Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Scenes - Sarikei Kwang Chien Primary School. Part 3

After the initial batch of street wise and business savvy migrants had settled down in "downtown" Sarikei, the next thing in mind was to ensure a good education for the next generation. Kwang Chien was etablished in 1925 by several well known Sarikei denizens. The management board consisted of Chan Wei 陳偉, Chen Mong 陳梦, 沈坤, 林思九, 蔡赞看 Chua, and the businessmen who owned the first batch of Wharf Road shops 锦福興號, 順發號 and 新锦成號. (source: 1)

They borrowed a wooden house at Wharf Road (source: 1) from the Cantonese Association (Kwong Wai Siew) to use as the classroom for the first batch of 40 students. The name Kwang Chien was derived from Kwang Dong 東(Cantonese) and Foo Chien 建 (Hokkien). Later in 1927, the school moved to a building behind the Chinese Chamber of Commerce. (source: 3)

Sarikei Kwang Chien Junior Middle School
1st batch's "graduation", 26 July 1928
Seated 5th from left: Siaw Ah Khoon
Seated 4th from left: Tiong Lok Ting 張樂天 Principal
Seated 3rd from left:
Chen Mong 陳梦 (looks like him)?

Source: Sibu Chinese History Collection 詩巫華族史科集, 1992

The above picture shows the first batch's "graduation" - a proud moment. The year was 民國 十七 which is 1911 + 17 = 1928. The year follows Dr. Sun Yat Seng’s 孫中山 revolution in 1911. Find Dr. Sun's photo in the background with the kuo ming tang 国民党 party flag. (Source: 2)

Tiong Lok Ting 張樂天, the first principal, was the grandfather of Sarawak's Chief Justice, Chong Siew Fai. Chan Wei 陳偉 was the Cantonese kapitan before Khoo Peng Loong 邱炳浓. Chen Mong 陳梦 was the father of Chen Ko Ming 陳高明 (the Cantonese kapitan after Khoo Peng Loong). Click the "People" section on the sidebar if you have forgotten.

Below were the principals and the year they served. (Source: 3)
1. Tiong Lok Ting 張樂天 1926 - 1929
2. Hii Chung Ting 1930
3. Lee Siew Tieng 李秀添 1931 - 1933
4. Boo Yew Wu 1936 (seems like there's a missing person between 1933-36)
5. Yeo Wei Rang 1937
6. Ting King Sing 陳敬信 1938 - 1942

==== World War II ====

7. Yeu King Sui 姚景水 1946
8. Yeu King Min 姚景明 1947
9. Ting King Sing 陳敬信 1948 - 1952
10. Tiong Chung Chin 張宗清 1953
11. Yii Chu Ing (acting) 俞祖榮 1953 - 1956
12. Tiong Chung Chin 1956
13. Wong Siew Tuang 王受端 1957 - 1979
14. Lau Kung Thai (acting) 劉恭泰 1979 - 1980
15. Yii Ming Kai 1980 - 1996
16. Ms Wong Mee Lang (acting) 1997 (First lady!)
17. Wong Hing 23.12.1997 -

I'm not sure whether Wong Hing is still the principal because the Kwang Chien website has not been updated since 2003. Any idea?

1) Article: Interview with 張武祥, who came to Sarikei in 1927.
2) Sibu Chinese History Collection 詩巫華族史科集, 1992
Kwang Chien School website


sarawakiana said...

I am wondering why Chong Siaw Chong's father had a Foochow surname Tiong.

Tiong Chung Sing later became a penghulu in Sibu. There were very few educated men and women to head schools then. When Sarawak Teachers' College was established we started to have an excellent crop of good teachers and school administrators.

Please note that Urban district councils were also responsible for running primary schools (e. SUDC Primary School No. 1 etc. of Sibu)

Later this system was changed when Malaysia was formed.

Daniel Yiek said...

The Mandarin character of the surname 張 is the same for father and son but sometimes the birth certification folks use different ways to spell the English version in the old days. It could pinyin based or dialect based or simply a typo. ;-)

ease said...

I've e-mailed the 1st pic to my uncle, the youngest son of Chen Mong to ask if that's his dad. He's not sure 'cos he never saw his dad. Chen Mong (my grandpa) passed away before his youngest son was born. He'll ask his mum (Chen Mong remarried after his 1st wife died).

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