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Sunday, May 23, 2010

St Michael's Institution, Ipoh

This is St. Michael's Institution (SMI), Ipoh. It was a Christian (Catholic) missionary school established by a group of La Salle brothers in 1912. Now it is a government aided school providing quality education for students at primary and secondary level up to Upper Form 6. It is located at Jalan S.P. Seenivasagam (fomerly, Clayton Road).

The original building is now a herritage site in Malaysia.

History
In 1912, Reverend Father J.B. Coppin from St. Michael's Church bought a plot of land in Kampong Pisang. A bungalow on Clayton Road served as the school building and P.J. Morsingh was appointed as the first Headmaster of St. Michael's Institution. For the convenience of students, a well was built beside the school. The foundations of both the bungalow and the well remain to this day.


Father Coppin who was given the task of administering the school, obtained the necessary grants from the Perak government. The school opened on 4 December 1912, with 37 students.

By 1913, the school enrollment had grown to 139. There were three major government examinations: Standard IV, VI, & VII. Cambridge classes were introduced in 1917, the same year the school's enrollment reached 300.

Frenchman Brother Vernier Augustus, who was trained in architecture, oversee the construction of a proper building, which was completed by the end of 1921. The building he designed was strongly ecclesiastical, Gothic and simple in its detailing. All classroom doors were arranged to face either north or south, never east or west, so that sun rays would not cause disturbance to class activities.


The foundation stone for the new building was laid on 17 June 1922 by Major C.W.C. Parr OBE, who was the British Resident in Perak. Father Coppin blessed the finished building on 15 May 1923, the Feast Day of St. John Baptist De La Salle. The school was completed in stages over a period of some 30 years, and was included as a must-visit site in the Tourist Guide Book to Perak

During World War II the school became an army transit hospital camp for the British Army. 15 days after Japan declared war in 1941, Japanese planes machine-gunned the building and damaged the roof. Looters stole furniture and books and even tried to wrench the tabernacle door from the altar of the school chapel. For three days, the Brothers stayed in St. Michael's church. St. Michael's Institution became the headquarters of the Japanese government of Perak and became known as "Perak Shu Seicho".

The school served many purposes during the Japanese occupation. The first floor of the main building and the hall were used as the police department and the treasury respectively. A petrol kiosk was built near the porch of the building of the Primary school. The lecture theater was the air raid shelter for Japanese officers and the top floor was used as the governor's rooms. The first classroom on the ground floor served as a telephone exchange. The school's occupation ended when the Japanese surrendered, and the school reopened on 24 September 1945.

Source: Wikipedia

For more details about SMI, visit here.


Scenic Sunday

This is my entry for the fun and wonderful weekly meme, Scenic Sunday #97. To participate or view other pictures around the world, click on the icon above.

5 comments:

  1. It is a very beautiful building.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I attended a school started by Christian missionaries. Guess for most of us.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This building is huge ~ and beautiful!

    ReplyDelete

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Autumn Belle

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