Saturday, September 17, 2011

Unsolved Mysteries At St Michael's

The school basement is believed to be the starting point of the popular underground tunnel 
“Last two tickets for the day, last two tickets”  That is the call for people who want to travel in the “tunnel” from SMI to “Main Convent”.
Is there a tunnel at St Michael's? If yes, where is it? Tunnels have been discovered at the High Court, Railways Station and even the police station. It is not impossible to have one at St Michael's. There is no smoke without fire. Generations of Michaelians had this question and the only answer given by the Brothers or fellow Michaelians is “There is no such thing as a “tunnel” at SMI”.
Michaelians being Michaelians, never giving up their quest for the truth and have found a lead in solving the mystery. Since there is no way leading to the “tunnel” from the Chubb Door under the grand granite staircase, the only way will be from somewhere else.

“Mystery is finally resolved” 
Upon close examination of a couple of photographs under Peter Khiew’s blog dated Friday, February 26, 2010 - http://peterkhiew.blogspot.com/2010/02/grand-clean-up-do-at-st-michaels.html one will notice that there is a mysterious “ticket counter” at the basement of school stage. 
The keeper of the Underground Tunnel. Question remains - Why a ticket counter at the basement? 
It has wire-mesh barrier and a small window. As a student way back in 1980, I don’t quite remember this mysterious window for I only go under the stage for other reasons. As from the surviving architectural drawings of the stage, there is no indication of this mysterious window.  Could it be a dark and well-guarded secret that it does not show even in the architectural drawings? I am sure it is not used as a window to hand over play costumes or apparels as it is too small in size.
There are several doors which lead to the front and back of the building and there is also a door that leads to ‘nowhere” !!!!. 
Going back to the story of a mysterious “tunnel” that exists at SMI, could it be that you must buy your ticket here before moving through the “door to nowhere” into the “tunnel”.
An air outlet? St Michael's has always generated interests in many areas.
Perhaps Mr Timothy Chee, who has been actively involved in the production of school plays for more than 40 plays would be able to shed some light on this “mysterious window”. Brother Vincent and other retired teachers could share their knowledge on this “ticketing window” at the basement of the school stage. 
On the other hands, we have to bury the ghost of the “Tunnel”, “door to nowhere” and the “Mystery Ticketing Counter” before our Centennial in 2012 as it has haunted us for long now. If Discovery Channel or National Geographic Channel comes to know about this “Underground City”  the school will be placed as national treasure under Badan Warisan or Muzium Negara.
Oops, before I forget, there is another mystery to be solved. The recent Lower Six girls claimed that the “tunnel” is not from SMI but from the Mosque. Hmmm…. Tunnel from the Mosque to Main Convent. What could be the connection here.  Well, it is not our mystery anymore. Now it’s theirs. 
As a reminder, SMI is not Sekolah Misteri Ipoh but St Michael's Institution.

Other Unsolved Mysteries at SMI.
1. Why are there flag poles at the top of the roof?  They are located at the rear annexes of the main  building. (Right at the top of our OMA Secretariat roof for which entrance is only through the chapel and the other pole at the roof of former OMA Secretariat which also houses the kitchen for the former Brothers’ Quarters)
2.The letter drop opening at the door of a classroom. A classroom door on the ground floor, right in front of our main assembly stage, has a cutting that assembles a letter drop cutting. What is it actually for and why is it here?
3.The answer for the following extract from Peter Khiew’s Blog :Thursday, October 08, 2009, Do You Know That...
Today, it came to our knowledge that a piece of iron ore, easily more than 100 kg, is kept somewhere in school. How is it got here and why it was acquired? These are answers we want to find out. Only the size of a rugby ball but a few people are needed to carry it! 
4. SMI used to have a shooting range for the Cadet Corps. Where was the location of the shooting range?
5. Where was the old tuck-shop located at a distance from the school building?
6. Where is the location of the first school building, The Malay Bungalow?
7.There were three (3) LaSalle Brothers who served as Directors of SMI on two terms. Who are these Brothers? 
8.Was there ever a bomb hoax at SMI and if yes which year?
9.There are hooks at the main granite staircase. Who placed the hooks there and  for what purpose?
10. The Mystery Continues......at St Michael's.

By Harneak Singh

5 comments:

Manmathan said...

I think I have found the 100kg iron ore...

Peter Khiew said...

Congratulation Manmathan, Not easy to chance upon something that unique. I am sure you took some shots for remembrance. Thank you for joining us at the Mass.

SMI 1912-2012 said...

Another mystery : What is the origin of the Chubb door under the granite staircase?

Mystery solved : There was never a tunnel at SMI. A well known local Historian has confirmed it. In short "tunnel mystery" closed.

Harneak Singh

SMI 1912-2012 said...

Mystery Solved : NO TUNNEL AT SMI. Me and the blog-master confirmed this with a renown historian.

New Mystery : What is the origin of the CHUBB door under the granite staircase.

Harneak Singh
5A3 1980

brianchew said...

Hi all, interesting article. Looks like St Michael's Institution has a very rich (and mysterious) history. How can I get in touch with the writer? Am doing some research for a TV program and would like to learn more about this school