My first year of government teaching service was in Limbang in 1974.
There were many firsts for that year. And I am dedicating this post to the students of SMK Limbang who will be having their reunion in Limbang on 20th Dec 2011. I would like to thank Lanie Belayong (my Form 4 C student in 1974) for without his photos I would not be able to write this article. He is working in Belaga now and thanks to FB we have re-connected after more than 36 years!!
The students were amazing and my colleagues fairly exceptional in many cases.
Let me count the blessings of that year.
1. A remarkable Head and his equally brilliant wife..Mr. and Mrs. Phang.
2. A smart team of teachers from all over the world and from Malaysia. It was a mini United Nations.
3. A beautiful crop of students who were hardworking and focussed in learning.
|Non-academic staff - cooks- gardeners and matron with the late Datuk Mustapha Besar (this is a 1973 photo)|
|Photo courtesy of Lanie Belayong (@Belaga)|
5. The students were mainly all-rounders - active in sports - attentive in class - and willing to be leaders and followers.
7. The late Balang Lasung became our good friend!!
8. There were three American Peace Corps teaching in the school and they were very fond of the students. Most teachers would hit town at about 4.30p.m. and waited for the hot buns from the kedai kopi next to the cinema.
9. We did everything BY HAND - cyclostyled notes...(getting our hands dirty) - typed our own notes - (no photostating machines) - drew our own teaching diagrams on manila cards etc.- cut grass with parangs - washed toilets every day with the students - and planted peanuts on the school hill slopes!! Vaccum cleaners were not heard of at that time. Below is a photograph by Lanie Belayong - he said "In those days exchange of photos was a must to remember friends and colleagues..." A perfect sample of handwritten messages at the back of black and white photos!!" Poignant moments in our lives in Limbang.
|Form 4 C 1974......each individual student had already formed their strong and independent personality and ready to take on the world!! It was never a difficulty to get them to learn!|
|Our work party - the building was our main staff room which included the Principal's office. A poignant incident - an Ulu parent came to visit Mr. Principal and he took of his shoes at the door. You would never see this kind of humility and courtesy in any town in Malaysia. I teared up immediately!!|
|A class photo...the boys wore all white and looking so clean. With the late Mrs. Kumar. Photo from Lim Lee.(You would notice that today students do not sit down on the floor like this any more...) 1975.|
|the school badge was designed by the late Datuk Mustapha Besar who was Principal of SMK Limbang in 1973.|
1974 was a great year indeed. the batch graduated in 1975 and remained best of friends ....and I too remember them well for they taught me about teaching and learning in a real and unique Sarawakian environment more than I had learnt at a university!! I was really blessed!
May God bless you all and your reunion!! Happy Memories always...