November 10, 2008

Visit to BP after 52 years (Rev 1)

Just arrived at Palani's home 27th July 2008. Chinese Assembly Hall on Jalan Rahmat, the main road.

Post Office - My first Savings account created by filling a booklet with 10 cent stamps! I am still in possession of the passbook - probably the balance now must be worth a bit with the interest added on.

Another view of the Post Office. Papa's Telekoms office was upstairs in this same building. He was Technical Assistant in charge of Telecoms Batu Pahat.

Bombay Safi Store - was located where in the building where the yellow sign board is.

Entrance to BP market. We used to accompany (Grandmother) Ka or Mama marketing. Used to go down by Trishaw.

Another view of the market. Round the corner to the right was the old Batu Pahat Ferry. Papa when he spent a year as Head of Telekom Training Centre in KL used to take this ferry forthnightly to return to KL via Muar. I used to accompany on these journeys, as I was student in Victoria Institution KL (Form 2). Journey used to take 5:30hrs in those days.

What's left of the Boarding Ramp that led cars onto the Ferry.

Sultana Movie Theatre along Jalan Sultan. Street looks much the same but the theatre is in ruins.

Rustic sign - Shaw Brothers Sultana Theater.

Jalan Sultana house, our second home in BP, prior to Papa's departure to UK for studies.

Sultana house - another view. How different it looks!
Short-cut up the hill, which we used to take walking back home from the High School BP. Shortened about a 600 m.

Short-cut route - Road used when hill slopes above were wet.

Short cut route -leading on past the Rest House and TIGS.

High School Batu Pahat - Built in 1919

Meriam and Violet in front of the school.

Queen's birthday pageant in 1953? The trees in the left background are still there. See below..
Trees have really grown since 1956

View of the school looking west towards the tuck shop, and Prasad's house.

Me in front of the school.

In front of the Teachers common room. The reason for posting this photo is to remind us of  times we had when we had to wait anxiously for Mr Chanan Singh to appear to take us home.

"Here's what one of the many esteemed students had to say about his days at HSBP (then GES BP)

What about me when I was a student in Batu Pahat High School.  We were supposed to go to school only from Monday to Friday from 7:00 am to 1:00 pm.

 But my teachers, especially my maths teacher sent me to Detention Class almost every Saturday to pull the steam roller across the school field, clean the classrooms and the lavatory for imitating him with “sine, cosine, tangent, right angle triangle, angle Ѳ, Pythagoras' theorem”…”a plane flies in a north eastern direction with a velocity of …km / hr, but was blown northwards by an strong easterly wind to an angle ω towards the east”. “Calculate the velocity of the wind…etc” (aiyah! forgot all those details already).

After class he would hide behind the classroom after aclass and peeped through the door creeks and hinges to see who was imitating him.

Lim Yew Boo (my school name) would always be the first name to be called out when he suddenly emerged from behind the classroom door to register me for detention class on Saturday.

My maths teacher had goofy teeth and was also long-sighted. So when we asked him “sir, sir how to do this sum”, he would take our maths book and look at it from a distance. We would then laugh at such a comical sight.  He too would laugh at himself, but cupped his mouth with his hand to prevent his ugly protruding teeth from showing.

Then I would laugh even more. Suddenly he would get angry with me for laughing so much.  Suddenly without warning he would come and knocked my head. Then he would take out his ‘detention class book’ and register me for his ‘special class’ almost every Saturday.

It always happened.  I was a hard core class criminal among other regular criminals from other classes to be sent for detention class almost every Saturday. There, we would pull the heavy steam roller wheel up and down across the field to flatten the lawn.

There were ropes on either side of the wheel for us to strap over our shoulders as we heaved, slipped, pulled and sighed. It was just like those Egyptian slaves pulling those heavy boulders with ropes to build the pyramids.

Else, my English, geography, science and other teachers will occupy my entire Saturdays and Sundays (when it should have been weekend holidays for me) making me write 100 – 500 lines during the entire week-end for disturbing and talking in class, making noises, imitating them in front of the class in their absence, or disappearing from class to go to the tuck-shop…etc, etc.

It was really a nostalgic school fun for me then

What about me then as a student?  I too was heavily punished with no rest during weekends or during school holidays"

Jb (Jahat Boy) - Also known as Dr Lim Ju Boo

View of the school field. Fond memories of the Fijian's thrashing all teams who ventured to play them. They were gifted athletes, with the likes of Tom Naidole and Joe Rodrigo etc. They established many Malayan records then.

The home of our primary school Teacher, the late Mr Teo Teng Kooi's. He was a very pleasant and kind man who also taught all my brothers except for Ivan.

Minyak Buku. A 1955 photo of a class excursion to Minyak Buku. Class Master was Mr V.K Moorthy. The only beach where we could look forward for a good swim & picnic. See related blog titled 'Minyak Buku'
The same location now. A beach in ruins & neglect.

All that's left of the beach - filth!

Temenggong Ibrahim Girls School (TIGS) - the school where Mama taught.

539B Gunong Soga- our home for 3 years when Papa was away in UK to study Engineering. He returned in 1956 but was posted to KL as ACT Telekom Training Centre,

Another view of 539B. Abandoned and very soon to be demolished, This was our 3rd BP home.

My brothers will remember the sewage pipe and the valley beside our home with the toddy and banana trees still present. 52 years and the fauna has not changed much.

Palani surveying the ruined entrance to the kitchen & bathroom from the outside.

The slope of the hill where we used to go speeding down either in a bicycle or toy jeep.

The first house we ever stayed in after Papa transferred from Segamat. View of the house in 1949 with Hilary standing in the porch and Francis as baby.
And now years later!

Another view of the home.

Slope where Mama used to take us for walks in the evening. Terry used to through tantrums at this very spot and refuse to walk by sitting on the road.

The mosque rebuilt. It was a wooden structure before. We used to play in this mosque and even had the opportunity to strike the wooden gong.

Mr Chanan Singh - the teacher who without fail rain or shine take us to school and back. 4 of us used to squeeze into his Vauxhall together with his wife and son. His eldest boy Sunny has since passed away.

Chanan Singh and family. Dinner with Palani and Violet.

Mango friends for the last 58 years, Palani and me. Taken just before our departure back for KL.
"The glory of young men is their strength,
And the splendor of old men is their gray head" Prov 20:29

My sincere gratitude to Palani and Violet for taking the trouble to show us around these nostalgic places.