Saturday, January 10, 2009

REMINISCENCES OF PAST GAIETY

caption: UNFORGETTABLE... Pakcik Din (left) and the Ice-cream man. Two faithful Michaelians.

We have an alert from an old Michaelian, Mr Harneak Singh from the Old Michaelian Association that Pakcik Din has stopped ferrying students to school. Below is the e-mail I received.

"Just wondering if you noticed that Pakcik Din has called it a day ferrying children to school. After serving about 56 years with SMI, I am to understand that he has officially "retired".
I met him a few days before the school holidays and he did not mention anything of his "retirement". He was still talking proudly about his experience at SMI. Maybe, age has taken toll on him.
At 74, it's not an easy task ferrying school kids. If I am not wrong, the last school bus displaying our school badge is off the road now.
I wish him happy retirement and thank him for the service rendered to the school.
Harneak Singh.


St Michael's takes pride in having produced individuals who have contributed to society and become prominent figures in the community. The alma mater never forgets these personalities. Here, we pay a fitting tribute to SMI Bus Driver for his service and zeal to all Michaelians.
Pakcik Din, full name Tuan Haji Jamaluddin was born on 4 September 1934. He came to work at SMI in 1952 as lab assistant. Brother Denis Hyland was Brother Director then. Many did not know that we had a fleet of nine school buses to ferry our boys to and fro school and Pak Din was commissioned to drive one of the buses.
He continued to drive privately even after his contract as a lab assistant expired. He recalls the time when there were no traffic lights in the early days and bullock carts were a common sight then. St Michael's was merely a small structure then compared to the magnificent building today.
At 73, he is still going strong and up to Nov 16, 2007, Pak Din still ferries young, energetic Michaelians to school from the Ipoh Garden and Canning Garden areas. His amber-coloured bus, AT 8551, has been on the road for more than three decades, four perhaps. (extracted from SMI 2002 school magazine)
The antique-looking bus carries with it prominently the logo of St Michael's, displaying the "green and white" proudly around town for many,many years. Pak Din arrives punctually everyday and parents are rest assured he can have their kids "delivered" to school safe and sound, just like when the parents themselves got delivered to school when they were young. By whom? Yes, by the same reliable and trusted man, Pakcik Din.
He has seen through eight directors and principals- Brother Denis, Brother Pius, Brother Paul, Brother Vincent, Mr Chong Suan Ee, Mr K. Balasubramaniam, Mr Teh Chor Aun, Mr Louis Rozario Doss and now, Mr Phoon.
Note: I will be tracking down Pakcik Din and the bus and take a few shots of Pakcik Din and his old faithful. St Michael's wishes him well and many years of fruitful life. Thank you Mr Harneak for the alert.

2 comments:

wEnGz said...

Pak Cik Din was my bus driver since form 1 (I m currently doing my pre-U). As a bus driver , he was exceptionally punctual compared to other bus drivers .He never fails to send me to school. Now that he has retired .. I felt a bit sad as SMI has lost another prominent figure..and the fact that Pak Cik Din's bus wont be on the road anymore is a harsh truth for me .

Robb said...

i wasn't ferried by Pak Cik Din but by his comrade Uncle Joseph. Despite he's not ferrying me, I remember the funny moments and talks Pak Cik Din shared with me. I'll always remember Pak Cik Din and Uncle Joseph for their invaluable service they did for the school