Lately I drove back to my hometown and all of a sudden, there were some inspiration, flashing out some sweet old memories during my stay in Penang. As a result, I wrote several articles on those matters.
The photo above taken when I was in Remove 4, 1974.
The above photo, taken in the year of 1979 when I was in Form 5 Science.
The above photo taken during our School Fun Fare Festival.
Today, the article I am going to share with you my secondary school where I spent six good years there, i.e. 1974 to 1979 ie. none other than Heng Ee High School. It is located on Hamilton Road in the George Town area and is relatively close to Penang Free School, one of the oldest schools in Penang and I don't think it needs any further elaboration. However, it does not apply to my school which does not have such a long historical background. As such, I will cover some of its unique story and hope you are enjoy reading it.
This school has its own uniqueness in the sense that its ground is divided into 2 sections: one side comprises the school administrators' rooms, teachers' room, staff room, cafeteria, foyer, school hall, blocks of classrooms, computer rooms, living skills rooms, science laboratories and a football field while the another side comprises a small car park, basketball courts and a volleyball court. This piece of idle land has been acquired subsequently for expansion of the school. It has been conveyed to us when I was studying there, but it had been acquired many years after I left the school.
When we talk about this school, one major component which cannot be omitted is its founder. I believe this great man should deserve more coverage as he had contributed significantly to our society and the school in particular. Do not forget that being a foreigner and establishing a Chinese School in a foreign country is definitely not an easy task. Thank God for his persistence and endurance throughout his journey of struggle.
Mr Goh Boon Poh is currently the principal of this school.
The photo, above, shown the front view of this school
The school was founded in 1957 by the lateDatukFather Arthur Julien, a Belgian missionary who arrived in Penang from China in 1952. He had also established the Heng Ee Primary School and Heng Ee Kindergartenin 1952 and 1969 respectively. There is no surprise for him to be awarded a Datukship for his significant contribution to our society. Some of you may able to see that being a westerner and wanting to establish a Chinese school in a foreign country certainly impose a great challenge to him. He used to share with us the challenges he had gone through when we attended his classes once a week. I always salute him for what he had done, but he always attributed this values with the Chinese values, which I find lots of similarity. No wonder that he spent lots of his time to master Mandarin and he can speak even better mandarin than I do. I found him to have even a deep understanding of Mandarin and our cultural values. He made himself so humble that we could treat him as a friend, who always stand by to assist us in any way he could. I recalled that he even convince the headmaster at that time to allow us to make use of the classroom during the school break for our revision as he knows that majority of the students are from lower income group and many of us do not have proper place to study at home.
To reduce the consumption of electricity, he even offered us his room to smaller group of students who wish to come at night to study in the school. He always keeps the school expenses to a minimum as this school only received very minimum funding from the government despite it being designated as a national school. Most of the expenses are bored by public donations. The great man had impacted my life a lot .I always looked upon him in my life of struggle as well. It is truly blessed to know this great man at our young age despite me being always a shy pupil, who chose to struggle silently than to share it out with others. I have only been transformed after I accepted Christ as my Savior.
On my way back to Kuala Lumpur, I asked for the guard’s permission to enter the school compound and take the photo of the little statute resembling him standing at the open space between the school front and the other building. Though he had gone, but his spirit of dedication to serve the needy students are beyond words. I can vouch for him – being the man who walk his talk - uses every possible means and assistance he can have to reach out to those students in need, regardless of race and social status. This made most of us students feel proud of him.
I recalled a few of us have approached him to borrow the classroom for prepare for our school examination. His smiling face well indicated to us that he was more than happy to do so and truly understand our difficulty to study at home. I learnt that he also offered his room, at the school, to students who truly need a room to study which otherwise was not available at their own homes. He seemed to know every need of his students. He gave us all the necessary encouragement when we were saddled by unfortunate incidences. He always shows us the way and always standby to give the necessary encouragement that could cheer our hearts and souls. NO wonder that lots of us loved him very much and he gained our highest respect. Though he had gone, but his spirit and name will be always remembered.
He was always very proud of this school, for being able to use Mandarin language as a medium to conduct classes here as he found that this language has lots of high values that need to be preserved. He used to describe all these values and cultivated them in our lives despite being a foreigner to us. We can sense that his love conquers all barriers and we are always looked upon him for such a cheerful spirit. He does not always look cheerful and energetic, but he was always willing to offer his hands to anyone who needs his assistance.
It was learnt that he contributed the entire heritage of 50,000 pounds he received from his father to this school. He can speak mandarin very well and he faced a great challenge when he initially raised funds to build these Chinese school from the Chinese community. Firstly people are doubtful of him for being Westerner and willing to build Chinese schools in foreign land.
Thank God for his endurance throughout his challenging years and today his name will never be forgotten. Though the statue subsequently built after his death is no comparison to his contribution to this school, it will serve as a remembrance of his great work, He can be remembered as a model to the world at large.
Before we put an end to this article, we urge those who know about his life to contact us either via comments or email to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com so that we can blog more about his life and his great contribution in the internet sphere. Thank you for your kind participation.