SMS Kelantan as I Remember

This is a collection of stories and old photos of me, friends, teachers and events during my secondary school years (1975-79) at SMS Kelantan, which is now known as Sek Men Sains Tengku Muhammad Faris Putra. The school itself was started in 1973, and moved to the new campus in 1974 (you'll see grassless field in some pix!)

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Remembering Mahisham Mahmood (1962-2009)

Note: Please read my other blog first.

Mahisham was my classmate from Form 1 until Form 5. Our class was a close-knit one. At times we were the envy of other classes, because the few girls were very close to most (if not all) the boys. When we had cooking lessons, we always gave the boys some of the food, and Mahisham was one of the regular ones to remind us to spare the food for him/them :-) .

Mahisham was one of the more talkative, cheerful, jovial, and active boys. He played soccer and hockey for the school all the way to the state level.

I was reminded by Nury that he was also one of the school runners. Not wonder he knew my primary school friend, the late YI.

Mahisham was also an active scout. His dad, the late Cikgu Mood (who was a state netball coach for MSSK) was also a king scout. I remember when the scouts went to (I think it was the 1st) Malaysian Scout Jamboree at Petrajaya, Kuching, Mahisham (plus a few other schoolmates, including Ahmad Hilmy of AHA) and dad were in the Kelantan contingent.

I met them at the Johor Bahru Railway station on their way back (the took one of TLDM's ship to go to Kuching) to Kota Bharu when I was also on the way back to school. So, a few of us actually bunked in with them - they got a special coach. When Cikgu Mood found out that I was Mahisham's classmate, he gave me one of the rattan bangles that he bought there :-).

After we left school, I didn't meet Mahisham until 2004. I visited him in school (SK Zainab 3), and he took me to meet his school head mistress. The school later became one of the premier Cluster schools (for primary category) in Kelantan.

We lost touch again, until only recently when I managed to get hold of his contact number again. As blogged in my other blog, he told me about his effort to write an English book, as well as his intention to pursue his PhD.

Later after his demise, I found out from other friends that Mahisham had been helping the rural students in their English. He even dedicated part of his salary for that purpose!

I also found out from his former students blogs here, here and here that he was a very dedicated teacher and very much loved by his students.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Remembering Zulkifli Mohd Nor (1963- 2009)

A pic of Zul and me taken in 1978:

While in school I was never interested to have any "abang/kakak/adik angkat" even though it was quite a trend then.

However when I was in Form 2 (and Zul in form 1), Cikgu Mat Noor, a warden then, asked me to keep an eye on Zul while I was on duty minding his class for night prep. The reason was Zul was diagnosed with "hole-in-the-heart" problem, and was very susceptible to infection.

Despite his illness, Zul was a very chirpy boy. He liked to ask a lot of questions, and eventually we became "adik & kakak angkat". I used to send him some of the food that we cooked during Home Science cooking classes, or even if I went to town, I'd buy some food for him (if I had extra cash, of course).

In 1978, Zul had to go to St Vincent Hospital, Sydney for a heart surgery. He missed classes for a few months. Despite that, he actually managed to score 10 aggregates in in SRP (similar to PMR). That was a great chievement in those days, even for healthy & ordinary students.

We had a page about him (from newspaper cuttings) in our school magazine that year, SEMASA 1978:

I think SEMASA 1979 had my interview with him after he came back and got good grades, but I've lost the magazine :-( .

We eventually lost touch when I left school at the end of 1979. I think I did send him a letter or two while I was in Australia, but we just lost touch. Maybe it was due the fact that boys don't like to write letters, because I don't remembe receiving any reply from him. Later I heard that he went to the States to do his degree.

I remember when I was already back in Malaysia (in the 1980s) I read in the newspaper about his sister (a celebrity then) saying that she was going to the States to visit her brother who was not well, I knew that she meant Zul. I never knew what happened next, but I guessed everything was fine.

Finally, we both managed to trace each other at the end of last year (thanks to Yahoo! e-group), and spoke over the phone. Since it was about Deepavali time, and with X-mas and New Year, we never got to meet. I knew from others and eventually confirmed by him that he was working with Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) We were planning to meet up some time this year, but the news I got today of his passing shattered that plan.

My memory of Zul is the young boy I knew. I guess it's going to remain so. I blogged about the school Coop here, with Zul's pic there.

Update: Please visit here for some pix at the cemetery today (12th March 2009).