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, click here.

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 done !

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 wrote:

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 implants inserted.

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 Season

Jimmy Ho Chee Meng wrote:

Hi Norman,

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:

Hi Everyone,

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 merited it.

ACS in 1957...was there ever a finer school?

"I Survived YAC's Slap" Club

Click here if you want to hear YAC's slap again!

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 Mathematics class.

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.

  1. Albert Chan (3 times!)

  2. Choo Teck Yong

  3. 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 obvious!

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:

Hi All,

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 you---my loss.

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 those days.

We were blessed with these great teachers who had so much influence in moulding and preparing us for the challenges in life. 

ACS Forever!


Alan Peck wrote:

Hi All,

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 list:
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.