Wednesday, May 27, 2009
In the 1960's and 70's St. Elizabeth Convent school was a "rival" school of the Methodist School. The girls wore a special maroon skirt and pink blouse. So they were called Red Ants.
Most of the girls were prettier and daintier (generalisation) than the girls of Methodist School I remember from the gossips. On sports days we would meet in the padang and glare at each other for no reason at all - just because we were wearing different school uniforms or just the different badges I supppose.
But then I had cousins studying in St. Elizabeth and that toned down the rivalry in my family. My aunt Carrie studied in that school too. So in this way as a family we did not have such an intense feeling against the School.
We cousins and aunts get together we talked about general things and not what school we went to. We might have compared principals and what we learned but we would not strangle each other over differences.
My boy cousins who went to Sacred Heart often told us how they amused themselves by waiting for the girls to come out of the school giggling and shaking their luscious hair. Sitting on their bicycles wearing their all white school uniform these boys were really conspicuous. And of course they loved whistling at them. It was just the boy thing then. But the girls felt good about themselves. Perhaps in a co-ed school like ours the boys and girls did not really notice each other in that way. Life was just so normal we often forgot our gender differences.
Later many of us studied Romeo and Juliet and related the situation to our school rivalries. The Capulets and Montagues fought hard but ended up losers.
And soon many of the girls from St. Elizabeth came over to Methodist School's Sixth Form Arts(1967-1987). This helped to dilute any fierce fighting amongst the youngsters of Sibu.( I was later a sixth form teacher to many of the brilliant St. Elizabeth girls who came over to the Methodist School for Sixth Form Science.)
My sixth form life went on to be one of the happiest parts of my life. We all did well in life thanks to the great teachers we had. The friendship formed during those years lasted until today. And I am sure many school mates (and those from St. Elizabeth and Sacred Heart) would agree that friendship formed in the school is the best kind of friendship we will ever have in life.
Today I do not think such fierce school rivalries exist any more. If it does it could be just a passing phase to strength certain competitions or feed the pyschological needs of certain teachers and school heads. School rivalry remains a very amusing part of my life.