At six and a half years of age, my father enrolled me in school. I remember being brought to primary school with my elder brother, Yap Boo Huat and my cousin brother Boo Say to Anglo Chinese School (A.C.S.) in Jalan Raya Barat, Klang.
While my brother and cousin brother had no trouble being enrolled as students, my registration faced some problems. I in fact was too young, being only 6 ½ years then.
As a young boy, hardly knowing anything, I remember my lorry driver father talking about “coffee” money with the headmaster, a G.S. Arumugam. Thus began my days as a young school boy in A.C.S. Klang.
The above school was one of the earliest school built by the missionary brothers in 1898. My primary school days were to stretch from 1952- 1957. I remember finally sitting for my Standard Six exam in 1957.
During my primary school days, we were staying in Kampung Martin in Jalan Telok Pulai. Kampung Martin was a suitable place for me as a young school boy. I could not have asked for a better place to live in.
The kampung above was filled with mangosteen trees, durian, banana trees, buah sentul and rambutans. You name it, and all the fruits were there.
And all the birds were there too. Kingfishers, magpies, mynah birds, swallows and not forgetting the pipits were all present too. Owls too came a hooting in the middle of the night. As a young boy, this made me very much afraid.
When owls come hooting, my mother used to say, bad omen will befall. Its arrival, it seems, was to announce the possible passing away of some sick person in the kampung community.
I still recall my school badge even today. It was a blue and yellow coloured badge. “Sapienta Potensia Est”, it said. The Latin words meant “Knowledge Is Power”.
For sports activities, I remember being in the Klang or “E” house. Unlike today, the Annual Sports of a school was a grand affair. Other schools from around the Klang district, Kuala Lumpur even, use to participate in the open relay events. It was indeed exciting watching these events, especially the 4 x 400m school relay.
While in Primary One, I still recall my teacher Mrs. Ding very clearly. She was a sweet looking Chinese teacher with short hair. I wonder if she’s still alive today. If she is, I gather she should now be over 90 years old, perhaps.
One other Chinese male teacher, I can never forget is Mr. Ng Yin Woot. I remember, being unable to pay up my school fees every month. Mr. Ng happened to be my class teacher for a number of years. To tell you the truth, this teacher gave me a difficult time while I was in primary school.
He used to demand school fees from me practically every month. I was knocked on the head rather frequently. This made me, as a young boy of 10, fear going to school.
Because of this, I did not go to school the first 5 or 6 days of each month. Until my father was able to pay me the school fees, I would stay away from school.
But my sad days of my primary school days were soon compensated by football. Football became my favorite sports. It was this game, that led me become the football captain in my primary school days at A.C.S., Klang.
I really enjoyed my primary school days playing football in Port Swettenham, and even being brought by my football teachers to Kuala Lumpur. I can still remember playing against well known schools such as Pasar Road School and Methodist Boys School, Kuala Lumpur.
I remember once playing against Vivekananda Primary School. When the Merdeka Stadium was first opened in 1957, I remember playing there too.
My interest in football was actually encouraged by Malaysian footballers like Abdul Ghani, Arthur Koh, Robert Choe, the Pang brothers of Penang, Pang Siang Teck and Pang Siang Hock, Govindaraju and Awang Bakar of Singapore.
In my own district of Klang, football was then a game which many Klang folks relish very much. I still recall teams like Ramblers, R.A.F., a team comprised of army soldiers serving in Malaya in those days. R.A.F’s style of football, which represented the English style of play was so exciting and interesting to watch.
There were other famous local teams in the likes of Dynamos, Shell, Highland Estate, Wah Yew and so forth. Games used to be held at the Klang Padang. And at times, even at our school ground, A.C.S., Klang.
Those times I mentioned above were football non-professional at its best.
While in A.C.S. primary, I still remember my football masters Mr. Kon Thean Soong and Mr. A Singham. Mr. Kon, I was told, left the teaching profession, was said to have struck 2nd prize in the then Social Welfare Lottery Draw. He then went into the printing business, starting Preston Publications in Petaling Jaya.
Later on, Mr. Kon bought over a lot of shares in Guinness Anchor Berhad and became one of its major shareholders. I gather, he must be a multi-millionaire today!
As for Mr. Singham, I have in fact lost touch with this teacher after all these years. But to his advice gave me as a young school boy, words cannot describe how I feel.
All I remember still about Mr. Singham today is how my friends and I used to go to the school canteen behind the A.C.S. primary school to take mee hoon and assorted cold drinks on Mr. Singham’s account.
Being a rather poor school boy, his treats meant a lot to me. To that, Mr. Singham, if you are still around, permit me to extend my thanks to you, sir!
Better late than never, expressing my thanks to you, so they say.
My school days at A.C.S. Primary School should also make mention of another headmaster, Mr. Tan Teik Guan. He was a simple man, not strict at all, but loved by use his students.
I remember Mr. Tan giving us money to go to the canteen, whenever he found us fighting. How old is he now? Is he still around today? I really don’t know.
As this article is getting longer and longer, I feel it’s best that it stops here. If time and opportunity permits, I might go on to relate more of my secondary school days, this time at the A.C.S. Secondary School in Klang later.
Before this article ends, I wish to inform readers that I do not fancy watching football these days. Not the World Cup nor the English Premier League (E.P.L.) which some readers are crazy about.
But that does not mean I do not have a team I like. For your information, the team I like best in the E.P.L. is none other than Tottenham Hotspurs!
By the way, my son-in-law’s team is Liverpool. And my close buddy and friend from Banting town, Mr. Tee Too, his team is Manchester United which Wayne Rooney plays.
And who, you may wish to know, I consider as the best footballer of all times? David Beckham? No, it is Diego Maradona of Argentina!
And who is the best Malaysian footballer of all times? Mokhtar Dahari, of course!
I remember Mr Ng YIn Woot well. He was our science teacher and we has a nick name for him. It was SBS which stood for Science Botak Sir.
Glad to know that you still hold fond memories of Mr. Ng. To Mr. Ng, if he’s still around, no hard feelings and best of luck and health to you.
It is by accident that I have landed on your webpage. While waiting to do something I typed in ACS Kelang and was directed to your page. It made wonderful reading.
I was in the same school from Standard 3 then jumped to 5 and continued on until Form 5. Completed the Standard 6 exam in 1957. My teacher in Std. 5 was Mr. Kon and I always admired his hairstyle and after becoming a teacher realised that he was the man behind the T.S. Kon copyright of Preston Publications.
I remember going to the kampungs behind the ACS looking for nipah palm fronds and to Banting Road to get ferns to decorate our “HOUSE” for sports day. Mine was D House (Goh Hock Huat) I think, named after the Pineapple king who had a cannery near the Klang River. Sports days were fun when we zealously guarded our “HOUSES” as there was a trophy for the best decorated house. and we managed to squeeze out some money from the house masters to finance the house decoration.
I was a teacher in Malaysia and in the early 90s migrated to Australia and after almost 20 years there have retired and return to Malaysia for holidays annually.
Thanks for writing your memoirs as it helps to rekindle old thoughts and scenes of a bygone era when the world was a much easier place to live in even when one was not so financially well off.
Have been trying to contact old friends but not many are in cyber space.
Nice to hear from you and thanks for writing in to this blog. First of all, welcome back to Malaysia. Your description of ACS and its surroundings brings me fond memories of our young days there. By now, I’m quite certain you can identify me. We have the same Mr. T.S. Kon as our class teacher way back in 1957.
Take care and enjoy yourself back in Malaysia. All the best to you and your family.
Cikgu Yap, Thanks for your response. I am back in Melbourne- after visiting my kampung or “tanah tumpahnya darahku”.
Am I right if I guess that you are Yap Boo Keat- the one who played football?
For some strange reason I remember some names of classmates very vividly and can put a face to the name but the face as I remember all those years ago. I do not have any photos to go by. So it is a guess.
I regret i was unable to meet you on your recent visit back to Malaysia. You guess appears to be correct!
I still remember you playing on the left wing. We had Abdullah, Sunder Singh and Lee Chye Huat playing in goal. And there was also K. Ponnudurai, K. Abumani and Mak Fook Seng also in our first 11. We had Mr. A.R. Muthaiah and Mr. K.O Chandy as our football master then.
All the best to you. Take care!
Cikgu Yap, my friend Mr.Pang from Muar was one year your junior both in ACS Primary and Secondary. He left ACS in 1963. He is very keen to get in touch with his classmates. Hoped you are able to help him.
For your information I still keep my School Magazines from 1964 to 1969.
Thank you and my best regards.
Very glad to know you have taken then trouble to write in again. Also very glad that unlike yourself, I was to poor to get hold of any copies of our school magazines.
Memories of our alma mater, our old teachers, friends and classmates including other events predominantly are from my memories and remembrances. All these only go on to show the intensity of my “love” for A.C.S. Klang, our beloved alma mater.
As for your school magazines (1964 – 69), do treasure them well. Hope it serves you well in your retired age, as they bring you back to those memorable yester-years nearly half a century again. As for Mr. Pang from Muar, I still remember a Mr and Mrs Pang a long time ago. Could they be the same Pang Chok Chu whom I was acquainted with in the 1960s?
All the best and take care. And long live A.C.S.
Ng Yin Woot was my class teacher in 1972 in Std six. Not one of my favourites.
Lee Hin Koi was one of the best and really cares and inspires us.
First of all, Mr. Lee Hin Koy is currently the proprietor of a private school in Klang. Glad the article has brought back fond memories if our alma mater.
That MGS received much of your school boy attention then, is of no surprise. You must be very active with scouting activities in your younger days. Hope they have brought you immense joy. Best of luck and good health. Take care!
Hello, I stumbled across your page and it certainly brought memories of my early years while at ASC from 1952 to 57. I do remember Mr Ng teaching me Arithmetic in standard 6 – not pleasant memories! I skipped standard 3 and into standard 4 with a Miss Victoria and then on to standard 5 with a Mr Samuels. I certainly have fond memories of the latter. He was of short stature with very curly hair and really enjoyed my time with him.
Some of the events engrained in my memories of my early years are of the morning radio broadcast of children’s stories and song. These were held in and area which had tanks containing baby crocodiles or some kind of reptiles. The tuck shop with its tasty mee goring is another that I remember. While at standard 4 or 5, our class had a vegetable garden somewhere behind the tuckshop where we grew all kinds of vegetables. I do remember attending singing classes in the hall with a Mr Zimmermen, an American visiting teacher I think! The government introduced compulsory TB vaccination in 1957 and this really stressed everyone in the class. I still remember walking up and down the stairway of the new science block and passing a Mr George who appeared to tower against me. I do remember him and Mr Chandy playing football for one of the teams at the Klang padang. My Form 1B teacher (cannot remember his name!) lived by the main road between ACS and MGS. He was very much involved with football and played for Rangers (I think). I used to help prepare and carry cold drinks during half time from the clubhouse to the playing field.
During my early years our family lived at Telok Pulai Road, not far from the railway line. There was a large unattended orchard with many fruit trees which we youngster used to raid. I do remember walking to school daily with my friend Chong Yoke Wai. His father had a dhobi business not far from where we lived. As a short cut we used to head across a track by the Indian temple through some Malay kampong to school every day
The headmaster during my time was Mr Arumugan and then replaced by Mr Tan Teck Guan sometime in 1956. Mr Arumugan’s son ‘Abel’ (I think) was my classmate for a number of years. Mrs Arumugan was the headmistress at MGS. Sadly I left ACS to continue my studies at Port Dickson in 1958.
We were both at ACS (Pr) from 52 – 57. We had the same teacher in Mr Samsul Levins, Mr Ng Yit Woot, Mr Lee Hin Koy, Mr Victor and R. Singham. You also speak highly of Mr. T.O. George and Mr K.O. Chandy too. You are right, ACS Pr has Mr. Arumugam, later Mr Tan Teck Guan as headmasters.
I’m sure you will recollect remembering Lee Chye Huat, Khoo Oon Tian, Vijaydran, Mohd Chudi, Abdullah, Kamaruddin, Khalid, Sunder Singh and Gurdip Singh too. Nasrijal and Bakro were two others of our friends.
You must also remember the boxer Mr. Kon Thean Soong or TS Kon.
60 or more years have now since gone by. Hearing from you again is indeed a tremendous joy.
Yes, I still remember clearly dhoby boy, Chong Yoke Wai, whose father has a wooden dhoby shop near a big, white, stone bridge in Teluk Pulai.
Thank you for bringing back fond memories of radio talks held in a bicycle park surrounded by tanks of baby crocodiles.
You may not be aware, but it’s a small world. Able is your classmate as you say. And he is also my classmate too. It the above it true, then this makes You my classmate too!
Finally, I’m sure you must be wondering who I am. I’m in fact Yap BK. the football captain of our primary school way back in 1957.
Best to you and your family. Nice hearing from a former schoolmate of mine. It certainly brought back sweet memories. Can I reveal to you something. In my school days at ACS, I know of 2 Chandrans. One being Chandran, the bother of Mr. Rathichandaran, who lives in Teluk Pulai. The other N. Chandran, who went on to becoming a Sports Coordinator in a sports club nearby Klang. Which Chandran are you, I’m uncertain.
Cikgu Yap, nice to hear from you. I am neither of the Chandran,s that you mentioned as I am P.Chandran. My brother Venugopal was 1 year my senior.
Yes we must have been in the same class in either Std 1 or 2 as Abel was my classmate around that time. I do remember Sundar and Gurdip Singh but not the others. I do however recall Mr Kon, Mr Victor and Mr Singham. Mr Victor was my class teacher while I was at Std 6B and Mr Ng the class teacher at 6A. I do remember clearly the 1930’s type building that the std 6 classes were held.
If you lived in Telok Pulai Rd we must have also stumbled across each other on our way to school. Chong Yoke Wai used to wait for me as we ambled to school together. We shifted to Kampong Jawa Road in 1954 so Telok Pulai became a memory of the past.
After my schooling at PD I went on to NZ to further my studies and returned briefly to work Malaysia before settling permanently in Christchurch in the 70’s.
My kind regards to you and thank you for sharing your memories.
Irregardless, it’s a delight to be able to hear from you after all these years. Do take care. Viva ACS!
Hi Cikgu Yap and Chandran,
I am touched that you remembered my brother “dohby boy” Chong Yok Wai. Sadly, he left us two years ago, and as he would have aptly put it, he has “Gone back to his Happy Hunting Grounds” on 19 Feb 2011, after a short illness.
Thanks to Cikgu Yap, “Memories of ACS” does take me back to the carefree days of yesteryears, and the names mentioned within are all too familiar to me as I was in ACS from 1959 through 1969 (Standard 1 – Form 5). Ang Hai Chiew and Roselan Johar who posted comments here are my former classmates, and the “Form 5 Science Class of 1969” are still in touch with each other, meeting up periodically for reunions, though we are spread over in different continents.
Hope to meet up with you at this year’s OBA Dinner.
My humble apologies. In all my eagerness to comment earlier, I failed to read what I wrote. It should have been “dhoby boy”, and not as erroneously spelt previously.
I’m saddened by your brother’s demise. I have always had high respect for him. Your brother Yok Wai, was an industrious and excellent student. May his soul rest in peace. God bless.
Thank you for your kindness.
I am curious to know, is there any old photos of the School Teachers say around 1947 to the 1950s….?
My late grandfather E. H. Manen was a School Teacher around that time. It was during Mr. G. S. Arumugam era..
Fantastic to know that your grandfather was a teacher of ACS in 1945. 1947-50, I was only 3 or 4 years old then. Although G.S.Arumugan was then the Primary school Headmaster, and in fact, Abel Arumugan was my classmate, rest assured, if should this writer come across of photos of the staff of era 1947-1950, I shall immediately contact you.
Thank you Cikgu Yap.
I have bum into Dr. Abel Arumugam in a number of occasions and I introduced myself as Harold Manen’s grandson. He said he remembers my grandfather and he remembers my grandfather playing with him when he was a small boy.
Hello Chong Chee Meng
How very sad to hear the belated news of Chong Yoke Wai’s departure. My thoughts and sympathies are with his family. He certainly had a very generous heart as I was the recepient of many of his ‘belanjas’ at the school tuck shop in our childhood years. Bless his soul.
Thank you for your kindness.
Dear Chigu Yap,
With fond memories I read your account of your days in ACS Klang.I too was a student of ACS Klang right from Primary 1 to Form 5.The members you have mentioned brings back memories flooding.
My Std.1 teacher was Mrs.Dan a loving lady who cannot be forgotten She acted like a Mother to us.Memories of Std 2 brings Mr Samuel Levins and his twin colored marking colored pencils.Never went to std3 but to Std 4 where Mr.Yin Woot and others were there.Std 5 brings Mr.Kon Thean Soon into my memory with the Hardy Boys stories the boxing days etc.
Std 6 we had Mr.Victor Suppiah who used to borrow by blue lined pen to ink love letters to one of the teachers(cant remember her name) and Mr.Ng Yin Woot and the great Mr.Koh Liang Sih. who taught us Bahasa and Mr.Samuel Levins.
Completed primary education and moved into Secondary in Form 1 we had Mr.Singham as our class teacher and days plodded on with Mr.Subramaniam,Mr.Mohan Awasti, Ciku Salleh, Mr.G.Arulandam,Mr.T.O George Mrs George Mr.James Pandian and many more unforgettable people who moulded our lives.Cant forget Miss Ng Kiat Loo(Mrs James Pandian).Napoleon as our labmanetc.
We used ti live in Jeram and travel by bus daily hope you remembr me.
More once I get your reply.
It has been real great of you to have written such a good and memorable article.
Was one of the founding members of the Banna Bunch in ACS Klang.
Thanks for the fine reading that you had provided.
My mobile number is 016-7325758 if you are free please call me.
Regards and Wishes
Wonderful talking to you after all these long years. Thanks for writing in. Take care.
Hi i am a former student of ACS primary and secondary from 1981 – 1993. Mr Lee Hin Koi the HM has passed away last year if i am not mistaken. Also Cikgu Alias the disciplinary teacher passed away sometime ago. Thanks
It was enlightening to read these memorable anecdotes,I was a student at ACS from 1950 to 1959.
I remember all these teachers including G.S.Arumugam.Samuel Levins and others.I stayed at 6.Lorong Raja Muda.
Samuel Levins in house 2 and G.S house 4.I have been out of Malaysia since 1971.originally working in Brunei.Now settled in Melbourne last 32 years.I would leave to hear from my class mates should they come across
Extremely delighted you have been brought back some pleasant memories of yester years. Glad you’re making progress in your life and that you’re now settled overseas. Hope your classmates and school friends will liaise with you soon! Take care. God bless Viva ACS.