Friday, December 23, 2011

PMR Results 2011

St Michael's produced 59 straight As students this year compared to 52 last year. Congratulations to all who made this happen!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas And A Happy New Year 2012

Frank Sinatra - "Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow"

Let's welcome the year which is fresh and new. Let's cherish each moment it beholds. Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year. 

From the entire Lasallian and Michaelian fraternity.

02 Kinta Scouts - Saying Goodbye To 2011 With A Bang

Our boys in a jubilation mood after the event!
Thirty scouts from the 02 Kinta Scout Troop attended the Shiang Yang Scout Gathering 2011, themed "Scouting Footprints, Energize The Hope" in Bercham recently. SMI troop took part in four competitions namely Backwoodsmen Cooking Competition, Modern Cooking Competition, Knots Competition and Sketch Competition.
Weeks of intense preparations paid off handsomely for our boys. They bagged home the top prizes for Modern Cooking Competition and Sketch Competition.
We emerged as runner-ups for the Backwoodsmen Cooking Competition.
Congratulations boys! Another feather in the cap for St Michael's.
The Sketch Team With Their Trophy
For more details, you can visit their website at 

Thirty One Long Years !

Old Michaelians, Class of 1980, like Harneak Singh and Thomas Wong, got a pleasant surprise when their best buddy in school who left Ipoh to further his studies in New Zealand, returned home for a short break.

Gerry Tsen (second from right), with Mr Adrian Tsen (his elder brother) and buddies. 
Gerry Tsen, 48, left for "the land of long white cloud" to study accountancy and after graduation, he settled down at the country, working as an accountant in one of the government agencies.
After catching up old times with his siblings and family members, he whispered to his elder brother, Mr Adrian Tsen, whether he has ways to contact all his former classmates. Within minutes, connections were established.
We got together and talked about the good ole' days at St Michael's.
Obviously, when we had a walk in the school, there were so many changes. What it used to be the "old smokehouse" is now two well-ventilated, modern toilets. Tuckshop? Canteen? Ha! We call it Foodcourt now. The Brothers' Quarters have been converted into classes for Form Six students, the chapel has been refurbished and we have a pavilion now for our activities and shade. Thirty years ago, the only shade we had were some trees grown at the side of the field.
The Class of 80'. A Session At The Steamboat Restaurant In Old Town.
The Lecture Theater is now "La Salle Auditorium", the rough walking path at the side of the field has been replaced with inter-locking bricks which St Michael's built to last! The painting of the entire school building, including the classes, was carried out to commemorate our 100 years.
The 30-minute walk was suffice to reminisce many good, ole' memories, something which I believe is agreeable to many old boys after visiting the alma mater.
Gerry, thanks for the wonderful and inspiring moments spent with us. It was great to see you again after 30 long years!

Friday, December 16, 2011

What's Behind The School Rally?

Brother Vincent with some Form One boys at a school function. He is still being referred to extensively on many  official matters.
By Brother Vincent Corkery
The popularity of our school rally never fades and is still sung with enthusiasm in all our schools in Malaysia and Singapore.  It is also sung in our schools in Hong Kong and in the Philippines.
What is the origin?  The rousing Irish tune known as O’Donnell Abu was adopted by Brother Marcian Cullen 1868-1938, former director of St Michael’s.   Brother Marcian is remembered as a saint and a scholar. He composed the words.
The opening verse dramatises “Duty’s sweet call”.   Duty to self, to God, to family, to society – adds sweetness to life, to our relationships.  The chorus calls Michaelians to be Valiant and True.   Valiant means facing life with courage, and True means being honest, trustworthy and loyal as a matter of Michaelian pride.  In my experience these great qualities can be found in Michaelians for generations wherever they go. 
We may wish to listen to the original tune which goes back to 16th century Ireland. Several versions are available on the Internet.  Try the link above. 
From the Editorial,
Thank you, Brother for this piece of work, which I believe has benefited and energized many of us. We look forward to many more articles on your reflections and thoughts so that we can make these writings available to the mass under a monthly column on this blog. 

Asia-Pacific Lasallians Educators' Congress (APLEC8) in Manila

A Brief Report From Manila: -
Malaysian delegates in the traditional and national costumes.
The 8th APLEC was themed "Living the LaSallian Values In The Asia-Pacific Region". The congress was attended by some 88 delegates from Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka and India. A sole Lasallian educator came from Pakistan.
A photo shoot before the group presentation consisting delegates from various countries.
It was a rich learning process for the delegates during the four-day session. Just like any other Lasallian-based programs held anywhere in the world, an overview of the key events of the life of St. John Baptist de La Salle is customary. Key events of the founder's life are the very foundation and principles all Lasallian schools are administered and run today. Emphasis are on living lives of simplicity, a heart for children, discretion in scolding and corrections, provision of education, character building, youth formation and teaching leadership.
Dinner at De La Salle University, Manila. On my left is Brother Anthony Rogers. 
The congress also highlighted the Lasallian values of Faith, Service and Communion in Mission. This approach has to be our fundamental ingredients to produce wholesome individuals.
Presentations and personal sharing were from Ms Tracy Adams of Australia's Boys Town and "Foundation of Lasallian Spirituality" by Brother Michael Broughton, fsc.
Delegates had the opportunity to visit and have dinner at two La Salle universities - De La Salle College of St Benilde in Malate and De La Salle University in Manila. We also visited De La Salle University in Dasmarinas, well-known for its environmental conservation effort. It was an hour bus journey from Metro Manila.
In the Philippines, there are 17 educational institutions, which include colleges, schools and non-school based entities.
At the entrance of Salikneta Farm. With me are a priest from Argentina and Jojo, farm manager. 
On Day 3, delegates were divided into eight different groups for an exposure program in  selected outreach communities of a school or a non-school based apostolate- to have an idea on how values formation is being addressed or needs to be addressed. I chose Salikneta Farm, a research and laboratory farm in Bulacan, located in some part of Luzon, in the City of San Jose Del Monte, a rough 3-hour ride from the hotel. The 64-hectare farm, managed by De La Salle Araneta University, is currently used for forestry and agricultural operations by its students.
To sum up, it was a worthwhile and beneficial trip to Manila. Apart from sharing thoughts and ideas with fellow educators from the region of Asia-Pacific, I had the opportunity to meet up with many other comrades and fellow Lasalle Brothers from countries like Thailand, Sri Lanka and the Philippines. I salute them for their continued persistence and hardwork despite their many challenges, constraints and obstacles in their respective countries towards education for the young.
Paalam Na Po....(Goodbye in Tagalog)

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Master Chan Khin Seng-Our Condolence

Mr Chan Khin Seng passed away on December 7, 2011. He was a student of SMI and later joined the teaching staff immediately after WW2 till 1976. After retirement, he joined Old Michaelian Association and held the post of Vice President for many years.
There are many current luminaries who were under his guidance and tutelage.
Wake will be at his residence at No 6 Tingkat Hock Lee, Tmn Hock Lee, Ipoh. Funeral will be held on Friday 9th December 2011.

May GOD bless his soul.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Radar Expert Wins Science Achievement Award - A Michaelian

World class innovation to shield Defence ships and aircraft from radar surveillance has earned a DSTO scientist a prestigious Australian award for achievement in defence science.

L to R: Minister for Defence Science and Personnel Warren Snowdon, Minister's Award for Achievement in Defence Science 2011 awardee Cheng Anderson, Secretary of the Department of Defence Duncan Lewis.
L to R: Minister for Defence Science and Personnel Warren Snowdon, Minister's Award for Achievement in Defence Science 2011 awardee Cheng Anderson, Secretary of the Department of Defence Duncan Lewis.
Minister for Defence Science and Personnel Warren Snowdon has presented the 2011 Minister's Award for Achievement in Defence Science to Cheng Anderson for her pioneering role in reducing the vulnerability of Australia’s Defence platforms over three decades.
Mr Snowdon said Dr Anderson is the principal architect of a world leading capability that allows the Australian Defence Force to predict, measure and reduce the visibility of its ships and aicraft to radar systems.
“Before Dr Anderson began her work thirty years ago Defence only had a limited capability to protect its assets adequately.
“Dr Anderson’s work has been vital in improving the stealth capabilities and ensuring the survivability of our military aircraft, ships and land vehicles,” Mr Snowdon said.
The work has involved the development of computer models to predict a platform’s visibility to radar, known as the radar cross section. The cross section can also be measured experimentally validating the computer model predictions.
Mobile radar cross section analysis equipment used by Cheng and her team.
The resulting information makes it possible to know where treatment should be applied to reduce a platform’s cross section.
“These are significant developments in self-protection for Defence assets and I congratulate Dr Anderson for her foresight and technical achievements,” Mr Snowdon said.
“I would also like to thank Dr Anderson on behalf of all Defence personnel for her hard work, which will save lives, while improving the capability and efficiency of our defence forces.”
“This award recognises the rare distinction of an individual scientist being solely responsible for establishing a critical defence capability,” he said.
“Dr Anderson has been extremely focussed and successful in applying this capability in the maritime, air and land environments as well as in key areas such as support to operations, through-life support of existing platforms, and acquisition projects.”
Dr Anderson is the second female scientist to have won the Minister’s Achievement Award since Dr Jackie Craig in 2001.
The Minister’s achievement award has been presented annually since 1988 to a DSTO scientist who has made an outstanding scientific contribution to enhance Defence effectiveness and efficiency. The award includes a $15,000 cash prize.

Source: Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO)

Note from the Editorial: 
The article is published following an e-mail which came from a fellow Michaelian, Sam Han, who currently resides in New Zealand. Thanks Sam.

Dr Cheng Anderson was studying at Ipoh Main Convent before joining us at SMI in her A-level (1964 & 1965). She is a brilliant student, especially good in her Mathematics and Physics. She went to Perth for her varsity study and post graduate in Adelaide before joining The Australian Defense Centre for her research. Since she was from SMI, is it possible for you to acknowledge her great achievement in SMI website? I'm sure we are very proud of her achievement and hopefully, it will be some inspiration to those younger Michaelians. From Sam Han, QueenstownNew Zealand.

We take our hats off to Dr Cheng, a fellow Michaelian, for this outstanding accolade. Our heartiest congratulations. This achievement will definitely inspire our students to work even harder. St Michael's is proud of your hardwork and determination. By Peter Khiew

Monday, November 28, 2011

Asia-Pacific Lasallians Educators' Congress (APLEC8) in Manila

APLEC 8 will be held in Manila, the Philippines on December 4 to 9, 2011. I will be attending the congress, together with 18 other delegates from Malaysia, who include Brother Ambrose Loke, Brother Andrew Loke, Brother Michael Kum and Brother Anthony Rogers. The Congress, which will be held in Microtel Mall of Asia in Manila, is themed "Living the Lasallian Values in the Asia-Pacific Region".
It builds on the experience in the last APLEC 2008 in Hong Kong and aims to emphasize on actual methodologies in promoting and integrating the Lasallian values in the educational process, even in the context of non-formal/non-school-based apostolates.
Among the areas of discussion are:
a. To have a working knowledge of the life and values of St. John Baptist De La Salle
as a person of faith, zeal and communion;
b.To understand the various modes of values promotion/integration for the students, faculty, alumni and staff present in the Asia-Pacific Region via different sessions;
c.To have an experience of planning and preparation of values integration/promotion   activities or material in the participants’ ministerial areas of responsibility across various sectors (students, alumni, faculty and staff);
d. To create opportunities for collaboration and sharing among Asia-Pacific Lasallian educators in the area of promoting Lasallian values; and
e. To continue and sustain what was shared in the last APLEC 2008 in Hong Kong.

Note: I acknowledge the support and generosity of the Board of Governors and the Brothers for making this trip possible. There will be delegates from countries within the Asia Pacific region. Among the items making representation at the venue will be our school magazines, "The Michaelian", our little handbook, "The Michaelian Spirit", our iron-on school badges, neckties and souvenirs. Display counters are normally set-up at the hall, showcasing memorabilia of respective schools and colleges. Be keeping all of you updated.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Letter From An Old Boy

Letters and little notes do arrive regularly in my mailbox. These are normally written by old boys who really want to know how St Michael's is doing. Some left school decades ago while others might be just last year but their thoughts and attachments are still strongly linked to the alma mater. I am pleased they find this blog useful in linking them to the happenings and developments in the school. Below is a letter from a former student who currently doing his Masters in United States.

Dear Mr. Khiew,
How are you? I've been following your updates at your blog about SMI, and though I have not commented much (my postgraduate studies are taking quite a lot of time - I could only afford to read, and then get on with my work again), I really appreciate your efforts to let us Michaelians keep in touch with the latest news in school. Your blog is, as of now, the only tie I have left with the school whom I can count on the latest goings-on.
I have been in the United States (at Texas Tech University) for about four months already, with a one-week break in mid-October when I went back to Ipoh to attend my graduation ceremony (for my Bachelor's degree) at UTP. Though I intended to visit SMI during my short one-week stay, unfortunately that intention never materialised due to my hectic schedule. Alas, the next time I will be able to visit SMI is most likely in the summer of 2012.
I am very happy to read that 200 tables have been sold out for the Centennial Celebrations Dinner on September next year. I think this is a rather remarkable feat, and a sign of how Michaelians cherish their schooling moments. I am actually quite surprised that William Liew, a fellow 2005 Form 5 graduate, actually booked three tables, so I believe there will be at least 30 of my batch-mates attending this dinner. It is also quite remarkable to me because friends at my age now are mostly living out of Ipoh in search of a stable career, or preparing themselves for their final examinations in university. It is indeed heartening that there are friends who are willing to take the time to go all the way back to Ipoh (if they were elsewhere) to participate in this joyous event.
Well, Mr. Khiew, thank you so much for your updates in your blog. And the very best!

Note: Thanks Guo Zheng for the letter.  

Saturday, November 19, 2011


The Trishaw of SMI Ice-Cream Man -A Piece of Fond Memory
We ran a story about Mohd Ali, the St Michael's ice-cream man on October 18, 2007.
"....At the foodcourt, SMI ice-cream man always cuts a lonely figure. He is also a man of few words and because of that, not many people know that his name is Mohd Ali. That lonely man of 82 is not lonely anymore. He is now back in India, a country where he came from when he was a very young man. His wife and two daughters are still there."
All the years of selling ice-cream, Mohd Ali had not used any motorised vehicles to transport his weighty metal container to and from school to his Kinta Height flat - a distance of at least a km. For five days a week, Mohd Ali (imagine his age) would cycle on his trishaw(beca), struggling on his pedal power when he encountered the slopes and patiently enduring the blaring horns from vehicles when he moved too slow. He had to cycle from the school to the French Bakery every two days to get fresh stock of bread as "he knew pupils and teachers alike like it".

Those Were The Years ...The Ice-Cream Man (right) and Pakcik Din, Bus Man
All the years of hardship had somehow weakened him and that contributed to his frequent bouts of asthmatic attacks. "It was getting very serious early this year, rendering him very fragile and weak. Still he wanted to come to school to sell. The noodle man, Ah Fatt, helped him greatly by carrying his goods to school," Solaiappan said, adding that Mohd Ali would just sit at his stall and attending to his young and eager customers.
Solaiappan is SMI Kacang Putih Man.
His health deteriorated further in June 2007. Mohd Ali decided to vacate his humble abode at the flat and to return to India. He was also advised by his sons-in-law who are working in Johor and KL to stop working for good. At last, he relented.
SMI ice cream man left behind only two items in St Michael's. One is his faithful trishaw, the other is our sweet memory of this faithful old man, one who has spent virtually his entire life in St Michael's.
 Mohd Ali had to go without saying goodbye to all Michaelians. Deep down, Mohd Ali considers himself a son of St Michael's and he left with a very heavy heart.
 "He spoke highly of the school, the Brothers and the old boys. He remembers Brother Paul and Brother Vincent vividly and always spoke on the ways they managed the school. His greatest joy was being able to serve here in St Michael's," Solaiappan said.
Note: Ice-Cream Man passed away not long after this article was written.

A gift from Mr Yeap to the Michaelian Heritage Gallery
As we have mentioned, he left behind a trishaw. I have been tracing Mohd Ali's trishaw for years. It was last year that Brother Matthew informed me that Mr Yeap Mok Chin, currently running a fruit stall at the SMI foodcourt was in possession of the trishaw.
"Mohd Ali asked me whether I want to buy the "beca". He was willing to part with it as he was going back to India. He said he has no intention to return to Malaysia," Mr Yeap recalled.
Mr Yeap offered the Ice-Cream man RM50 and he readily accepted. My Yeap has been taking care of the trishaw for the past 5 years. We are grateful that Mr Yeap is willing to donate the trishaw to the Michaelian Heritage Gallery for posterity.
We are going to send the trishaw for restoration because the metal frame is heavily rusted. Further deterioration may cause the frame and other parts to break off.
Our efforts to preserve all things Michaelian are worth-while. We will keep all of you posted soon on this story.

"Cherishing Our Past, Embracing The Future"
Thank you and Happy Holidays!
Signing off,
Peter Khiew

November 27, 2011- After being refurbished, we plan to display the trishaw in the Heritage Gallery. Visitors can then pose for pictures with this masterpiece.


The spirit of industriousness was clearly demonstrated among senior members of the Prefectorial Board when they pooled their time and resources to raise fund for their annual activities. Armed with buckets, water and car shampoo, the boys diligently washed cars and motorcycles belonging to teachers and their fellow friends - RM6 for a car and RM3 for a motorcycle. At the end of the day, the boys were soaked with water and sweat but it was a worthwhile effort. It was not how much money you collected at the end of the day but the teamwork, job satisfaction and spirit of service that count!
Spirit of Service Among Michaelians
Keep the Michaelian spirit soar...

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Birthday Bash For Three Illustrious Michaelians

Happy Birthday
Mr Adrian Tsen, OMA president hosted a birthday dinner for Brother Vincent Corkery at the Wong Kok Restaurant in Pasir Pinji. The seven-course dinner was attended by the entire committee members, together with SMI former principal Mr Louis Rozario Doss. Brother Vincent, who has stamped his legacy within the Lasallian fraternity, is 83 years old.
From left Mr Adrian Tsen, Mr Louis and Brother Vincent cut their birthday cakes!
The occasion, as it turned out, was actually a dinner to honour two other Michaelians as well - Mr Adrian Tsen and Mr Louis, whose birthday fall on November 5 and November 3 respectively. Our best wishes and warmest regards to these three pillars of SMI.   

Characteristics Of A La Sallian School

St Michael’s is a Lasallian school. The characteristics of a Lasallian School are:

  1. A School of Quality
  2. A School that is imbued with the Michaelian spirit.
  3. Respect for each student as a unique person.
  4. Lasallian Schools are Committed to the Poor. We pay attention to the poor, the neglected and the overlooked. Lasallian teachers give greater attention to the  marginalised and to the less appealing students. Lasallian schools have programs that address the educational needs of the last, the lost and the least.
  5. Educators and administrators are men and women of faith and zeal.
  6. Lasallian Schools Have Teachers Who Are United and share a common vision and a shared mission. Lasallian teachers come together as brothers and sisters associated with bonds of mutual respect, cooperation, generosity, patience, humor, and humility.
  7. Lasallian schools are not autonomous schools but operate in collaboration with others: The Brothers, Alumni, Board of Governors, PIBG and the community.
  8. It is a School organized around the story of John Baptist De La Salle.

Friday, November 04, 2011


Dato' Brother Vincent Corkery with his award. With him are Rotary Club Ipoh
president N. Jawahar (left) and Dr S. Raveendra Kumar 
The Pride of Workmanship award, first initiated by the Rotary Club of Pennant Hills, Australia in 1975, recognizes the qualities and achievements of individuals, their attitudes, commitment and dedication, in their respective fields of work or vocation. Awardees are selected for their sense of responsibilities, initiative and passion in their chosen vocation.
Awards are based on the fields of Community Service, Medicine, Peforming Arts and Animal Care. Brother Vincent receives the award under the field of Education.
The Michaelian community congratulates Brother Vincent for this very special award.  
Below is the citation for Brother Vincent, read out by fellow Rotarian Mr Wu Chee Tatt, a Michaelian, whose life was immensely touched by Brother Vincent and fellow Brothers during his school days at St Michael's.
President Jawahar, honored Guests, and fellow Rotarians,
I am privileged to read out the citation for a very special man.
Dato’ Brother Vincent Corkery is a member of the La Salle Brothers and their mission is to meet the educational and welfare needs of young people worldwide, especially the poor.  The Brothers live their Catholic faith through the values of love, compassion, justice and belief in the human dignity of each person.
Brother Vincent received his first degree in history and political thought at the National University of Ireland.  He later received the certificate in education from Cambridge University. He was the Brother Director of St. Michael’s Institution from 1971 to 1976, and from 1986 to 1988.
On his retirement, he took up the post of Director of the La Salle Centre, which entails maintaining an overview of the administration and the courses run at the Centre.  He also maintains contact with St Michael's, especially as regards policy decisions, and the property. He is now 83 years … young.

In Malaysia, La Salle Schools like St John’s and St Xavier’s have shown that they have withstood the test of time. After all, St John’s has produced Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, the present Prime Minister; Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, Home Minister; Datuk Sri Nazir Tun Razak, the banker and younger brother of Najib and Raja Nazrin Shah, the Raja Muda of Perak.

St Xavier’s produced Karpal Singh, the opposition leader; Tun Hamid Omar, the former Lord President and Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department. (This is not to say that other Schools do not have illustrious sons.  I understand that Botak Chin came from ACS.)    
Ladies & gentlemen, no words can adequately describe a lifetime of contribution, and I will not make the attempt.
Brother Vincent, your presence here tonight can only serve to inspire us to redouble Rotary’s commitment to Service Above Self.
Brother Vincent, I know that the La Salle Brothers live on in the hearts of every Michaelian. And on behalf of all Michaelians worldwide, may I say, we love you.
Thank you.  
Note: This article is specially posted in conjunction with Brother Vincent's birthday today! Happy Birthday, Brother!  
P/s: Birthday wishes and messages can be e-mailed to
All these will be compiled and sent to Brother Vincent. 

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

No Hungry Michaelians!

Kwong Hou Mun (holding his coupons proudly), joyously surrounded by his classmates. Look at his smile!
Kwong Hou Mun, a Form One boy just received his coupons to buy food at the foodcourt.  In St Michael's, boys are well-taken care of as we believe no Michaelians are to go hungry. Allocations for food coupons for deserving students are set aside by the Parent-Teacher Association and these boys are identified by teachers who then put up a request to the school. Just look at the boys who share the joy of Kwong when he finally has some money to buy food at the foodcourt just like other boys. Yes, his favourite food is curry noodle and he used his first coupons to buy that!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

SMI Multi-Purpose Hall & Auditorium In The Making?

A discussion in progress. Mr Jimmy Lim (third from left)
The SMI Centennial Committee, headed by Tan Sri Lee Oi Hian and ably assisted by Mr Adrian Tsen and Mr Joseph Michael Lee have  touched an amazing and astonishing milestone in our 100 years of existence.  
Yes, it has got to do with SMI multi-purpose hall (as we call it now). A team has been formed to look into the realisation of a hall to cater to the ever-expanding needs of the Michaelian fraternity. I must salute these notable old boys who work endlessly and devotedly, all these years.   
As a start, renowned architect, fellow Lasallian and an old Xaverian Mr Jimmy Lim has been very kind to offer his expertise in exploring the current and future needs of the building. He arrived on October 23, 2011 to present his proposal based on his earlier assessment on the project - location, size, facilities and viability. The initial plan would have a hall to cater to dinners, large-scaled seminars or official functions or any IT expositions and book fairs. We are also going to have a 500-seat auditorium, suitable for any types of plays, musical concerts or symposiums. 
Other details will be worked out later at the next centennial meeting.
The project, believed to be massive, will cover the existing car park and basketball court.       
For reference purposes, go to
A time to unwind - The group later proceeded for lunch at Wong Koh Kee restaurant in Old Town, hosted by Mr Joseph Michael Lee (extreme left). Brother Vincent Corkery, Brother Matthew Bay and lawyer Mr Chan Kok Keong (second from left) are joining in too. 

Renowned architect Mr Jimmy Lim
Note: Jimmy C. S. Lim is a Malaysian architect, trained at the University of New South Wales. He was senior architect and then an associate of the firm Project Architects Sdn Bhd in Kuala Lumpur from 1972-1977, and established his own practice - CSL Associates - in 1978. His works, both in Malaysia and abroad, have ranged from residential bungalows to high- and low-rise commercial complexes, medical facilities, sporting facilities, and hotels and resorts; the Salinger Residence that he designed in Selangor, Malaysia, was presented with an Aga Khan Award for Architecture during the 1998 Award cycle. In 1983,  Mr. Lim was a founding member and trustee of the Heritage Trust of Malaysia (Badan Warisan Malaysia), and continues to serve as a member of the Trust Council. He served as president of the Friends of Heritage of Malaysia (Sahabat Warisan Malaysia) from 1998 to 1992, and was president of the Malaysian Architectural Institute from 1991 to 1993. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

St Michael's A Place To Rest For British Soldiers

The plaque commemorating the presence of
British Battalion at St Michael's Ipoh.
Pix courtesy of Mr Anthony Morris
On 18th December 1941,  the 2nd Battalion The East Surrey Regiment and the 1st Battalion The Leicestershire Regiment, paused at St Michael's Institution, Ipoh for a well- needed rest after an almost continuous withdrawal through Kedah and North Perak in the face of fierce attacks by the Japanese forces. 
They stayed until the early hours of 23rd December 1941. The Japanese had the upper hand in their onslaught as they had air superiority and tanks. The British did not have a single tank in Malaya.
While at SMI, the British troops were allowed by the Brothers to stay in the classrooms of the main block on all floors. At that time, the West wing and the East wing of the Main block did not exist. The armoured cars, bren gun carriers and lorries were lined up outside the school in front and under the trees at the back. 
An image of a British Bren Gun Carrier. Courtesy of Mr Joe Willis, England.
The Brothers allowed the food for the soldiers to be cooked in the Brothers' kitchen. Brother Paul and the others were very accommodating and years later after the war, the soldiers still remembered the warmth of the Brothers and grateful appreciation noted by the soldiers who cherished the simple gesture.
Knowing full well that they would have to face the Japanese Forces in a bitter battle soon, the Reverend Henry Babbs held a service for the Anglican soldiers in the chapel. The Catholic chaplain, a Father Ward gave the Catholic soldiers a General Absolution as there was no to time to hear them individually.There was also a mass for them in the chapel. The chapel figured significantly for the Christian soldiers and for many of them it would be the last time in a Christian sanctuary. One soldier who was not a Catholic asked Bro. Paul for a scapular. Bro Paul gave him a Sacred Heart scapular which he carried with him all the time and he still had with him after the war. The soldier was Private Jock Perrin of the 1st Battalion Leicestershire Regiment. He passed away at Portsmouth in 1983.
It was at this time,on the 20th of December 1941, that Lt. Gen. A.E. Percival decided to amalgamate the two badly depleted battalions into one battalion to be known as The British Battalion. It was the first time in modern British military history that two battalions were made into one, due to heavy casualties suffered in the opening battles of the Malayan Campaign .  
St Michael's Institution had the honour of witnessing this birth of the British Battalion which lasted until 14th of February 1942. This was an important part of British Military history and SMI will always be featured whenever the origins of The British Battalion is spoken of. 
Mr Chye holding the book, "The British Battalion".Pix from the Star
In memory of this historic occasion,  a specially made brass plaque was donated by Jeffrey Liew to be placed in the school as a memorial to the British Battalion and the unique role that SMI played. This plaque was similar to the one at St Andrew's Cathedral in Singapore.
Unfortunately, the powers that be in the State of Perak five years ago, and certain officials, refused to allow this historical plaque to be installed in the school on a matter of pride which could have been solved easily, by all parties concerned . Five years later in 2008, this plaque still remains to be installed in a place of honour at SMI.
Local war historian, 80 year old, Mr Chye Kooi Loong is the custodian of this plaque and awaits the day when he can place it in the school for posterity.

Article courtesy of Mr Anthony Morris. His website is Thanks Mr Harneak Singh for the alert.

Note from the Editor: The SMI Centennial Celebration committee during the previous meeting had given the nod for the plaque to be fixed to a wall at St Michael's Institution. Mr Chye has consented to hand over the plaque to the school so that a ceremony can be held to remember the fallen heroes. We are currently working on the special day and the guests to be invited! Stay tuned - Peter Khiew.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

On An Assignment -- To Meet Up With War Historian Chye Kooi Loong

Mr Chye Kooi Loong with Harneak(left) and the blogger
Mr Harneak Singh and Peter Khiew (blogger) paid a visit to Kampar-based Mr Chye Kooi Loong, a renowned war historian and former Home Guard warden during the Emergency. He is a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE), awarded by the Queen of England. 

Mr Chye spent seven years researching and documenting the Battle of Kampar (30 December 1941 – 2 January 1942), an engagement of the Malayan Campaign during World War II involving British and Indian troops from the 11th Indian Infantry Division and the Japanese 5th Division. 
Why were we there in Kampar? Anything to do with the Battle of Kampar, St Michael's or the British Battalion? We managed to document many important events and at the same time, made a few new discoveries, particularly on the wall-embedded Chubb safe at the ground floor. 
Story soon......

The Chapel Comes Alive

The crowd warms the occasion. 

A church-like atmosphere in the chapel. 
The Chapel, a paradise to many and a hide-out to some during the early years, was filled to the brim during the Thanksgiving Mass on September 24, 2011 when it was officially re-opened.
Dato' Brother Vincent Corkery presenting his speech
It was left in isolation for many years, partly due to wear and tear of certain parts and serious infestation of termites rendering it unsafe. Now that the chapel is up and going, more activities should be organised, making full use of the six-decade old landmark.
Fellow Michaelians at the Mass
The chapel is accessible to virtually any group, not necessarily only religious bodies. It can be a place to fellowship, interact and reflect.  
Getting Together For A Common Cause
A get-together after the session.
Even Brother Matthew Liew made his way from Kuala Lumpur to grace the occasion.
The turn-out was beyond expectation as those who came included many from outside Ipoh. Old boys, who included former teachers, clergies, parents who are true-blue Michaelians and the many contributors whose generosity have made the opening of the chapel possible.
I must thank the Centennial Committee members for spearheading the project, in line with our theme, "Cherishing Our Past, Embracing The Future".
Signing off,
Peter Khiew

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

News Reports On OMA Dinner- Ipoh Echo Issue 130

The function was also reported in the New Straits Times dated October 17, 2011.Many thanks to the pressmen from Ipoh Echo, NST and The Star for their years of support towards St Michael's. Special mention here to Lt Col (R) Fathol, Husairi and James Gough.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Brief Report On The Pre-OMA Dinner

Thomas Wong putting up the banner while Anthony Lourdes helps out.
Preparations were made days before the recently concluded 73rd OMA dinner held in the school. The last time time we held the dinner at St Michael's was in 1987, exactly 24 years ago. Most of the gatherings were organised at the Red Crescent Hall, near the stadium. The committee felt that this year, in preparation for the Centennial Dinner next year, we need to have a trial run to determine the logistics, organisation and maintenance aspects. Despite more involvements among the committee members, at the end, it was worth the efforts. We encountered setbacks and weaknesses but it was a lesson learnt. Organising a function this magnitude was interesting and challenging. Let's us flashback a little on the task we undertake to make such an enjoyable dinner for all.

"To the right, no, no, a little to the left" ...Under the watchful eyes of Yong Sin Wah, he makes sure the banner is properly put up. It was actually a very tedious affair.
"Why so late? Do you know what is the time NOW?...Uncle Yip calls up the company which supposed to get the chairs delivered.  
Look at ways how things were being prepared for a big dinner. 
A makeshift restaurant kitchen at St Michael's. Yes, it was a successful function. 
Thank you for a successful dinner. It was an evening worthy to remember.


Dear Readers, My apology for delaying postings on the blog. I have received numerous concerns and queries as to my delay in updating articles. Rest assured. I am still around - in a very active mode. Examinations are on-going, with many other school reports to be submitted. I will be back very soon - with more news on our alma mater, St Michael's.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

OMA's 73rd Annual Banquet

Class of 1971 with Brother Vincent

Old Michaelians by the hundreds, to be exact 800, turned up excitedly at the alma mater on September 24, 2011 for a real fellowship and reunion. One could see dozens who came as early as 6pm, exploring the school and entering classes, possibly to reminisce their good ole' days with their classmates and teachers. A group of them even came up with stickers of SMI school badge and wore them proudly in and out the main hall. What an amazing spirit! The class of 60s did not lose out. They had their version of old Michaelian badge which they also wore throughout the function. Others? They just 'yam seng" and "yam seng" throughout the occasion, making the atmosphere splendidly lively!

The Class of 1981
Celebrants included those receiving their Diamond, Golden, Ruby and Silver jubilee salutation certificates.   Dato’ Bro. Vincent Corkery gave out the certificates. Among those who left St Michael's 70 years ago (1941)-what a feat- are Dato’ Yeoh Kian Teik, Mr Ng Khoon Hong, Mr Wong Hon Choong, Mr Wong Kee Fah and Mr Chang Kong Foo. It was during the time of Brother Patrick O' Donovan that the Second World War broke out. The batch sat for their senior Cambridge in 1941 and the situation was tense. The answer scripts were sent immediately to Cambridge by the British. The scripts arrived safely. The boys took 4 years for them to see their results! They done well. 
Dato Yeoh is the father of Michelle Yeoh.
OMA president Mr Adrian Tsen taking a shot with his idol, chemist cum writer Mariam Mokhtar. 
Mariam with Diana Yeoh (left) and Lawrence Brindes.
Among the guests who turned up were Lasallians from the SMI KL Alumni (Mr Michael Lip), Old Paulians Association, Old Georgians Association, Old Xaverians Association, the MP of Batu Gajah Fong Po Kuan, writer Mariam Mokhtar and Tan Sri Lee Oi Hian. We are also honoured to have Brother Matthew Liew with us.
"Thank you, YB" - MP Fong presenting a prize to Cheong, Class of 60'.
We thank all Michaelians and guests for joining us at the dinner. Look forward to another great year, "Yamm.......Seng".

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Brother Matt - A Brother Extraordinaire

He's Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother. Students saying "Happy Retirement" to Brother Matthew
He is known as the "Batik Man". He is also known as the man with many talents. Brother Matthew Bay called it quits on 19 September 2011, a day after his birthday. His students best remember him for his knack in batik painting and his preferences for motifs on floral and the environment. Always seen holding a bunch of keys, sometimes a few bunches,
A pewter plaque presented by Mr Louis Rozario on behalf of the OMA 
Brother had never failed to look into the details as far as building maintenance was concerned. During his tenure at St Michael's, virtually all areas of development were under his stewardship. The total revamp of the tuck-shop turned canteen turned foodcourt, the inter-locking bricks along the main building, designing and supervising the construction of the primary school building, the painting of the school, the La Salle Auditorium, the refurbishment of the main hall and recently the Chapel - just to name a few.
Gracing the occasion were Mr Louis Rozario (far right), Mr Joseph Michael Lee (PIBG chief), Dato' Brother Vincent, En Zahir (PK1) and Mr Joseph Lau, OGA president.
The La Salle Centre was devoid of lush greeneries, the pond, the aquariums and the unusually large fish tank until the arrival of Brother Matthew in 1991, exactly 20 years ago. The rambutan trees, the mango trees, starfruit, "dokong langsat", the giant palm trees and so many other plants and shrubs are results of a person full of patience, gentleness, meekness and knowledge. Yes, he also knows what friendship is all about.
Honoured guests - from left Mr Joseph Lau, Brother Anthony Rogers, En Zahir (PK1), Brother Matthew Bay, Dato Brother Vincent, Mr Joseph Michael Lee and Mr Louis 
Thank you to Brother Director Anthony Rogers and Dato Brother Vincent Corkery for gracing the occasion.
The stylish arrival of Brother Matthew at the occasion.
No goodbye for Brother Matthew as we are going to spend more time with him. His presence will be felt more after his retirement as he has been commissioned to carry out more duties at St Michael's.
For all you have done, Brother, our sincere thank you. From us at St Michael's.