Here I want to share with all josephians ( local and overseas) who are reading my blog this lovely poem penned by PaulSir an ex student of my present school.

Dedicating to all Josephians: Happy 125th anniversary

To my alma mater, today I pen this with much pride
Of St Joseph’s School, where almost all had a good ride
Josephians in sports or education, few can actually deride
It was also there where some even found their brides
Founded by the Mill Hill missionaries from Holland
They built the school like they would in their fatherland
Rajah Brooke gave the land, they dug deep into the sand
On this same spot where St Joseph’s still proudly stands

Today, Josephians commemorate this event of 125 years ago
When the Catholic priests came to our island called Borneo
Leaving home and everything behind, including their ego
To whip us into shape, to be disciplined sons of St Joe

But soon, due to the dwindling numbers of the Fathers
In came, mostly from Ireland, the De La Salle Brothers
They set out to nurture the boys as sons would be by mothers
Spent their whole energy on them, as if they were no others

Kuching boys soon got used to the white men in cassocks
Yeah, they were angmoh, their noses as sharp as peacocks
If you were ever naughty, they’d whack you on the buttock
Their canes, in all sizes and length, were abundant in stock

From De La Salle order, the Brothers were trained educators
That was why they managed to turn many into victors
I ain’t too sure if they were able to please their ancestors
Ho Ho Ho, Cos they had all vowed to remain bachelors

With the Brothers as our teachers, we had forgotten the rest
In Sarawak during their time, yes they were among the best
They touched many lives, although some would detest
Truly, partly due to them we made many of our conquests

Seven years old in 1963, I entered St Joe’s Primary
Malaysia came into being, things’ still in a quandary
SNAP won the polls, Ningkan became chief minister
I believe the politicians then planned nothing sinister

I remember my primary school in Kuching’s Jalan Were
It was such a quiet place then, at night nothing stirred
Two three-storey blocks where boys were taught not to err
From Primary One to Primary Six, I emerged still blur

The principal Brother Austin was a man so affable
A burly guy, he was strict but the character was adorable
The letter ‘M’, he would say, in a manner so admirable
Just remember the walking stick, that would be applicable

There was Mrs Frank James, Mr Philip Sambui too
And Mrs Eng, always kind to let me go to the loo
Dear Mrs Lee, daily she prepared things for us to do
Finally, Mrs Chen, Mr Thang and Mr Chai Chin Tu

Into secondary school, things had to get more serious
Just passed the Common Entrance, we were all delirious
Our young bodies were a-changing, it was even hilarious
To learn a word like ‘hormone’ which was so mysterious

A difficult period, it was the time for boys to become men
Our parents knew that, so they sent us to the lion’s den
Remember son, Brother would say every now and then
Don’t forget your prayers, they must all end with Amen!

A Josephian’s day would begin with the morning assembly
Where the boys had better be present bright and early
The Brothers would ensure in a manner not so friendly
That all would be on time to sing the school rally

So we sang ‘Sons of St Joseph’s a voice is resounding’
Missed a line ‘Answer you all for the trumpet is sounding’
Our goal: ‘Prayer and labour your motto still bearing’
The tough one: ‘True to your standard be doing and daring’

For many Josephians then, those were tall orders indeed
To the Brothers, that was always part of their creed
A few rebelled but the majority learned to take heed
For the Brother were always there in our hour of need

Brother Hyacinth was the badminton coach, he was fast
Brother Adrian played rugby, he favoured a burly cast
Brother Mark was into athletics, beware if you came in last
Brother Henry played nothing, and his boys could have a blast

Then there was one we nicknamed Ta Kei, Big Brother la
This red-face guy was also dashing and pretty good in algebra
The Form Six girls loved him, yes he’s Brother Columba
With him around, they wouldn’t dare be seen without a bra

Personally, I also have many fond memories of other teachers
William Chan, YK Tan, they remained my favourite features
Simon Lo, NG Chai, Mathias Lee were such harmless creatures
Nicholas Jee and Cikgu’ Hol, they were also good preachers

NRC Babu, Clarence, Cikgu Bujang are also fondly remembered
Their demeanour, some of which left many of us bewildered
Then, there were also Joe O’ Connor and Datuk Polycarp Sim
Yes, that loving grand old man who reminded us not to sin

Across the road, many Josephians paid a lot of attention
The girls of St Teresa’s, oh they were such an attraction
Every time the boys whistled, the girls would giggle
Happily for both sides then, they still could not goggle

In conclusion, life in St Joe was both fast and furious
If their sons didn’t do well, parents would be anxious
What were the white men doing there, outsiders were curious
All received a normal education, there was nothing fictitious

Dear fellow Josephians, as you wine and dine tonight
Pray for the Brothers and teachers, our guiding light
Their lives of sacrifices and dedication, try to ignite
Sons of St Joseph’s valiant and true, you must recite


(The writer is an old boy of St Joseph’s School, Kuching. He can be reached at paulsir99@hotmail.com)


P/s It is always nice to read what ex students write about their alma mater..their memories, their life , their thoughts and experiences so present Josephians read this and learn from their wise words.
Ora Et Labora


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2 comments:

    Eric said...

    ah.. st joe.. where i grew up and matured.. =D i miss those old days..

  1. ... on 5:27 PM  
  2. X'tina said...

    Hi Eric , welcome to my blog..so you miss SJS...can drop by anytime..

  3. ... on 8:41 PM