Monday, September 15, 2008

The First Boys' Hostel of Methodist Secondary School Sibu


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This school hostel was a boon to many boys of the Rejang Basin. From its beginning in the 1950's until its demolition in the 1960's this was home to many leading young men of Sibu. Early boys' students of the Methodist School would include, to name a few,without their titles, Leonard Linggi Jugah (Kapit),James Jemut,Billy Abit Joo,Deng Lung Chii (Bintangor),Tiong Yi King,and many others.

One of the Hostel Masters to remember is Mr. Ling How Kwong who taught many students to play good table tennis, a game that was played on the ground floor of the Boys' Hostel. He was a remarkably severe man who created a certain discipline amongst the players. Punctuality was revered and boys and girls played with very stern faces. This game continued to be very important to all students until today.

The building itself was wooden and I remember that it was rather dark and foreboding. It was absolutely out of bounds for girls and Mr. Ling saw to that. When I was a student I had the feeling that he thought all females were enemies number one of his boys.

Later when the tennis courts were constructed those who were trained to play tennis were often worried that they made too much noise as the boys were hard at work. Discipline was very much a part of the hostel boys' life that most day scholars did not understand. The boys' sole aim in life at that time was to pass the Senior Middle Three Examination or the Cambridge O Level Examination.

They played volley ball,basketball and football seriously. One or two boys would play the guitar. Some singing could be heard. Perhaps one of their few pastimes was to stroll to the edge of the football field and hope that durians would drop from the trees. May be some of them never went to the cinema!! There were absolutely no disciplinary problems.

Perhaps it was the inspiring school and the spartan boys' hostel which catapulted many of the young men towards their success of today.

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