friends, Happy New Year to everybody. Let’s hope and pray
this year will bring us happiness and prosperity. Last year Kirkbyite activities were quite
active both in During last year gatherings an interesting
thing happened. Now our children are beginning to be interested in our
activities and they are keen to know more about ‘ Zainal Abidin Manaf February
2007, 27th Series c/o 1018 Lorong Gunung
Rapat 2 31350 Tel: 05-3127411 H/phone:019-5712535 E-mail:
Third Batch Kirkby – 1953-55
Happy New Year to everybody. Let’s hope and pray this year will bring us happiness and prosperity.
Last year Kirkbyite activities were quite
active both in
During last year gatherings an interesting
thing happened. Now our children are beginning to be interested in our
activities and they are keen to know more about ‘
Zainal Abidin Manaf
February 2007, 27th Series
c/o 1018 Lorong Gunung Rapat 2
The following are conversations between a Kirkbyite’s son and children of Kirkby Lecturers.
En Azizi b Ahmad Tarmizi, son of a Kirkbyite has applied to join the MTTC_Kirkby@yahoogroups.com. The following are the results of the transaction:
1. A note from Frank Moorhead to Tan Ling Suan:
Dear Tan Ling Suan
Thank you for your advice. The applicant has replied with more details. His father is AHMAD TERMIZI MAT NOR ( photo of his Kirkby days below) and attended Kirkby between 1956 and 1958. After a distinguished career (like all Kirkbyites!), he retired in 1991.
His son Azizi Ahmad Termizi, who wants to join the group, is a town planning officer in Putrajaya.
I intend to accept this application on October 22 unless there are valid objections from members before then.
As I said earlier, I like the idea of the children of Kirkbyites joining but think we should be careful with such applications. We don't want anyone to obtain fraudulent access to this important group.
2. The reply from En Azizi:
Greetings to all MTTC members
Thank you for allowing me to join this group even though I was not there in Kirkby (in fact not even born yet) when all of you were being trained to become teachers. As this is my first mail to the group, allow me to introduce myself.
My name is Azizi Ahmad Termizi. My father is Ahmad Termizi Mat Nor who trained in Kirkby between 1956 to 1958. Some of his contemporaries in Kirkby I think included Isa Ramli, Marmuji Koso and Jaafar Saidin.
After Kirkby my father
taught at a number of schools in Perak before becoming a headmaster at
My father hails from
Layang-Layang Kiri, Parit, Perak. Since retiring he has been staying in Kampung
As for me, I am a town
planner at Putrajaya Corporation,
When I was a kid I used to
hear stories from my father about his training in
I think the Kirkby days are very special to my father. Even as a kid I could sense it. Now that I'm all grown up and have kids of my own I feel proud that he was one of a few to have been chosen to train in faraway England in those days.
Through this group I wish
I could learn more not just about what my father went through, but also about
this select and proud group of people who contributed immensely to education in
Azizi Ahmad Termizi
3. Suddenly a note came from Helen Jones, daughter of our lecturer Mr H.L.Jones:……..
I am sure your father will be delighted to know you have joined the group and are in contact with his friends.
Like you, I was not a student at Kirkby. My name is Helen Livesey-Jones. My father was a lecturer there and we lived on campus. I would have been three years old when your father arrived, my sister, Fran, would have been ten.
I do hope your father will be able to share this site with you and perhaps send a message to or get in contact with some of those with whom he has lost touch. At least you will be able to print of some fresh pictures of Kirkby for him!
Welcome to the group!!
4. The reply from En Azizi:
Thank you so much for your message. You were not a student at Kirkby, but you lived on campus. As for me, I have only seen old pictures of it...with those distinctively looking pipes running all over! What were those pipes for, if I may ask?
I did my A-levels in
Blackpool and my degree in
5. Then a letter appeared from Frank Moorhead to En Azizi:
Like Helen and her elder sister Fran, I lived on campus with my family when my Dad was a lecturer at the College in the early 1950s. If my memory serves me correctly, the pipes you mention were for central heating and were well-ladded with black-coated fiber of some kind (asbestos maybe?*!) covered by something like chicken wire. Indeed, the single-storey wood, brick and breeze block "huts" in which we lived were very warm in winter. I believe the campus was originally a munitions factory during WWII, and was taken over by the (then) Malayan government some years later (before Merdeka).
My parents and Helen's were very good friends and had many good times
together, leaving us young children (I lived on campus between the ages of 5
and 7 or 8, I think) in the excellent care of some of the students who kindly
acted as babysitters. My late wife Mutsuko and I met Helen, her elder sister
Fran and their wonderful mother Mary briefly in
I went by the college site many years ago, but it was all locked up and
inaccessible. From what I've heard, it is now quite an extensive residential
area extending from the Liverpool - Wigan –
Many of these new houses must have been built on the extensive playing fields, where students played hockey, cricket, rugby, soccer and many other sports. Looking at a map of the area, I suspect that the huge M57 motorway probably runs close to where these playing fields used to end.
Then I chipped in:
I am very glad to hear from you, a son of a Kirkbyite. Your father's name is quite familiar. Perhaps I must have met him when I was working at the Education Dept Ipoh (1980-1987). I am 1953-1955 batch.
Perhaps your Dad can remember me. You know the juniors always remember the seniors!
I have been producing Kirkby Newsletter since 2001. I produce one every three months. So far I have produced 26 series.
I would be very grateful if your dad can contact me - Phone 05-3127411 or 019-5712535
The reply I received:
Tuan Haji Zainal
I talked to my father over the phone yesterday. Of course he knows you! He said to me. But being from a different batch, he said he does not know you as well as his friends from the same batch (1956-58) like Marmuji, Jaafar Saidin etc.
Thank you for offering me the Newsletter. My handphone No. is 012-2845188. I am staying in Cheras, but if you give me a call I shall try and make it to Putrajaya. It would be a privilege to meet.
It seemed Azizi wanted to know more about Kirkby and replied to Frank as follows:
Based on your brief description of the site of the campus, I would make a guess that the campus was located somewhere in the area bounded by the present M57 motorway (on the west), the railway line (north), the County Road (east) and the Valley Road/Hall Lane (south) as shown at this site:
http://www.picturesofengland.com/England/Merseyside/Kirkby/maps (please zoom in on the map). Am I close enough, or way off?
Unfortunately I could not
locate on the map the
……………….. and Frank wrote him a
long description of the locality of
You're quite close but I think the key is to find
I guess the College fence
used to run parallel to South Park Road from that point to roughly where Mount
Road is marked on the map (it's marked twice, but I'm referring to the lower
marking), then down to Wilsford Avenue before curving back towards the railway
line. This means that
I'm not sure if the
College occupied that entire area, but I do remember "The Path" which
ran alongside a ditch just outside the fence from outside the College gate to
It's not immediately apparent from the Map/Photo, but the railway line is on a steep enbankment here, and I believe the strip of land immediately north of it is probably the last remnant of the playing fields.
I'm afraid I misled you by
using the name Waddicar village. I'm pretty sure that this was what people
called this part of Melling (ie along
is St Kentigern's Catholic Church, where the Catholic students from the College
would go to Mass, naturally using The Path,
If you continue N along
I hope my explanation is coherent! It's quite difficult to explain something like this...
……… then came in Helen …………
Yes Frank is right. Those pipes were for the
central heating and it was incredibly warm!! I remember we moved to a detached
From Azizi to Helen:
Thank you for the link to Kirkby Times. Reading the article, and from the explanation you and Frank have given on the on campus environment, I now have some fair idea of what MTTC members experienced and enjoyed during their two years stay in Kirkby.
detailed description on the location of the college is very interesting
too. In fact if I were to go to Kirkby today, I should be able to
guess and find the campus former site. Sadly, the only place
remaining from that period is the "Kirkby Store"? It is said to
be located just outside the campus. Could it possibly be located somewhere
along the current
thanks and regards
Frank came to the rescue ……
If my memory serves me correctly, we walked up the road alongside the railway line from the college gates until we reached Glover's Brow, and Kirby Store was just across the road to the left. It's a bit difficult to tell from the arial photo, but it may be in the first group of buildings on the right hand side of Glover's Brow above the railway line.
Thanks for your pointers on the location of the Kirkby Store. However I have got some recent (I think...) but sad pictures of the Kirkby store. If that is the state of condition of the store now, ( see photo ) then I'm afraid it won't be long when another Kirkby landmark from that era is lost forever!?
From Zainal Arshad,
Dear Zainal Abidin Manaf,
I received an e-mail recently from a Gerry Powell who was born in Kirkby. He read my article in the Kirkby Times and wrote to me. I am forwarding his e-mail in the hope that you can include it in your next newsletter.
Dear Zainal Arshad,
I just read your fascinating on-line account of your time spent at the
I lived nearby, twenty or
so meters before the college entrance, on the right side of the
Your article brought back my happy memories. I remembered my mother worked in the college kitchen for a time and once she brought some exotic, spicy left-overs home for a treat. Wow never tasted like that before.
I recalled, as youngster sitting on the fence by the railway line near the college gates and chatting to the student teachers. I particularly remember the bright colours of your national dress, they really added a flash of colour to our village.
Another memory – We used to, and still do, celebrate Guy Fawkes night on November 5th. This was an occasion to light bonfires and discharge fireworks. There was a tradition then for kids to make a dummy from old clothes stuffed with paper and hawk this thing around the streets asking passer-by for “a penny for the guy” when a Malayan teacher gave us half a crown. (2 shillings & 6 pence) an absolute fortune at the time!
The Kirkby I knew and loved has changed beyond recognition now, not necessarily for the better but your article helped rekindle many memories of my childhood.
Senior Engineer, Mott MacDonald,
BN 1 4FY,
I received a letter from Theresa McLaughlin ( Lee Siok Kim ) from
Greetings to all Kirkbyites especially those of (1954-56),
When I received the invitation to the 2006 re-union at Genting Highlands (August 12-13) I felt honoured to be still remembered after all these years, half a century to be exact.
I had not been to any reunion but I can imagine the fun in remembering the happy times in “Kampong Kirkby” as we grew in maturity. I keep in touch with Siew San IMrs Haw Chai Kee).
My family and I had been
I received an interesting and nostalgic article from Dr Nurudin Jamin ( 1952-1954) relating his wonderful memories of Kirkby days. I am sure after reading this article there are many of us who have encountered wonderful, exciting and memorable experiences during Kirkby days. So I hope to get some feed back about their own personal experiences relating to things such as teaching practice, food, holidays, cycling, hitch-hiking etc. This will be interesting articles to read in our next newsletter, I hope! Please la… write something!!!
FADING GLIMPSES OF KIRKBY
What would I tell
my grandchildren, eleven of them altogether, about
The train ride at noon from Euston Station,
The daily routine of the two-year college life was lectures in the morning and afternoon, Mondays to Fridays, Saturday and Sunday were free. The courses were that of what a teacher should be equipped with for teaching in the primary and lower secondary schools. The familiar school subjects (English/Malay Language, geography, history, mathematics, science, art and craft, physical education etc.) were offered as basics as well as options. In addition there were Education Psychology, Philosophy of Education, Methodology in Teaching, etc. Music was confined to learning how to play the recorder.
Coming from a tropical country, where the only seasons are the rainy and
not so rainy, and the weather is hot and clammy, the English weather can be
bewildering in the extent that (sometimes jokingly mentioned) summer, autumn,
winter and spring could happen in a single day! Winter months could be very
depressing. Other then short days hours – nine o’clock in the morning it was
still dark, and by three thirty in the afternoon it was already night – the sun
seldom appeared and the and the sky was forever cloudy, gloomy and wet. (two
teaching practices were held in the winter months!). Kirkby being close to the
sea, was wind-swept area. The eerie howling sound of the wind in the middle of
the wintry night could easily scare the bravest among the
Malayan food was
something that everybody missed. One has to adapt to the bland English cooking.
Considered the best of not so palatable dishes was roast beef and brown watery
gravy taken together with meshed potatoes and
Almost everybody took the opportunity to travel
during even a short term break of one week. They either went on their own or
through arrangements made by British Council, staying mostly at Youth Hostels
or with families. During the long summer holidays many would go to the continent
i.e. the countries in
of the French people who refused to speak other than their own language. We wondered at the beautiful scenery of the Swiss country – it was affected by War. And we faced the problem in communicating as none of us could converse in any European language except English. We had to resort to using our own version of sign language in order to make ourselves understood.
There were a number of recreational activities available. The most
popular appeared to be the informal dances (ballroom) in the hall on Saturday
nights. Some who could not dance well, took lesson at the British Council in
Teaching practice prepared for students for the noble future vocation.
The manner of class in selected schools
in and around
One momentous event that took place in 1953 was the Coronation of Queen
Elizabeth II on 2nd June. Two coach loads of us left Kirkby at about 9.00 the
previous evening. By 4 o’clock the next morning we arrived in
Today, if my grandchildren want to visit the
In my previous Newletters I did mention about “Dewan Kirkby” at Maktab Perguruan Tuanku Bainun, Mengkuang, Bukit Mertajam, Pulau Pinang. I have been in contact with Encik Ismail Bakar about our idea of decorating the “Dewan” with Kirkby photographs and other interesting articles. Encik Ismail contacted the college and he has received a very favourable reply. The gist of the reply is as follows:
“…..Terlebih dahulu saya bagi pihak Pengarah dan juga pihak pengurusan Institut dengan besar hati mengucapkan berbanyak terima kasih atas kesudian pihak tuan menyumbangkan album dan juga gambar-gambar untuk digantungkan dan sejilid buku yang menghuraikan sejarah penubuhan Maktab Kirkby. Pihak Pengarah amat bersetuju atas cadangan pihak tuan itu…..”
So far I have received very few exhibits which I think are
too few to send to the college. I have received three group photographs of
batches 1958, 1959, & 1960. I have yet to receive photographs of other 7
batches. I have received a few water-colour paintings from Dr Shaari (3rd
Batch). Tuan Haji Ramli Shaari (2nd batch) gave me a big photo of
Secondly in order to be able to exhibit all these historical documents, I think we need some money for the initial expenditure, such as to have proper display boards, glass show-cases etc. in order that these exhibits will not be tempered with..
Any suggestion and help in order to make this project a success will be most welcomed.
Bye the way for those in the 3rd Batch (1953-1955,) Tuan Haji Kamaruddin b Ibrahim has managed to reprint 3rd batch group photographs at the cost of RM200.00 for the first copy and for every extra copy the cost is only RM100.00. Tuan Hj Kamaruddin has asked me to inform 3rd Batch Kirkbyites about this and those who are interested to purchase a copy please contact him at No.4 SS 1/23B, Kg Tunku, 47300 Petaling Jaya or phone 03-78764016.
I just received a report from Angeline Ong Siok Hong (1958-59) about the function which was held in conjunction with Tuan Hj Baharuddin Marji being conferred the title Dato’ by His Highness the Sultan of Selangor.
I hope this will
reach you in time for the next Kirkby Newsletter. You would have read in the
papers that our Cikgu Baharuddin Marji was conferred the title of Dato' by the
Sultan of Selangor recently. The Kirkbyites in the
At about noon, all of us gathered at the entrance to welcome Dato' and Datin Baharuddin as they made their way in. There were warm handshakes and broad smiles all around as our guests-of-honour were led to the "Kirkby Corner" that Cititel had reserved for us. The other patrons at the Hotel's buffet lunch were amazed at the large number of senior citizens present. However, we, though in our twilight years behaved more like schoolchildren chatting animatedly and laughing excitedly when we met friends whom we have lost touch for ages! It gave us a lift to meet again and speak fondly of the good old days in Kampong Kirkby. As we tucked into the sumptuous food, we talked about the present too - comparing notes of our families, especially our grandchildren, our aches and pains and doctor's medication. Fifty years ago, such topics were outside our realm, but now, they are part and parcel of our lives.
Then our attention was diverted to Cikgu as he made a "Thank You" speech. It was short, sharp and sweet. He thanked us for our generosity and affection and appreciated the warmth of our gesture in honouring him and his wife. He declared that even though he is a Dato' he still prefers to be addressed as "Cikgu" because the latter honorific connotes respect which must be earned. Then he invited us to his home on 28th January 2007 for tea, insisting that we do not bring any gift or ang pow. After that, we sang "For he's a jolly good fellow" robustly.
We burst into song again when it was announced that it was Zainuddin Zaini and Ahmad Omar's birthdays. Many happy returns to both of them!! While Ahmad revealed that he's a septuagenarian, Zainuddin did not utter a word. But we know that if he's not yet seventy, he has to be a "sexygenarian"! No Kirkbyite is any younger than sixty!!
Inevitably, a photo session followed.
Since there were too many of us to fit into one photo, the different batches
took photos with Dato' and Datin. Then Teresa Voon presented Cikgu with a big
congratulatory card which Wong Siew Hoon had designed using her beautiful
calligraphy. All of us had signed it - a fitting souvenir to remind Cikgu of
his special award. We continued mingling and exchanging news but as the saying
goes, "All good things must come to an end." So we parted company
with the promise to meet again - at Cikgu's home the following week and the
In a nutshell, the get-together was a tremendous success. The Kirkby spirit was evident and the big turnout speaks for itself. Cikgu Baharuddin was and still is very much loved and respected. We wish him and his dear wife many years of Good Health and hope we can share more makan and spend more time together.
Credit goes to Teresa and Martin Voon
for taking on the responsibility of contacting everyone via sms, phone, etc.
They roped in a few people to help them behind the scenes; collection of the
subscription lunch was done by Chong Hong Chong for the 1957 -1959 groups,
Martin for the 1959 -1960 group, and Lim Yoke Kim for the 1960 -1961 group. Lye
Yuen Chew took the opportunity to sell some song books of "Golden
Oldies" which he and Teresa had compiled. The proceeds go to the
Contingency Fund for the 2008
Well Zainal, this has been a long letter but I think it is of interest to everyone.
Wishing you all the best and thank you for keeping the Newsletter going. May you have a good and healthy 2007 and the years ahead!
Angeline Ong Siok Hong