Monday, August 31, 2009

The Old Smokehouse

A Short Note From Mr Harneak Singh

Hi Peter, one of my cousin told me that they used to puff in this "smokehouse" in the 70's. It was also known as "smokehouse" then. Maybe the name originated way back in the 70s' or maybe earlier. I got a feeling it got to do something with the "puffing".
I am having the oldest surviving approved plans for this "smokehouse". It was approved by Ipoh Sanitary Board then. It is not done on paper but on a piece of cloth. Of course, over the years, the piece of cloth has turned yellow. Maybe I will show it to you and get it photographed for history purposes.

From the Editor:
Very interesting, Harneak. I believe visitors to the blog are waiting for the first-hand look at the plan which interestingly was drawn on a piece of cloth.


A Little Update:

The old smokehouse was built in 1940 by Brother Patrick O' Donovan to replace the bucket system toilet which Michaelians had patiently used up to the late 1930s. The smokehouse, even from the time it was slated for renovation last month, did not change much. It was used by the British army, the Japanese during the war and by generations of Michaelians.
A toilet which is going to be 60 years old next year actually deserve a mention.
Thank you, Brother Vincent for the information.

How this name came about was unknown. Perhaps very old Michaelians can shed some light on this. The dilapidated and aging conditions of the boys' toilet for the past ten years have caused great inconvenience to fellow students.


The school had plans, over the years, to carry our complete makeover or perhaps to refurbish the toilet but limited funds prevented us from doing so.

The good news is that proceeds from the drama, "The Warlord of Terror", has made it possible for the school to make the toilet a more pleasant place to visit.


Works are currently on-going and completion is expected to be another month as the roof tiles are going to be replaced as well. We thank the principal Mr Phoon Chong Chee for initiating the efforts and Brother Matthew Bay for overseeing the whole concept of the refurbishment work which include the colour scheme and layout.
We must also thank Mr Joseph Michael Lee, the chairman of PIBG and Dato' Seri Lee Oi Hian, BOG chairman for their strong and continuous support in looking into many areas of needs at St Michael's.

St Michael's wishes to express our gratitude to Dato' Aru Suppiah, chairman of Johnson Suisse Sdn Bhd for his kind donation of sanitaryware like urinals, sinks and squatting pans.


To Mr Adrian Tsen, OMA president we record our utmost appreciation for his influence and persuasive skills in getting Dato' Aru to send over the items to us all the way from Shah Alam.

The completion of the toilet will set another milestone in our quest towards the centennial celebrations.

"Upholding The Great Michaelian Ethos".

8 comments:

Derek, MJ Chai said...

Wow! A new refurbish toilet! Awesome! xD

William Yaw said...

Sounds like our school is going to have the second world class toilet. I remember the "old smoke house" was stinking, wasn't clean regularly etc. Moreover couple years ago there were few well-known student who like to have a few puff of ciggy during school hour. Good job to Brother Mathew Bay, OMA and everyone who put plenty of effort to make our school toward a better one.

William Yaw
Batch 2007

Henry Yew said...

Wonderful news! St. Michael's will have two excellent toilets now.

Michaelians must remember that all these amenities are available to them because of the sacrifices that their seniors, the staff and the teachers of St. Michael's have done all this while. They must appreciate such good amenities made available to them and never vandalise them.

My uncle had once told me about the moniker "The Old Smokehouse" and I had to admit to him that I never knew about such a name till he told me about it just two months back. Even he himself does not know why the school toilet is known as such, but apparently the name "The Old Smokehouse" was quite widely used to refer to the toilet even during his days in the 1980s.

YEW GUO ZHENG
(5Sc1 2005)
Civil Engineering Programme
Universiti Teknologi PETRONA

Jefferychan said...

If I'm not mistaken, I first saw the world "smokehouse" which brings regards to the school's toilet in a school magazine. Not sure whether it's in which year but I think it should be from the ones in the year 2004-2006's.

Jeffery Chan
5sc1 - 2008

Darren Lee said...

dear mr. khiew, this is darren here. i couldn't send the list of names for the name tag to you. perhaps it maybe the wrong e-mail address. perhaps, can you reply back by sending me ur e-mail address? thx.

darren lee :)

harrneak said...

Hi Peter, one of my cousin told me that they use to puff in this "smokehouse" in the 70's. It was also known as "smokehouse" then. Maybe the name originated way back in the 70s' or maybe earlier. I got a feeling it got to do something with the "puffing"
I am having the oldest surviving approved plans for this "smokehouse". It was approved by Ipoh Sanitary Board then. It is not done on paper but on a piece of cloth. Off course, over the years, the piece of cloth have turned yellow. Maybe I will show it to you and get it photographed for history purposes.

Regards

Harneak Singh

Manmathan said...

Mr. Khiew, if I'm not mistaken, I have heard about the 'smokehouse' from Mr. Louis Rozario Doss or have read from somewhere that is was actually not an toilet initially but served as something else. I can't remember but I can recall that something to do with bunker. It was used for storing oil during Japanese time. I can't verify this statement but I hope you could contact Mr. Louis on this matter. Maybe he could shed some light on this.

kenwooi said...

nice..
i just mentioned about the old toilet in one of my recent blog post about SMI.. =)

kenwooi.com