Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Welcome Deputy Minister of Education To SMI

Deputy Education Minister Datuk Hon Choon Kim is on a working visit to St Michael's on Tuesday at 10.30am. He is to be accompanied by officials from the ministry and state education department. We understand that he is going to check on the school's 5-star toilet and if he finds it up to his expectations, Datuk Hon is going to declare the loo be a benchmark for all school toilets in Malaysia. He will also be touring the foodcourt, perhaps to check on the preparation aspects and the quality of food sold there. Well, the foodcourt is in good hands, with tasty and reasonably priced food. Thanks to Brother Matthew Bay who looks into the many factors that contribute to a truly world class and premium foodcourt.

Monday, July 30, 2007

The Countdown Begins

A banner, 16 ft X 3ft, has been put up this evening, despite a windy condition. Form Two boys, Risyidan, Nirmal Rao and Raimy have been remarkably helpful as they have never failed to lend a hand whenever it comes to hanging posters and distributing flyers.
On Tuesday, more buntings are arriving together with some new stands. Campaigning by Form Six students from school to school around Ipoh is on-going. The cast, stage crew, musicians and AVA boys are on full gears, ready to stage the year's most spectacular show in town.
A press conference has been arranged with the pressmen this Friday at 2.30pm. Tickets for the three evenings are going fast. For booking, do e-mail me at peterkhiew@gmail.com or call the school at 05-2540418.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

A New Home, Finally.

The decades-old S. Withers safe has found a new home. Hoisted by a bulldozer, work to re-located the safe from the school field to the new place was not that breezy. Workers were seen frantically shifting the weighty safe from one area to another, just to get the right position for a waiting forklift. The "steel box" is now sitting opposite the school's famous "Chubb" vault on the ground floor.
Another school relic saved!

SMI Speech Day 2007

"ENTER TO LEARN, LEAVE TO SERVE" - a mission to maximize the achievement of all Michaelians and to empower them to become useful and productive citizens.

That theme was the centerpiece of the speech delivered by Brother Visitor Thomas Lavin at the school Speech Day, which was attended by some 60 parents and 80 prize recipients last Thursday.

"As a Lasallian school, we have an obligation to make a difference in each student's life so that when they leave school they will serve others graciously and lovingly," he said to the applause of those attended, included members of the Board of Governors, headed by Dato' Seri Lee Oi Hian, OMA and PTA committee members.
Principal Mr Phoon Chong Chee also had an advice for Michaelians. He stressed the importance of the three ideals every Michaelian must adhere to - Faith, Zeal and Community.
Perhaps, the theme, " Enter To Learn, Leave To Serve" should be chosen as SMI theme come 2008. Agree? Do let us know at peterkhiew@gmail.com
caption: Brother Visitor Thomas Lavin, accompanied by Mr Phoon, inspecting the guard of honour mounted by some 50 members of the uniformed units.

Friday, July 27, 2007


Starting 2008, Michaelians will officially adopt the SMI crest/logo above. School badges, certificates, medals and all items related to the school's official use must carry the "Green & White" crest. The book shop proprietor has been informed by the principal to stop ordering the present school badges (below) and to start selling the approved type for students next year. The school authorities, the LaSalle brothers and the Old Michaelians Association have stamped their approval pertaining to the change.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Asrama Bintang Remembered!

Residents of the Asrama Bintang Convent of the Infant Jesus, home for the aged, disabled women, felt greatly honoured when they were feted to a buffet dinner recently. OMA committee members, headed by Mr Adrian Tsen, played host to some 35 inmates, treating them to an array of Oriental and Western dishes.
This gesture of appreciation has been an on-going affair for some ten years. Mr Chow Wai Hong, who organised the get-together, said the old folks need to be shown affection and love, and one way to do it is to eat and drink together with them.

Michaelians always have soft spot for the lost, the least and the last. That was the value taught by the Brothers and glad that the ideals have not changed over the decades.

Note: The home is located behind Main Convent School, opposite St Michael's Church.
caption: OMA committee from left Anthony Lourdes, Yip Chee Thong, Yong Sin Wah, Master Chan Khin Seng, Mr Adrian Tsen (president), Sister Catherine Lim (Matron of Home), Chow and Gnanasagaran.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Programmes Planned For Merdeka Month

The buntings should be up by Thursday, together with banners depicting the "pantun" kemerdekaan. Notice the two free-standing poles in our school field facing the Ipoh Padang? Thanks to Mr Phoon for his approval on the purchase of the two poles with horizontal steel bars to put up banners for SMI events. Before that students and teachers had to brave the wind and rain to put up banners, risking their lives climbing up the ladder which leaned precariously against the palm trees.
We, Michaelians, celebrate with joy the nation's 50th anniversary.
"Malaysiaku Gemilang"

Keeping Track Of the School Play

As funding coordinator, OMA president Mr Adrian Tsen was briefed by the school on the current status of the school drama. Among the items discussed that day were ticket sales, sponsors, promotion and seating arrangements. Director Corrinne Mah said the crew and cast were practising seriously, with musicians working equally hard to ensure three unforgettable evenings of excitement and heart-thumping moments, coming 17, 18 & 19 August 2007.
It was also decided that HERCULES T-shirts can be worn on Wednesdays by students. When the news was announced to them during assembly, it was greeted with cheers and a thunderous applause.
Heard that Saturday RM20 tickets are selling like hot cakes, with news already out that tickets are about to sell out. SMI KL Alumni members have also joined in the excitement by calling up the school and sending enquiries via e-mails. We are serious in raising RM100,000 this year. Possible? "It's possible", said Mr Adrian Tsen.
For more information, e-mail peterkhiew@gmail.com
caption of pix: From left Mr Phoon (principal), Adrian Tsen, Corrinne(director) and Mrs Yee (business manager)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

St Michael's Primary One Food and Fun Fair

To generate funds to acquire class furniture and to equip the school with some basic amenities, SMI primary One successfully organised a food and fun fair last Sunday.
The turn-out was tremendous. Stalls selling fried chicken, "rojak pasembur", coconuts, books and even school shoes were swarmed with parents, students and Michaelian supporters from far and near. Car vendors also seized the opportunity to promote their latest machines. Among the hottest stalls that were the haunted corner, pony ride and rojak. St Michael's famous space where decades-old trees stand proudly in between classes was filled with tables and chairs, turning it into a food court.

For many, the food and fun fair came at an appropriate time as the premises are scheduled to be demolished very soon. While the children were filled with excitement with the "choo-choo-train" and cheap comics on sale, old boys who were there felt a tinge of sadness as they anticipated the impending works to tear the building down. Built in 1959 and torn down in 2007, the old faithful has served Michaelians well, producing great and honorable Malaysians.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Incredible English S. Withers & Co Safe IN SMI

This English “S. Withers & Co.” safe, believed to be more than 80 years old, has been crane-lifted to the ground floor, waiting to be placed at a permanent spot within the school. Originally placed at the corridor facing the Brothers' quarters and outside the school chapel, the safe was believed to have been used by the Japanese officials to keep important documents and valuable items. When they left, the safe was emptied before it was used by Brother Paul, Brother Vincent and other Brother directors to keep important school papers.

S.Withers Company, the maker of the safe, was founded in 1855 in West Bromwich, England, a town near Birmingham. The company was in business up to the 1960’s and remained a family owned and operated up to its close. Withers was a prolific producer of safes. A distinctive trademark is included on the safe.

Check out Incredible English “S. Withers & Co.” Safe . The SMI safe looks similar, only that the one on sale has been refurbished and restored. Not sure what Brother Matthew, as a custodian, will do to ensure the posterity of the decades-old safe.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

SMI Chapel - A Forgotten Legacy.

Little is written about the school chapel. This under-publicised heritage of SMI, located on the 2nd floor of the main building and is linked to the quarters where the Brothers stayed, has been long "abandoned", as OMA president Adrian Tsen put it. He said during the 60s' until the early 80s' the chapel was a focal point among students who congregated there to sing hymns and start the day with words of prayers before proceeded to their respective classes.

"I remember the chapel was a place students would come together after school every Friday to have fellowship together. The singing created such pleasant and sweet atmosphere within the school compound. In other words, it was a place students found solace and peace," said Adrian, who studied in SMI during the 60s.

"They brought along their guitars and others would join in to sing along. It was such a pleasant sight to see Michaelians at a place they considered a sanctuary," said Tn Hj Meor Idris, who has taught in SMI for the past 30 years.
He said the chapel was a favourite place among students.

"Some would sit outside the chapel reading their books and others would just fellowship inside. Masses would also be held for Catholic students. They liked the serenity and the soothing effects in the chapel," Meor said.


During World War 2, before St Michael's was occupied by the Japanese, its soldiers machine-gunned the building and seriously damaged the school roof. Looters stole furniture and books. They even tried to wrench the tabernacle from the altar of the chapel. It was soon that the chapel was converted into the State Legislative Council Chambers. The altar was removed and used as firewood. Here, the European and the Chinese with Japanese wives had to take a promise of allegiances to the Japanese Emperor.


Interviews with former teachers and old boys reveal that serious infestation by termites on the wooden panels around the altar, walls and ceilings also attributed to the closure of the chapel. Presently, the chapel is under the care of Brother Matthew Bay, who personally looks into its posterity, upkeep and maintenance.
Currently under extensive repairs in line with the roof replacement works of the main building, the chapel is set to shine again. Plans are afoot to restore the originality of the chapel, including looking into the architectural aspects and its outstanding work of art - the paintings and stained glass windows.
School principal Mr Phoon Choong Chee and OMA president Mr Adrian Tsen have expressed their desire to see a complete restoration of the chapel, after which the great activities of yesteryear are brought back again to resonate the atmosphere long missed by the school community. Many feel that, after decades of neglect, the chapel is to be accorded the status and recognition it truly deserves.
Feel free to comment about the chapel.