Saturday, April 21, 2012

Dr Hyacinth Gaudart - An Old Michaelian & Great Debater (RIP)

PETALING JAYA: Renowned English language educationist Dr Hyacinth Gaudart passed away of cancer at the age of 66.
Former student Choo Hooi Peng, who managed to say her goodbyes to Dr Gaudart, said she died at the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre at 2pm yesterday.
“She was diagnosed with cancer several months ago and had been undergoing treatment there,” she said.
Dr Gaudart served at the Education Faculty in Universiti Malaya (UM) from 1978 to 2009, and is best known for her involvement in setting up the Bachelor of Education (Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL)) programme at the university.
A former columnist in Sunday Star in the 1990's, Dr Gaudart was known affectionately as Dr G.
Many of her former students spoke about the impact she had made in their lives.
Haslinda Hashim said she last met Dr Gaudart at a conference where she spoke about her students and her pride in teaching.
“She was a great teacher and I learnt so much from her,” she said in a Facebook posting.
Taylor's University School of Education dean Prof Dr Malachi Edwin Vethamani said he would remember Dr Gaudart for sharing her passion for teaching and her wonderful smile.
“I have known her for over 30 years ever since she taught me in UM and we worked together in the Malaysian English Language Teaching Association,” he said.
Journalist Kang Soon Chen recalled Dr Gaudart's love for food and how she used to treat her students.
“At the end of one semester, she bought nasi lemak for my class,” she said.
UM vice-chancellor Prof Tan Sri Dr Ghauth Jasmon said Dr Gaudart was known for her contributions to TESL methodology, sociolinguistics and language policies in Malaysia.
(Courtesy of The Star)

Dr Hyacinth Gaudart (centre in 1963 after winning a debating contest. 
Note: Hyacinth Gaudart studied at St Michael's in the year 1962 and 1963 in Form Six. She stood out among the rest with her outstanding skills in debate and elocution. At the Annual Elocution Contest in 1963, on August 1, Hyacinth Gaudart was adjudged the best speaker. She also represented her class, Upper Six Arts team with Toh Jeh Nee and Rosemary Paul and emerged winners of the Literary and Historical Society Debating Contest. At another Elocution Contest organised by the Junior Chamber Of Commerce, Hyacinth Gaudart walked off with the first prize.
(Information courtesy of the Michaelian Heritage Gallery archive)
Our condolence to her family members.

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