Friday, November 27, 2009


The Old Michaelians Association Secretariat looks more vibrant and interesting now with the putting up of a framed 35in by 59in. picture of the school building. Plans are afoot to spruce up the meeting room with more vintage pictures and perhaps items relevant to the OMA like its constitution, history, old school badges and crests. Newspapers cuttings, magazines or journals related to previous events will also be displayed.
caption: A job well done. Mr Lawrence and students giving a thumbs-up after putting up the picture, a reprint of the original.


The initiative to establish the Michaelian Gallery has met with very strong support from the school, the Board of Governors, the old boys and the PIBG.

caption: Display cases are ready now to exhibit old medals, badges and magazines. 
How did it happen? It was on one occasion when I was at the basement, below the stage, when the pathetic and very sad sight of once-adored shields and trophies were left abandoned, covered with rust and dust. These previously shiny and glazed bronze and copper-made items were dented badly; many without covers and the plates detailing the names of winners were gone. Works to salvage and restore these items had to be done fast before these ended up in the streets - with handsome price tags!

A table, about 70 years old, has been restored. Efforts were made to preserve its originality.
That was in early 2007. Even badly damaged relics were taken in for restoration works. We found old, wooden chairs, tables, racks, cabinets and souvenirs. For months, we rummaged the storerooms and scoured the drawers and classrooms.

This piece was salvaged from a room. It was trampled on, in bad shape, with joints all loosen up. Now, it deserves a place at the gallery.
Over the months, our efforts paid off. More and more people were aware of our initiative and when they chanced upon certain items they thought were of historical value, they handed over the items for us to assess and evaluate. Two months ago, I followed Brother Matthew to the chapel and wow, how impressed I was with the items inside. A few, mostly pictures, had been taken to the gallery-courtesy of the Brothers.

The Entrance to the Gallery. We Are Proud To Make It Happen.
Teacher Lawrence, fortunately, lends strong support in shaping the gallery. St Michael's prides itself in being one of a few schools in Malaysia having an archive to document its achievements, roots and legacy.

We thank Mr Phoon Chong Chee for his advice and making available a room for the gallery, Mr Adrian Tsen and the Board of Governors for the much-needed financial support, Brother Vincent Corkery and Brother Matthew Bay for invaluable pictures, artifacts and guidance, Mr Joseph Michael Lee for ever-ready encouragement and Mr Harneak Singh for factual evidence.

We will work towards opening the gallery next year, by June. It is going to be a research and referral centre for Michaelians. It's very hard work. It's the passion that keeps us going.

Mr Harneak and the black and white school picture (original print). The picture has been framed beautifully and it goes to the gallery too.
How We Progress

Calling Class of 1986(Form 3) & Class of 1988 (Form Five)

Class of 1988 Form Five

Mr Nathan, currently a tiger handler at the Lost World of Tambun, is looking forward eagerly to meet his buddies when he was in Form Three in 1986 and Form Five, 1988. He remembers Master Choo Ah Chye and Master Noel Oliveiro as his favourite teachers who not only wielded the cane when it came to discipline but also as teachers who listened and cared for the welfare of their charges.
He said he has managed to contact some of his former classmates and they are coming together for a great reunion. Their former teachers, many are still in Ipoh, would be invited for the get-together.

Date: December 5, 2009.
Time: 6pm to 11 pm
Venue: The Lost World of Tambun Ipoh.
For details, call Nathan at 012-5020304

Saturday, November 21, 2009


The dinner guests were sitting around the table discussing life.
One man, a CEO, decided to explain the problem with education. He argued,
"What's a kid going to learn from someone who decided his best option in life was to become a teacher?"
He reminded the other dinner guests what they say about teachers: "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach."
To stress his point he said to another guest;
"You're a teacher, Bonnie. Be honest. What do you make?"
Bonnie, who had a reputation for honesty and frankness replied, "You want to
know what I make? (She paused for a second, then began...)
"Well, I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could.
I make a C+ feel like the Congressional Medal of Honor.
I make kids sit through 40 minutes of class time when their parents can't
make them sit for 5 without an IPod, Game Cube or movie rental.
You want to know what I make?" (She paused again and looked at each and
every person at the table.)
''I make kids wonder. I make them question. I make them apologize and mean it. I make them have respect and take responsibility for their actions.I teach them to write and then I make them write. Keyboarding isn't everything. I make them read, read, read. I make them show all their work in math. They use their God given brain, not the man-made calculator.
I make my students from other countries learn everything they need to know
in English while preserving their unique cultural identity.
I make my classroom a place where all my students feel safe.
I make my students stand, placing their hand over their heart to say the
Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, One Nation Under God, because we live in
the United States of America.
Finally, I make them understand that if they use the gifts they were given,
work hard, and follow their hearts, they can succeed in life."
(Bonnie paused one last time and then continued.)
"Then, when people try to judge me by what I make, with me knowing money
isn't everything, I can hold my head up high and pay no attention because
they are ignorant... You want to know what I make?
I MAKE A DIFFERENCE . What do you make Mr. CEO?"
His jaw dropped, he went silent.

Thank you, our PIBG Chairman Mr Joseph Michael Lee for sending in this inspiring note.

Spirit Of Service by Prefects- Highly Commendable

We hold true to the distinctive brand of La Sallian tradition that stands for high personal and academic standards, excellent moral tone and discipline. These are achieved through a strong spirit of faith, zeal and service to the community.

Remember The Wordings Above? Yes, It Is St Michael's Theme For 2009. We vouch to carry on with the strong spirit of faith, zeal and service with added vigour and aspiration as we tread into 2010.

Form Six students work hard to shine.

A Football Match To End the Year

The Champs for 2009- The Prefects

Members of the Crime Prevention Club (CPC) and the Junior Prefectorial Board had their customary football match on Tuesday, November 17 at exactly 4pm. Dubbed as "The Match of the Year", the prefects managed to beat the CPC, 3-2, in penalty kicks.

The CPC players planning out their strategies.

It was a celebration of sorts as the prefects had been unable to lift the cup even once since the inception of the CPC/Prefects match six years ago. The CPC members played well with many being school athletes and sportsmen. We are happy the game ended with a memorable note- that we played and fellowship as Michaelians!

Cikgu Zumairi giving out the medals to the players. Win or Lose Get A Medal!

The Challenge Trophy and the medals.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Registration of Primary Pupils For Form One In 2010

Some 350 pupils from St Michael's 1&2, La Salle Canning Garden, SK Manjoi 2 and SK Panglima Bukit Gantang Wahab experienced a day of secondary school life when they turned up for Form One registration. A total of nine classes will  be offered next year, with class occupancy of at least 40 students each.
The primary school boys were briefed on SMI's mission and vision, our way forward, what's a Lasallian school and on discipline mattters. They were told specifically to uphold the distinguished tradition and culture of St Michael's, to respect our school badge and to don uniforms with pride.

Transfer cases from other primary schools to St Michael's will be in full swing after the results of UPSR are announced. Enquiries have already started and SMI still is the first choice school of many parents.

When the new session starts in 2010, a week has been allocated for the orientation program. We are looking forward to receive another group of young Michaelians, something we have done for the past 98 years!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

It Was A Day Full Of Vibrancy and Excitement

For the first time, St Michael's organised the first Rubik's Cube competition, which witnessed a big group of multi-talented students pitching enthusiastically against one another for the top three places. We were greatly perplexed but at the same time astonished to see usually quiet students in class- ones that seldom take part in class discussions or being passive at times- were able to work wonders  in solving that cube with such amazing skills.

Category Two Final

A Successful Endeavour

A Focussed Chok Heng Nian

caption: Dicky Lau, quiet in class but his talent and solving skills changed the way teachers and his friends look at him.  

The feedbacks from students, even from the morning sessions, were full of praises. "It is a platform for pupils to demonstrate their talents. They spent months to master the skills and speed, at least the competition allows them to test what they have in store", said a Form Five boy.
St Michael's deserves our respect. It knows how to balance between study and play. Even a day for the students to mingle and express in this way is going to be our topic of discussion for days to come.

Clash of the Titans: Chief Judge Fourth Former Wong Jing Siong and Foo Wei Jien demonstrating.

Wong scrambling the cubes before the competition.

List of Winners

Category One
First: Cheong Teng Fung
Second: Stanley Liew
Third: Lee Weng Jun

Category Two
First: Lee Weng Phong
Second: Cho Tze Weng
Third: Alex Ng Kah Mum

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Rubik's Cube Competition In SMI, Friday, 2.45pm

Rubik's Cube competition in St Michael's? Yes, the competition, held for the first time, will start at 2.45pm on Friday, 13 November 2009 at the pavilion. Opened only to the afternoon session boys, the event has attracted so much excitement that our boys are beginning to take up the game which works the brain and develops logical and systematic approaches to problem-solving.
This event will feature a demonstration of a Fourth Former who can complete the complex Rubik’s Cube Puzzle in 35 seconds or LESS!!! He has been appointed the chief judge for tomorrow's competition.
We can also witness students as young as 13 and 14 years old able to speedcube and solve the puzzle in below a minute!!

Pressmen have been invited to tomorrow's event.

Speedcubing (or speedsolving) is the practice of trying to solve a Rubik's Cube in the shortest time possible. There are a number of speedcubing competitions that take place around the world.
The first world championship organised by the Guinness Book of World Records was held in Munich on March 13, 1981. All Cubes were moved 40 times. The official winner, with a record of 38 seconds, was Jury Froeschl, born in Munich. The first international world championship was held in Budapest on June 5, 1982, and was won by Minh Thai, a Vietnamese student from Los Angeles, with a time of 22.95 seconds.

Alan Bligh - The Voice

Attracted to the voice featured in commercials for radio and television – CELCOM, Nestle Cereals, Head & Shoulders, 7-Eleven and Shell?

What about corporate videos from Telekom Malaysia, SIRIM, MIMOS, Singapore Tourism Board among others and Voice-Prompts / Message On Hold for ASTRO, Maybank, RHB Bank, Southern Bank, the Ascott Kuala Lumpur, Maxis, The Holiday Inn Glenmarie, Bank Rakyat, Starworld Casino, Petrosains, Pizza Hut, The Pan Pacific and Kuala Lumpur International Airport?

The Voice belongs to Alan Bligh, a Michaelian who completed his Form Five in 1983 during the Brother Paul and Brother Vincent era. 


Alan’s voice is also used on board Malaysia Airlines aircraft for their auto-announcements. He has also created a niche as a popular emcee. Among his present and previous clients include Telekom Malaysia, Cisco Systems, CELCOM, Sepang International Circuit, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Yakult, DHL, Emirates, SIRIM, Perbadanan Putrajaya, Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of International Trade and Industry, The Ministry of Housing and Local Government, Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, DiGi telecomunications, The Embassy of the United States of America, Singapore Tourism Board, DBKL, Bentley Motors, UOB, The Associated Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry Malaysia, FMM, MATTA, AXA, The Edge, YTL Corporation, Avenue Capital, SM Summit Group Holdings, A1 Grand Prix to name a few.

Going through some old photographs, I singled out the one Alan Bligh took with the OMA president Mr Adrian Tsen during the 1996 Old Michaelians dinner held at the Chin Woo Hall.

I decided to give him a call. After introducing myself, Alan, without hesitation, expressed his sincere gratitude to the Brothers and teachers who made him who he is today.
"Other places stressed only on academic achievements but at St Michael's, we were taught to excel in both, academic and co-curricular activities. I took part in drama and many other activities organised by the school. That was the beginning of my success today", said Alan.

Our best wishes, Alan.

Monday, November 09, 2009


November 10, 2009: Another Reply From Alexander: In your blog you wrote that " ...A shade, for protection against rain and shine, is another option as it is costly and near-impossible for the safe to be shifted to the gallery due to its tremendous weight...."

Although it is costly, it's not impossible. We can't afford to lose this heritage treasure. Something has to be done. The current venue is not really suitable as I have said before that it's subjected to rain, shine and vandalism. There are good students and there are naughty students. Some know how to value  heritage but some don't. I'm sorry if what I say is harsh but that is the fact. A few naughty students will not keep their hands quiet, they will try to do something to it. I'm afraid that something bad might happen to the English “S. Withers & Co.” safe. Please try to do something. The best option which I feel the best is to move it to the Heritage Gallery. Please do seriously consider my suggestions.

Nov 8, 2009: An E-Mail received from an old boy Alexander.

Hello Sir, I'm curious as to why the S. Withers safe box is still placed on the ground floor and subjected to rain, sun and also it is a bit vandalized. If I'm not mistaken, I have read in your blog that the safe box will be restored (painted, polished and broken parts repaired) and placed in a safe place which is the Heritage Gallery. Why is the S. Withers safe is still placed there? I hope it will soon be restored to its former glory and be placed in the Heritage Gallery.

An Earlier Respond From Mr Harneak, an old boy.

This safe has been in the school since Brother Patrick's era. The safe was originally in the Director's room before being moved to the corridors next to the chapel. This must have been done when the Brothers Quarters was turned to classrooms. During the Japanese occupation, the Seal of Royal Decree was kept in this very safe. Upon liberation, the British Army came to school and removed it from this very safe. It was thereafter used by all the Brother Directors till the retirement of Brother Vincent in 1988. It must have been used by the Brothers till 1993, as it was at their official Quaters till they moved to the LaSalle Center. The safe have served 5 Directors - Bro Patrick, Bro Denis, Bro Pius, Bro U Paul (2 terms) & Bro Vincent (2 terms). In short, it has served SMI for more than 50 years.

I was talking to Bro Matthew and he has already identified a place for it. It will be placed opposite the Chubb safe- under the granite staircase. This is an ideal place as the Chubb Safe also has heritage values. The door was placed by the Japanese Millitary and was used to store their important documents here. The place is now being prepared and once completed, this safe will be safely placed here. The Michaelian spirit is still very strong at SMI and young Michaelians are groomed daily to follow the rich tradition and spirit.

Go to these links for more information:

From the Editorial: As I see it, the safe has to be moved to the gallery for safe-keeping. The current location is not suitable as it is constantly exposed to the elements. An item of this standing should be accorded a place befitting its status. A shade, for protection against rain and shine, is another option as it is costly and near-impossible for the safe to be shifted to the gallery due to its tremendous weight. Yes, it has to be restored, with a signboard put up to explain its significance. That goes to the Chubb wall safe as well.

Friday, November 06, 2009


It was never meant to be an occasion to say goodbye. It was St Michael's way to instill in the fifth formers a sense of pride and belonging to their alma mater. The boys were reminded of the values and life lessons they have been imbued with during the many years they are at St Michael's.

The boys demonstrated a strong determination and zeal when they were at the school hall that day. I believe that the Michaelian spirit we advocate stays strong even after many years in their lives. 
Remember boys, always stamp your mark by the three Michaelian ideals of Faith, Zeal and Service To the Community.

School counsellor Mr Ravindran (left) holds a pivotal role in the event as he was the main man behind the success of the occasion for three consecutive years.


Proud To Be Home: Upholding The Great Michaelian Ethos With Pride, Foo and Mr Phoon Chong Chee (principal) 

Hockey maestro Mr Foo Keat Seong was accorded a grand welcome by a 40-man ceremonial guard of honour consisting of St Michael's uniformed bodies. He was St Michael's honoured guest at the annual co-curricular day to present awards and certificates to student achievers.

Singing the National Anthem

Some of the Form Four recipients.

Rugger Mohd Shafizan b A Kasim represented the school at the district level.

After more than three decades of involvement in active hockey, locally and internationally, Foo has called it quits and currently lives a quiet life in Taman Ipoh Jaya. The hockey legend, who stands at 6 feet and was born on May 22, 1958, represented Malaysia at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic and the 5th World Cup in 1982. Master Noel Oliveiro, his coach during his school days at St Michael's, was also present that day.

Former teacher Mr Stephen Ng (left), known as a great Maths teacher, had also made the occasion special. With him are Mr Tan Lee Khuai, Mr Vellupillai, Mr Foo and Mr Noel.

Michaelian Chinese Orchestra members brightened up the occasion with a rendering of Chinese classical music.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

What A Rare Shot! Two Thumbs Up

A Rare Item Is Hard To Come By.
This is a shot, circa 1940,  I have never seen before. It was taken before the roundabout was even built opposite the current Tun Razak Library. It is a shot sent by Mr Harneak Singh who carefully scanned the photo before sending over to the blog administrator. The owner, who we would like to acknowledge here, is Mr Sriskanda (class of 1973).
According to Mr Harneak, the photograph of the school building was most likely taken from the high grounds at Ipoh Club.
"It's amazing to note our school building looks more like a Mansion or a Castle then. This photo must have been taken sometime after the completion of our first expansion (the present hall and science labs). Towards the end of the building, you will notice a double storey building attached to the school," said Harneak, adding that there are probably 2 Malay Bungalows (the roof is visibly clear).
The photograph is wallet size - 4.3cm x 6cm. (Wonder if the size was printed on purpose so that one could carry it along in your wallet)
Thank you again Mr Harneak and to Mr Sriskanda, welcome aboard.