
It was safe then to let a 6+ walk alone along a railway track then. If this happened today, I would not be here to write about it. I would be joined by a young friend who was the brother of a famous radio announcer later in life.
There were not too many pupils in the school and there were only 3 classes, Primary One, Primary Two and Standard One (that was how classes were graded then, it later became Standard One to Standard Six and now it is Year One to Year Six.
What I remembered about this school most was its horrible toilet! It was a small outhouse away from the main building and a huge jar (I could barely pee into it being rather short then) where all the boys had to urinate into (to be used by vegetable farmers). The stench was horrible and flies were in the hundreds. I refused to go (if possible) and so cultivated the ability to hold on with my bladder full until I reached home each day. One day, I could not and wet myself and that was a day to remember! I think my classmates also cannot forget that day to my peril. However, it taught me a lesson in life.
When I became a teacher and should a pupil ask me for permission to go to the levorotary I would never deny him or her! It also taught me that one cannot be in full control all the time and that nature has its way to let us know that it is in control. A few years later, a friend in class did something worse; he could not hold back ‘the big one’. I was sitting next to him and one could imagine the stench! I helped clean up the chair and floor because I was next to him and also I remembered what happened to me a few years before that day. Of course everyone nicknamed him “Lai See Poh” (a lady that dirtied her pants with excreta) from that day onwards, but he was OK in life despite that name!
I am sure many of you did experience this when in school, either as the one performing these acts or had friends in class doing them. Care to share?
This is the staff of the Anglo-Chinese School (ACS), Ipoh.
Could anyone tell us the year (a rough guess would do too)? And, perhaps if you can remember these teachers – we’d love to hear from you 🙂
I’m sure some of you ACS-alumni out there are already searching your ‘database’!
We thank Joshua Anantham for sending us this photograph.
Calling ALL Convent-Alumni!!!
As stated in the flyer, there will be a Christmas Party on 11th December 2010, organised by the Convent Old Girls Association (COGA). This party will be at the Convent Primary Hall, from 4 pm till 7 pm. Besides good food and some fun games, this is a chance to revisit your dear alma mater; maybe even a time to catch up on the latest! We were also told that Convent’s very own band – Tradimode – will be performing too.
Those interested may contact Florina Ng, the Convent Music Teacher. Start marking your diaries, girls!!
Now here’s a sight for sore eyes! It is 1963 and the boys and girls (boys in drag!) of Pasir Puteh are putting on “Old King Cole”. Which one is you? Do write in if you recognise yourself or anyone else.
And here we have Standard II in 1961. Wah didn’t you all look like little angels then! Ms Wan is the class teacher and next to her is the headmaster Mr. Bhagwan Singh. S K Ong who kindly sent in these photos, and two more from later years, is standing in the second row, second on the right.
So who else can you recognise?
Fellow Main Convent Alumni……….recognise this? It is said to be the kitchen. I don’t recognize it……this was WAY before my time 😉
Maybe some of you out there know which part of the Main Convent building this is……do let us know. And do tell us if this building is still there today (perhaps it has been restored / renovated?).
We await for some good news……….
Here we have a picture from the 1970s, showing the Tadika Batu Gajah (Batu Gajah Kindergarten).
To what we know, this kindergarten was housed in a wooden shed, within the compound of St Joseph’s Church.
The shed can be seen in the picture (above) on the left; the long, wooden structure on the far left, which is painted yellow. This shed was also once known as St Joseph’s School, somewhere in the mid 1940s. The girls from St Joseph’s School were later moved to Jalan Pusing – the present location of St Bernadette’s Convent!
The picture on the right shows the front of St Joseph’s Church, which was built in the late 1920s. The church is near the Batu Gajah Hospital.
Just behind this wall which is across the road from Chung Thye Phin’s mansion (now the Kinta Medical Centre) is a wonderful old mansion which we hope is under massive restoration rather than renovation. It presently looks like this.
What a great house this must have been in its day. But by now you might be wondering why we think there is some mystery about it. Well here it is!
Who or what was Leeton? If you can help we shall be delighted to hear from you. This time we really need your help. Please.
By the way the photographs are courtesy of Kinta Heritage Sdn Bhd. Thank you for your help guys.
Nobody could tell us about an earlier Ipoh band – The Red Crane, but this might be easier. Known as “Unit 6-2” they are from left to right, Richard, Aziz, Yahaya and Richard. The date is around 1966 and they are all from SMI. Richard on the left is probably Leong Kai Loong, but who are the others and where are they now?
From the same source came this second picture. We believe it is Form 5 Arts 1965 and that the same Leong Kai Loong is second from the left in the back row. But who else is there? One thing unusual is there is no La Sallian brother pictured. Why would that be?
Sports Day at St Bernadette’s Convent, Batu Gajah, was quite eventful in 1954 – the Teachers had their own little race. This picture was taken at the school’s new grounds (Jalan Pusing); the school was previously sharing its premises with the St Joseph’s Catholic Church.
Far in the background are some curious spectators, probably wondering how these teachers would be able to race in those lovely dresses!!
Here we have a ‘friendly’ bus – ferrying the children around and also joining them on school trips. This picture was taken from the Main Convent Centenary Magazine. Judging by the number plate (AA 5084) and from the wordings in the magazine, we think this picture was probably taken around the year 1957.
Anyone out there been on such a bus before? Do let us know – especially if you were a ‘product’ of Main Convent, Ipoh!
This picture was taken inside an SMI classroom in 1966. It’s clearly marked Standard 5. Also pencilled faintly on the back is David Yee and Soon Yit Tan. We believe those standing at the back, from left ro right are: Bro. Gabriel, Mr. Khoo Kok Hean, Mr. Lim Guan Choe, the 1st Headmaster of SMI Primary School, Bro. Theodoret Michael, Mrs Cheah Hoong Onn. If anyone can confirm these names and add more we would be pleased to hear from you.
On 14 June 2009 both the China Press and Oriental Daily kindly featured the launch of ipohWorld’s new database archive and blog. The photographs show guests viewing the photographic exhibition, “Snapshots of the Emergency” that accompanied the launch. Scans of the articles are shown above and for the convenience of the all, we enclose our Press Release below:
Ipohworld, an education-based organization now integrated into the facilities of Tenby Schools Ipoh, today launched an internet-based history archive in conjunction with this year’s Remembrance Day ceremony held to honour the thousands of servicemen and civilians killed during the Malaysian Emergency (1948-1960).
This occasion was chosen as several of the veterans from the days of the Emergency had donated photographs unavailable elsewhere, to the history archive.
To mark the occasion, Ipohworld also mounted a photographic exhibition at the Royal Ipoh Club, simply called “Snapshots of the Emergency” and featuring a number of original photographs donated by the veterans who regularly attend the annual ceremony.
Orang Kaya-Kaya Panglima Kinta Seri Amar di-Raja Dato’ Seri Dr Abdullah Fadzil Che Wan, who is also the Chairman of Ipohworld, was present to launch the exhibition.
Ipohworld was established in 2004 to promote awareness and appreciation of Perak, the Silver State of Malaysia and its unique, diverse and rich heritage, with particular focus on Ipoh and the Kinta Valley. In 2006 it ran the extraordinarily successful exhibition “The Story of Ipoh: From Feet to Flight”, in cooperation with Darul Ridzuan Museum. Since then, while trying to get both the Public and Private sectors to support Ipohworld’s objective to provide Ipoh with a permanent, lively and interesting heritage gallery, to enhance education and tourism, the organisation continues to work towards that target.
Consequently, undeterred by the lack of financial support for a gallery, the project has continued to gather a broad variety of local items and information from worldwide sources. As the collection grew, disciplined recording, preservation and control became essential. Thus, an information archive in the form of a unique digital image database, supported by original research, and available information from acknowledged and credible sources, was born.
To date Ipohworld has documented well over 3000 items in the archive covering a wide range of subjects across the broad spectrum of heritage and social history, based on photographs, documents, interviews, artifacts, books and videos. More items will be added regularly.
Through this database it is hoped to assist individuals and groups, particularly students, with their research, while at the same time promoting the Kinta Valley, once vaunted the richest tin mining area in the world.
In line with present communication trends, Ipohworld, under the guidance of its Project Manager, Commandor RN (RTD) Ian Anderson, has created a weblog to publish stories, personal experiences and to highlight heritage issues as they occur around our valley. Through the weblog, they hope to facilitate discussion between their readers and encourage those with an interest in Perak to share their stories and pictures with others. They also welcome visitors to post original contributions on any aspect of heritage or social history relevant to our area to enrich the content of the blog.
In 2006, the Ipohworld project was integrated into the facilities of Tenby Schools Ipoh, which aligned neatly with the schools’ ongoing commitment to encourage interest in heritage and social history among their students while maintaining the project‘s objective to promote Kinta Valley’s heritage. Since then, all the items displayed in its maiden exhibition “From Feet to Flight” as well as new additions, have have found their “home” at Tenby Schools Ipoh, whilst continuing to wait for a permanent home.
Madam Lee Yam Sei, COO of Tenby Schools Ipoh, explained that the students’ first involvement with Ipohworld’s objectives was when they took on a project to document their own families’ transport history in 2006, taking the lead from the first exhibition.
“Since then several of the schools’ students have collaborated with Ipohworld on oral history interviews of senior members of the community, assisted with hosting exhibitions and taken part in photographic, art and model building competitions with heritage as the theme.
“Besides projects of this nature, the schools also take pride in organising trips to heritage exhibitions and sites to further expose their students to the wealth of local history that is available”, she said.
“These include such diverse subjects as tin mining, a battle site, prehistoric rock paintings, a well-known local folly, mangrove swamps and charcoal burning.
“We are proud that our students have taken a keener interest in Perak’s history and developed an appreciation for its rich cultural heritage through these activities, as a result of the efforts of Ipohworld”, Madam Lee added.
Over the last 5 years Ipohworld has been well supported with donated material from home and overseas, but if they are to build a truly comprehensive archive they need more help. If anyone has any old photographs, documents, artifacts or stories from Ipoh or the Kinta Valley area they would be delighted to hear from them.
Contact may be made via in the first instance so that appropriate arrangements may be made. Anything borrowed will be returned promptly as existing contributors will confirm.
Ipohworld’s impressive history archives, including the most recent collection of photo exhibition “Snapshots of the Emergency”, are available for public viewing via http://www.ipohworld.org
As an introduction to the launch of ipohWorld’s new website, database archive and blog at the Royal Ipoh Club on 13 June 2009, the Star Newspaper kindly featured us on the same morning. The photographs in the above article show the ipohWorld project manager demonstrating the type of information available in the archive ( on the screen are members of the Malay Regiment on anti communist patrol) and students of Tenby Schools, Ipoh interviewing Dato Seri Yuen Yuet Leng about his 35 years in the police, with particular emphasis on the Malayan Emergency.
More information about the Emergency, Dato Seri and the role of Tenby students within ipohWorld may be found on the website and archive.
In response to a request herewith our version of the history of ACS Ipoh. If you believe we have made any mistakes please let us know.
“The Anglo-Chinese Boys School Ipoh was the first English school, as well as the first Christian mission school, in Kinta. It was established by the Methodist Episcopal Mission in 1895, ten years after the founding of the Methodist Mission in Singapore. The first attempt to found the school in Ipoh was in November 1894 when Rev TW Stagg was sent by the Methodist Episcopal Mission in Singapore to Ipoh to make the appropriate arrangements. The school was to be opened on the 1st day of 1895 and pupils were to be charged $3 per month. The fee was not affordable for the local people and the school closed down in June that year.
The task of re-starting and, in reality, founding the school was then given to the Reverend W.E. Horley, a young Englishman who had arrived in Ipoh on 31st July 1895. He played an influential role in the educational and spiritual development of the youth in this country.
Just 5 days after his arrival, on 5th August 1895, Rev. Horley opened the Anglo-Chinese School in a small attap-roofed Malay house rented from Datoh Panglima Kinta in Ipoh at Changkat. The land was adjoining the Police barracks, just behind the first Land Office. This was later demolished to provide space for a new mosque. It was Mr. W. Cowan, who came from Taiping, to take over the duties of Chinese Protectorate from Mr. Barnes, who encouraged Horley to go ahead with the plan. Hence, the lower part of the Datoh’s house was enclosed to become the schoolroom.
It is said that Sir George Maxwell, who in one of his letters described the new school house as being “painted a rich blue with yellow shutters” and legend has it that this is reason why blue and gold were chosen as the School`s colours in the 1920s.
Initially, four boys turned up- two Malays and two Chinese; one of them was Che Wan, who became Datoh Panglima Kinta. Another of the first students, Khong Tak Nam, became one of the first two students to pass the Senior Cambridge Examination in 1902, and went to England to study medicine at St. John’s College, Cambridge.
Very quickly the enrolment increased to 60 boys and in 1895, Horley’s application of a four acres land for school and church purposes, was granted by Kinta District Officer, Mr. R.D. Hewett. The land was situated at Lahat Road. Money was donated by the local European, Chinese and Tamil communities, to support the construction of the school.
The first building of the Anglo-Chinese School, a double-storey timber structure with a central tower, was completed at Lahat Road, in May 1896, it was known as Horley Hall. It remains standing today (2007) and houses the school museum. This, the oldest Methodist building in Peninsula Malaysia, doubled as a school from Mondays to Fridays and a church on Sundays. The school numbers increased rapidly, with another timber building being erected in 1898, which became the Primary school.
As the school’s enrolment grew to 200, facilities were erected for boarders. The first batch of boarders moved in in 1901. In the same year the first Cambridge Class was started by Mr. S.H. Wood. 2 years later, towkays Foo Choo Choon and Loke Yew donated the Commercial School (now used as classrooms) to the school. Incidentally a large part of the expansion and upgrades to the school were funded through the generosity of Ipoh’s local wealthy tin miners while the government only contributed a token sum.
The number of students continued to increase and by the time there were 250, 60 coming from Batu Gajah by train. Other buildings followed in 1904, 1914 and 1918.
The main building, a landmark, Edwardian-style, building, standing parallel to Lahat Road, with its prominent quoining, was erected and opened in 1914. It cost a total of $93 000 and was designed by Mr. C.H. Le Brooy. Rev. Horley obtained a grant of $25 000 from the government to assist in the completion of the building. Subsequent additions from 1938 were made in the same style. It was C.H. Labrooy, who also designed the Ipoh Railway Station and Ipoh Town Hall. The formal opening of this building was on 30th March 1914 by His Excellency Sir Arthur Young. Further buildings followed.
The next few decades were marked by many firsts. The first annual ACS school play – a tradition that has remained until today – was staged in 1915. Rev. L. Proebstel helmed the production of ‘Julius Caesar’ that year. In 1921 the second scout troop in the state of Perak (and the first in Ipoh) was formed in the school by Mr. A.B. Samuels. This led to one of the school’s historic moments when a rally was held at the school, in 1934, to welcome Lord Baden-Powell, the first Chief Scout.
‘The Voyager’, ACS’s annual school magazine, was first launched in 1926 and in 1936, Mr. P.B. Bell launched the construction the first science laboratory among Perak schools. The new block, also consisting of a carpentry workshop, was officially opened in 1938.
With the onset of the Pacific War, the British Army requisitioned the front portion of the school as their Ipoh headquarters. When the British troops withdrew in 1941, the school was taken over by the Japanese until their defeat in 1945. The school reopened its doors on the 26th of September 1945 under the first local principal, Mr. Aw Boon Jin.
In the decade that followed, the curriculum was expanded to include various languages, more science subjects and woodwork up to School Certificate Level. In 1949, ACS was the first school in Perak to offer post-Senior classes, the equivalent of today’s Form 6. In 1956, Mr. Teerath Ram took over the administration of the school. He was a visionary leader who instigated many changes including the separation of the primary and secondary sections of the school, the construction of several new blocks housing classrooms, a teachers’ lounge, a lecture theatre, an improved library and a new canteen. He was also responsible for the construction of the recreation centre and the swimming pool – the pride of the school of which the school teachers contributed $32 000 of the $140 000 building cost – as well as the $250 000 indoor stadium, named “Teerath Ram Hall” in his honour.
Several upgrades to the school were undertaken in subsequent years, including the building of an Audio Visual Aids (AVA) Room, the setting up of the School Band, and under Principal Thomas Kok Hee Fatt, the modernising of the school saw the set up a Computer Room and four additional AVA rooms. He saw the significance of sports and of creating a comfortable and pleasant environment in which the students could excel, doing his part to make the school greener. He also introduced the Eagle as the school mascot in 1999.
ACS has in its alumni several prolific sportsmen including the badminton players Mr. Teoh Seng Khoon (Thomas Cup 1949 and All-England 1949) and Mr. Cheah Soon Kit (Thomas Cup 1992); Malaysian Olympic representatives Professor Thong Saw Pak (weightlifting, Helsinki 1952), Mr. Philip Sankey (hockey, Melbourne 1956 and Tokyo 1964), Mr. Chet Singh a/l Sarmukh Singh (hockey, Tokyo 1964) and Dato Poon Fook Loke (hockey captain, Montreal 1976 and Los Angeles 1984). The school also produced top national swimmers Allan Ong and Anthony Ang.”
This small photo just two inches wide is marked on the back as above plus Standard IIIA. It is written by the same hand as the other ACS Senior Cambridge Class 1950 on this blog. Did the school change its name from ACS to MES in 1951? Is there anyone out there who attended the school at that time? Please let us have any information you might have. Thanks.
As part of our objective of saving the history of the Kinta Valley for future generations we try to gather original memories about days past. Here is one about Rickshaws. Do you have any memories we you can share with us please
“Anna Down, locally born, but now from UK, remembers that as a child in Ipoh she had a regular Rickshaw Puller to take her and two others to and from the Anglo Chinese Girls School daily. He was a tall, well-built, Chinese man who was paid monthly for his services and despite only having a single seat vehicle, happily allowed two girls to squash into the seat and one to squat on the wooden platform. They took turns as to who rode where and called him ‘Long-Legged Uncle on account of his physical size.
Anna remembers the rickshaw as ‘great fun’ as they used to exhort ‘Long-Legged’ to run faster and overtake the other girls in their rickshaws and trishaws which he could do with ease on account of his long legs. She also remembers fondly that when she left Ipoh to go to UK for further studies he presented her with a ‘lovely brocade jacket’.At around the same time (early 1950’s) Anna recalls a ‘rather obese’ Chinese ‘Aunty’ who was a ‘broker’ and spent a considerable amount of her day traveling around Ipoh in a rickshaw. On one ‘never to be forgotten journey’ she hired a rickshaw puller who was the exact opposite of ‘Long-Legged’. He was small, positively skinny, poorly dressed and indistinguishable from others as his face was covered with the traditional ‘Good Morning’ towel and pointed hat to keep the sun off.
‘Aunty’ climbed into the rickshaw, sat herself down with a thump and ordered the puller to start the journey in the fastest possible time. The puller promptly lifted the handles high and prepared to start running. At that very moment ‘Aunty leant back gratefully into the comfortable seat and disaster struck. The rickshaw tipped back and the puller was left with his feet dangling in the air, as the rickshaw continued its backwards arc, until the overweight passenger was stranded in the hood of the vehicle, upside down, with her legs in the air. Wearing only her sarong below her waist, which had of course followed gravity and was now only enveloping her upper limbs ‘Aunty’s modesty was at risk, but as quick as a flash the puller dropped to the ground, removed his hat and gallantly slapped it on his passengers exposed areas to protect her from public view. His colleagues came to rescue and righted the rickshaw. It is not recorded whether ‘Aunty’ ever traveled by rickshaw again.”
I have just noticed that pencilled lightly on the back of this one is July 1963. Sitting to the left of the brother (as we look at it) with glasses is what I believe to be the same person as featured below under A Champion Swimmer and his Trophys and who we think may be Dr Lim.
Originally known as the Convent of the the Holy Infant Jesus, the school was founded by Mother St. Victoire, supported by Mother St. Anatoli, Assistant General to the Priests’ Assembly in Paris. It opened on 7th January 1907, at a small house in the compound of the St. Michael’s Church (Ipoh), with only eight students. Initially, it had only two teachers headed by headmistress Sister St. Prudence. The enrolment of the school increased to 99 students by the end of that year.
But the above picture is much later and we would like to know when and who is in the picture please. If you know anything about this picture or the others on this blog, please click on ‘Comments’ under the photo and leave your advice/information there. Thanks in anticipation.