Reminiscing my Primary/ Secondary school days at La Salle School Klang, Selangor, Malaysia. My memories take a slightly different, rather fascinating tangent---
The official name of the school now is Sekolah Kebangsaan/ Menengah La Salle Klang. We were labelled as La Sallians.
Anton was one of the school Prefects. He is positioned standing at the back,4th from the right. The Headmaster then was the Reverend Brother Harold Reynolds. Seen seated in the centre of the photograph. He was originally from Australia.
Is it not incredible that what we are today has been fashioned and influenced by our yesteryears?
Take for example the graveyard facing my primary and secondary school. This physical image played a very significant part in my formative years. There was a sacred spot at the graveyard that had a tremendous influence on me. This image became more profound during my time at secondary school, ‘The La Salle School, Klang’. From our classroom, on the first floor, I could see the tombstone of my great grandfather which became very real to me and it seemed as though he was keeping a watchful eye on my progression. Although I personally never met him, or to my knowledge came across any photograph of his, his presence from the graveyard was tangible! Some of the Chinese graveyards were mammoth, gigantic in size and one could not resist now and then to be distracted by their picturesque scenery. Sometimes the fragrant aroma of joss sticks burning permeated through our classrooms. Mostly, however, the aroma was of some beautiful flowers such as Bougainvilles (Bunga kertas), Yellow Alamandas, Bird of Paradise flowers, Rhododendrons and Chrysanthemum. Whether all this assisted my studies is still a question mark! On the right hand side of the graveyard at times I could see piles of wood being stacked up in preparation for an open Hindu cremation. I must confess here maybe sometimes I did not concentrate too much on my geography, history, mathematics and science lessons for great granddad’s tombstone was an iconic distraction. Just as an addendum here I better mention that his son, Bastianpillai Paul Nicholas founded one of the first Banks in Malaya- The Bank of Malaya Ltd - follow this link for further details. "An all consuming, passionate entrepreneur driven by a strategic vision, who single - handed brought an idea to pass, overcoming obdurate hurdles and colonial prepotency."
Now you will know why at our school lunch break I made it mandatory to go to the Chapel within the same building where The De Lasallian Brothers resided. I felt that if I uttered and murmured a quiet prayer it would appease and satisfy my paternal great grandfather. For some of the graveyards looked forlorn, forsaken and extremely lonely. I thought my prayers would spiritually comfort those poor souls. Just as a point of interest to note we had some very fine and strict Head Masters during my time at La Salle School including Reverend Brothers Leo, Celestine, John Matthew Neo and Harold Reynolds. A couple of them must have wondered why I was such a holy roller going to the chapel five days a week, being very disciplined and diligent in my time keeping at the chapel. If they only knew the reason! There was one particular De Lasallian brother that I must mention and give due credit. He was then called Reverend Brother Amadeus. Every time he came to our classroom he always carried with him a very thick novel or autobiographical book. He was the only one who always commenced his lessons with a spontaneous prayer. He would then exhort us to read as many books as possible. Now on reflection I realize that he was giving us a gem, on succeeding in life, through what he taught and inspired us to do. I cultivated his concepts in our children. Thank God for small mercies, for where I failed to absorb and germinate his brilliant advice, it did bear fruit in our children. We have since met the former Brother Amadeus. He is now known as Peter Dorai-Raj and is the Director of Pro Consult ( Institute of Professional Counselling and Psychotherapy) in Ireland. We did visit him. It's a beautiful green landscaped part of Ireland. We had great fellowship with him and his family.
Now residing in a very cosy and quiet cul- de- sac in Surrey, England I have often meditated and reflected on those rigid, doggedly, chapel visits. Just a few days ago on Christmas day whilst biting into a delicious creamy mince pie filled with a mixture of raisins, sultanas, cherries and various types of nuts and spices, my mind wandered back nostalgically to my former school days. Thinking to myself if I had only meticulously concentrated on my studies with the same passion I exercised during my chapel hours. If I had not day dreamed or been distracted by the graveyard I might have attained similar achievements to those which our children have garnered in their educational arena. They have both become top Academic Scholars in their respective schools in London and Surrey. For it was in the month of October 2002, a report on our son Paul’s excellent academic achievement made some impacting news in Malaysia. It appeared on the internet, Bernama online (Malaysia’s) national news agency). As a footnote it ought to be mentioned that Bernama online receives about 16 million hits a month according to a Malaysian Minister. Also an article written by former Straits Times journalist Wan Ahmad Hulaimi was published in the Straits Times of Malaysia, Berita Harian ( a Malay language paper) and in The Sun. In London, England it made the front page news in a local Paper called the South London Press. It showed Paul smiling down benignly at the camera over the headline, in bold sans serif type: "Paul's A-OK" in which he is also described as "a super talented Peckham teenager". Our daughter Jannine’s academic achievements were published in the Croydon Advertiser, Surrey, England in August 2007.
Our son Paul proceeded to graduate from the prestigious world renowned Cambridge University. He attended Christ College, and became a Scholar in Mathematics in his first year. Now our daughter Jannine has also secured an Oxbridge placement! Maybe in a round -about way some innate characteristics within me which were not harnessed during my school days rubbed on to our children of which we are tremendously blessed to witness. I myself have been compensated in a joyful manner for not being educated in one of these top league universities. Maybe my chapel prayers got answered in a way I did not expect all those years ago!!!!!!
This meant our son Paul became the first entry from our Nicholas genealogy to graduate from Cambridge. Incidentally, he is the first grandson of the visionary Banker Bastianpillai Paul Nicholas. It was in September 1985, that my Mum and Dad asked inquisitively why we named our son Paul. Without flinching my eyelids I responded in a nonchalant manner. I said that while I was participating in a prayer meeting I heard a Heavenly voice whispering to me that we ought to call our son Paul. It was the following statement of both my parents that caught my attention. My Dad told me that his father’s second name was Paul and my Mum went on to tell me that her father’s name was also Paul. I never knew this fact until we went home for a holiday in 1985 which was one year after he was born!!
Just a point to note that my four brothers, Joseph, Justin, Sylvester, Fintan and I attended La Salle School in Klang.
Anton played football religiously. The photo below is the Junior School football team, La Salle Primary. Anton is standing second from the left. The Headmaster in the white cassocks is the late Reverend Brother Leo. During the weekends the passion for football continued. He used to play football in the field, (padang) opposite our Bank House, Jalan Sultan, Klang. The team was called, The Klang Chettiar Boys. Unfortunately football passion took precedence over academic studies! What a shame!!!!
On the video below, filmed in Malaysia, Anton proclaims a moving testimony about how Paul and Jannine secured a place at Cambridge University. Do check it out to see how the Malaysians received the contents of what he shared.
Jannine Nicholas was the President of The Winfield Society (St. John’s College Law Society) for one year commencing in 2011. For the second successive year in 2011 the eighth annual QS World University Rankings has ranked Cambridge University as the best University in the world. It has replaced Harvard to reclaim 1st position.
One of the many functions Jannine has to do will include giving the Winfield Dinner address when all the highly placed legal luminaries will be invited to St John's College Formal Hall. This will include Judges from the High Court, The Supreme Court, Queen's Counsel's, top Solicitors, Magistrates and anyone else formulating Legal law in the United Kingdom. A special invite will be rendered to those who graduated from St Johns and who are now well recognised legal celebrities.
Jannine Nicholas being admitted to her BA (Hons) degree in Law in her graduation ceremony at the Senate House, Cambridge on 28th June 2012. This photo shows Jannine kneeling before the Master of St John’s College, Professor C.M. Dobson.
We want to acknowledge our Lord's blessings on this website. It was blessed and inaugurated officially on 1 August 2002.
The counter below was introduced for the first time on 8th January 2014. Sadly the firm who installed my previous beautiful counter many years ago,and filled it with exciting statistics,suddenly went out of business.As a result we lost all our treasured statistics.
We like national flags portraying on our website so we are re-introducing the flag counter freshly again through another firm.It is so exciting to see visitors coming from the far corners of the earth!