left to right:
Wong Chee Fook, Eugene Poi Tzse Lian, the late Mr. Ambrose, the late
Bro.Francis, the late Bro. Lawrence (the then Bro. Director), the late
Bro. Anslem, Bro. Lawrence, the late Mr. Wong Foong Ming, & Aloysius
Duke Cho Chin Chye, Therugnanam s/o Muniandy Thevar (?), the late Kat
Yew Seng, Lee Kok Leong, Choong Shan Chee, Ng Boon Hooi, the late Shaharudin
bin Abdul Rahman, Murugappan s/o Kalimuthu (?), & the late Austin
John Chan Kok Choy, Andrew Chong Ngian Khong, Paul Si Ah Swee, the late
John Lim Foo Loy, the late Narinjan Singh, Chan Choong Tak, the late
Thong Choong Kee, the late Wong Ming Yap, Lee Siew Choon, P.R. Sen Gupta,
& Sivalingam s/o Sinnathamby.
Poi Tzse Chiat D., Bhajan Singh, Kwan Teck Seong, P. Sakunanathan, Edgar
Joseph, Jerome Saram, the late S.G. Patel, Naidu M.J., Tennakoon C.L.,
& the late ? Desmond Lawrence.
shows the class of students in St. Paul’s Institution who took their
Senior Cambridge Examination in 1951 and then left the school for good.
all the boys in the photograph were studying together in the same class
before 1951. A few were from the class of 1950 but had chosen to remain
for an additional year, hoping to obtain better results. Others managed
to catch up with the class in Std. Five about two years after admission
to the school in Std. 1, through rapid promotions each term. Classes
in those days were ranged from Primary 1 to Primary 2 and then from
Std.1 to Std 9, the students of which would then sit for the Senior
Cambridge Examination at the end of the year.
of the boys in this class had lived, and some of them had worked, through
varying and often very trying conditions. They were born in the 1930s,
during the Great Depression in the United States of America. The Second
World War had either interrupted their studies or prevented them from
attending schools until the war was over in 1945 when St. Paul’s
Institution reopened in September. They had lived under colonial rule
by the British, the Japanese and then the British again. They could
sing very well the British national anthem “God Save the King”
and the national anthem of Japan. Many could even sing the national
anthems of China, first under Kuo Min Dang rule and then under the rule
of the Chinese Communist Party. They had experienced untold hardships,
particularly under the cruel Japanese regime. In short, most of them
had become a hardened lot before even entering school after the war.
family backgrounds of the boys varied greatly. Their fathers could be
lawyers, doctors, businessmen, teachers, clerks, farmers or persons
without any regular work. However, as a class they always worked and
played together without any discrimination based on race, religion or
family background. The three main racial groups in Malaya were represented
in the class.
Bro. Director of the school was the late Bro. Lawrence. He was a strict
disciplinarian with a kind heart. Under him, the school topped in both
sports and academic studies in the State. The late Bro. Anslem was an
excellent teacher in Geography and his notes on the subject were greatly
sought not only by students in the school but also by teachers and students
elsewhere. The English Literature was ably taught by the handsome Bro.
Lawerence and the late Mr. Wong Foong Ming guided them in the English
Language. He was an accomplished violinist too. Both he and the late
Mr. Ambrose, who taught the class Mathematics, were lay teachers without
any university qualifications but their knowledge of the subjects they
were entrusted to teach the class accompanied by their fine and simple
method of teaching was superb. Science for the class was taught by none
other than the late Bro. Francis who seemed to be able to harmonise
well Science with the Catholic religion. All the teachers were extremely
dedicated in their work.
members of the class of 1951 have been separated in various countries
without links of communication with each other. Many have already passed
this 60th Anniversary Day the surviving ones who know would certainly
remember them with fondness. This class has produced doctors, lawyers,
police inspectors, teachers, politicians and other professionals. The
following are a few examples:
Chee Fook was an active king scout and graduated as a Kirkby trained
teacher. Later he became a specialist in physical training and actively
involved in sports and games. He also was involved in teacher-training
and eventually retired as an inspector of schools.
Francis could not be missed any where in school because of his height.
He was known as the “Giraff” in class and has retired as
a superintendent of police.
Cho Chin Chye was a small handsome athlete, He was our school hockey
player and a 100 yards sprinter. He has now retired as an ACP.
Choong Tak came from the poorest family in the class. Immediately after
leaving school he commenced work as an untrained teacher and then as
a teacher under the “Normal Class” training. After qualifying
as a “normal Trained” teacher he served in various parts
of the state as head teacher or as headmaster and put up many schools.
He also attended the Kirkby College for training as a teacher trainer.
After 16 years of teaching he resigned and went off to study law in
London in 1968. He was admitted to be an “advocate and solicitor”
in 1970, after having been called to the Bar in England and after obtaining
his law degree from the University of London as an external student.
Later, he also obtained his MBA from the Ohio University. He was a senator
and has retired as the President of the Senate.
late Mr. Wong Ming Yap was the first Paulian to have obtained a PhD
Lee Siew Choon has retired as a school teacher. His brothers also studied
in the same school. One of them, Justice Lee Siew Kin, has been a judge
Poi Tze Chiat graduated as a medical doctor and is still practising
in Ipoh. He came from a rich and famous family in Seremban with a lot
o Poi s in the school and in the various professions..
Singh was the captain of the hockey team and a keen cricketer as well.
He has graduated as an eye specialist. Dr. Bhajan Singh is now in private
practice in Alor Star.
top boy in the class P. Satkunathan, now Dato Dr., is still practising
as a skin specialist in Kuala Lumpur. He was an Asian champion in bowling
and also founded the Ten Pin Bowling Association of Malaysia and has
been its president since its inception. He was also the World President
of the Ten Pin Bowling at one time.
Joseph, now Tan Sri Dato Edgar Joseph, was a school orator and a top
student in the English Language and the English Literature. He used
to lead the school team to win in numerous debating competitions. He
has now retired as a Federal Court judge.
Sen Gupta, the youngest boy in the class, also graduated as a medical
doctor. Dr. P.R. Sen Gupta was Prof of Surgery in UNIMAS ,(Sarawak).
He is currently writing a book on Bengali Doctors in Malaysia.
Naidu M J had had no contact with the school until last year when he
joined the school reunion in September.. He was bright and talkative.
He was a member of the ever victorious school debating team together
with Edgar Joseph and P Satkunathan. After leaving school in 1951 he
went over to Australia and studied accountancy. Extremely interested
in student affairs he was an elected secretary and then president of
the Asian Students Association in the Victoria State. Happily retired,
he is residing in Australia.
by Tan Sri Dato' Chan Choong Tak