Those schoolboy days
Of telling tales and catching snails are gone…
But in my mind
I know they will still live on and on..
But how do you thank someone
Who has taken you from crayons to Brylcreem ?
It isn’t easy, but I’ll try
If you wanted the sky I would write across the sky in letters
That would soar a thousand feet high…
‘TO SIR WITH LOVE”
This photograph was taken with my beloved Standard One Form Teacher, Mr Francis Heng, at the 1st reunion dinner of the 1970 LCE-graduating batch of the Assumption Boys’ School, Butterworth. It was the first meeting after 45 years.
In the old days, mini bicycles with tiny outrigger “training” wheels were unheard of. So we kids who wanted to learn to ride bicycles had to take on full-size (often ‘grandpa’ type) machines.
The way to go was to grab the handle bar with the left hand, and the cross-bar with the right arm, and with some pushing along, tried pedalling, steering and balancing all at the same time.
Needless to say, for the first few times at least, the bicycle did roll forward for a short distance before L-rider and machine crashed to the ground. No problem – maybe a couple of bruises to the knees, elbows or palms. We just brushed away the dirt and off we went again, and again, until finally, we tamed the two-wheeled beasts.
Joyful pride came after the falls.
Back in those days of the 50s and 60s, we kids had a lot of time to be just kids. Though we had very few factory-made toys, that did not stop us from having a good time. We laid our hands and feet on whatever that were available and made them entertain us.
Coconuts were plentiful in my kampong as my house was in the midst of a coconut plantation.
So, one of the favourite pastimes was to put a coarse string through two-halves of tempurung and then we stepped on the inverted coconut shells and walked with them. The string had to be pulled up and gripped between the big toes and the 2nd toes, like how one wore a Japanese slipper. Klok-klok-klok….
Well, in a nutshell, we had great fun on a nutshell !