Sunday, November 17, 2013

2013- What A Year (Part II)

This bowl of appetizing curry noodle comes with cockles, yong tau fu and tau fu pok. Look at the colour of the curry paste. No need to look far. This bowl of rich concoction of hot and spicy goodies is available in St Michael's foodcourt at a stall manned by Ah Fatt. It costs only RM3.     
Dental nurses still pay our boys visits annually, normally setting up their temporary base at the class. The school parlour was the staff room before it was converted into a dental clinic during the 60s. The clinic was then shifted to the Primary School until the very days when the primary school premises were demolished. 
School level National Day celebration
The school principal flagging off Malaysian-made motorcycles and cars for a symbolical parade, witnessed by students and teachers.
Our boys after their Form Three exams (PMR). This will be the last PMR for all Form Three candidates in the country.

Old Michaelians Annual Dinner which was held in September. The dinner continues to attract old boys and girls for fellowship and to renew friendship. This year is OMA's 80th anniversary.
The great Michaelian trio who traditionally celebrate their birthday together. This year we had a good dinner at Wong Kok restaurant. Happy Birthday to Brother Vincent, Mr Adrian Tsen and Mr Louis Rozario Doss.Our wish is to have many,many more years of birthday celebration with them.  
Yam Seng...a toast to Mr Adrian Tsen by well-wishers. 

Post PMR program - off to a motivational camp at the Navy Base in Lumut. Here, the principal and teachers bid farewell to the boys moments before they board the bus.
A sad day for fellow Michaelians for the demise of our hero, buddy and best friend, Mr Harneak Singh who left us on 9 April 2013. We still miss him. 
Harneak...Rest In Peace.
Thank you everyone for a wonderful, challenging and a very busy year. St Michael's will continue to be busy as it sails forward to year 2014. We endeavor to be guided by the principles of Faith, Service and Community in our quest to produce quality and well-balanced students.
SMI theme for 2014, "Onward Michaelians United & True" will be the foundation of our character building initiatives. Together we make it a success.
Happy Holidays and greetings.

Signing off,
Peter Khiew (needs a few days off to recharge and unwind)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Lasallians Getting Together To Support

One La Salle Relief Drive: Yolanda (Haiyan). The Brothers and the Lasallian Family of the Lasallian East Asia District and the Sector of the Philippines are deeply grateful to all the Brothers, Lasallian institutions, and Districts from all over the world for their words of encouragement, prayers and pledges of donations for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan (locally named in the Philippines as typhoon “Yolanda”). !We mentioned in LEAD Story 123 that this Category 5 Typhoon is one of the strongest storms observed in world history. This year 2013 alone, the Philippines has experienced an unusual number of over 20 typhoons already but days of preparation and massive evacuations could not prevent the devastation wrought by Typhoon Haiyan's strong winds and storm surges sweeping coastal towns of several islands. 
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs estimates
about 9.8 million people are affected and more than 10,000 feared dead. !
The Sector of the Philippines has organised a disaster relief and rehabilitation operations called “One La Salle Relief Drive: Yolanda (Haiyan)”. 
Monetary donations can be made through: Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) Bank Account Name : De La Salle Brothers, Inc. - Yolanda Peso Account : 1296-714778
US Dollar Account: 8296-001156
Swift Code for Dollar Account: RCBC PHMM !
For tracking and monitoring purposes, donors are requested to send a scanned or photo copy of the deposit slip through e-mail: or fax: +632 721 5049 !
All 16 Lasallian Educational Institutions in the Philippines are coordinating their disaster response operations through De La Salle Philippines (DLSP). They have identified the University of Saint La Salle (USLS) in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental to be the main relief centre. DLSP will be sending to USLS the donations received. !
The location of USLS is very strategic given that the Sector’s priority areas for relief operations are “Sagay" and “Cadiz” in Negros Occidental, “Bantayan” in Cebu, and “Estancia” in Iloilo. These areas are not as publicised in the news like Tacloban City in Leyte and other parts of Samar but are equally in need of relief goods. Currently, DLSP is also coordinating with communities in “Guiuan” in Eastern Samar, the area where Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) made its first land fall!
We have yet to receive more precise information as to how long will relief be needed. We expect that this will take some time since those drastically affected have lost their homes and that the evacuation centres will be their onlyrefuge for now. For the rehabilitation phase, DLSP is looking at rebuilding the public schools in the affected areas in coordination with the Department of Education of the Philippines!
Information on the relief efforts can be found in the De La Salle Philippines website:

Fraternally, !!
Br. Edmundo L. Fernandez FSC!

The Combined Lasallian Relief effort On the Aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda)

This e-mail came from Brother Vincent just 5 hours ago and I feel obliged to highlight this. Brother received the e-mail below from fellow Brothers in the Philippines.

Dear Brothers and friends,

Blessings and peace!
On behalf of Br. Edmundo Fernandez, we are sending you updates on the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) in this 124th Issue of LEAD⍟Story (12 November 2013). Note: See above post.
By now, you may have seen on television and on the internet several images and videos of the devastation on some islands in Central Philippines. A video capturing the actual storm are rare but one of them is available below.
Again, we thank everyone for their prayers and support!

Br. Richie P. Yap FSC
LEAD Administrator
+63 917 712 2443 (PRIMARY)

Note: On behalf of St Michael's Ipoh, I have sent a note to Brother Visitor Edmundo that in this time of hardship and sorrow, our prayers and thoughts are with them. Brother Edmundo has acknowledged the message. 

A La Salle Brothers' Centenary Badge

The Centenary Badge
The above badge has the words “Christian Brothers’ Schools” and “Signum Fidei” clearly printed on it, one at the bottom of the badge and the other at the top. In between there is an image of Peninsula Malaysia as well as a figure of a Catholic Brother. At the top end of the image of Peninsula Malaysia the numbers “1852” can be seen while at the lower end the numbers “1952” are printed.

The Christian Brothers’ Schools are a vast network of schools set up by the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, founded in 1680 by St. John Baptist de la Salle. De la Salle was a canon of the cathedral in Rheims, France. Struck by the ignorance of the masses towards knowledge and religion, he gradually became involved with charitable schools. He worked alongside a layman, M. Nyel, to set up free schools for the children of the working class and the poor and trained a group of young men to teach and live in these schools, eventually moving in with them himself. De la Salle implemented innovative education methods and together with his Brothers, succeeded in creating a large network of schools in France. By the end of the 19th century, the institute had 14 631 Brothers working in 35 different countries.

When “secularization laws” were enacted in France in 1904, many of these schools were forced to close and The Brothers who ran it turned instead to faraway lands, continuing their religious life in countries such as Belgium, Canada, and Spain as well as Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, Egypt, Brazil, Panama, Mexico, North Africa, and Australia. These days, the community is headed by a Superior General with the assistance of a General Council. As of 2000, the Superior General is Brother Alvaro Rodriguez Echeverria, FSC, of Costa Rica. According to the Brothers of the Christian Schools website, the Brothers now minister, together with over 73,000 lay colleagues, to more than 900,000 students in 80 countries. “Signum Fidei”, meaning “sign of faith”, is the motto of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools.

In Malaysia, at least 22 schools were founded by Christian Brothers, including a number of prominent schools like St Xavier’s Institution in Penang, St John’s Institution in Kuala Lumpur and Ipoh’s very own St Michael’s Institution. The history of the Brothers in Malaya starts with St. Xavier's Institution which goes back to 1852, when De La Salle Christian Brothers took over a Malay medium school which was started even earlier, in 1787, and renamed it the St. Francis Xavier's Free School.

Consequently, the numbers written on the badge signify the celebration of the brothers first 100 years missionary educational service in Malaya.

To find out more about the Brothers and their work throughout the world, visit their website at

Saturday, November 09, 2013

2013- What A Year

This post details the happenings at St Michael's throughout 2013. It is a good year with wonderful events and plenty of things to remember. Congratulations everyone on completing the year 2013 with gusto. Teachers, pupils, staff and the administrators. Everyone had a nice and memorable time.
Teachers having their staff development program at the La Salle Auditorium beginning of the year
The visit of Michaelian Finance Minister II to SMI in December 2012 also marked an important milestone at SMI. We continue to welcome our old boys home.
Fellowship after an event at St Michael's. Parents' participation in school activities is crucial in determining the success and dynamic of an institution.

The grand clean-up before the start of the new school term. Student and teacher participation like this is applauded. It demonstrates their commitment beyond the call of duty
The Principal (2nd from right), accompanied by Mr Rajendran (Student Affair SA), En Adi Yusry and En Alias working at a trough during the clean-up. 
It's virtually impossible to shift such a heavy safe BUT if it involves determination and tenacity, we can even move mountains! 
Prasad was the president of the Michaelian Wushu Club. He has been with the club since Form Two and he involves actively in lion dancing. Here, this intrepid boy repairing the lion head.  
Cikgu Adi Yusri is another teacher who considers St Michael's as his second home. His favourite football club is undoubtedly Liverpool and "You'll Never Walk Alone" is his favourite quote.
Cikgu Adi in Liverpool FC, England. 
SMI 2013 Annual Play, "The Lion King" was performed in April, directed by Ms Corrinne Mah.
Tommy, an exchange student from Italy bidding farewell to his friends and teachers at the school assembly.
(Note: This event was in 2012 and it's not too late to highlight)
Visitors still consider St Michael's as a must-visit destination whenever they are in Ipoh. 
Teachers during the morning assembly.
Mr Ooi, the school IT expert aka Steve Jobs of SMI (vice-president of SMI Staff Club) presenting a piece of batik cloth to the Principal. In the background is Ustaz Suhaimi (the President of SMI staff Club)
A feather in the cap for St Michael's...Cikgu Shafinazaida guided our students right to the national-level of The Star's video clip competition. It was a proud moment when they took a picture with Deputy Education Minister I Dato' Mary Yap at the function. Well done, Cikgu and our fellow Michaelians.    
It's time to landscape. We still need to keep the surroundings spick and span. Workers delivering plants to school.  
Accidents do happen sometimes. This Form Two boy dislocated his arm during a basketball session. We contacted his parents before he was sent to the hospital. The parents were grateful for the quick action.
Help has arrived... It took just 10 minutes for the ambulance to arrive. (Note: The boy has not given up on basketball. By the way, St Michael's has carved a niche in basketball, beating many Chinese schools which are known for their basketball prowess)   
Saying goodbye to Chang(centre) who came to SMI for his training. With his are Liew Boon Ket (left) the chief adviser of the Michaelian Military Band and Mr Ooi Kean Giap, the IT expert.  
Form Six students doing their part for the society by donating blood. The practice is an annual affair organised by the Sixth Form Society.
Great guys who man the blood donation counter, making sure donors are adequately advised and counselled. Not sure though whether they donate their blood.
We are proud to be Malaysians and Michaelians.

Time flies, it’s been a whirlwind of a ride, full of ups and downs, happiness, frustrations and a whole lot of other emotions. And that’s the way it should St Michael's Ipoh.

Signing off, 
Peter Khiew