Alan Peck wrote:
Yes , on-the-spot corporal punishment seemed
to be quite rife in those days. Some of us witnessed Yong Ngim
Djin deliver a backhand to the head of one of our young
colleagues then, after the latter was overheard mentioning the
name of a certain desert. S.K. Ratnam was also reported to
deliver smacks, but the feedback from recipients then was that
they were 'light'. Lim Hee Yang one recalls, had a
penchant for pinching.
A few years later, one teacher described to
me that the scenario seemed to be changing. A teacher got a bit
enthusiastic about using his hands and administered his
'delivery'. A few days later, the teacher received a
lawyer's letter c.c. to the principal and also c.c. to the
Education Ministry. Subsequently, a written apology followed
from the school. Nowadays punishments are known to be less
impromptu and seem to be rather better organised.
On a sombre note , some of us met for Lunch
recently and we recounted some of our Class of 57 colleagues who
we believe have since passed on. We counted and ventured to do a
Ho Sim Chuing (road accident)
Tay Tee Seng (road accident)
Chia Chong Hin
Lee Han Seng
Siak Kok Leng (road accident)
Loong Seow Hiang
Teoh Jin Seng
Tay Eng Soon
Harry Tan Kay Choon
Tan Eng Guan
Cheong Karm Lun
Wee Soon Seng
..........apologies to any if there has
been a mis-report .
In recent times, I've bumped into Ong Yoke
Fei , Kho Kwang Po and Sng You Thiam whose email addresses I'm
taking the liberty of slipping in here. Also Pang Loo Seem,
Hong Mong and Khoo Choon Tin but due to the fleeting greetings
it wasn't possible to obtain their addresses.
Looking forward to the Reunion.
Albert Chan wrote:
It is perhaps fitting at this Christmas time
to remember ex-schoolmates who have passed on. I was surprised
to learn of so many whom I have had the good fortune to outlive.
Chia Chong Hin was a very talented, if
mischievous person. I had the benefit of his friendship and
witnessed many of his accomplishments and antics. He feared
no-one and nothing. Not even YAC, who made Chong Hin his
favourite target in school. Chong Hin met his demise when he
took on the motorcycle race in one of Singapore's earlier grand
prix. His bike skidded at the Sembawang circuit and Chong Hin
was seriously injured. That evening, we visited him in GH where
his head was shaven and immobilised in a brace. He was
unconscious. And that was the last time I saw Chong Hin.
Siak Kok Leng was one of a kind. Although his
elder brother Chong Leng ranked in athletic fame with Chan Onn
Leng, Kok Leng and I were in the minor league. We spent many
hours practicing the 4x100 relay for sports day. Although Kok
Leng was not the fastest on his feet, his stamina was something
to behold. It seemed like he could run forever at the same
constant speed. He would have been an excellent long-distance
runner. I believe he died also in an auto accident (near Changi
Loong Seow Hiang had a voice that could be
heard for miles. We were in the same Raleigh Patrol in the
Scouts. A raucous guy given to pranks, he once ruined my swing
in a golf game at the SICC when he yelled out my name just as I
was taking my backswing. I swore at him for that. But one cannot
be angry with Seow Hiang for long. By the time I returned
to the club house, we shared a drink of "cheng tng ".
Teoh Jin Seng... I did not know that he had
passed on. I was pretty pally with his 2 elder brothers,
Jin Hong and Jin Imm. We used to wade the lonkangs around their
house near Braddell Heights catching fighting fish. The last I
heard of Jin Seng was that he worked for the then Singapore
Tan Kay Choon's demise comes as a shock. He
was studying in London the same time that I was there for
training. I owe Kay Choon a debt of gratitude. His family owned
the audio shop in Dhoby Ghaut next to the Cathay cinema, and I
got my first hi-fi set at a very special price, courtesy Kay Choon.
Cheong Karn Lum is gone too? He was my
partner when I had to do the mandatory overnight hike as part of
qualifying for 2nd. Class scout. Yes, we shared many a happy
moment in the 11th. Scout Troop.
Tay Eng Soon. Although we met occasionally
when he was in politics, it's our school days that I fondly
remember. Perhaps Eng Soon should have been dubbed "The Brain".
I believe he was 1st boy from the first year in school to the
last. He and his brother, Kheng Soon teamed up with the Teoh
brothers and me in our fighting-fish excursions. When we went
camping during school holidays, Eng Soon and Kheng Soon were the
envy of everyone. They had a tent in which one could STAND UP
in. The rest of us had to crawl in and our of ours. One
memorable moment came during camp in Pasir Ris. The Tay brothers
were arguing over how " khong bak" should be cooked. I think Eng
Soon won out because he said to the effect "That's how Mom does
I hope my reminiscing has not bored anyone.
But when we reach this age, boyhood memories are precious. I
wish you all a successful re-union, and a Merry Christmas.
Norman Wee wrote:
Hi, just a hurried note as
will be away for the next 2 weeks. USA. "Lest We Forget".
2 more to the list.
Tan Gek Khee, used to visit
his Palace in E.Coast Rd.(5E)
Goh Teik Guan, Victor (5A),
He was a teacher and taught my 2 boys at Barker rd.
Encl. photo. 65yrs now,
just taken with my 5 grandchildren (click
here for photo). Two sons happened to be on
short business trip.
Anyone with more grandchildren????
here for more news on grandchildren!)
Jimmy Ho Chee Meng wrote:
Dear Alan, Kwang Po and Albert
Your recent e-mails made nostalgic reading as I
have not seen many from Class 57 for almost half a century!
Although I can recognise faces from the old photos attached to
recent e-mails, I do not think that I can readily
recognise many of you if I were to meet you down the road. Many
of you are proud grandparents and photos of Alan and Norman with
their grandkids indeed bring great pleasure to us schoolmates.
Who could say fifty years ago that we would come thus far and
share news of this nature. Now we know that the ACSian family
Alan and Albert
have shared with us news of classmates who have passed on.
Albert's tributes and remembrance of them have been touching and
Alan's account of the rough treatment meted out by some teachers
terrifying if not amusing.
My own recollection of those who left us is one
of happy memory of them, albeit with a tinge of sadness.
Ho Sim Chuing was in
my class the year of his demise. He came from a Chinese school
and was fluent in Mandarin. He was good at sports and on the
day of either football practice (or was it Standard Test?), he
cycled to Barker Road playing field. I was also going to the
school field when I saw him lying on the pavement with his
bicycle by the side. Someone had already called for an
ambulance and I held Sim Chuing's
hand. Sadly he he did not make it.
Tay Tee Seng
qualified in London as an accountant. He was a good Chinese
scholar and a favourite of Miss Ding, the Chinese teacher. He
met in a car accident, I believe on Nichol Highway but he did
not survive the crash.
Chia Chong Hin was a
clever student and as Albert already said, he was not afraid
of anyone. He put his good ideas to work in the first ACS Fun
Fare. He invented a bazooka for use in one of the Fare stalls
and it was a great success.
Lee Han Seng's family
owned the George Lee Motors and Han Seng knew everything about
racing cars. He invited me to his house at Pasir Panjang where
he showed me his hydroplane (a fast speed boat). His other
hobby was aeromodelling, where he would bring into the class a
number of his model plane engines. If I remember rightly, Han
Seng and Ivor Thevathasan (who was also an enthusiast in model
engines) often discussed about aeromodel engines).
Siak Kok Leng was an
all-round athlete as Albert had already mentioned. Siak (as he
was affectionately known) and a group of his team mates joined
the 8th BB Company. During the BB Annual Athletic Meet, Siak
and his 8th Company swept almost all the events! I remember
this well because I was in the 2nd BB Company, and how could
we compete with runners of Siak's calibre. He was a big hit at
the Annual BB Battalion Camp where he did a Red Indian dance
at one of the campfire nights
I did not know Teoh Jin
Seng well, but I believe he and his two older brothers,
together with Tay Eng Soon and Kheng Soon lent their
support to the founding of the present Barker Road Methodist
Church. One incident which I remember and I believe you also,
was a personal grievance between Jin Seng and another boy in
school. Instead of a bare-knuckle fight, a boxing match with
gloves was arranged under "Queensbury Rules" and refereed by
Mr Andrew Williamson ( an American missionary teacher).This
took place at the school playing field on the last day of the
school term. After the bout, Mr Williamson got them to shake
hands and to bury the past.
Tay Eng Soon was
without doubt "the Brain" as Albert Chan described him. Whilst
at the University of Bristol, Eng Soon would visit London and
we often got together. What I found in him was his modesty and
sincerity. His strong Christian faith put him in good stead in
the years to come and his testimony made a great impact in the
Methodist community in Singapore.
Harry Tan Kay Choon
was one of my oldest and closest friends. He lived with me and
my friends when he first came to London to be trained as an
accountant. As a young boy he often came to our house to play
football. I met his future wife when they were courting in
London. The sad thing was, we had arranged to meet for dinner
or lunch when I visited Singapore. A month before I arrived
Singapore, his wife phoned to
say that Harry had passed away. It was good that my wife and I
kept up the appointment with Harry's wife and his married
daughter when we were in Singapore.
Tan Eng Guan left ACS
at an early phase of his education to move to a school near
Bedok. He was a bright student and I believe he would do well
if he remained in ACS.
These were students that we
can remember with fondness. Their premature departure invokes in
us memories of good times with them and we are grateful for
their friendship and are richer for knowing them.