You have just heard Yap Ah Chuan's slapping some poor soul!
For more on this story or if you wish to join the "I
Survived Yap Ah Chuan's Slap" club,
Teoh Hock Hye wrote:
Yes it is wonderful to think back at our age
and to think some of the things teachers have imparted. I wonder
how many of you remember the English teacher Miss
Russell who taught us in Standard 3 in Coleman Street. I still remember
her as she emphatically asked us to write the 14 prepositions
such as to, is etc. in the exercise book and to remember not to
have a past tense after it. She would mark
zero in our test if we failed to remember.
Jimmy Ho Chee Meng wrote:
Dear Hock Hye
Most of us began our primary schooling in ACS
Coleman Street in 1947. After Standard 2, two classes from our
year were transferred to ACS Barker Road when the building was
completed, to start Standard 3 in 1951. The other two classes
remained in Coleman Street and had Miss Russell as teacher.
However, Miss Russell taught some of us in the lower class in
Coleman Street. She was strict but impartial. Two other teachers
in Coleman Street put the fear of discipline (and God) in us -
Miss Moreton and Miss Smith who were both English. They were
both disciplinarian and we were as quiet as mice when either of
these teachers walked into the class. Do your remember them?
Looking back, they were good teachers as we got our homework
Norman Wee wrote:
It is amazing how you can remember names 50+
years ago. Hope you cannot remember incidents half hour ago, or
I am in real trouble!
Chia Chee Yoong wrote:
There was also a Miss Reutens!
Mac Cheong Kun Lum
Yes I do remember Miss Smith though I was lucky
not to have her teach me. She was known as the Tiger Lady or
"Low Foo Paw" in Cantonese.
I certainly remember Miss Russell very well.
She was my form teacher in Std 3. and introduced me to Kleenex
tissues. She always has a box of tissues on her desk and when
one of the class have a snotty nose she would freely hand out
her tissues. Miss Russell was also instrumental in "improving"
my eyesight. I used to squint at the blackboard from the back of
the class until she made me sit in front & questioned my
eyesight. I have been wearing glasses since until quite recently
when age caught up with me and I had cataract ops and lens
Hey Jimmy have you noticed there seems to be
only 4-5 of us with something to reminisce about. I thought most
of us are now retired and have time on our hand to wander down
memory lane and share the good old days.
Sorry I didn't have a chance to catch up with
you, Hock Hye on your most recent visit down under. You must
make your next stay longer, after all there must be so many golf
courses down under you haven't set foot on.
Cheers and Greetings for the coming Festive
Jimmy Ho Chee Meng wrote:
It's good to hear from you again. I am
delighted that cohorts in Class 57 have the opportunity through
this website to renew acquaintances and catch up with news and
anecdotes of bygone years and also to keep up with the present.
Happily, I have not had a short-term memory
loss otherwise, I'll be heading for a state of dementia !
When we look back to our school days, we are
filled with a sense of gratitude to the teachers who taught and
moulded our lives today. We thank God for them and our fellow
classmates who have given us 'the best times in our youth.'
Warm regards to you and all in Class 57.
Teoh Hock Hye wrote:
Hi Jimmy & Mac
I can only remember Miss Smith as a very
strict disciplinarian. There was one incident which I witnessed
when I was in Primary One. She was the acting Principal at that
time. I saw her slap very hard one boy on the back several
times. It was horrible and certainly struck fear in me. Up to
this day I remember this incident very vividly.
Of course one would remember Ah Tua who many
may have the misfortune to encounter. The incident I could also
vividly recall was when we were caught shooting rubber bands in
class during the free period. Eng Soon was among us. We were
marched to his class and since Eng Soon was the leader (first in
the queue) he was made an example. Ah Tua took hold of the
rubber band, asked Eng Soon to turn his head, pulled the rubber
band and shot him in the ear. That not enough, he was slapped so
hard on one side of the face that it remained red for some time.
In contrary we have the gentlest teachers and
among them I would consider Miss Russell and Mr. Gurdial Singh.
To me Miss Russell was a kind and gentle English lady who taught
us very good English. Mr. Gurdial Singh was our form teacher in
Std 5. He did not wear a turban and told us he was a Christian.
Throughout the period he was with us, not once did I find him
loose his temper. If we were naughty he would just show a bit of
indignation and would go to great lengths explaining why we
should not repeat again. He was a real gentleman!
Albert Chan wrote:
It's pure nostalgia to read all the emails
about the class of '57.
One of the teachers who made an indelible
impression on me was Miss Russell. It was she who instilled in
us the sense of honour and what it stood for. Her instruction in
English was second to none... later, it was to stand me in good
stead in my working life.
Then there was Yap Ah Chuan . Supposedly our
teacher in Mathematics, he invariably commenced each class with
"...aah, when I was young..." and spent most of the period
talking about his 'good old days'. It was rumoured that YAC
frequented the New World for his "work-out" on rongeng. Ah Gong
was most remembered for his penchant for slapping.
I had the
dubious distinction of being slapped by Yap Ah Chuan 3
times...once each term; to add to that, my late father had also
been slapped by YAC ... he must have been teaching at a very
young age. This gave our family the dubious distinction of two
generations being slapped by Yap Ah Chuan.
And Gurdial Singh... he was the kindest and
gentlest teacher I had the good fortune to be taught under.
Gurdial converted to Christianity. I never heard a harsh word
from him, no matter what the provocation. Does anyone know what
I happened to Gurdial Singh after leaving ACS ? I heard that he
was living in poverty somewhere in Malaysia. I would appreciate
it if someone who knows what happened to Gurdial Singh after
leaving ACS to share the information with us. I once had a
glimpse of a faded picture of his parents when Gurdial opened
his wallet to make a donation.
Ong Kang Hai...or "Skip" to those who were in
the 11th Scout Troop. Whenever Troop went camping by the sea, he
was teased for his lack of armpit hair. He and the other Ong...Kim
Kiat earned their B.A. in a UK university through
correspondence. I remember their achievements were announced in
one of our chapel services.
My final year in ACS came under Lee Hah Ing.
He was the quintessential teacher...patient and encouraging to
those slow learners like me. And quick to praise those who
ACS in 1957...was there ever a finer school?
Besides Albert, Teck Yong also
remembers being stung by Yap Ah Chuan's right hand, complete
with heavy ring (pardon the pun) on his finger,
when he was caught doing his English homework in YAC's
Would those who have been slapped
by the legendary YAC,
please put your hand up?
Join the "I survived
Yap Ah Chuan's Slap" Club! The President designate of
this club is Albert Chan who had the dubious
distinction of being slapped three times by YAC.
Albert Chan (3 times!)
Choo Teck Yong
Yap Swee Hoo
Chia Chee Yoong wrote:
Wednesdays were great days for the boys
(including me) who took Geometry under YAC. We were quite free
as those were race days too! I saw one incident where he nearly
fell slapping a boy. The boy did a kung fu duck when the right
hand came near him and YAC raised his left to catch the boy on
right cheek at a lower level and in the process he went
off-balance. That riled him even more and the outcome was
Gurdial Singh was a true blue gentleman. He
only wagged his right index finger at recalcitrant boys - that
was the roughest physical act he would display. If he is still
around he must be in his mid-nineties!
Winston Choo wrote:
It is amazing that you guys can recall with
such details things that happened so ooo....many years ago,
especially events involving some of our teachers. What you
shared had prompted me to try to recall some of the events that
happened to me and to test my long term memory (my short term
memory has been a problem for me of late).
Unlike most of you, I did not have the
pleasure of attending primary school in ACS. I joined ACS only
in Standard 5 after my grandfather, an ACS old boy was upset
with my father, also and ACS old boy, for not sending me to ACS.
So I did not experience Miss Russell and the others discussed by
However I surely remember very fondly Gurdial
Singh who was the most gentle teacher I had come across. I agree
with all of you that he was a true gentleman who inspires
instead of causing you to perspire like the terror Yap Ah Chuan
our Maths teacher. I witnessed many times his right hand swing,
though amazingly I was spared and escaped his attention. I
wonder if you all know that he was a great athlete in his
younger days. That could be the reason for him being so nimble
inspite of his bulk. He was a good dancer too. Of course I
remember the two Ongs, the OKK and OKH. OKH gave up on me both
because I was a disappointment to him as a student In Latin, and
the fact that I was from the Boys' Brigade. I got on well with
OKK, though. Still they were great teachers who tolerated me
right up through Pre U, and even had good things to say about me
when I came back to the school many years later as the Guest of
Honour at one of the Founder's Day.
Like Albert, we clever ones in 5C, had Lee
Hah Ing as our class teacher. Another parka gentleman, patient
and always forgiving. He was the football master, with me as the
football captain. I was always given leeway to be absent from
class ostensibly on football "business". Got away with murder in
We were blessed with these great teachers who
had so much influence in moulding and preparing us for the
challenges in life.
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
1. Ho Sim Chuing 2. Tay Tee Seng (both road accidents) 3.Chia
Chong Hin 4.Lee Han Seng 5.Siak Kok Leng
6, Loong Seow Hiang 7. Teoh Jin Seng 8. Tay Eng Soon 9. Harry
Tan Kay Choon 10. Tan Eng Guan
11. Cheong Karm Lun 12. 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, Teo
Hong Mong and Khoo ChoonTin but due to the fleeting greetings it
wasn't possible to obtain their addresses.
Looking forward to the Reunion.