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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Thursday, April 30, 2009

One Special Labour Day

I can't remember when we actually started the tradition/celebration. I am not sure either if they still practice it, but I very much doubt they do.

The year was 1977, or 1978. The students decided to celebrate "labour Day" or now it's known as "Workers' Day" in a very special way. Labour Day, have been celebrated on 1st May every year.

I really can't remember who initiated it, but the students decided to give most non-academic school staff a break on that Labour Day. In those days, the dining hall helpers were all government staff (not like now where the food catering is outsourced to contractors). The cleaning ladies, gardeners are government staff too. The only workers that we didn't get to "give a break" were the security guargd! The school management didn't think it was a good idea for the students to replace the guards, for obvious reasons!

So, the student leaders drafted a roster for that Labour day. We had students assigned to clean the trays (we ate in compartmented trays), clean the dining tables, cook, clean the school compound, clear the garbage, etc...

I remember pretty well about the cooking in the kitchen. We had different groups to cook breakfast, prepare for morning tea, cook lunch, prepare afternoon tea, and cook dinner. I was in the kitchen quite a few times. Puan Faezah, the Food Steward was there to help us. A couple of workers also were there to instruct us on how to cut the vegetables, onions, chillies, chicken, and cook rice using the kawah! It was a huge job, cooking for 700+ students.

After finishing our turn (of cooking, cleaning, or laying the tables for meals, etc..), we would head back to the hostel feeling exhausted! Pushing the huge trolley of curry and vegetables, and putting the food in each individual tray was quite a task!

Boiling water, and making tea; opening so many cans of condensed milk, stirring the drinks in the huge pots, then put them in huge kettles and distribute them to the tables; washing the trays, pots, pants, etc... it was too much a job for students to handle!

So, the Labour Day that day was quite a tiring day for most of us, as most of us were assigned in the kitchen for at least one meal. It was fun too!

I think the workers appreciated us, because they had a break that day. What was more important was that from that day onwards, less students complainted about the food quality or any dissatisfaction towards the kitchen staff, because by then they knew how hard it was to prepare meal and do the cleaning. We could hardly handle a meal, what more with the workers who had to prepare 5 meals each day for us! In short, the students became more grateful.

Not a bad idea, eh?


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