Sunday, June 12, 2016

Happenings At St Michael's Ipoh..

School reopens on 13 June 2016. As we embark on the second half of the school year, we remember many eventful happenings that took place at the alma mater, one which happened on March 22, 2016 when Brother Vincent Corkery passed on, a news that shocked the Lasallian and Michaelian fraternity.
Hundreds of students and teachers observed a minute's silence to remember and express gratitude to Vincent. ― Picture by Farhan Najib
Hundreds of students and teachers observed a minute's silence to remember and express gratitude to Vincent. ― Picture by Farhan Najib (Malay Mail)
Malay Mail reports:

IPOH, March 24 — Teachers and students of St Michael’s Institution paid a special tribute yesterday to Brother Datuk Vincent Corkery who passed away at the age of 87 on Tuesday.
The remembrance ceremony was held at the school’s assembly ground where hundreds of students and their teachers observed a minute’s silence for Vincent who spent a large part of his life at the school.
Vincent, who was born in Cork County, Ireland, on November 4, 1928, was posted to St Michael’s Institution in 1958 where he remained until his death from pneumonia on Tuesday.
In paying tribute to Vincent, St Michael’s principal Chan Nyook Ying, 59, said he was “an inspirational icon to countless lives and careers”.
She said Vincent recognised the individual uniqueness of every student and encouraged weaker pupils and those coming from poor families to strive for excellence.
“He pushed competition and one-upmanship to the sidelines and truly understood the psyche of the adolescent who was entrusted to him ... his was the approach that is today known as ‘the last, the lost and the least’,” she said.
“Countless boys and girls were shaped by his loving kindness, deep wisdom and broad learning.”
As a religious person, she said Vincent, who retired as the school principal in 1988, lived a life of poverty, celibacy and obedience.
“As a teacher, his lessons were most interesting and reflected the great philosophical and ethical values which had been ingrained into his character from young.
“As a friend to many Brother Vincent was always soft-spoken, considerate and captivating.”
Chan said as a master of the English language, Vincent had great affinity for Shakespeare and poetry besides his deep knowledge on many other subjects such as politics, the Bible and languages such as French and Latin.
She said apart from his intellectual achievements, Vincent was an effective counsellor and guide and continued to be active even after his retirement.
He was particularly active in the La Salle Centre and in programmes for young people and was also involved in the Regional La Salle Education Council which was a movement and think-tank to consolidate and revitalise the La Salle schools, she added.
“It is going to be difficult to imagine him not being around and I am not sure how we will cope especially during the important school functions.
“He was a person who had inspired, motivated and taught us to strive to become the best of ourselves in all ways,” said Chan.
“Brother Vincent has carved his name on our hearts and not tombstones. We are truly blessed by his presence and how he touched our lives.”
The school’s head prefect, Derek Leong Wei Jian, 19, said he was introduced to Vincent about four years ago during a regional La Salle Camp.
“In him, I witnessed great humility and friendliness. He gave sound advice and always extended help to those in need of it,” he said.
“I will forever remember his advice to me: ‘No matter what struggles or obstacles you face, always get up, stand firm on your feet and move forward in life’. Those words have never fail to motivate me.”


Rest In Peace Brother.
La Salle Brothers who turned up at the funeral at St Michael Church.
SMI’s Charity Premier ‘Frozen’ A Hit With The Audience. By James Gough

This years’ drama is from the Disney animated movie ‘Frozen’ and comes with all the essential ingredients for a successful play such as a fearless princess who inadvertently traps her own kingdom of Arendelle in an eternal winter.

The characters of the ‘evil’ Princess Elsa and romantic and dainty Princess Anna, charming and handsome Prince Hans and the peasant Kristoff with his sidekicks reindeer Sven and snowman Olaf with cute makeup and dressed in bold and sharp costumes with music to match made for an entertaining evening and could possibly be the school’s best production in recent years.

The audience from the children’s homes were particularly taken up with the show and readily sang along especially when the hit song ’Let It Go’ was played.

The charity premier is held every year where residents from charity homes are invited and the full play is performed for their entertainment.
The people behind the live music.
During the interval the guests had a meal where the children and seniors were seen relaxing in the company of the school staff.

Each year besides the main actors the production is supported by a huge team consisting of cast, musicians, technical crews and artists totaling eighty four in all.

The drama production each year helps to raise funds for the school’s development. The school has targeted RM100,000 this year.
James Gough with the cast of FROZEN. Thanks James for supporting St Michael's with your news coverage all these years.
The play this year is dedicated in honour of Datuk Brother Vincent Corkery the school’s last Brother Director who recently passed away.
Frozen will be held at the school hall from April 15 to 17 at 7.45pm. Tickets are priced at RM20 and RM50, while sponsorships are RM500 and above. For details, call 05-254 0418 during office hours.
PTA chairman Mr Joseph Michael Lee giving encouragement to the AVA team.

Tan Wei Shern authors the book, "For The Trumpet Is Sounding...The Legacy Lives On".

Master Tan Wei Shern wrote a book about the St. Michael’s Institution school band or popularly known as the Michaelian Military Band (MMB) which includes history of the band and more. The book also includes an array of photos from various years, you might just find a picture of yourself in it. 

Those who wish to order a copy of the book kindly e-mail:

Teacher organises a forum in the class discussing topics of interest. Form Three students who are sitting for their PT3 are encouraged to also take part in debates, public speaking and poem recital to hone their thinking skills, express themselves more effectively and allow them to construct better arguments.   
A garden in the school, a school in the garden ...

Practising this at St Michael's Ipoh? Why not?

The Michaelian Choral Speakers practising hard for the district level competition.
The choral speakers with their adviser Puan Zeti Akhtar. pix by Peter Khiew
Principal Puan Chan giving some inspiring words to Michaelian debaters before leaving for the district level competition. Syabas! SMI is the district champions, state champions and 1st runners-up at the National-level debate competition in Johor. Kudos to their coach Mr Waran.
Brother Director Thomas Lavin and Mr Stuart Glascott of St Joseph's Institution International (Damansara campus) briefing SPM school leavers about an opportunity to study International Baccalaureate at SJI.

It gladdens our hearts to see SMI former teacher Master Koo Kim Kuang (with hat), who represented the country in cricket in the 60s, comes back weekly to coach our young players. 
Mr Koo Kim Kuang was SMI’s Sports Secretary from 1974 to 1992. He produced some of SMI’s best cricketers and led SMi to the pinnacle of cricket glory in the MSSM competitions. Under Mr Koo,cricket was more than a co-curricular activity.It became a passion of a lifetime for his acolytes --credit to Mr Louis Rozario Doss for the information
The Cheahs who visited the alma mater on 4 April 2016. It was a visit which brought back many happy memories for the entire family members. Killian Cheah (standing back row, in white) was instrumental in establishing contact with the school which eventually made it happened. 

Leading the group was of course, the patriarch Dr Cheah Hoong Hee, who was SMI head prefect in 1954-1955. Dr Cheah is the sixth son of twelve children. He had just celebrated his 80th birthday. He attended SMI from 1944 to 1956. He was head prefect 1954-1955.
Dr Cheah's son, Killian Cheah, who initiated the visit for his father, was equally thrilled and excited to touch base at SMI with his wife and children and a few of his siblings and relatives who are currently residing outside the country.
Killian studied in St Michael's Ipoh from 1972 to 1977. His brothers who studied here are his older brother Cheah Mun Kit Geoffrey (1971-1977)  and younger brother Cheah Choun Kit Patrick (1975-1977).
Their grandfather Cheah Ah Tong was a benefactor of SMI (a marble plaque with his name engraved is located near the school parlour).
Dr Cheah and his five older brothers, Cheah Hoong Ching (passed away)
Cheah Hoong Yean (passed), Cheah Hoong Tuck (passed), Cheah Hoong Onn (in Singapore and unable to travel, also is listed on a marble plaque somewhere at SMI) and Cheah Hoong Fatt (in Singapore and not travelling), all completed their secondary schooling at SMI under the watchful eye of the Lasallian brothers.
Family members who were SMI teachers - Cheah Hoong Onn, Mrs Cheah Hoong Onn (nee Tan Soo Eng Catherine) and Mrs Yan Poh Loke (nee Cheah Quai Ying).
We were honoured once again to welcome the Cheah family.

Politeknik Ungku Omar marine engineering students are being briefed on the history, tradition and ethos of St Michael's Institution Ipoh. Occasionally, we are visited by researchers, writers, undergraduates and students who want to know more about our school.    
An uprooted tree at the teachers carpark - no car was damaged as it happened at night. The cause could be termites.

The branches caused damage to the roof of the primary school walkway. Repair has since been carried out - pix by Peter Khiew
Students of St Michael's Ipoh today...Mid-year exam was carried out before the two-week holidays.We will continue to educate the younger generation, 

We Treasure Our Legacy. We Cherish Our Lasallian Tradition. We Uphold Our Virtues Of Discipline and Respect While Maintaining A High Academic Standard.

Till the next update.

Signing off,
Peter Khiew

Friday, June 10, 2016

SMI Welcomes Gill - Ipoh Echo by Peter Khiew

After a span of 37 years, Dr S.S. Gill returned to his alma mater, St Michael’s Institution Ipoh, as its guest-of-honour during the school’s 89th Sports Day on April 30. It was truly a walk down memory lane for the ophthalmologist as he reminisced about his fondest memories as a former student of the school.

“I am reminded of the many hours of playing soccer, hockey, training for the relay races and long jump. As a scout, we used to camp on school grounds and we had many hours of learning and playing. It was indeed very good times,” Dr Gill remarked, adding that he used to cycle to school from his home in Canning Garden.

He highlighted that school life is not just about studies and performing well in exams, it is also about finding your niche in extracurricular activities.

“I would like to encourage all parents and teachers to take an interest in your children’s extracurricular activities whether in sports, arts, music or drama. These activities will develop the student’s emotional quotient as they learn how to work as a team, manage their time wisely, handle failure and work under pressure,” he said to the audience of over 1500 consisting of teachers, parents, old boys and pupils.

Dr Gill, who holds the school very close to his heart, advised the students to bear the mark of a valiant Michaelian and stand up for what is right.

He also paid tribute to the late Dato’ Brother Vincent Corkery for his vast wisdom, love for education, kindness and encouragement.

“He was my principal and teacher in English Literature when I was in school. Brother Vincent is an icon of loving kindness and encouragement”, shared Dr Gill, adding that it was his honour to be able to treat the late Dato’ as a patient because it allowed him to find valued fellowship during the precious time together.

He was welcomed by school principal, Chan Nyook Ying and Chairman of SMI Parent-Teacher Association, Joseph Michael Lee.

Peter Khiew