Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Chung Cheng Secondary School, Sibu

Chung Cheng Secondary School, Sibu is one of the few schools in Sarawak which still has a bell tower and a bell that is still functional.

Founded by Lau Kah Tii, the second Kang Chu of the Foochows,in 1916,it became one of the biggest secondary schools built by the Foochows with rubber money.

It was first called Kwong Nang Primary School and its first headmaster was Rev Yao Siaw King, the father of Dato Yao Ping Hua. In 1934 the school started its secondary school. It was closed for a short period during the Japanese Occupation.

It's name was changed from Kwang Nang Secondary school to Chung Cheng Secondary school in 1946.

Look at some photos below taken by Philip Hii very recently. The black and white effect is striking. They remind us of the 60's when most photos were black and white!

And the answer to why Chung Cheng school has this name.

Lau Kah Tii, a very loyal and patriotic man who loved China, helped raised a large sum of money to liberate China from the Japanese and to help the British cause as well.

When Generalissimo Chiang Kai Shek drove out the Japanese in 1946 Lau Kah Tii and many of the Foochows in Sibu were elated. They decided to rename their school after Generalissimo Chiang Kai Shek, whose other name was Chiang Chung Cheng.

The name also means very bi partisan, ethical, correct and upright. The school continued to be run by very good Foochow scholars like Lau Hieng Ying,Lau Kieng Sing etc. Teachers were paid very low salaries but they were very dedicated and upright. Students who graduated from the school became peaceloving and useful citizens who served Sarawak well. One of the best Chung Cheng School graduates is none other than Dr. Tie King Tai, the Principal of the Methodist Theological College,Sibu. The school board of directors has always had the development of the school and the welfare of the students at heart.

In 1946 the Chung cheng school hostel was completed and ready for students from all around the Rejang Basin. This enabled many girls especially to be educated up to Senior Middle Three.

In 1956 the government decided to standardize education in Sarawak and the Chung Cheng School was converted to a Government Aided School. In 1963 the school became an English medium school, with transition classes to start with.

Source : Lau Tze Cheng,"My Seven Years as a teacher in Chung Cheng School",p.262-286 from Lau Kah Tii, A Commemorative Album. Private Publication.

Please correct me if I am wrong. Your comments are very welcome.

There are several blogs manned by Chung Cheng School graduates.

4 memories:

Tony Hii said...

sarawakiana, Chung Cheng Secondary School is my dear mother school. You took me back to 70s when I was being nourished by the lovely school.

I Am Sarawakiana said...

thank you.
Students in the past had to paddle in their little boats to go to school. Rowing is not an easy task even by today's standards/ How students then valued their education!

We must never forget their struggles. My mother and her sisters paddled a small boat to school too or they had to walk the long hours in the lonely rubber garden road.

Cheers to memories.

天鵝江畔 said...

I stayed at the boarding school for 4 years, i did post several pic of Chung Cheng in my blog as well.
I used to get the motor launch for almost one hour drive to my home village-24 Acres.
A lot of politicians came from Chung Cheng like Sibu YBs and Sarikei Parliament member as well.
My class had produced several pastors like Rev Wong Kah Nguon, Rev Tiong Chung Tiing, and Dr Tie is one class junior than us.

I Am Sarawakiana said...

Chung Cheng Secondary School developed as a result of the endeavour and vision of the local people led by community leaders.

Teachers and students also need to be applauded for their commitment to education and social development. It is not easy to bring up a generation of ethical , hardworking and just people during turbulent times. Most people would not have the desire to uphold the motto of "one for all and all for one" in the spirit of the Three Musketeers, or follow the adage of the Chiang Hu(water margin) heroes and heroines that all men (and women) are brothers.

Rev Tiong Chung Tung was my colleague in Methodist Secondary School for several years.

And without the boarding school many Foochows would not have been educated.
Thank you for visiting.


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