Thursday, August 25, 2011

Flagpost & St Michael's Official Flag At The Central Gable

Notice something different at the central gable of the school building? Originally a flagpost was prominently placed there when St Michael's was taken over as an army base by the Japanese and British. Old photographs obtained from past issues of school magazines indicate the existence of a post. An inspection was carried out at the balcony last year and amazingly, we noticed three very strong metal flagpost holders being embedded in the concrete portion of the balcony, irrefutably to hold the pole
The two Japanese flag poles placed exactly infront of the central gable and the shorter post at the balcony. 
Why was the pole removed? Just like the two Japanese poles now lying idle at the La Salle Centre...  "The Japanese Advance troops entered Ipoh on 28 December 1941 and found a ready made shelter at St Michael's Institution. The school was used as "Perak Shu Seicho", the Japanese Government Building in Ipoh. The entire school building was used to house various government offices." - extracted from My Story, 1994.
While memories of the Japanese occupation of the building have long forgotten by many, plaques put up over the years like the ones at the granite staircase and the chapel (State Legislative Council Chambers) somehow remind us of those war years of hardship and great endurance on the part of the Brothers, teachers and students alike.
Another discovery: Two very thick, heavily-rusty flagposts used by army officers during the Japanese era are currently lie in solitary, partially covered by shrubs.Surprisingly, the relics are still in considerably good conditions even after decades of expose to the elements.
These items bear strong historical and heritage significance. They are almost 70 years old and plans are already on to identify the exact location where the poles were placed before they were taken down.

From a post dated October 12, 2009. "After much researching, an old photo, dated back to the 60s', effectively tells the exact position of the poles used by the Japanese and the British. Official and ceremonious gatherings were normally carried out at the centre of the premises, in this case, the central gable of St Michael's. There are two posts, similar to the ones at the La Salle Centre, could be clearly seen standing with great pride. Another one, a shorter pole, is at the balcony. All three had been removed but the stand to hold the smaller pole is still visible. 
Majestic. 
Fast Forward To August 2011.. The post has been replaced, mainly because of many concerned old boys who feel that originality must take its precedence. It took just five minutes, during a get-together, to raise the fund to acquire the flagpost and flag. A standing ovation for these guys! The school crest, meticulously sewn, is now prominently displayed on the flag. One can easily see the flag from the main road or even the Ipoh Padang. The school flag can actually make us hum the School Rally. 
Thank you again, another milestone for our Centennial Celebration. 

1 comment:

SMI 1912-2012 said...

Thank you Mr Peter for taking the initiative. Hope more former students can come forward in contributing towards the many other projects in pipeline for the Centennial Celebration.

The celebrated saying is "Once a Michaelian, Always a Michaelian" but i would say, in the words of Mr Adrian Tsen, "I NEVER LEFT SCHOOL"

Harneak Singh
5A3 1980