Saturday, June 23, 2012

St Michael's Open Day - Welcome to SMI

Wong and Jebb Leong (right) with the banner they helped put up
Parents and guardians are welcome to St Michael's on June 28, 2012 to meet up with teachers to discuss about the welfare of their charges. Report cards are currently being processed and we look forward to discuss with parents on how we can assist in the overall betterment of our children.
Happy Centennial.

Friday, June 22, 2012

British High Commissioner Visits St Michael's

His Excellency Mr Simon Featherstone proudly unveiling the British Battalion plaque.
It was a day to remember at St Michael's when British High Commissioner His Excellency Mr Simon Featherstone and his wife Madam Gail arrived to unveil a plaque that is close to the hearts of so many veteran servicemen and locals, including the late Brother Ultan Paul.
For war historian Mr Chye Kooi Loong, his dream to witness the plaque being accorded a rightful place at St Michael's was fulfilled that day. His strong spirit and determination ruled the day as he and his wife had to travel all the way from Kampar despite their physical limitations.
At St Michael's, it was a very significant occasion because the formation of the British Battalion at SMI to fight against the invading Japanese was witnessed personally by Brother Ultan Paul. 
In fact, during the arrival of the British soldiers at St Michael's on either 18/19 December 1941, Brother Paul was there to welcome the soldiers. 
"I was here at that time and I remember it well", he said. "The Surreys came here first - 18th December and the Leicestershire arrived later in the evening. They were put into the classrooms on the ground and first floors and the school hall. They stayed for three days before leaving the school in the early morning of 23rd December 1941", recalled Brother Paul.
The British Battalion was an ad hoc formation created on 20 December 1941 during the Battle of Malaya.It was amalgamated from two regular British Army battalions, 2nd Bn, East Surreys Regiment under Lieut. Col. G E Swinton MC and 1st Bn, The Leicestershire Regiment under Lieut. Col. Charles Esmond Morrison, OBE.
Both battalions suffered heavy casualties in North West Malaya during the early stages of the Japanese invasion so it was decided to amalgamate the two battalions.The British Battalion was commanded by Lieut. Col. Morrison; Lieut. Col. Swinton was badly wounded during the Battle of Jitra. The battalion fought with great courage, taking many casualties and earning much respect from other units. They were involved in fierce fighting during the Battle of Kampar (30 December 1941–2 January 1942), before joining in the fighting retreat back to Singapore. The Battalion was also involved in the short but fierce battle for Singapore. They surrendered to the Japanese along with other units of the British Army under General Arthur Percival in February 1942. Many of the British battalion died in Japanese P.O.W. camps. Of the estimated 500 soldiers at the amalgamation, barely 130 survived the war.
The arrival of His Excellency and his wife, welcomed by the principal, Mr Adrian Tsen and guests.
Guests at the school foyer.
Wushu Club members showcasing their drumming skills.
Michaelian Military Band members were also present at the ceremony.
Realising its significance of the occasion, UK-based company Narborough Plantations plc generously sponsored the whole event. We thank the management of the company, the Old Michaelians Association, the Wushu Club members, the Michaelian Military Band members and all individuals who have made the occasion so special, yes, in conjunction with our Centennial Celebrations.    

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Drama of the Century of SMI: About Our Founder, John Baptist De La Salle

Words are going around that this year's drama is going to be a hit among Michaelians and Ipoh folks. Already bookings have started through a dedicated e-mail, delasallesmi@gmail.com, specially created to ensure tickets are easily made available. 
We foresee huge turnouts for the drama this year. Among those who came to have a sneak preview of the drama were boys from class 2007. They were, from left, Liew Jyi Choong, Chan Sai Mun, Dhilip and William Liew. They have made plans to attend the drama which falls on July 6 and 7, 2012 at 7.45pm - only two days. Props,as seen at the background, are hand-painted by Master Timothy Chee, who also directs the play. To add spice to the "centennial" mood and occasion, "Jean Baptiste- The Last Chronicles" is organised by the Old Michaelians Association (OMA) under the patronage of Mr Adrian Tsen. 
Remember, book now to grab a place to watch the Drama of the Century.
e-mail: delasallesmi@gmail.com. Let us know how many tickets, for which day and we will advise on how tickets can be collected. Tickets are priced at RM20 each and each purchase comes with a specially designed souvenir folder.

Play with a modern twist, The Star, March 20, 2012
By Ivan Loh
SMK St Michael will stage a play about its founder, Jean-Baptiste de La Salle, in conjunction with the school’s centennial celebration this year.
Themed Jean-Baptiste de La Salle: The Lost Chronicle, the play is based on Jean-Baptiste’s early days in France and the beginning of the formation of the La Salle Brothers.
Man with a passion: Timothy showing some of the paintings he drew to be used as backdrops for the play.
The play’s director Timothy Chee said the script was written by his son, Ian. 
“He took about three months to research the history of Jean-Baptiste.
“He started writing the script in September last year and finished it in January,” said Timothy, adding that there were other plays on Jean-Baptiste but never about his life as an ordinary person.
Timothy said former school brother director Datuk Vincent Corkery had vetted the script and given the nod of approval.
He added that the production was by the Old Michaelians Association.
Timothy, who is also an old boy, said the play would be given a modern twist incorporating some modern songs to appeal to the audience.
“There will be songs such as Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance, MC Hammer’sPray and Bruno Mars’ I Want To Be A Millionaire.
“The songs will give the play a boost and audiences more understanding about what’s going on,” he said.
Timothy said about 60 students, from Form One to Lower Six were involved in the project.
“I want not only to cultivate their talent but also to teach them about the whole production from A to Z,” he said. Timothy, who has directed about 35 school plays, said the students only started rehearsing for the play earlier this month.
“Those selected were given scripts in February for them to practise.
“We are short of time because of the many school programmes held at school, the examinations and school holidays,” he said.
Playing the titular lead role is Fourth Former R. Surender, who was honoured to be given the opportunity to portray the legend.
“Jean-Baptiste was a noble and modest man, who never showed off.
“In France, he learned about the poor and strived to help and educate them,” the 16-year-old Surender said, adding that he also did some research about Jean-Baptiste to get a better understanding and to better portray the character.
Surender said the school play would be his first shot at acting and he was feeling a bit pressured.
“Playing Jean-Baptiste is giving me the butterflies.
“Nonetheless, I am up to the task and will give my best to make the show a success,” he said.
“I have gone over the script and there are still some lines that I need to memorise,” he added.
The centennial celebration committee member Peter Khiew said the school play was being organised to raise funds for the school to upgrade and maintain its facilities and other purposes.
He said the play would be staged at the SMI hall on July 6 and 7.

Friday, June 01, 2012

SMI Golf Tournament In IPOH!

In conjunction with St Michael's Centennial Celebration, the old boys in Klang Valley have planned something extra interesting. For the first time, the annual golf tournament will be held in Ipoh, an initiative by the SMI Alumni of Klang Valley. I was told this tournament is touted to be the most interesting ever as golfers from far and near, professionals and amateurs, are ready to tee off. 
Please contact the representatives from KL and Ipoh to book a place!