friends, I hardly received any feedback
except from Zainal Arshad and Janet
regarding the proposal made by Encik Ismail Abu Bakar. However the subject
is still open. I sometime wonder about the ‘Dewan Kirkby’ at the Zainal Abidin Manaf
I hardly received any feedback
except from Zainal Arshad and Janet
regarding the proposal made by Encik Ismail Abu Bakar. However the subject
is still open. I sometime wonder about the ‘Dewan Kirkby’ at the
Zainal Abidin Manaf
From: Zainal Arshad firstname.lastname@example.org
Today I received the 24th Newsletter. Thanks very much. I read with interest comments by my good friend Ismail Abu Bakar ( a fellow Penangite and my junior in Kirkby). I wish I had his e-mail address or contact number. Very noble of Ismail to suggest establishing a Maktab Perguruan Kirkbybut in Perak. Unfortunately it won't work. Only Kirkbyites "care" about Kirkby. Not every Ahmad, Ah Chong or Muniandy know about Kirkby. Among the "ultras" they would say we are trying to perpetuate "nama penjajah". I believe after the reunion of 2001 our Tan Sri Yahaya tried to ask for the creation of a Kirkby Chair at Universiti Pendidikan Tanjung Malim. But it was shot down. The reason being it is an unMalaysian name. So there you are.
Another point. The youngest Kirkbyite would be those who
went in 1959 (last batch). Assuming the
average age was 18 (in 1960), they would be about 64 years old now. All have retired from government service.
Perhaps there are a few still working in the private sector. By 2020 the number still living and physically
and mentally healthy would be very small (average age 80). I feel that in our twilight years we should
take things easy, relax, have the occasional reunion AND the Newsletter from
your goodself. We should give thanks to the
Almighty that we are still able to read and write. What I think we should and CAN do is to
assist you to make this Newsletter into a website. It’s commendable that Low
Sau San in
Thank you for both, the hard and soft copies of the latest Kirkby newsletter.
I would like to share with you my
opinion regarding Ismail Abu Bakar's proposal to set up a
That's my two cents' worth.
From: Ismail Abu Bakar
I just received your newsletter and it was interesting to notice that there was a response to my “dream” of setting up a college and name it after our alma mater “KIRKBY” . Let us hope more Kirkbyites will give their opinions on my suggestion. Reunions of Kirkbyites alone won’t last. We want Kirkby to be remembered as a landmark in the Malaysia Educational agenda because it had done so much to bring about changes in the mind-set of Malaysians. Our “lot” is respected wherever we are. Definitely that’s a feather in our cap. Let us hope our colleagues who had migrated overseas will respond positively to my idea. History is to be cherished so that posterity will look back in awe and admiration to the vision of Dato’ Thuraisingam in education.
Dreams can come true and can be translated into reality if we are ambitious enough to pursue them diligently and persistently. To build a teachers’ college ( later upgrading it to a university ) is not impossible ( just like SITC Tajung Malim )
The few of us who are alive may not
be capable of handling a bog project like that all on our own. I am sure there
are many well wishers here and in
First, Zainal, set up a committee to do a feasibility study. This committee should arrange a meeting with the Raja Permaisuri of Perak, YMM Tuanku Bainun, to discuss the matter seriously.
As I stated before in my letter obtaining a 20 acre piece of land in Perak is not a problem It’sthe financing of the project which needs fine-tuning.We may go on a ringgit per ringgit fund-raising i.e. for every ringgit contributed by the layman the government will give RM1.00 . That’s one idea the committee can look into.
Keep the idea of setting up
You might remember the renowned
Welsh mountain climber. Just before he climbed
So much for the Maktab Perguruan Kirkby Perak.
I would like you to commence on obituary column in your newsletter to inform fellow Kirkbyites of the death of our brothers and sisters.
The Kirkbyites from my batch ( 5th batch ) are as follows:
1. Poon Mun Oon
2. Chong Weng Kai
3. Wong Fong Tong
4. Low Guat Choo
5. Rajoo Suppiah
6. Ghaffar Hashim
7. Ong Boh Sioh
8. Choy Suan Ee
I believe the above people live in
Before I end this letter I enclose a poem for your newsletter.
POINT OF DECISION
There comes a time
In a man’s life
When he has to decide
One way or another
To take one step
Bur he hesitates and vacillates
He reaches that point of indecision
To be or not to be
He asks or beseeches
He stands tall and short
Tall because he aspires to be
Short because he is a coward
Maturity has little to do with it
Experiences of the world come to naught
He searches and searches
Should he run for his life
He asks for time
For how long or short
He doesn’t know
Therefore he wonders and wonders
His salvation is in himself.
From: Haji Mahmud Hassan (1955-1957)
e-mail: mahmudhassan <email@example.com>
Dear Tuan Haji,
I received your email address from Mr Cheong Koon Hoe, who was my senior in Kirkby. I would like to subscribe to your Newsletter. I would also like some back copies if you have any left. Kindly let me know the cost.
I was in Kirkby from 1955 to 1958. I
was one of those sent to
While in the Syndicate, I was sent to
After 6 years in the Syndicate, I applied for a job in Parliament as a simultaneous interpreter. I was in Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara from 1972 to 1989. I opted for early retirement at the age of 52 and was invited by Public Bank KL to start their own translation unit. I served Public Bank for 7 years after which I finally called it a day.
My wife and I bought a piece of land
in Kuang, Selangor and built our retirement home. We call it “LUBUK HATI” (the seat of love) which actually is the
literal translation of
On our front gate we have the words
Lubuk Hati flanked on both sides by the Kirkby Crest. One day someone stopped
me in a supermarket in Sungai Buloh. He said to me, "
My contact phone numbers are: Home
Some of my contemporaries at Kirkby were Ghaffar, Effendi, Guat Choo, Mohd Thalha, Wong Fong Tong, K K Pany, Soo Fook How, the late Zaiton Hamid Don, the late Ali Nordin,
I hope to hear from you soon Tuan Haji.
After sending him a few newsletters I received the following reply.
Assalamualaikum Tuan Haji,
I am looking forward to reading the Newsletters. I hope they arrive today.
Your experience in kampong life is most interesting, but you must listen to what my first experience was.
After returning from Kirkby, I had
only about 2 weeks at home in Alor Star before proceeding to
To get to Tutong, I had to travel by
bus. There was only one bus per day and this bus passed by Tutong before proceeding to Seria and Kuala
Belait. The bus was just like our old police trucks with passengers sitting in
two rows the whole length of the bus and facing each other. In the centre were
placed bakuls, boxes, live chickens, coconuts, etc etc. After about ten miles
When we got to Tutong, I made enquiries at the balai polis and was told my school, the Sekolah Muda Hashim, Tutong was on a hill behind the police station. Some school children came to help me carry my belongings up to the school. The headmaster was very happy to meet his English teacher. He took me to a house which turned out to be the quarters allocated to me during my stay.
The house was next to a graveyard and no teacher wanted to stay in it. Well, what choice did I have? Mau tak mau I had to accept the house. To make me feel secure in the house the headmaster lent me his shotgun and several bullets. My God, I was more afraid of the gun than of any ghosts from the kubur.
For meals, the headmaster asked me to buy 2 tiffin carriers. Hostel boys would come to collect the carriers morning and evening to provide me with whatever food they were having.
I was the only Malayan there. The locals were Tutong Malays who spoke their own language. There was a Chinese shokeeper in the small town. His wife offered to do my laundry for me.
Apart from teaching English, I was also required to
start adult education calsses in English. At first I looked forward to the
weekends to go to
Such was life in Tutong with no one
to talk to in our lingo. Fortunately I was there only for a year. 1959 saw me
Surprisingly I received an e-mail from Zainal Arshad about his visit to Mahmud’s house:
I visited Mahmud and his wife in Kuang a few weeks ago. I have written an article re the visit. I have also attached a photograph. I hope you can include this in the next Newsletter. Thanks and kind regards.
A Visit to”Lubuk Hati”
Not many Kirkbyites would know what
“Lubuk Hati” means. Literally translated
it means liver pool (
Mahmud left, first to join the
Examinations Syndicate, then the Parliamnet and I believe his last appointment was
with Public Bank. I left teaching and joined RTM (TV Malaysia). We kept in
touch and used to meet from time to time.
One day Mahmud told me that another Kirkbyite had also joined the Exam.
Syndicate. It was none other than our
Malacca Baba Cheong Koon Hoe. Through Mahmud
I met Cheong again(we had not seen each other since Kirkby) and he
invited me to join a group of over 35s to play badminton at the
Mahmud had invited us to visit him and Maimunah at their retreat (which eventually became their permanent abode) at Kuang. We had planned to visit him in January 2006 but unfortunately it didn’t materialize until March. We eventually found a date when everyone was free of health complaints. That was the 15th of March.
Armed with very detailed
instructions from Mahmud as to the directions to get to Lubuk Hati (sent via
e-mail) my wife and I together with Cheong Koon Hoe drove in search of
What a lucrative hobby for Mahmud. He has a sprawling 5 bedroom house and an annex for special guests. Although Mahmud and Maimunah have some minor health problems (who hasn’t at our age!) you can see that he and Maimunah are enjoying their retirement in full contentment. They have five grandchildren whom they adore. When we visited it was during the school holidays. We got to meet four of his lovely grandchildren (3 boys and a girl). The eldest went for tuition.
Mahmud and Mainunah prepared “mee rebus” and “mee goreng” for us. We enjoyed ourselves. He invited us to come again. We promised to visit him during the fruit season. We hope to enjoy some of the fruit from his orchard provided the gang of monkeys don’t get to them first. The next time I visit “Lubuk Hati” I shall take a series of pictures and post them in an album so that Kirkbyites (especially those from Mahmud’s and Maimunah’s year can view them). For the newsletter I hope one photograph showing the three “generations” of Kirkbyites can be included.
Thank you Mahmud and Maimunah for your warm hospitality.
Zainal Arshad (1955-56)
The three "generations" of Kirkbyites from left: Cheong Koon Hoe &
Zainal Arshad (1954), Mahmud (1955), Maimunah (1956)
Photographs of En Mahmud & Maimunah during their Kirkby days and the gate of their home:
Their Main Gate
notice the Kirkby Crests on both sides ‘Lubuk Hati’
From: P Ramakrishnan - firstname.lastname@example.org
It is with deep sorrow that I’m writing this letter to inform you all that Tara Singh (1959-1960) had passed away. Shan from PD rang me up this morning (Thursday, 13 April 2006) to draw my attention to the Obituary in The Star. Later I found out that the same Obituary appeared in the NST as well.
In 1960, together with some of our
Juniors they toured
I never met him after college, though
I had tried my best to contact him. Some years ago I learnt that he was the Secretary
of the Sikh temple in Malacca. I managed to get the address of the temple and
Last year he visited Cheng Swee and Lean Aing and complained that he had been left out in our gatherings. I got his handphone number from Lean Aing and unsuccessfully called him several times. I sent him a sms but he did not respond. I called his home and was told by his wife that he had gone to Malacca to play golf. I left a message with his wife – again there was no response.
The Obituary did not say when he passed away. It merely stated that he passed away suddenly and that his funeral was 0n the morning of 13 April 2006. We can presume that he must have passed away the previous day.
He leaves behind his wife, two sons and a daughter. May his soul rest in peace.
For those who may
want to contact the family, the address is: 5 Jalan Putra Bistari 2/1R,
Take care and keep well.
With very warm regards,
I received a letter from Madam Chee Siew Lian (1956-1958) and I would like to share this letter with you.
Chee Siew Lian (1956-1958)
55V Jalan Telok Wanjah,
05200 Alor Setar, Kedah.
Dear Hj Zainal,
I was introduced to your wonderful, interesting and nostalgic ‘Newsletters’ by Ong Siok Hong. She took the trouble to reproduce a few copies for me. After reading them I passed them on to Yeow Siew May. She then wrote to you to send the publication right to her. Now I would like to so the same if it is all right with you.
I thank you for your noble effort in producing such a newsletter to remind us, the Kirkbyites the happy and wonderful stay in Kampong Kirkby.
With best wishes and kind regards to you and family.
( 8 Mac, 2006 )
I then posted to her a few copies of our Newsletters and here is the reply:
Dear Haji Zainal,
Many heartfelt thanks for replying my request so promptly. You are really very kind.
( Siew Lian in Kirkby)
I am a widow. My husband was a
teacher and then headmaster. He passed away in 1993 because of leukemia. We had
four beautiful children – two boys and two girls. Unfortunately my two loving
daughters succumbed to breast cancer. One died in 2002 and the other in 2003.My
whole world collapsed. They were only in their thirties. I am still grieving
over the great loss.
In Kirkby I took up P.E. Option. I was very active in athletics, net ball and badminton. You can see my long jump photo in the “Golden Panduan” . I enjoyed playing netball and badminton with other colleges and clubs. I remember it was always a Saturday when we played such games. We always had lunch with our hosts after the game. The two and a quarter years in Kirkby was a very happy period of my life. I learnt how to play tennis in there. When I came home, got married and had children, I started playing tennis in Kedah Club. As a result I collected a few titles including singles. (Kedah closed only). Because of my tennis I was given a PJK. As I grew older I switched to golf. This year I have started golf again.
My phone numbers are 012-2258036 and 03-60924029.
Dear Siew Lian,
Received your letter dated 20th March. My wife and I do not know what to say….. Having children ourselves we can imagine how much sufferings you get for losing your loved ones especially when they are still in their prime years. We have to live in this world and have to carry on with our lives. I am sure that is what your late husband and daughters would like you to do.
I received a letter from Mr & Mrs Santa Singh dated 28th December 2005. I would like to share with you extracts of the letter:
We were delighted to receive your card and greetings. In a way 2005 has been a year of landmarks for us. Santa retired 20 years ago; Kieron joined the Air Force the same year, and this house has been our home since 1985.
We feel coming to Buntong was a very wise move: we have advantages of living in a small town and almost in the country. At the same time only an hour by car from KL and all its modern shopping malls. Some of you will be relieved that Buntong still has only one fast food outlet – Kentucky Fried Chicken.
It has been a year of new and
unpleasant experience – not what any of us would like to see repeated. Yes we
can joke that Jasbir thought she was having a giddy spell when she felt a
tremor at the school of the earth quake off Acheh. But the horror of tsunami
was more than frightening or sobering. Even
Three months later when another
earthquake hit S.W. Sumatra and
Santa had to give up playing golf this year. And increasingly, the steroids that he depends on are producing side effects. However he still able to drive long distances but just has to wait for the opportune moment. And, of course, nothing can stop him playing Scrabble.
Thank you very much for keeping in touch. Hopefully some of you will visit us in 2006. You know you are most welcome. We are delighted to receive your cards and Newsletters. Please remember us to all at home.
Mr & Mrs Santa Singh
As you all are aware that Mr Maurice Chye Shuck San passed away on 1st March 2006. I managed to contact his daughter, Rita Chye, to convey our condolences to the wife and family. At the same time I posted the photograph ( on the right) of the late Maurice Chye,( the one holding the camera), when we were touring the continent during the Kirkby days. Of course her daughter straight away recognized her Dad, and this what she said:
To: zainal abidin <email@example.com>
Thank you for the photo. Yes, I can recognize him.
We are going through all Mum and Dad's Kirkby photos and I thought it would be nice to have these on the website. I will try to scan some of these to Sau San and yourself sometime this week. It is a lot of work but it will be worth the effort!
We learn something new about Dad everyday and it warms our heart to know that he was well loved by many. He was a father of few words so other than what we grew up with, we learn about him from others. I hope I get to meet you some day soon.
In the meantime, please take care & thank you for your offer of help. I shall bear that in mind and send your best to the rest of my family.
With warmest regards!
MAULIDUR RASUL 2006/1427H
Twelve people, including three non-Muslims, were honoured
for their contribution to society at this year’s national-level Maulidur Rasul
celebration held at Stadium Negara,
The national-level Maulidur Rasul award recipients, also known as Tokoh-Tokoh Ma’al Hijrah, are made up of those who have made significant contribution in areas such as dakwah Islamiah, education, administration, economy etc. Created in 1987/1408H, the award for that year was conferred on Tuan Syeikh Muhammad Idris bin Abdul Rauf, a prominent Islamic scholar.
The twelve recipients of the award this year include Tuan Haji Baharuddin bin Marji. His contribution is not only in the field of education, especially in the area of teacher education, but also in being on the Committee responsible for organizing the national as well as the international-level Musabaqah Tilawah Al-Quran. Tuan Haji Baharuddin has the distinction of having served on the Committee since the inception of the Musabaqah during the time when Tengku Abdul Rahman was Prime Minister.
Tuan Haji Baharuddin was in the first batch at Kirkby, and returned thereto in December 1955 to serve as a lecturer cum Head of The Malay Department of the College for five years from 1956-1960. He certainly would be well remembered by Kirkbyites who were at the College during that period.
Congratulations Tuan Haji Baharuddin. You have done us proud.
KIRKBY REUNION 2006
From: Cheah Eng <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Dear Haji Zainal Abidin,
short message regarding our coming 2006
It's from 12 July to 14 July 2006.
The first night i.e. July 12 will be at Equatorial Hotel,
Please allow me to mention and thank well-wishers for their very generous contributions towards our 06 Fund, thus funding the cost of the 3 coaches, making the whole package very affordable, especially most are pensioners. Special thanks to those who will be coming from overseas at great costs.
To ALL, RIBUAN TERIMA KASIH for your support and enthusiasm in keeping the Kirkby spirit alive.
Cheah Phee Eng