Reminiscing Kirkby Days

REMINISCING KIRKBY DAYS

Kirkby Badge

An earlier message initially written in 2001

Kirkby Teacjing Prac.

Many Kirkbyites would recall the days of “Peaceful Slumber” in place of “Private Study”, the rendezvous in Kirkby Woods or along the canal, week-end coach tours to nearby places of interests, endless summer holidays in the continent . For the romantics, what sweet remembrances of whispering sweet nothing in the quiet room or the lingering at the doors of the girls’ blocks reluctantly saying good-night.

There were “bookworms” among us who buried themselves in the library trying to excel in their academic pursuit or winning trips on the “Blue Funnel”. For most in general getting a “pass” or “straight As” made no difference at all. Sadly enough, it looks like many of those “bookworms” are no longer with us. During such times as “Private Study”, our Papa Gurney used to be on the prowl and the Recreation Room was on the danger list, lest one should be caught playing billiards or snooker ( a favourite pastime with many) or table-tennis.

To the world at large, and America especially, September 11 will always be a significant and memorable date. About the same time on 15 September, some five hundred Kirkbyites gathered together for a great celebration of the past . . . a fiftieth reunion of the days gone by in the Malayan Teachers’ Training College, Kirkby in Liverpool, England. . . meeting at the Concorde Hotel in Kuala Lumpur after an absence of, for some, up to 50 years, and for us after 40 or 41 years. It’s a lifetime experience flashing through the conference room.

Recently, I heard again an old favourite song of mine “One day When We Were Young”, and it brings home the fact that we could never return to our youth . . . to the days gone by . . . when life seemed so easy and free. On this extended holidays of ours, we have managed to return to our old home-town, the old schools, the old place of work, visited old friends and colleagues who are still around. Who would have thought that some people have passed on . . . the old place had progressed beyond your own recognition. . . and misfortune had befallen among some, while some unexpected ones have gone on successfully.

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College Lane by the railway track

Back to the scene at the Concorde Hotel, a comment was made that night . . .who would have thought a Kirkbyite, Bainun Mohd Ali, would one day be the Queen of Malaysia. She, presently Raja Permaisuri of Perak State in Malaysia, was most gracious to grace the occasion and posted for photographs with us all. Proudly, Kirkby College has produced many distinguished personnels in the field of human endeavour, academically and socially. Pity that such reunion had never been organised in the past. It would be good to keep the tradition going. A big thank you is in order to John Pillai (deceased) and his committee for such a task well done. Kirkyites have spread themselves to all corners of the world, though many have remained and retired in the Golden Chersonese. Keeping in touch these days electronically is so easy, instant and cheap. There is absolutely no excuse for not trying.

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Most of us are or would-be grand-parents. Some unfortunately have passed on. For us who are still around, let’s not neglect meeting together regularly for the days ahead are not many. Or at least keep in close touch through emailing.

Paul Chong

Batch of 1959/60

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