Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Sitiawan ACS Primary Revisited

More than a century of history here! This is the ACS Primary Hall now... used to be shared with ACS Secondary in the old days.. but these days, the demarcation lines are clearly set by the fences which surround the perimeter of 'both' schools. Used to be 2 schools but felt like one. Now it's still 2 schools and looks clearly 2. Took a walk 'outside' the primary school compound in my last trip home.
ACS Primary Hall
The old school hall.. where I played my first indoor badminton. There used to be a roundabout there. It's gone... with all the greeneries and trees that dotted the place. No wonder temperatures are rising everywhere. We're chopping too many trees and replacing soil for tarred surfaces.

I must have been in Std 5 then. 8) I joined ping pong for co-curricular. Saw my friends playing badminton and fooled around with them... teacher saw me play and told me to switch to badminton. Then my dad saw my interest and he started playing with me almost every evening. By the time I got to Std 6, I was actually quite good... good enough to beat many of the boys! LOL! All because of my dad! So, parents, the interest that you show in your kids can help them go far.
ACS Primary Office
The 'newest' block then.. still is now, I think. During my days, it housed the office, library, kedai buku and dental clinic... we had our own dental clinic!!! Had 2 HMs in my 6 years there - Mr. Khew Khoon Thong (I think) and Mr. Lim Kah Cheok. I used to fear the blue cards that came calling for us to see the dental nurse.

The library was a place I loved to be. Because dad was a teacher there, I got to all the new story books before they hit the shelves. That's how my appetite for Enid Blyton's books was satisfied. *grin* Dad would take back the whole set for me to read during the hols and I'd finish them in a jiffy! Hours and hours of hols would be spent on those books... and also the Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, Bobsey Twins and so many more. Through those books, my hols were spent wandering the plains of Africa, tasting the life in England, be wowed by the freedom in America... gave me quite an active imagination up there!
ACS Old Block
Std 6M, my class, was up the stairs. It was also known as the haunted block.. agama classes used to be at the back of my class. So we'd see other students streaming in from the back, through the narrow 'alley' into the classroom at the back. We used to frighten each other with tales of ghosts wandering around the school. The classrooms in this block used to be the interrogation rooms during the Japanese occupation. Many met their deaths here, it seemed. The school field was supposed to be the unmarked graves for some of these poor souls. Some people swear they could hear and see unnatural things at certain times of the day.

Std 6 was a fun time. I remember this young temporary teacher.. we called him Cikgu Asri. He taught us how to berbalas pantun and we would look forward to his classes just to balas pantun with each other... we had good teachers throughout our schooling years there, save for one or two like Mrs. Gong. But these days, it seems the opposite... more like Mrs. Gong and less like the former.
ACS Corridor
This little corner was where I used to have Bible Study with my friends from MYF. BS would be followed by a game of captain ball on Saturday evenings. Funny how we didn't seem to mind the heat or the discomfort of having to sit on the floor near the drain back then. BS was a time when we learned more about the Word of God. We were allowed, even encouraged to question and speak our minds. I am appreciative of that for it helped to ground me in my faith. I got all excited when I walked past this little 'corner' the other day.
ACS Primary Wall
A wall with many fond memories.. there used to be a line drawn on the wall, for us to throw balls at. I was in Form 2, I think. Was picked to play in the baseball team cos of my arm strength. My position - pitcher. This wall was where I threw the baseball at, hundreds if not thousands of times.. till my arms ached so much.
ACS Primary View
And right across.. from the wall above is this view. The epicenter of the town's activities... the Moksu-lau or parsonage. Next to it is the Methodist Pioneer Church. ACS, a school set up by the missionaries to cater to the insatiable desires of the Fuchows for education and also a reflection of their love for the people of Sitiawan. And both these have blended well cos the sons and daughters of these 2 schools (primary and secondary) are today found even in the far flung corners of the world, successful in the fields of their choices. I salute the spirit of the founding fathers (and mothers) of this school, for their dedication, commitment and love. For many of them came from far away (like the MacGraws from America) and dedicated a good part of their lives teaching those kids in those early years. And their legacy lived on in the generations after them!

10 comments:

Thomas C B Chua said...

Random Shots, r u OK? U seem 2 be going history these few weeks, very reflective, retrospective and pensive. It is good to reminisce but life is 2 b lived in the present. Hope u r OK? Very concerned.

AJ7 said...

Nah! I wrote that earlier, last week, when I was back home. Seems so much to put in one post. So broke it into different parts to be posted on different days. Thx for concern... 8)
Am very much living in the present still. Love life lots!

daboss said...

i was back home 2 weekends ago with dalady, dakids and damaid... :) dropped by the school... brought back a lot of memories. but the school is pretty run down... especially the primary section.

AJ7 said...

U still go back oft??

daboss said...

often? kakaka... maybe once every 1 to 2 years... :o)

PreciousPearl said...

ahahaha!!!!! that brought back many good memories, thanks AJ7. This used to be the centre of our universe, didn't it?
btw, if you were in the upstairs classroom, then i was in the class immediately below - Std 5 with Cikgu Halijah and Std 6 with your dad!
:)

AJ7 said...

Wah daboss.. so next visit 2-3 years down the road?

PP... yup,our centre of universe. Our world evolved around it. I thought it would never end.. like Never Never Land, we'll remain kids. But we all grew up and left.. the best times of our lives left behind. If only the buildings could talk, they'd probably have their own version of tales to tell too...

Anson F-Clef Ong said...

NOSTALGIA, really.....but now some blocks have already gotten some new coat of paint 2 years ago - my standard 4 class (which was one of its kind becos it had a wooden staircase leading up one floor above my standard 6 class) was also visible and it has been reputed to have a history of faint, regimented Japanese soldiers' march on the staircase but as for me, who cares? I never bothered at all.....

ACS abuse victim said...

Funny you should mention Lim Kah Cheok. That a@@h@@e publicly caned me during assembly for 'talking'. I remember it clearly still even though I tried to push it out of my system. Assembly hadn't even started and my friend had some stains on his left cheek that I pointed out without uttering a word and next thing I know I was roughly dragged to the front and caned with another boy from a different class. I should also give honorary mention to Cheng Teck Soon who used to physically abuse me with a hockey stick and slap me hard till my ears rang and forced me to run round the field even though I had fever after accusing me of lying by touching my forehead. So if I ever meet these 2 sorry excuses of teachers and human beings I will ram my foot so far up their asses my toes will emerge from their mouths. Oh I'm sorry. Teck Soon had perished from cancer. I sincerely hope he suffered right till his last moments. So nostalgia is worthless. So are sentiments.

AJ7 said...

So sorry that your school days were so traumatic. Sentiments and nostalgia may be worthless to some but to some, its part of what makes life meaningful sometimes. The teachers are human too. They make mistakes, sometimes leaving scars on some of us. But everyone of us makes some mistakes too...