Monday, July 22, 2013

REVISITING MY ALMA MATER

This is one post that will probably interest only my former classmates from Temenggong Ibrahim Girls School (TIGS) in Batu Pahat, Johor. Allow me to indulge.

I spent five years at Limpoon Primary School before moving on to TIGS where I completed my Form 5 in 1964. The years from 1960-1964 were some of the most carefree years of my life. I have fond memories of those fun-filled school days.

My Form 5 essay book
TIGS was established in 1938 to offer English education to young girls living in Batu Pahat at the time. Today it remains one of the premier schools in Johor. It was conferred the Cluster School of Excellence award on 27 September 2011 by the Minister of Education, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Mohd Yassin.

I still get a kick plus a few laughs at the essays I wrote when I was 16 years old. My grandchildren would have a hard time believing that their grandma was once a schoolgirl with homework to do and exams to study for.

Here are some pictures of my alma mater, taken on 19 July during a visit to my hometown Batu Pahat.

"Look no hands!" That's how I would whiz down the slope on my bicycle towards the school gate. A great way to pump up the adrenalin to start the school day!
The back of the main block of classrooms. Great to know that it hasn't been demolished, but given a new coat of paint. The school colours used to be white and green. Note the open windows on the first floor. That was my Form 5 classroom.
The front view. The headmistress' office used to be above the porch, and the staff room on the ground floor.
The corridor on the ground floor in the old block. On the right are the new blocks and the hostel.
The rickety staircase leading up to my old classroom. Copies of the 1960s school calendar and events are still there on the walls. All in English.
Note the wooden floor. My classroom was the first one on the left. Imagine this corridor filled with noisy giggling school girls during recess and after school.
The school bell has been there since 1955. I wonder if it is still rung to call students for assembly, and to announce the end of each period, and the end of the school day. Reminds me of "School Over", a poem by Muhammad Haji Salleh
The prefectorial board of TIGS, 1964 with headmistress Mrs Wong and teacher in charge Mrs Singh. In the background is the block of classrooms for Home Science.
The Home Science block still remains today albeit renovated. I recall happy times spent sewing my first pajamas and skirt, and getting to taste all the dishes we whipped up during cooking class
TIGS today, view from the main entrance. Definitely not a chip off the old block. The TIGS that we loved no longer exists today. All things must pass...
My ex-classmates and I visited Mrs Indran. She taught us Geography in 1964. Very fierce but a much-loved and respected teacher. Now 75, she still remembers so many names and faces from the 1960s, especially from our class. Those were the best years of TIGS, she tells us. We agree 100%!
Some of my former classmates. Thanks to Facebook, it is easier now to look for long-lost buddies. We have plans to hold a mini-reunion end of the year. The last one was in September 2008.

Going back to my alma mater has got me interested in digging up old photo albums. Hopefully I can find more cherished memories to post here. Please share the photos if you know any TIGS alumni from the 1960s.



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1 comment:

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