Tuesday, April 04, 2006

History - St Anthony's School (World War II; 1943-1945)

Sarikei - 1979 Anthonian interview with Hii Ing-King
Mr and Mrs Hii Ing King 许永经 were veteran teachers in Sarikei. Mrs Hii was formerly Monica Ting. See their picture in the Anthonian staff photo of 1962 in my 3rd April's posting. They lived in a wooden house in a lane (now Seng Lee Road) behind JKR, near St. Anthony's School. Mrs Hii was later my school teacher in St. Anne's Primary School.

In the 1979 Anthonian magazine with Mr Hii, he revealed that when he came to Sarikei in 1943, Sarikei had about 40 shops. During the Japanese Occupation, there was 12 Japanese soldiers in Sarikei. Two of them came to the school brandishing swords & ordered all teachers to stand in a line. They ordered the teachers to start teaching Japanese the next day! The Japanese arranged Japanese language training. Mr Hii returned as a "qualified" teacher & was made principal of Hwa Chiew School (now Sekolah Tinggi).

The Catholic fathers & sisters were imprisoned. St. Anthony's School was closed down & used as a store & office for the Japanese. The Japanese didn't use the Sarikei District Office because they were afraid of been bombed by the Allies! Sarawak was ceded as a British colony after War World II.

I heard a story that when the Japanese surrendered, one of them jumped into the Rejang River when chased by an Iban warrior. He was beheaded by the Iban who kept the head as a trophy.

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