Tuesday, September 15, 2009

RE: [ACSians] Mr. Lee - from Geh Min

His rotating triangle never got blunt & it extended to the whole ACS family.
I remember being called up into his office for cutting class & sneaking off to have a jam session (ring leader,Rex) & the most memorable part of it was the Mr Lee was so much more distressed by the whole incident than any of us that it made me feel much worse than if he had just told us off .
I was touched at our reunion last year to see that he was just as clear in his recollection of all of us & as caring in our welfare as he had been when we were in ACS.
Geh Min

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

RE: [ACSians] RIP Mr Lee Hah Ing - from Mohan

Ladies and Gentleman,

Our principal for 12 years to many, had many firsts, an olympic pool, fun-o-rama, and so on. Let it not be forgotten, Mr. Lee also had a first when he presided over the aftermath of the first and only Acsian organized street race!!!! He has many of us line up and others were invited on the PA system to appear in his office. All 'racers' and participants vehemently denied of any knowledge of the race organized on a Saturday, despite names and a race map made available to Mr. Lee from the Singapore Police!!! A first and memorable event with all involved getting a 'love letter' to be signed by parents and returned, besides other punitive damages. I remember this clearly with Ernie giving us a lecture on misconduct and what not............

Sir, may you rest in peace.

Contribution of Mohan Menon

[ACSians] The obit - from Irene

For those of you who wondered about the reference to the reunion "last month", the obit was written on behalf of the Class of 1969, which held its reunion on Aug 22, 2009.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Re: [ACSians] Mr. Lee - reply - from Mark

so how's the pointed edges of your rotating triangle goin these days buddy ?
hahaha !

my memory is his morning devotions announced over the PA every morning - a reading from the Our Daily Bread from De Haan...
the 'thought of the day' has to be written out at the top left corner of the black board...and there were some thought provoking ones !
it could have been Richard De Haan those days...now it's Mart..maybe the son or grandson - i juz Googled...

yes, Mr Lee was a gentleman, scholar & Christian !
but at 95...and as a Christian who has walked the talk...who can complain ?
how many would be able to make similar claims ?

it should be a joyous occasion !

[ACSians] Mr. Lee - from Rex

I'll always remember this little gem from Mr. Lee.

He told us our conscience is this little rotating triangle inside every one of us. In the beginning,we feel the pointed ends every time we do something that's unworthy of us. But as time goes on, the pointed ends get blunt and the little triangle becomes less and less efficient in it's reminders.

A great man. Every one who was touched by him will feel a little poorer by his passing.

Rex Hu

Monday, September 7, 2009

Re: [ACSians] RIP Mr Lee Hah Ing - from Wai Meng

I have fond memories of being summoned to Mr Lee's office and
wondering what l had done wrong this time.

He simply said...."Your 2 bears have escaped. Pls go home and get
them off your neighbors roof now!"

l had the singular pleasure of recounting this to him a few yrs ago,
when l was executive chairman of Singapore Zoo.

A fine gentleman indeed who left lasting and valuable impressions on
us all.

wai meng

Re: [ACSians] To Mr Lee Hah Ing - from Noor

Cld we send this to his family? They wld be so proud of him even
though they already know his stature with us.


[ACSians] To Mr Lee Hah Ing - from Irene

You moved quietly, spoke softly. Yet you always commanded attention and respect. Even from troublesome teenagers who didn't hesitate to torment their teachers.

You were our principal. But you were always more than just the head of the school we attended. To some, you were the father they didn't have. Or the father they would have wished for.

You once said that the greatest lesson you had ever learnt could be summed up in the words of Phillip Brooks: "Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men. Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks."

We thank you for showing us the way.

Even if we were too cool to say the words then, we always knew why you were special. You cared. You believed in us. You were proud of us, even at times when some of us might have felt that there wasn't much to be proud of. You never wavered.

And because of that, we strove to be the men and women you could be proud of.

Years later, at one of our earliest reunions, you would tell us how pleased you were that ours was the very first pre-university class to hold a reunion. More than once, you have said how very proud and happy it made you that these bonds of friendship forged in ACS, some over a mere two years, had endured throughout the decades.

We had hoped you could be with us at our latest reunion last month. Though you could not be present, you were much in our thoughts as we celebrated and gave thanks for the ACS spirit that continues to unite us.

You will always be part of our lives.

from Class of '69

Re: [ACSians] RIP Mr Lee Hah Ing - from Sylvia

I am very saddened to hear of his passing. It is a wonderful tribute to him that we are all responding so emotionally to the news and I hope that his family will read some of these and be comforted by the way he has touched lives.

Sylvia MacKinnon (Quek)

Re: [ACSians] RIP Mr Lee Hah Ing - from Andrew

An ACSian to the end, he is wearing the ACS tie and his trademark glasses.

Sent from the iPhone of Andrew Liew

Re: [ACSians] RIP Mr Lee Hah Ing - from Choong Fook

Thanks, Irene, for sharing.

Mr. Lee has always been a person who inspires you and fills you with awe.

But I didn't know he also jokes until he shared a joke in his speech at our Sec 4 cohort's 40th anniversary back in 2006.

Unfortunately we got to know too late to attend his wake.

We will all remember him.

Choong Fook


Re: [ACSians] RIP Mr Lee Hah Ing - from Shahid


Appreciate your sending this out to the ACSian mailing list.
As you know, it also goes directly to http://acsian-nostalgia.blogspot.com awaiting moderation before it appears. If you decide that you do not want your comments published please send a message stating that, or put it as a comment to the posting, and it will be removed.

I did not realize that our late Principal retired in 1969, the year after we left ACS in 1968, and the interview suggests decisions about the swimming pool and the gym were made in 1969. I recall that we were involved in fund raising in the Fun-O-Rama, and am proud that we were in on the early stages of making it a reality.

My recollection during the years I was in Barker road was seeing him walking around the corridors outside our Secondary school classrooms almost every day. I can surmise that it was his daily look at the state of the campus (his version of Managing by Wandering Around).

A video of his speech at our 40th reunion last year is available on http://acsian-nostalgia.blogspot.com


Re: [ACSians] RIP Mr Lee Hah Ing - from Ragbir

Hi Irene,
Can always count on you to produce an article from the archives.
Yes, Mr Lee Hah Ing was indeed a man for all seasons. There is much more that can be said for the man but for me in addition to everything else he never failed to amaze me with his impromptu speeches that he would make at every assembly. Had he not been a teacher and principal he would have made a great lawyer and a wonderful judge with the kind of wisdom and temperament that he had.
Just like Thomas More said in the man for all seasons " and when we stand before god....you are sent to paradise for doing according to your conscience." I have no doubt thats where he is now.

Kind Regards
Ragbir Singh Bajwa

Re: [ACSians] RIP Mr Lee Hah Ing - from Mark

Haha what did he say when you decided to have a safe landing and go into something more lethal like the law?

RE: [ACSians] RIP Mr Lee Hah Ing - from Derrick

Thanks Irene,

I reflect on the time when I informed Mr. Lee that I was going to quit Pre -U to join the Air Force. He simply said "Keep the flag flying." No reprimand; not a single admonishment. Just a smile, a handshake and words of encouragement.


RE: [ACSians] RIP Mr Lee Hah Ing - from Manjit

Thanks Irene for sharing the sad news. Mr. Lee is extra special for me. He had personally assisted me during my days at ACS. An Icon of a man. Will miss him very much.


Re: [ACSians] RIP Mr Lee Hah Ing - from Noor

Thanks Irene. Well said.

Literally a "dying breed" - a true statesman, friend, mentor, father, grandfather, ACSIAN...and forever humble. Few come like the honourable and much loved Lee Hah Ing these days.

May his soul rest in peace.

Noor Quek

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Re: [ACSians] RIP Mr Lee Hah Ing - from Daniel

Hi Irene

Thanks so much for yr sharing. Indeed, Mr Lee Hah Ing had impacted my life and many others ... his humble, approachable manner had always impressed me, a God-loving man who loved others unconditionally, a really fine Christian

He is a good and faithful servant who well deserved his rest in the Lord !


Daniel Wong

[ACSians] RIP Mr Lee Hah Ing - from Irene

Our principal, Mr Lee Hah Ing, died on Sept 4 at about 9pm.
An ACS boy through and through, he joined the ACS family as a pupil in Sitiawan.
His career as a teacher took him to Teluk Anson (1934 – 1947), MBS, Kuala Lumpur (1948 – 1951) and ACS, Singapore (1952 – 1969). He was principal at ACS Barker from 1961 to 1969.
He was interviewed in early 2005 for the ACS Echo (see article below); he was 91 years old then but still so sprightly and alert. He is indeed an ACS icon and we will miss him.

A Chat With Mr Lee Hah Ing - Principal of the Anglo-Chinese School in Barker Road from 1961-69.

Mr Lee Hah Ing is one person who has never lost focus on his vision of providing an all-round education to ACSians and to moulding and nurturing them to be responsible, loyal, useful citizens and leaders of the community. Under his able leadership, the school flourished and its student population grew considerably in size from 1,057 in 1961 to 1,990 in 1969. He was the driving force behind the building of the first Olympic-sized swimming pool for a Singapore school, and responsible for many other initiatives - among them, the Methodist Schools Festival of Sports to foster friendship and goodwill through competitive sports. For his valuable contribution to education, Mr Lee received the Public Service Star (BBM) award in 1969 from President Ishak Yusof.
When we dropped in at their home for a chat, Mr Lee and his wife welcomed us warmly. There, we also had the pleasure of meeting their daughter Ping Jin and her grandson Evan Foo, who is the youngest of Mr and Mrs Lee's three great grandchildren. Here's how our chat went.
Echo: Mr Lee, can you please tell us a little about your early childhood?
Mr Lee: I was born in China in 1914. When I was five years old, I accompanied my parents to settle in Kampong Koh, Sitiawan, a small town near Ipoh , Malaya .
My father, the late Reverend Lee Ko Ding, was assigned as pastor of the Pioneer Methodist Church there, where a small settlement of Christians from the Fukien Province in China had already settled.
My childhood was uneventful. After completing my primary education in ACS, Sitiawan, I proceeded to the ACS, Ipoh to complete my secondary school education. I stayed in Horley Hall, a boarding school managed by the school. It was a happy experience and I have fond memories of my stay there. In 1930, I obtained my Cambridge School Certificate.
Echo: Why did you choose the teaching profession?
Mr Lee: In the early 1930s, there were very few suitable employment opportunities. Fewer still were opportunities for further education. Besides King Edward VII Medical College , there was only Raffles College , which was established in 1928 and served mainly in the initial years to train graduates for the Education Service. In 1931, when a few of my schoolmates decided to go to Raffles College , I decided to join them.
When I graduated in 1934, the economic situation was pretty grim. Malaya and Singapore , like countries all over the world, were feeling the effects of the World Depression of the 1930s. There were very few employment opportunities and unemployment was rife. However, thanks to the Methodist Church , I was offered a teaching post in the ACS, Teluk Anson (now renamed Teluk Intan) in Perak. That was the beginning of 34 years of fulfilling life in the education service, spread among the Methodist schools – ACS, Teluk Anson (1934 – 1947), MBS, Kuala Lumpur (1948 – 1951) and ACS, Singapore (1952 – 1969).
Echo: Can you please share with us some of your memorable experiences and challenging moments as a teacher and Principal in ACS?
Mr Lee: When I first reported to Dr H. H. Peterson, Principal of ACS Singapore, in January 1952, I was informed that I would be temporarily posted to teach in Geylang Methodist Girls' School for about two months, as there was no immediate vacancy in the school. It was a unique but pleasant experience teaching in a girls' school. I still have happy memories of my two-month's stint there, as I found the girls very well behaved and attentive. I am still in contact with some of them, now all happy grandmothers!
I faced one of my most challenging moments in 1969 when I had to decide whether to build the Sports Complex comprising the Tan Chin Tuan Hall and the Olympic-size Shaw Swimming Pool, the first school in Singapore to have one. The economic situation then was not very favourable. Some people felt that the cost of maintaining a swimming pool would be prohibitive, and there were fears that it might end up "a white elephant".
On the other hand, the teachers and students were very enthusiastic and supportive. To show their support, the teachers willingly contributed a month's salary each, a very noble and generous gesture indeed!
In true ACS spirit, the students organized the "Fun-O-Rama" and other projects to raise the necessary funds. The school had no proper playing field or other sports facilities, and after months of agonizing, we finally gave the green light to build the Sports Complex, costing over a million dollars, when three of our biggest benefactors donated $100,000 each to the project.
Echo: If there are lessons in life that contributed to your illustrious career, can you please share them with our readers?
Mr Lee: Foremost, I must than k t he good Lord for the many blessings that have come my way. Born during the first World War and having lived through the Great Depression and the Japanese Occupation, perhaps the greatest lesson I have learnt can be summarized in this quotation by Phillip Brooks: "Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men. Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks."
Echo: Was there anyone from ACS who played a significant role in your life?
Mr Lee: Two Englishmen influenced my life a great deal when I was in school – Rev William Horley and Mr H. E. Bunn. They were both highly successful people but with different leadership styles.
When Rev Horley first arrived in Singapore , he taught in ACS Singapore (1894-1895). He was then transferred to Ipoh where he founded the ACS, Ipoh in 1895. Subsequently, Rev Horley established six other Methodist schools in various parts of Malaya . He was a tall and well-built man with silver hair. He was a very impressive and commanding figure, with a strong personality and a booming voice.
Mr Bunn was the House Master in Horley Hall and Supervisor in ACS, Ipoh . In contrast, he was an elderly man, soft spoken, gentle and friendly. Later in mid-1930s, he was transferred to Singapore where he taught in our Anglo-Chinese Continuation School , under Principal Rev E. S. Lau for a few years.
Echo: What would you say are the distinguishing characteristics of an ACS boy?
Mr Lee: Some people say you can sniff out an ACSian even from afar! What's unique about this brand of students?  If I may venture to suggest, it is the holistic development that the school endeavours to grow in the students – one with a well-developed mind, body and spirit. It is hard to pin down exactly what qualities go into the so called ACS "spirit" – it has to be experienced to be appreciated.
Echo: What valuable advice can you offer our young ACSians?
Mr Lee: Again, if I may quote Phillip Brooks: "Be such a man, and live such a life, that if every man were such as you, and every life a life like yours, this earth would be God's Paradise."
Echo: If you were to relive your life again, would you follow the same path or take a different route?
Mr Lee: I don't think I will ever have a chance to relive this life again. As such, it might be better for us to prepare ourselves to give of our best, in service to God and man, however a life we lead.
Echo: Finally, Mr Lee, can you please tell us a little about your family. Did any of your children follow your footsteps?
Mr Lee: I have four children – three boys and a girl. All my boys were educated in ACS. Two are now working in Singapore and one in England .
I am glad that my only daughter, Ping Jin, followed my footsteps. She taught in ACPS Coleman Street for fifteen years. Later she resigned to look after her children.