Saturday, December 16, 2006

Scenes - Sarikei St Anthony's School 1980

St. Anthony's School front view - 1980
Stitch the 2 pictures above.
Find the old basketball court.

View from Repok Road.

Gangly casaurina trees welcomed students to school every day. Do you notice any changes in St. Anthony's School's front view of 1980 vs 1979? The addition was the cement block (red bricks lined with white paint) where the front gate was hinged. The classic Volkswagon Beetle ("tortoise car") in picture 1 belonged to Mr. Ignatius, the Indian Geography and English teacher. Mrs. Ignatius was the Additional Maths teacher and was always dressed in colorful Indian sari.

St. Anthony's School Front Right Block - 1980.
The path is now a paved road linking to the kampung road.
View from government quarters.

St. Anthony's School: The "New Block" - 1980.
Built in 1975.
The protruding block was the staircase.
For Biology Lab & Domestic Science (ground flr) & Form 4-5 classes.
Back view from kampung road.

St. Anthony's School: Demonstration Room Block - 1980.
The Demo Room (extreme left) was for Geography classes & Debating.
Back view from kampung road.

St. Anthony's School: The Science Block - 1980.
Built in 1960. The protruding block was the staircase.
Used for Chemistry Lab (ground flr) & Form 3 classes (1st flr).
The small building was the ladies' chemistry lab - their toilet.
View from government quarters.

St. Anthony's School: Basketball court construction - 1980.

St. Anthony's School: New basketball court - 1980.
View from government quarters.

The old basketball court at the front facing Repok Road was worn out but it was difficult to fund development of any building because St. Anthony's School was a government aided school which meant it had to meet 50% of the cost by itself (usually through fund raising). Do you remember those dreaded fund raising forms which you chased after relatives & neighbours for sponsorship? Some students resorted to filling up the rest of the form from their own pocket money to "meet the quota".

The significant event in 1980 was the completion of the new basketball court. Would St. Anthony's School get more new development beyond this court? Well, the ball was in the sponsors' court.

Related posts of St. Anthony's School:


Daniel Yiek said...

I'm looking for volunteers from Sekolah Tinggi (Hua Chiew) to write about the development of the school as I don't have enough insights. Pls email pictures and interesting facts at . Pls mention whether you want your name published as the contributor. If there's a school website, that's even better.

gongpiang said...

Is not easy to raise fund for St.Anthony as majority of the beneficiaries of the school whom are ex-students do not reside in Sarikei, a lot of them are oversea, I am one of them.

On a different note I am against the policy of the Ministry of Education in Malaysia and also the lack of leadership in planning a proper education for the younger generation to face the challenge lies ahead in a globalize world. I recall an incident where one of the school’s principle was demoted to a teacher because he wasn’t a Malaysian even thought he was an excellent principle for more than a decade, it sadden me and traumatize student like myself to this date. St. Anthony was an excellent school until it was marginalized by the West Malaysia.

burunghelang said...

My cousins went to school here. Most of my 'town kid' exclassmates from Methodist Anglo Chinese ended up here. My art tuition teacher taught here. My excoursemates from university went to school here.

Kanga said...

This school brings back great memories. I have made so many great friends who were my classmates. Some are still in Sarikei and we are still great friends. The mateship was established in this School. When I was in this school, we were involved in at least 2 fund raising activities. There is so much to write; great teachers and great Sarikei folks who helped this school along all these years to educate so many youngsters including myself, and this activity is still on-going. I count myself lucky coming from a Chinese primary school to enter St. Anthony's via the 'Transition Class'( I wonder how many still remember this setup).
When I looked at the picture of the Science Block, I recalled my Form 3, Form 4 and Form 5 years spent in that block.
In the early days St. Anthony's was the only school in Sarikei with English as the teaching medium. 'Hua Chiaw' was a Chinese secondary school then.(There were some sad stories behind this. When Daniel manages to post some photo of Sekolah Tinggi, I might share some of my thoughts of it distant past). Hey Daniel, your Bek Ting duck dish is truly Number One! One pot isn't enough for me.

Kanga said...

Oh! I almost forgot! For the humble begining of St Anthony's, let give recognition to the early vision of the Catholic Church, the Mill Hill missionaries........Amen.

Daniel Yiek said...

Gong Piang,
Yes, most ex-students don't earn their living in Sarikei simply because there's not many opportunities/industry in this small town.

I think you are referring to Mr K.A. Titus, the ex-principal. He came to Sarikei from India for CNY about 6-7 years ago. His trip was sponsored by grateful ex-students: airfares, dinner, hotel. I spoke to him for a few minutes. I will feature his 1979 Anthonian interview soon.

The "Transition" class was a good way to bridge the chasm between Chinese educated kids and English Secondary medium. Most of my classmates who came from Kwang Chieng can write and speak good English now. (I'm from St Anne's)

I didnt know the missionaries are from "Mill Hill". Thanks.

Ha! That Bek Ting duck was my 1st time cooking it. The next day, I used it to make great Bek Ting mee suah.

Daphne Ignatius said...

Wow, this is an awesome site. I'm the daughter of Mr & Mrs Ignatius who is mentioned in the December 16, 2006 entry. My parents taught in Sarikei for about 25 years along with my uncle, Mr Titus. My father retired from St Anthony's and my mother moved to Brunei and taught there for another 16 years before finally moving back to India. It's sad because as my mother was leaving Brunei for good, her luggage was 40 Kg over the limit and she had to throw away all her photos from Malaysia & Brunei. So many good memories lost. I visited my parents in India last month and they still say that their years in Sarikei were the happiest times of their lives. So this site is fantastic for me as I get to see how Sarikei has developed as well as see some reminders of my days in St Anne's and St Anthony's. Thanks Daniel!

Daphne Ignatius said...

BTW, I also recently visited my uncle Mr K.A Titus (former principle) and he is doing great. He recently had a major heart surgery but he is up and about, although not as energetic as he usually is! My Lopez (Physics teacher), Mr Celestine and Mr Thomas are also all doing well.

kanga said...

Its great to know from Daphne Ignatius that our St. Anthony's teachers are all doing well!! 3 cheers!
I remembered that Mr Lopez also taught in other subjects; chemistry and maths, and (drum roll....) art! ( I recalled those painting classes in the afternoon)

Daniel Yiek said...

Wow! How did you find this website? Thru ex-classmates or thru some web service that you subscribe to for some key words? Pls ask Ivan & Shirley to write me at I hv lost touch with them. I heard Ivan is in USA and Shirley is married in Mumbai (if I didn't hear Mr Titus wrongly when was in Sarikei a few years back).

Let your mum & dad, Mr Titus & Mr Lopez know about this website though I'm not sure their generation like the web.:)

Ha! Didnt know that Mr Lopez also taught Maths and Arts! He was known as Mr Chemistry in the later years.

kanga said...

I was the naughtiest boy ( I sheepishly admit) in Mr. Lopez's art class conducted in the afternoon. In my days, boys, no girls, did art and physical education (one of Mr. Antony's specialty) in the afternoon. The basket ball court in the front of the school was our 'misbehaving' ground in front of Mr. Antony!

Daphne Ignatius said...


Every few years I would google for Sarikei just to look for pictures or something and find... Nothing. I tried again a few days ago and your blog showed up.

I forwarded your site to Ivan and my mother (who is only only one of the gang that I know for sure uses email). Ivan replied immediately and said that you were his classmate and that the site triggered all sorts of nostalgic memories.

Ivan is a family man now, with 2 kids and looks about 10 yrs younger than his real age. Still as thin as ever although a few grey hairs have started showing up. His teenage passion for bike stunts has transformed itself into an interest for Motor-bikes. He has a Cruiser and a Ninja (or Katana) now.

I talked to Shirley on the phone a month ago when I went back to India. She has 2 children, is a stay-at-home mom, but is now a talented painter! Nobody (including herself) knew she had the talent but after her kids started going to school, she was bored and just started doing it one day. She sounded great when I talked to her.

BTW, the Indian boy who fell off the Arch was my cousin Suresh who was Mr Titus's eldest son. He's now a cardiac surgeon in England with a wife and one daughter.

Sim Y said...

Dear Daphne,

Let me know where is Ivan. Tell him that the old chinese pal of his One Wheel Gang and Video Game is also looking for him.



edulink said...

Dear Daphne.

Hai. another one wheel gang member here and one time guitar buddy and church choir member... and plays rat race....!!!!!almost everyday

Joseph & Michael ..

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