Telok Kurau Primary School aka Telok Kurau English
School celebrated its 90th
Anniversary Musical “My Telok Kurau, My Home” on Thursday 15 September 2016. It
was held at the Theatre at Media Corp. The Guest of Honour was Singapore Prime
Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
representing jigsaw pieces went on stage to showcase a coherent whole
symbolises this synergistic partnership and combined effort of the different
groups, such as Students, School Staff, School Management, Stakeholders,
Ministry of Education and the Nation. The completion of the jigsaw puzzle was
followed by the launch of the school’s 90th Anniversary
commemorative coffee-table book. There was also a reception with PM Lee.
interval I had the opportunity to talk to the Prime Minister Mr Lee Hsien Loong
and had pictures taken with him. I was looking for familiar face but in vain. The
musical production was well presented and I wish to congratulate the Musical Production Team.
English School (TKES) was the only Government primary school in the eastern
part of the island before Singapore’s independence. It boasted four luninaries:
founding father and Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew who was a student there from
1931 to 1935
2 2 Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Datuk Hussein Onn admitted
to the school in January 1931.
4 Mr Abdul Ghani
Hamid an award
winning Singaporean writer, poet and artist.
Professor Lin Pin and Mr
Abdul Ghani Hamid were in the class of 1950. Both went to Raffles Institution
I still remember my two form teachers and the discipline master and I categorise them as the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
1 1. The Good – My teacher Miss Boey
I forgot her name as
school boys addressed her by her surname Miss Boey. She was a spinster and a very
dedicated teacher. Once I saw her giving a one to one lesson to a student in
the class. After some time she appeared frustrated and tried to control her
emotion. Finally she broke down and cried. Later I came to know that no matter
how hard she taught him, he still failed to solve the problem arithmatic. A year
later, I was told she passed away from an illness. As the saying goes "the
good dies young".
1 2. The Bad – Discipline teacher Mr Dorai
He was tall,
athletic and a bully? Most students then was afraid of him. He was a discipline
master as corporal punishment was then allowed in school. All naughty and
disobedient boys were sent to him to be punished. He did not use a ruler to hit
your palm. Instead, he had a rattan cane and he whacked with bull strength. How
can I forget when I got punished by him.
3. The Ugly – Form teacher
Mr Marican was my form teacher in 1949 and 1950.
He had the habit of sleeping in class. The class liked him because we could
play while he had his snooze. Normally a teacher asked the class to keep quiet.
Mr Marican did not have to said that. We kept very quiet on our own, less we
woke him up. He was lucky that his colleagues did not know about it (I am not
too sure). Anyway, we all liked him
Miss Boey Mr Dorai
I also remember the area around the school
servant’s quarters at one end of the building facing Lor J. The ground was
sandy and during recess time I went
there to play marbles or garsing(tops). At times we chased the chickens that
belonged to our office peon Rosland. His family lived in the quarters. Another
memory was the cattle shed at the same lorong J but much further in. In those
days, cattle was free to roam the road.
Walking to school at the lorong required negotiation to avoid the cow dungs on
the ground. On a rainy day it was an impossible task not to step on it.
I was admitted to Telok Kurau English School 71 years
ago in 1945. Time passes quickly and the Musical Production reminded me that I
was young once.