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THE MESSAGE MAY, 2004 NO. 30
- THE ANONYMOUS SERIES -
THE LOH FOOK CHENG EDITION


MAY DAY

THIS IS NOT AN S.O.S. NOR IS IT A CALL OF DISTRESS. TRULY, IT IS A DAY OF REST.


In the last edition I sent out an S.O.S. I added a call of distres "mayday, mayday". It is May Day now that I want to stress. For 1st May is Labour Day synonymous with May Day. I remember it was this day that some political ideologist said:

"Workers of the world unite: down your tools and claim your rights".

There was a time when May Day was only celebrated on the other side - I mean behind the bamboo curtain. Over on our side, May Day was despised for we feared that workers would be incited. Revolutions might be in sight.


In Malaya those days, the colonial government urged workers to labour on Labour Day for no May Day was recognised. But if you left the town fences and ventured outside, the jungle people would restrained you from working and asked you to unite - they meant to be with them. We the common folks were sandwiched between the left and the right. We dared not take sides or we manoeuvred ourselves from one side to the other side as long as we could stay alive.

Now the rights of Labour are recognised.

HAPPY LABOUR DAY


THE GANG OF EIGHT PUT OUR MENTOR TO THE STAKE

During the last Christmas gathering a loose gang of eight was suddenly formed to perform a feat.

We pooled together to glue our master to the stupid box. Oh! we know he had a TV but in this age of advanced technology we considered this electronic facility as petty. So we pressed him to upgrade to ASTRO.

Now our mentor spends more time than before in front of the TV than he used to watch just TV2 and TV3.

The culprits: Mahalingan and David Chinniah (leaders), Chan Suy Sang, Ng Kam Thye, Ayah Samy, Sarjeet Singh, Peter Chong and Wong Yeng Kee.

Enjoy your Christmas present Mr. Miles. We regret we have budgeted you to spend more money monthly. Kindly make full use of the facility.

Yes, many a time when I visited our mentor he told me some of the stories that he had watched on TV. We felt that we had made his life filled with good memories.

He wanted me to pass to you, heh: gang of eight this, his very grateful message:



"Thank you very much for the Astro,"
thus said our mentor.




HERE COMES OUR MAN OF GOLD

One night I met my old buddy Chui Tai Fan whom I have known since the early 1950's. It was a solemn occasion so we could only struck up a brief conversation. However, the brevity of the conversation carried important connotations and brought back good reflections.


Chest Of Gold

I STRIKE GOLD

Tai Fan asked when will it be the turn for his name to grace the header of a MESSAGE edition. I suggested that he sponsors a series considering his well-known plus well-off position. He agreed without any hesitation. He asked me to get from him the cash when the time approaches his series publication.

Chui Tai Fan like the saying goes was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. To be more exact he was born with a gold key in his hand. He is a son of the well-known Sang Cheong Goldsmith Ltd. in Bentong.

After working for years counting money in a local bank, he is now back in his family business to deal with the precious metal again. He manages Sang Cheong for gain.

A TREAT 50 YEARS AGO

I still remember vividly during our school days he was well-off with pocket money. One day at the tuck shop by the durian tree, he pulled out a 10-dollar bill and said that was his daily pocket money!

Ten dollars a day those days was a whopper considering that the normal school child got a pitiful 20-30 sen a day. But Tai Fan's display of wealth was not for show only. He bought the whole group of schoolmates around the tuck shop a bottle of the famous F & N fizzy drink each as a treat.

Those bottles of drinks were there on the shelf but to us they were difficult to reach due to our daily pocket money deficit.

Bravo! my big fan, you never knew then that your generosity of putting those fizzy drinks within our reach will surface fifty years later in a story like this, eh! This is because Suy Sang was there and he too reaped the benefit of your treat. Now I thank you again for your fifty-year-old treat. It is darn sweet to have this golden opportunity to recall it.


Tai Fan has booked a five series of the MESSAGE.
Great fan.
Thanks.


WHAT HAPPENED THIS MONTH
50
YEARS AGO?

7, MAY 1954
THE BIRTH OF THE M.E.S.SAGE


MAY 7, the first issue of the M.E.S.SAGE hit the classrooms like a whirlwind Teams of circulation representatives went round the classes to sell the school newspaper at 5 sen each. Darn cheap!

The first editorial written by Yip Fook Khim spelt out the objectives of the publication. They were to promote the reading habit and to communicate with the principal, teachers, students and parents.

In the month of May, 1954 four issues rolled out of the production lines that was the Principal's office.



The equipment: a Gestetner duplicating machine and 10 typewriters.The materials: reams of F5 paper, boxes of stencil paper, and tubes after tubes of messy ink. The personnel: The Principal Mr.Ted Miles and an editorial board of 16 students. Production time: evening till the wee hours of the night. But they had to beat the curfew.

The newspaper was a hit. The copies were snatched up like hot cakes.We had achieved a feat.Even the Pahang Chief Education Officer gave our Principal a pat on the back. Everybody in M.E.S. felt great..........!!!



                    
A MARATHON TEST

Thinking of fizzy drinks and reminiscing things that happened some 50 years ago, do some of you still remember a very taxing incident?

One day our master gave us a two-hour bookkeeping test. After the 2 hours we were still banging our heads to finish the test. We were not even half through the test yet. Gone was our recess.

                                            

Suddenly, the tuck shop helpers came. They dumped a bottle of Coca-cola on each desk. We were asked to drink before continuing our test. Ahhhhhhh.....how we were refreshed! We heard good news too. Mr. Miles gave us the Coca-cola treat.

But the test was cracking our heads. Some of us were thinking of smashing the table with the emptied Coca-cola bottles instead of banging our heads for the answer!

Nay, we refrained from the mischievous act because a pair of hawk eyes was peering down at us like a pair of laser beams ahead.

Ring.... The last bell ended the test.  We banked our result of the marathon test just on fate.



The questionnaire that we sent out to survey the practicability of holding a photograph exhibition of our old defunct Methodist English School, Bentong, has received a few positive responses. But the phone calls, e-mails, SMS etc, were not plentiful. This has prompted the originator and promoter of the project to exhort for support.

Thus he sent me the following letter to vindicate his pet project. I have slipped in some hilarious comments to spice up the so persuasive letter. I hope this graffiti would not slice up his dream.


FRIENDS, MESIANS -
LEND ME YOUR EARS

By Zulkifli Mohd Ariffin
(with graffiti thrown in by the Editor),


FRIENDS, MESIANS!
GREYING MEN AND GROWING FANS!!
LEND ME YOUR EARS
(plug on your hearing aids if applicable - Editor)


THIS IS THE VOICE OF M.E.S. CALLING!
( a call from a non-existent entity eh! A phantom voice maybe - Editor)


Do you ever think for a second of your former school, the M.E.S. Bentong?
(I think most of us naturally follow the maxim:  Out of sight out of mind)


Do you remember the chorus party you attended? You were square dancing with - who is that guy? I wonder where is he now?
(Oh! you are so lucky that you were not hooked by that bloke).


Yes, the school cinema. I never missed sitting next to my best friend. We always go together. I wonder what she is doing now.
(Why didn't you two seal your fate with those movies dates? Then you would know what you have done to her and what she is doing now. Well, it's too late, isn't it?)


The school Carnival. Yes, I had a good time. Did you? I remember requesting "Only You" to my best friend. I wonder what happened to him and where is he now?
(Oh! so it's not only you)


The football match against Mahmud School, Raub. The hockey final against SABS Kuantan. We won the Selvanayagam Cup. I scored the winning goal.
(Wonderful Zul - Editor)

I wonder where is our hockey master, Mr. Brian and other teachers too. I wish I could meet them again.
(Not only you wish to meet them, so many of us are literally dying to see them too)


In conclusion Zulkifli pleads for the following:


Qoute:
"What would you say if we have an exhibition on the Past Memories of M.E.S.?"
unquote.


Zul wishes to organise an exhibition of photographs of our old M.E.S. to display past school activities, events, teachers, you and me, etc. etc. etc.


It is not too late to respond to his pleas, see. Use the March issue wrapper or any other communication facilities. Agree?



"WIND AND WATER"
WOULD NOT AFFECT OUR MASTER


Sunday, February 15 : Just as we were going to leave at around 3.30 pm Mun Seong trumped up a story about geomancy. We were outside Mr. Miles's house. So we were looking around - the feng shui of his house.


WATCH OUT !  YOU LOFTY TREE

< Suddenly Mun Seong said that the tall tree just outside our master's house should be chopped down. He said the tree was right in front of the doorway so according to geomancy it was blocking the good wind and water (feng shui) to the house.

NO, no, no, 

Please....     NO, NO, NO PLEASE

Our patriarch had not been so easternised as to grasp that tenet of eastern philosophy or is it hocus-pocus! yet. Of course, he said there is no way that the tree should go under the axe!!

HERE'S HOW TO TURN IT ROUND

Mun Seong is a housing developer and we wondered if all the houses he built were well placed to have the best feng shui. Before we could ask him, he said he had his trick up his sleeve so that all the houses he has for sale are easily snatched up by his customers.



According to Mun Seong, when bad feng shui is facing a house, just dig a drain or ditch in front to cut off the bad "wind and water" coming towards the house! It is like holding the cross or any other talisman in front of a ghost, eh!


THE PROOF, PLEASE?

To prove the effectiveness of his theory of opposing bad feng shui he told us an ancient story.

Here he goes:
( from the mouth of Wong Mun Seong)



THE FENG SHUI MASTERS' HEYDDAY

Long ago in ancient China, a wealthy and influential man employed a cohort of geomancers. He had a geomancer for his business, his house and his farm. And most important of all, he had in his employ the best geomancer to choose and guard the most auspicious feng shui spot to be his last resting place.



WHERE ARE THE CHICKEN HEARTS?

This last geomancer liked to eat chicken heart. The master thought he would save all the chicken hearts and present a load of chicken hearts to the geomancer one fine day to make him very happy. So, the daily chicken hearts were not given to the geomancer.  They were saved and preserved.


HE QUITS

One day, the gravesite geomancer had a misunderstanding with the master. He was also not pleased that he was not served chicken hearts when he had chicken for his meals. He left the master. Anyway, the master still sent him off with a servant bearing two baskets of gifts.

GOOD FENG SHUI DITCHED

So the feng shui master left with the servant carrying the two baskets of secret gifts. The geomancer was still angry and so he went to the auspicious site that he had chosen for the master's grave. He told the servant to dig a ditch across the path directly facing the master's house to cut off or neutralise the good feng shui.

IT'S TOO LATE

After completing the digging of the ditch, the geomancer wondered what gifts were in the two baskets. He asked the servant to open the baskets. There he found to his astonishment the whole lot of preserved chicken hearts. But the spell had been broken. The feng shui was destroyed.   The master's household declined in influence and soon was depleted of their wealth!

   DON'T BE SURPRISED   

So, if one day you find a ditch in front of our master's bungalow, you know that eastern value, belief and superstition have seeped deep into our mentor's marrows. Another indicator of influences of this eastern environmental science/superstition is when that tree in front of his house is chopped down. Or it just dies off by itself (when it is poisoned, as some people do said Mun Seong).

WHY MUN SEONG BELIEVES

Mun Seong of course has had his full of dose of good geomancy before. Once, he changed the feng shui of his deceased father's tombstone following the advice of a genuine geomancer, after ditching a fake master. Immediately he obtained approval for a big housing project. Even the God of Wealth called upon him to drop him a bombshell. It was a whopper.  Mun Seong struck it rich with some game of digits. Our country is full of golden opportunities, see!

No wonder Mun Seong ended his narrative with this uproarious and highly infectious laughter. "Hahahahahahahhahaha......!"



CALLING, CALLING EDITION SPONSORS - COME IN

Would you like to come in to continue the queue? Put your name on the header of an issue. Let your friends notice you. You need only send a cheque/money order with two (2) zeros after 1. No dot in between the digits please.
Thank you.


 Book and Quill
Written and edited by Chan Suy Sang. Thanks for the supports so far be you as a sponsor or just a reader. I shall do my part to ensure that you will be informed of all big and small matters. Bottoms up with your glass of beer or just down a cup of mineral water, which is much better as a thirst quencher!!!
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