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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Telok Kurau English School 1946 to 1950

In 1941 my aunt registered for me to study at Choon Guan English School. War came and Singapore fell to Japan in February 1942. My education was disrupted.  Japan occupied Singapore for three and a half years. During that period I attended a Japanese school. In late 1945 Japan surrendered to the Allied Forces and Singapore was liberated. 

In 1946 I attended the Telok Kurau English School. Primary school education then was seven years - Primary 1 and 2, Standard 1 to Standard 5. As an overage student I was put in Primary 2 for short period and then to Standard 1. In Standard 3 I met my Japanese school teacher Mr Lee Keng Yew. He became my form master for the second time. He was a man who observed personal hygiene by washing his hands after each lesson as well as after handling cash. I noticed his habit when I was learning Japanese in his class.
Mr Lee drove a car Austin A40 No S6002 to school every morning and parked it at the void area below the school office. During one school holdidays he took his students on an excursion to the Botanical Garden. At that time I thought it was a school programme. Before leaving the Telok Kurau English School, I realized that it was his own idea and the outing was at his own expenditure. I have not come across another teacher like him. It was 58 years ago and I continue to cherish the fond memory.

                            Mr Lee Keng Yew is sitting on the right 

Class of Std IVB in 1949  I am sitting 3rd from left

Class of Std V in 1950  I am at center row 5th from left

My final year in Telok Kurau English School was in 1950. Students from all Government primary schools in Singapore had to compete for places in Raffles Institution(RI). I was one of the lucky few to sail through.

                                 Telok Kurau English School Staff

School  Sports

The school's annual sports events were held in June. During my last school year in 1950 it was held on the 15th June. There were 'egg and spoon race', 'sack race', '3 leggd race' and many others. The teachers also had a race event but I could not remember what it was.

                                         Potato Race

                                         Teachers' race

                                          Sport Prizes

                                                       Left: Classmate Boey Soon Hin

                                                       Left: Classmate Seah Kai Lim

                                                    Ode to then Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew


Ivan Chew said...

Hmm... my dad said he studied in St. Patrick or something. Secondary school? Not sure where he studied in Primary school. Wah, you went to RI. Did you mum make you study or what? :)

PChew said...

Thanks Ivan for your comment. We parted after the WWII, so your dad didn't know which primary or secondary school I attended. I have just put in a new entry to the blog. Want to know how I did my studies after school? Look out for the next blog.


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siu kang fook said...

The man teacher behind Mrs Seow Peck Leng, could be George Sobrielo, who taught in RI late 1950s.

PChew said...

I did not know the teacher's name. But I knew then he was a trainee teacher at that time.
I was at Raffles from 1951 to 1954. Our paths did not cross.