Saturday, May 16, 2009

History - Sarikei High School (Sekolah Tinggi) Part 2

New content has surfaced after the last post on Sekolah Tinggi. Take 2. Action; blog!

Sarikei Sekolah Tinggi magazine, 1956
Auspicious gold text on red cover.
Click to enlarge. Click Back arrow to come back
Source: Ease Chen

After the Chinese migrants from early 1900s had settled down in Sarikei, the next big focus was their children's education. The founders instrumental to the humble beginning of Sekolah Tinggi were Wong Koh Chiong 黄可川 (head of Su Lu 泗蘆 group), Wong Ngiong Hua 王仰華 (the Foochow kapitan), Wong Yew Chiok 黃幼灼, Ting King Moi 陳慶梅, Kong Lee Chiok 江履統, Chieng Ke Chiong 詹桂章, Wong Siew Lung 王受隆 and Yek Suk Kang 葉菽幹 (head of Su Kwong 泗光 group)

They negotiated the merger of Su Kwong Chinese Junior Middle School and Su Lu Chinese Junior Middle School to form Hua Chiew 华侨 Middle School in 1936. 华侨 means overseas Chinese. In 1938, the first classes of Hua Chiew 华侨 Middle School started on the premises of Su Kwong. Meanwhile the Board of School Management searched for suitable land to build the new school.

Sarikei Sekolah Tinggi magazine, 1956
School Song
Source: Ease Chen

Chieng Ke Chiong offered to sell his plot of land at third mile (5km) Repok Road at a very good price. The Board of Management travelled to the towns and villages of the Rejang (Rajang) River to raise funds. MYR$6000 was raised to complete the building of a wooden building in 1939 for three classes, offices and boarding house. 1939 is the year you see embossed on the gantry to the current school.

Sarikei Sekolah Tinggi magazine, 1956 staff
If you know the names, please comment (using L-R).
Source: Ease Chen

Back row: Left 1 Chiang Han, a Foochow from Shaowu , China; L3 Wong Chung Kang; L4 Kong Sieng Ong (son-in-law of Wong Ngiong Hua); R1 Wong Siew Tuan
Front row: L4 Wong Kwong Seng; L5 Li Chung Li the principal; R 1 & 2 Mr. & Mrs.Wong Siew Chin.

During the Japanese occupation in World War II, the school was closed and put under the custody of the Sarikei Chinese Chamber of Commerce. It reopened in 1945. In 1950, the Assemblt Hall was built. Chieng Ke Chiong sponsored the building of the library building in 1951. In 1953, Senior Middle Class was started. In 1954, a two-storey concrete building of 6 classrooms for the Chinese Senior Section was completed and declared opened with the library.

Sarikei Sekolah Tinggi magazine, 1966
Auspicious gold text on red cover.
Source: Ease Chen

In 1956, the school became a government aided school under the new Grant-in-Aid code and this solved part of the financial problems for the development of the school. In 1958, the chairman of the Board of School Management (updated: Wong Ngiong Hua) was awarded MBE (Member of the order British Empire) and to celebrate this, a fund raising campaign raised MYR$40K and Mr Wong donated another $3K. The Education Department topped up the amount to $65K total to build a new 2-storey concrete block of 10 classrooms.

Sarikei Sekolah Tinggi magazine, 1966
Assistant Education Minister, Mr Rackham.
Source: Ease Chen

In 1959, the Science laboratory was completed. Part of the funding came from the 80th birthday celebration of Wong Yii King, father of Wong Cheng Lung and Wong Cheng Hung.

In 1968, a school concert raised MYR$14K to repay a loan from Hock Hua Bank. The bank kindly waived the accumulated interest.

In 1971, Hua Chiew High School changed her name to Sekolah Tinggi Sarikei (Sarikei High School). By end of 1970, an extension to the Science Laboratory was made at a cost of MYR$30K (half was aided by the government grant).

Sarikei Sekolah Tinggi magazine, 1966
Top: Assistant Education Minister visit
Bottom picture: Chen Ko Ming.
Note the British Union Jack flag.
Sarawak had a different flag during 1870-1973
Source: Ease Chen

After the abolition of the Primary 6 Entrance Examinations, a huge influx of students was expected so a new project was mooted. The three-storey concrete multi-purpose block was completed in November 1974 at a cost of MYR$230K (half was government aided).

The Wood Work Shop was completed in 1975 with donation of equipment and tools by the Australian government from the Colombo Plan. In 1983, Bahasa Malaysia replaced English as the medium, starting with Form 1.

Sarikei Sekolah Tinggi magazine, 1966 staffFind the foreign teachers.
Click to enlarge. Click Back arrow to come back.
9th from Left (standing): Wang Yun's name missing.
Source: Ease Chen

Did you notice that when a new building was mentioned, it was with pride that "concrete" was highlighted? It was solid (pun not intended) progress when funding was short.

Source: (submitted by Ease Chen)
Principal's message, Sekolah Tinggi 40th Anniversary magazine 1975, page 18-19


Daniel Yiek said...

The power of the internet indeed. Googled for MBE+1958+Wong...and finally after a few searches, I tried "Ngiong" at The London Gazette and found that it was him who won MBE in 1958.

"WONG Ngiong Hua. For public services in Sarawak."

Is he same person as the Foochow kapitian, Wong "Yong" Hua? I will check with his relatives too.

Daniel Yiek said...

A reader emailed this update:

Spelling Wong Koh Chiong (not Chuong) of Su Lu Group.

Missed out a prominent personality, Mr. Yek Suk Kang of Su Kwong group.

Mr.Wong Ngiong Hua ran a potography shop before becoming a sundry shop operator and local produce exporter. He belonged to neither group of school.

1956 staff picture:

Back row: Left 1 Chiang Han, a Foochow from Taiwan; L3 Wong Chung Kang; L4 Kong Sieng Ong (son-in-law of Wong Ngiong Hua); R1 Wong Siew Tuan

Front row: L4 Wong Kwong Seng; L5 Li Chung Li the principal; R 1 & 2 Mr. & Mrs.Wong Siew Chin.

Daniel Yiek said...

Re 1966 staff picture. Eddie left a comment on SMK Tinngi facebook group after I posted the pic there:

Eddie Wong at 12:13pm May 17

Chen Tiew Kiek should be Ting Tiew Kiek. He married the late sister( Wong Chuing Kee) of Wong Chung Kang. Both are my uncle.

Daniel Yiek said...

Got an email confirmation from his relative:

Wong Ngiong Hua is the correct spelling for Wong Yong Hua. I'm trying to get the bio of him. His family has written one but it's archived somewhere.

Kenny Ngu said...

This is great. u work for CSi or FBI?

Anonymous said...

Thank you Ease Chen it brought me back my earlier days of my life at Hwa Chiew High School. I spent 6 years and graduated in 1959. I now live in Australia.

easechen said...

You're most welcome, anonymous in Australia. Wonder if you're in the 1956 or 1960 mag. Thay even have pics & write-ups of each student! What's your name - I can look you up.

The name of the Deputy Director of Education (pics of him at the opening ceremony)is Mr. Rackham.

I'm glad that my dad kept all these old mags & fotos. Too bad he's not around anymore. He'll be so thrilled to see all these, & he'd have a lot to contribute. May we keep the legacy of our forefathers alive forever! Keep up the good work, Daniel!

Anonymous said...

Hi Daniel. U have done a great job on your time capsule. Just a comment. Mr. Chiang Han is not a foochow from Taiwan. He is from China, Shaowu which is a place close to Foochow. Thanks.

Daniel Yiek said...

Thanks. Edited.

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