Saturday, July 22, 2006

Scenes - Sarikei Kwang Chien Primary School 1950-1960's

Kwang Chien Primary School 1950's
Could this withstand the weight of the students?

Find the rain water tank (right)

Kwang Chien was started in 1927 by several well known Sarikei denizens. They borrowed a wooden house from the Cantonese Association (Kwong Wai Siew) to use as the classroom for the first batch of 40 students. Its name was derived from Kwang Dong (Cantonese) and Foo Chien (Hokkien). Later in 1927, the school was moved to a building behind the Chinese Chamber of Commerce.

Kwang Chien Primary School 1950's
Check out the uniforms

The student enrolment increased every year and in 1930, a new wooden building was built in Kubu Road with RM$12K (a huge sum in the old days but help came in from the community including the sales commission of black pepper contributing $1 per ton!). The canteen was on the ground floor of the wooden building. The school was closed during the 2nd World War from 1944 to 1946.

Kwang Chien Primary School 1960
Find the school bell

In 1951, every kid found it hip to go to school (many went even though their parents could hardly afford it) and the student population mushroomed to 200. In Chinese culture, education was (and is) very important for a better future. If the parents did not have much education, they would want their kids to have better education than them. Kwang Chien owed its roots to black pepper sales so you can say that it is a pretty hot school. Any ex-student out there?
A cool English dictionary tool has been added in the sidebar for those who had Bahasa Malaysia or Chinese as the 1st language in school.


Yan said...

Nice blog. Good effort.

I spent my teenage years there - ex-Sekolah Tinggi students.

Will come back more often. Thanks for leaving comments on my blog.


Sim Y said...

I will love to see the 70's, 80's, 90's and present stage of this school.

The present stage of this school is very different and bigger than that of the photos.

The school is now enclosed behind the gates and walls like all the other schools.

Daniel Yiek said...

Welcome! Pls forward the website to your Sekolah Tinggi friends. I'm looking for old pics of the Kwang Hwa suburbian cinema at 3rd mile Repok Rd. Pls email me.

Come back in 3 days for the next episode of Kwang Chien's transformation into the digital age.

Vera said...

Have been following your Sarikei's update. Very interesting... BTW, which area of Sarikei did you spend your childhood? just to find out whether I know you as a little boy.

Daniel Yiek said...

Welcome! I got your comment via hotmail but I couldn't find which post you put your comment so I will reply here.

1. Request for St Anne's primary School post - OK, your wish will be granted soon. Wah! Like radio song request. :) I'm looking for old photos though becos I have only new ones.

2. Which year was I from St Anne's & St Anthony's?

Not so important lah. This blog is about Sarikei, not about Daniel. My original intention was to remain anonymous with no picture but then how to build rapport with readers as a ghost writer.

3. You have not been back for 20 years! It's worth a trip back now becos it much more convenient. Fly to Sibu and take a taxi or bus over Lanang Bridge and you will be home in time for supper (roti kaya and horlicks beng) with your friends in a kopitiam and chat till the towkay close doors. Can also fly to Kuching then take a express boat during non-monsoon or take a coach (5.5-6hrs) on smooth road (no more sore ass from potholes). Car ride is about 4.5-5hrs. I have never tried Tanjong Manis airport route. If you stay in a hotel, rate is around RM$50 and comes with basic amenities.

G Wong said...

It wasn't my school, the only few impression was the oil palm trees at the school compound and those were the first oil palm trees I ever seen. Oh yes, another impression was the school caretaker nicknamed "KeiBu" in Hokkien, meaning mother chicken. You should look up for him to dig for more information, he could be found at the shop on the left side of your blog background. Probably his son was your classmate too.

Daniel Yiek said...

G Wong,
Ha!! Yes, The Kwang Chien caretaker's son was my classmate and he reads this blog too. He likes to read and not write and my email request to him for old Kwang Chien pics didnt get any reply. I will probably skype him and tell him to make more use of his new digital camera!

CK said...

Great photos.Bring back those old memories.I studied there in the late 60's and early 70's.Remember those palm trees. I knew there was one stood out in the middle of the courtyard where we sometimes played marbles during class breaks.There used to be a canteen next to it.A wooden assembly hall with school offices that was built on top of a swampy area.The classrooms are located on a 2- story concrete building at that time.Don't know if there are still there.Haven't been back to my primary school for ages. Will defenitely stop by next time when i get a chance.

CK said...

Anybody knows the building in your last photo is?Is that the office building and the assembly hall? I can't recall if it look like that. May be I'm just getting old.

Daniel Yiek said...

I was from St Anne's so I would request the Kwang Chien ex-students to answer your ques. If you read the chronology of the school highlights that I sourced from the Kwang Ching website (in Malay), this was the original wooden building till 1952 when they started to build a concrete building.

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