Wednesday, July 29, 2009

RIP, Yasmin

Tonight, as I sat starring at my monitor, I thought of Yasmin Ahmad's untimely demise, and decided to gorge myself on her works on Youtube.

Like Lat, she was one of a very few persons who really understood the essence of who we are, in this beloved country of ours, whatever our race may be.

My heart aches for the fact that we will never find out what else she had in store for us. But I guess we should also celebrate the fact that she also left us a lot - a legacy of reminders to us on what means to be, well, who we really are. I share some of my favorites below.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Last of An Era

The retirement of Brother Paul Ho recently as principal of XXI in Penang marked the end of an era. For he was the last of the La Salle Brothers working as headmasters or principals in Malaysia, private schools aside.

I attended these Christian schools from the time I entered kindergarten till the day I left for college. I started at St. Clement's Kindergarten in Sarikei, which is still standing today! There's a fantastic write up about it here.

Half of my primary school years were then spent just a stone's throw away from St Clement's, and that's St Anne's primary school.

When my family moved to Sibu, SHS (Sacred Heart School) was my alma mater until Form 5.

Throughout all these schools, the same tenets remained - discipline, respect, strong work ethic, pride, love. All the Christian Brothers and Sisters that were there poured out their heart and soul to educate the children the best that they can.

And today, I dare to say many who have passed through the gates of those schools have continued to rely on those principles to make their lives a success.

As I write this, the songs that the Sisters at St Anne's used to make us sing during morning assembly echoes through my mind. Even after 30 years, they still remain vivid:

We Stand For God

We stand for God and for His glory
The Lord Supreme and God of all.
Against his foes, we raise His standard,
Around His cross, we hear His call.

Strengthen our faith, Redeemer,

Guard us when danger is neigh
To Thee we pledge our lives and service,
Strong in a trust that ne'er shall die.
To Thee we pledge our lives and service
Strong in a trust that ne'er shall die.

It's A Long Walk to Freedom
R- It's a long road to freedom,
A winding steep and high,
But when you walk in love

With the wind on your wing

And cover the earth
with the songs you sing
The miles fly by.

1- I walked, one morning by the sea

And all the waves reached out to me

I took their tears, then let them be…

2- I walked, one morning at the dawn

When bits of night still lingered on

I sought my star, but it was gone…

3- I walked, one morning with a friend

And prayed the day would never end

The years have flown, so why pretend…

4- I walked, one morning with my King
And all my winters turned to spring

Yet every moment, held it's sting…

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