About Joe Kennedy


Extracted from e-mail


my name is Frank (Francis) Kennedy. I've joined the (MTTC_Kirkby) list on behalf of my parents Joe and Rita Kennedy.


Joe taught history at Kirkby from either 1954 or 1955 (the year he married) until Christmas 1962. He wrote A History of Malaya and Asian Nationalism in the 20th Century, both published by Macmillan in the 1960s.


In January 1963, when the closure of Kirkby as a college for Malayan students was within sight, he took up a lectureship at Madeley College of Education and the family moved to North Staffordshire. He stayed in that area with Rita and their 8 sons (born between 1957 and 1972 - 4 of us while the family was still at Kirkby) and was head of History and later of Education at North Staffordshire Polytechnic, with which Madeley merged. He also worked as an adult education tutor for the Open University, University of Keele and University of Liverpool.


Joe is still alive but in poor health and lives in a care home in Newcastle-under-Lyme. Rita is in quite good health and lives in their house nearby, visiting him most days. All us sons are in regular contact, all are married and at the moment 5 live in England, 2 in Spain and one in Turkey. I was the first born, and was just 5 years old when we left Kirkby. I remember the scenery and some moments quite well. I certainly remember the kindness and good nature of the students!


I've spent quite a lot of my adult life in the Liverpool area, and now live

in Ormskirk (whre, as my parents have often told me, we used to go to the market!)


If you have any memories, information or questions, I will be glad to hear

from you and will pass them on to Mum and Dad.


Best wishes.


Frank Kennedy




Extracted from e-mail:

Dear Frank,


I was a student in Kirky from December 1958 to December 1960 and I was in your father's tutorial group.Often the group would meet at your parents' quarters and your mother would prepare very nice meals for us. I have met you. You used to sleep in a room by yourself when you were little. Your father was a very conscientious and committed lecturer. He would take his tutorial group to visit some places around Liverpool. Once he even took us to the Lake District. He always smiled.

We fondly called "The Smiling Buddha" as he always helped us in whatever way he could with a smile.Your mother was a very beautiful and gracious lady. She could remember our names. I was known to her as "See Jork". I write to her at least once a year now. I could have written to your parents ealier, but we lost touch. I moved from the state of Kelantan to Terengganu, K.L. and finally to Kuantan in Pahang.I taught ten years after Kirky, earning several degrees in the process. In 1971 I was recruited into the Federal School Inspectorate. I went to understudy the H.M.I. in England and eventually rose to become the Chief Inspector of the Pahang State. I retired in 1994 at the age of 55, but I was hired by a local college to head a department for another ten years. I retired for the second time last year. My wife, Jennie and I have three children, all in their 30s and one grandson.


Your mother told me that one of you might visit us a year or so ago,

but nobody has turned up so far. Any member of your family will always

be welcome to our home.


Please convey my warmest regards to all in the family.


With best wishes.


Yours truly,


Dato' Dr. Leslie Foo See Jork