Mr Ying: A true-blue ACSian
A TRUE-BLUE ACSian. That’s Mr Ying Yoke Kong, 70, who will finally retire from teaching at Anglo-Chinese School (ACS) at the end of the year, by which time he would have served his alma mater for 48 years.
He went to ACS Primary 1 in 1939 and has “stuck” with the school since.
“I returned to ACS to teach, and I have never left the school at all. ACS is my second home,” he told Methodist Message in an interview after receiving his retirement award for 47 years of service on Sept 28, 2002. He will leave ACS at year’s end.
“I joined ACS as a teacher because I was a product of ACS, and all my brothers, cousins and their children were also products of this great institution, ACS. My son, too, went to ACS, and my daughter was at Methodist Girls’ School,” he said.
Mr Ying started his teaching career at ACS Primary in 1955. Seven years later, he moved on to Oldham Methodist Secondary School, then to ACS Barker Road where he rose to become a senior assistant, and finally to ACS (I) in 1988.
He was so loyal to ACS that he even rejected a posting to another school as vice-principal in 1982. “I refused to leave ACS,” he said.
He first retired in 1987, but his service was extended for another five years to 1992. He loved teaching and the school so much that he decided to stay on — until now.
“This time, I’m really leaving, come end of the year,” he said, adding, with a twinkle in his eye: “I have been neglecting my wife all these years. It’s time I stay with her.”
And the first thing he is going to do is to take his wife on a holiday.
Asked what advice he has for his younger colleagues and those contemplating making teaching a career, he said: “Teaching is a noble and satisfying profession.
“Noble because you have the opportunities to help develop the younger generation to be useful citizens imbibed with Christian values. Satisfying? Years later when your former students meet you, and thank you for your teaching and caring, you will feel elated. This is the satisfying reward you will receive from time to time.”
Why is he so loyal to ACS? “You could say it’s because of the camaraderie of life in ACS. We call it the ACS Spirit. This ACS Spirit makes you feel proud of the school and you want to continue to serve in it.”
Mr Saidee: A reliable worker
MR SAIDEE bin Amat received his primary school education in 1948 at Geylang Malay School, which is the present Pertapis site. He left school in 1952 while in Primary 5 to join the workforce in order to help support the family.
At a young age of 12, he worked as a deckhand in Eastern Supply Company, supplying provisions to ships entering Singapore.
Mr Saidee’s father, Mr Amat, was then a member of the staff of Geylang Methodist Girls’ School. Mr Amat retired from the school in 1956. A year later, at the age of 17, Mr Saidee took over his father’s vacant position as a school attendant. His starting pay then was $105 a month.
Mr Saidee married Madam Zahara in 1959. They were blessed with a daughter, Suzalina, who received her primary and secondary education at Geylang Methodist Girls’ School.
Mr Saidee has contributed 45 years of loyal service to the school. Though his job scope was in the area of school maintenance and cleanliness, he had assisted the school in basic building maintenance and repair works. On the days when he was not well, he would still report for work and help to open the classrooms before he went to see the doctor.
He retired at the age of 62 on Oct 27, 2002, but if he had his way, he would want to continue working.
Amasha bin Yusof is the Operations Manager of Geylang Methodist Secondary School.
Mdm Wong: A role model
MADAM Wong Bee Ho, 62, joined Fairfield Methodist Primary School in 1957. In these 45 years, she has been working as a laboratory attendant, school attendant and her present appointment of operations support officer.
She contributed most of her lifetime to the school, taking care of the cleanliness, security, logistics support and also carrying out minor maintenance on the school’s facilities.
Her work performance is well above the job requirements. She works hard and does not mind working overtime.
The assigned areas under her care are very well maintained. With her many years of working experience, she always leads by example and is a model to other non-teaching staff.
With her initiative, she has given many good suggestions and made improvements in her field of work.
She is also very keen to improve herself by picking up new knowledge and skills, for example, learning how to use the school computer to access her pay account, learning to operate the school printing machines, etc. She deserves to receive the Longest Service Award for Non-Teaching Staff.
Mdm Wong expresses her sadness at retiring next year. This is because she will miss all the staff in Fairfield (both primary and secondary) and her second home, the school.
Chen Chan Wah is the Operations Manager of Fairfield Methodist Primary School.