|KING EDWARD VII SCHOOL, TAIPING-A Brief History|
|Saturday, 31 May 2008 00:57|
KING EDWARD VII SCHOOL, TAIPING-A Brief History
Certification from Jabatan Muzium & Antikuiti
(Article from Perpustakaan Muzium Negara)
The history of King Edward VII School, Taiping, goes back to July, 1883, when the Central School was opened. The site selected was the small area of land on which the present Nurses’ Hostel stands.
The school began in a very small way, and in 1885 a gymnasium was added. In 1849, according to the report of Mr. Greene, the Headmaster, physical drill with music received due attention. The lads were also gradually being initiated into the mysteries of football and cricket.
The spotlight now turns on the outstanding personality of this period of the history of the School. Roger Francis Stainer, B.A. (London); Headmaster of Central School and later of King Edward VII School from 1900 to 1922. He was a great leader, a fine sportsman and a capable organizer. The greatest obstacle he had to face was lack of qualified staff. There was no normal training classes in those days, and so he set out to train his own staff. He infused into the handful of young men before him his own spirit. Still living to day are a handful of the old brigade seasoned in years, but ever young with fresh memories of the arduous past. To this great Englishman the school owes much of its traditions. “Play the game and play it well,” that was his motto. He loved football, a great player himself, and he made not only his pupils love the game, but also every parent of every child. He could pit his school team against the best of adult teams of those days and win. There were no games fees then, but Mr. Stainer had a cupboard full of the best British footballs all paid for by the citizens of the town. He was loved by all-rich and poor. He would walk many miles to reach a lonely hut in the outskirts of Tupai to join the marriage feast of a old boy.
Reading, Speech, Recitation and Dictation were his pet subjects. Magni Nominis Umbra was the motto he himself chose for the school. He lived up to it by every action and mind of his, by his example every unit in the school - both staff and pupils - lived up to it. When he visited the old school again late in the 30’s he had a vociferous welcome. He died on board ship homeward bound.
As Time went on the school building became inadequate, the enrolment having increased by leaps and bounds. First, a large shed built of jungle rollers and cheap timber was created in the already crowded school compound, then another of the same materials, each accommodating two and sometimes three classrooms. These temporary structures, however, did not solve the problem.
The demand for education had exceed all expectations; obviously, a new building on a new site was necessary. The site selected was the land on which the Railway Station, probably the first of its kind in Malaya, had stood. When the building was ready for occupation in 1905, the enthusiasm of the boys to move was so great that than, report the “Perak pioneer,” made two attempts to destroy the old school by fire. Out of Mr. Stainer’s fertile mind came the idea that the name of School should be changed to King Edward VII School in honour of King Edward VII who has succeeded to the throne of England in 1901 on the death of Queen Victoria. The Official Opening of the School was performed by H.H. The Sultan.
The highest standard in the School was still Standard VII but there was now provision for the brighter boys to do extra subjects the chief of which were Euclid, Algebra, and Typewriting. There were no Cambridge Classes yet and candidates wishing to sit for the Junior Cambridge Local Examination had to go all the way to Kuala Lumpur where, annually, the examination was held. A Normal Class was established in about 1907.
For many years soccer remained the chief sport. The success of the School at soccer was due largely to the interest taken in it by Mr. Stainer, himself a great player and referee whose services were often sought after by clubs in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, and by Mr. C. R. Hartley, a soccer international who was posted to the school. Gymnastics, cricket and Athletics too, were becoming extremely popular and from school began to flow a continuous stream of athletes and cricketers. The first Athletic meeting of the School was held on 10th April 1908, the champion athlete that year was J. Manen who won the prize presented by Lt. Col. Walker.
The first World War did no hinder the progress of the School. Through along line of able headmaster among them Mr. R. F. Stainer, Mr. M. D. W. McLeod, Mr. D. R. Swaine,. Mr. J. B. Neilson Mr. R. P. S. Walker, the traditions of the school and the high reputation it had acquired in its academic and sporting life were maintained. Mr. Stainer in 1899, started Cadet Corps with himself as the Commanding Officer and Messrs. E. Foster Lee, A. J. Bruin, D. G. R. Peter and D. G. Doral his junior officers. (An earlier Cadet Corps is reported to have been flourishing in 1902). The first Scout Troop, now known as the Second Taiping Troop was formed about six years later. In 1924 Rugby Football was introduced. Through the efforts of such great exponents of the game as Mr. J. D. Josept, Mr. E. H. S. Bretherton and Mr. T. P. M. Lewis, a high standard was reached in a few years. School athletes distinguished themselves in the Annual Competitions held in Penang winning the coveted Glugor Shield three times in four years. In purely academic matters, results were equally gratifying. The percentage of passes obtained in the Cambridge Examination remained high.
Then came the catastrophe, the War with Japan and the subsequent occupation of the country by Japanese Forces. Needless to say, the School did not function during those years. Its building and ground become the Headquarters of Malayan Kempeitai who converted the classrooms into torture chambers and dug up the playground for the growing of food. On. 1st October, 1945, however, the War over, the school came back life this time in St. George’s Institution under the Headmastership of Mr. E. A. Moissinac.
On 14th January 1946, the school moved back into its old buildings under Capt. C. R. Toliday and almost at once the work of reconstruction was began. The most acute problem was the problem of accommodation. With characteristic energy, successive Principals, first Major Rawelife, then Mr. J .D. Jopseph, Mr. J. Young, Mr. G. D. Muir and Mr. D. H. Christie tackled the problem. New buildings were acquired and converted into classrooms so that the one thousand four hundred boys of the School could be suitably accommodated.
The school today function in four separate units, the Primary Department in a building on King Edward Road, the Elementary Classes in what was formerly the Sheffield Hostel on Upper Museum Road and in the old boy’s Hostel on Station Road, and the secondary Classes in the main buildings opposite the Rest House. There is a Hostel for about 80 boys on Swettenham Road.
MAGNI NOMINIS UMBRA
(Contributed by Captain (Rtd) V. J. Dorai, AMN
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 August 2008 23:10|