History of perak

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 St. Michael's Institution (SMI), is a school in Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia. It is situated on Jalan S.P. Seenivasagam (formerly Clayton Road). Within the same premises are St. Michael's I & II (both primary schools). The school has a long history full of interesting events such as the annual drama play which is first held more than sixty years ago and is still continuing until today.

St. Michael's Institution is part of the La Sallian community of schools worldwide; a brotherhood established by St. John Baptist De La Salle. The original building is now a designated heritage site in Malaysia. It is rated 5 STARS by the Education Ministry of Perak.



The early days

In 1912, Reverend Father J.B. Coppin from St. Michael's Church bought a plot of land in Kampong Pisang. A bungalow on Clayton Road served as the school building and P.J. Morsingh was appointed as the first Headmaster of St. Michael's Institution. For the convenience of students, a well was built beside the school. The foundations of both the bungalow and the well remain.

Father Coppin was given the task of administering the school. He obtained the necessary grants from the Perak government, based on the statement from a Brother Visitor that the management of the school would be taken over by the Christian Brothers as soon as possible. The school opened on 4 December 1912, with 37 students.

By 1913, the school enrollment had grown to 139. There were three major government examinations: Standard IV, VI, & VII.

Cambridge classes were introduced in 1917, the same year the school's enrollment reached 300.

By 1920, Fr. Coppin found it difficult to manage the enrollment of 327 students, and requested help from the La Sallian Brothers. After Headmaster Morsingh resigned in 1920, the Brotherhood sent Irishman Brother Paul Gallanger to take charge of the school. Gallanger was also commissioned to draw up plans for a new building, but he returned to Ireland in January 1921, before any plans could be finalized. He was replaced by Frenchman Brother Vernier Augustus.

Augustus, who was trained in architecture, arranged for the construction of a proper building, which was completed by the end of 1921. The building he designed was strongly ecclesiastical in feeling, in the Gothic vernacular, and simple in its detailing. All classroom doors were arranged to face either north or south, never east or west, so that sun rays would not cause disturbance to class activities.

The foundation stone for the new building was laid on 17 June 1922 by Major C.W.C. Parr OBE, who was the British Resident in Perak. Coppin blessed the finished building on 15 May 1923, the Feast Day of St. John Baptist De La Salle. The school was completed in stages over a period of some 30 years, and was included as a must-visit site in the Tourist Guide Book to Perak.

The Brothers did not avail themselves of a government grant because there were strings attached to acceptance of grants, such as reversion of land to the government in the event of the Brothers ever withdrawing from Ipoh. In addition, grants could only be spent on specified types of building, and chapels did not qualify. To accommodate more students, the Brothers decided to keep building. Brother Patrick O'Donovan was responsible for the extension of the school that included the chapel, hall, and science laboratories, which was completed in 1941. Patrick also introduced science lessons to the curriculum. The contractor of this 1938-41 extension was Andrew Teoh Ewe Chye. Three of his children, Luke, Gabriel and the late Anthony, came from SXBS, Penang, to join the boarding at the school in 1956.

By 1939, the school had 14 classrooms, and 500 boys from Standards 1 to 7, Junior and Senior Cambridge classes.

In World War II the school became an army transit hospital camp for the British Army. 15 days after Japan declared war in 1941, Japanese planes machine-gunned the building and damaged the roof. Looters stole furniture and books and even tried to wrench the tabernacle door from the altar of the school chapel. For three days, the Brothers stayed in St. Michael's church. St. Michael's Institution became the headquarters of the Japanese government of Perak and became known as "Perak Shu Seicho".

The school served many purposes during the Japanese occupation. The first floor of the main building and the hall were used as the police department and the treasury respectively. A petrol kiosk was built near the porch of the building of the Primary school. The lecture theater was the air raid shelter for Japanese officers and the top floor was used as the governor's rooms. The first classroom on the ground floor served as a telephone exchange. The school's occupation ended when the Japanese surrendered, and the school reopened on 24 September 1945.

Post war expansion

More expansion of the school grounds followed once the school was re-operational. Brother Denis Hyland continued with the last two extensions to the main building During Brother Denis's reign, two basketball courts and a tennis court were added. Due to the continuing increase in student enrollment, Brother Pius erected a separate building for the primary schools; the building was completed in 1960. The first primary school became an independent unit in 1957, and two years later, a second primary school was started. In 1958, priority was given to developing a more spacious library. Three classrooms were combined, and the space was furnished with new bookcases and individual working tables for the students. It was named the Marian Library.

When Brother Ultan Paul took over, he erected an extension that doubled the size of the school, providing space for a new library, a canteen, more laboratories, a geography room, an art room, an administration centre and a staff room as well as extra classrooms. He started the project having only a small fraction of the total cost of $700,000. 10% was subsidized by the government, while class collections over a period of three years reached $100,000. Much of the remaining balance came from donations by people.

The modern era

Brother Vincent Corkery retired as director of the school in 1988, marking the end of an era. Chong Suan Ee became both the first Malaysian principal of the school and the first who was not a Brother. He was succeeded by K Subramaniam, Teh Chor Aun and finally, Louis Rozario Doss.

Under Louis Rozario Doss, the school underwent structural improvements, funded primarily by money raised through the school plays. Louis Rozario Doss retired in 2006, passing the baton to current principal, Phoon Chong Chee.

In the new millennium, enrollment increased to more than 2000 students, making St. Michael's among the 100 largest schools in Malaysia. Such numbers have caused the average number of pupils in each classroom to far exceed the government ideal of 25. A typical class in St. Michael's has about 40 students. Sixth form classes are even more packed, with numbers running into the fifties.

In November 2005, construction on the new primary school building began on a piece of land south of the existing secondary school building, because the original building was falling apart. The new primary school building was completed by the end of 2006.

Facilities

The school had four halls, a lecture theatre, two basketball courts, four badminton courts, a volleyball court, two football field, a Marian Library, more than 20 science labs, about 10 workshops, two computer labs, a food court, a foyer, a chapel, and a pavilion for students. At the top floor of the school is a small museum that stores old antiques, trophies and other unique items.

Clubs and Societies

The school offers a lot of sports, societies and uniform units for students to join. There are currently thirty three societies, fifteen uniform units, and more than twenty two games offered in the institution. Some of these sports and games include water polo, golf, badminton, basketball, soccer, football, table tennis, international chess, Chinese chess, rugby, volleyball, softball, hand ball, squash, bowling and more. The uniform units consists of Scouts, The Michaelian Military Band, The Michaelian Chinese Orchestra, Teenagers Cadet, St. John's Ambulance and more. The scouts of St. Michael's Institution is numbered 02 Kinta. Every year, there will be scouts who successfully achieved the prestigious King's Scout Award Award (equivalent to the Eagle Scout Award) and making Scouts Movement of St. Michael's Institution one of the famous Scouts Movement in Perak.

Souced from http://www.wikipedia.com

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1 Response

  1. SMI HOLDS NO SPECIAL AND LASTING MEMORY FOR ME WHEN I WAS A STUDENT THERE IT WAS A NIGHTMARE FOR ME AND HOW I WISH THAT I WAS ENROLLED IN ANOTHER SCHOOL.
    WHAT I DISLIKE ABOUT THIS SCHOOL IS THAT WHEN I WAS A STUDENT THERE THE TEACHERS HAD THIS TENDENCY TO FAVOUR SMART AND INTELLIGENT PUPILS.
    IT WAS A BLESSING IN DISGUISE THAT I FINALLY LEFT SMI SOME 40 YEARS.NOW I DO NOT LIKE OR KNOW WHAT IS HAPPENING IN SMI AND SO JUST LEAVE ME OUT.

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