Saturday, March 24, 2007

People: Sarikei St Anthony's Manuel Lopez

Sarikei St Anthony's School: Science Block, 1979.
Mr Lopez's second home in Sarikei.

r Manuel Lopez was borned in Ernakulam, Kerala, India on 1oth May 1926 (which means he's 81 years old this year). He's the 3rd son of a family of eight kids. He studied at Maharaja College in Ernakulam. He obtained his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Madras in 1950, majoring in Chemistry. His subsidiary subjects were Physics and Maths.

Chemistry Preparation Room, 1974. All bottled up.

Preparation Room, 1974. Physics equipment and Chemistry solutions

In 1959, he obtained his B.T. (not sure what's this acronym) degree from University of Kerala. He underwent training at the Government Training College, Tellicherry. Between 1950-1962, he taught at St Albert's High School, Ernakulam and Holy Family High School, Kottayam.

Mr Lopez wired up in the Preparation Room, 1974.
Find the current and voltage measuring meters.
More resistance, less current.

He came to Sarikei in 1962 (very likely recruited by Fr Rottinghuis via the Catholic parish network in India) and joined St Anthony's School's staff on 1 April, 1962. He is a very dedicated teacher and earned the respect of Sarikei people. It also helped that he's a charismatic guy. (source: 1981 Anthonian). In the late 70's, he was knocked down in an accident and his hospital ward was full of visitors.

Chemistry laboratory, 1979. Wash your hands, please.

You could often see him coming in and out of his office which was essentially the preparation room between the Physics and Chemistry labs in the 1960 built Science Block which is the last legacy block still standing today. He has an assistant who prepared all the things needed for the experiments in the classes. Does anyone recall that lady's name (big eyes with ponytail)?

At the end of 1980 (at age 54), he was asked to retired by the Ministry of Education after 18 years at St Anthony's. On 2nd Feb, 1981, at the school assembly, an announcement was made about his retirement. This piece of news caused shock waves around Sarikei as he is a very highly respected teacher. Ex-Anthonians quickly arranged a farewell dinner for him as he would be leaving in a week's time. The 1981 Form 5 class also organised a farewell party themed "We Love you More Than We Can Say" at the Domestic Science block with food from Ah Kow's restaurant. (source: 1981 Anthonian and Wang Yun's Chinese article in Anthonian 1984)

Farewell at Rejang River wharf: Feb 1981

On 10 Feb, 1981, lots of well wishers saw him off at the Rejang Wharf. He is now retired in a small city called Hubli in Karnataka, India which is about 6-8 hours from the IT capital of India, Bangalore. (source: Shirley Titus)

Mr Lopez in a tie (not his usual attire in the lab), 1981

Why do Sarikei people love him so much? Well, let's just say there's chemistry between him and the Swallow Town, Sarikei.

Update: Mr Lopez passed away on 16 Nov 2013 at the age of 87.


Daniel Yiek said...

There are several readers from Lloyd Lopez's class. See whether you can get from him an updated photo of Mr Lopez.

There are a few readers who fedback that they can not view this blog with Firefox broswer. It's a known issue that this new Blogger beta version has problems with Internet Explorer (IE)vs Firefox. I'm still trying to resolve but I'm not an expert in html codes. Meanhwile, pls use IE.

If you dont see any new posts next week, that's because I may have problems with Blogger posting in China where I'll be on a business trip.

stlau said...

Daniel, will see if I can get an update of Mr. Lopez. Incidentially, I also have problem accessing your April 2006 archive. Have fun in China.

Kanga said...

St. Anthony's School was blessed to have the calibre, dedication, and integrity of many quality teachers in the early days. Mr. Lopez was one of them. Physics/chemistry, maths, and arts!. Teachers like Mr. Lopez could go anywhere in the world and would be well received. I recalled a conversation with him that he nearly went to Canada. Sarikei! we are lucky he came to us.
Thank's to Daniel for blogging all this information.

WONG Yiik Diew said...

Class of 1976 is interested to find out how we can reach Lopez Senior and/or Junior (Edwin) via email. If anybody has relevant information, please drop me a note at my email:

Thanking you in anticipation.

Lidasar said...

I thought our teachers were from Chennai until I read this few entries and found out they were actually from the South West coast. Cochin and Ernakulam should be very good place because it has a bay, something which San Francisco has. This also explain their Roman Catholic back ground because like GOA, Cochin were the place where the Portuguese 1st landed and came with the religion. I have been to several part of India but never been to Kerala, the nearest that I been is Bangalore. Maybe we should introduce this part of the world to our Sarikei’s folks?

lynnx01 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ikan Sembilang said...

A great teacher! He has such a great affection for Sarikei that he named his house in India "Sarikei". Thank you, Mr. Lopez.

edulink said...

He is my baptismal Godfather in the st Anthony's catholic church...sure miss him a lot..wonder how is he now and Lloyd

Anonymous said...

I met him a month back when I was visiting my hometown Hubli.He was feeble but in good spirits, still remembered the good times in Malaysia.RIP uncle

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