Events: Sesquicentenary Celebration


from October 15 to October 21, 1966

PFS held the “Sesquicentenary Week” from Oct 15 to 21 ,1966 as part of the celebrations to honour the 150th anniversary of the founding of the school. The programme of events for the week was :-

Oct 15 – Festival of Music and Drama at S.G.G.S Hall. It was organized by the school’s Music and Drama Society. It comprised a variety of items, from a scene from “Othello” to be stage by the Anglo-Chinese School, Ipoh to a “Mongolian Spoon Dance” performed by the Union High School. Other schools contributing items included the George Town Secondary School, Light Street Convent, Pulau Tikus Convent and the St. George’s Girls’ School. The Penang Y.W.C.A ballet troupe and a string trio from the Penang Arts Council Orchestra also contributed some items.

Oct 17- Oct 18 Historical Pageant at School Hall. Over 120 boys and girls took part in the pageant which included tableaux of pupils attending school in the old days, wearing long queues. There was a re-enactment of the Royal visit to the School by the previous Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Syed Putra , an old Free in 1961 ( the late Raja of Perlis). Outstanding old frees to be depicted at the pageant included the Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Dr. Wu Lien-Teh, the internationally known plague fighter while another student depicted Rev. R.S. Hutchings, founder of the school.

Oct 19 – Debate “Love marriages have more chances of success than arranged marriages in Asian societies” at OFA. The school boys was opposed by Mr.Chandran Nair, Miss Cheah Siew Kooi and Mr. Khoo-Yeoh Gan Hong, representing OFA.

Oct 21 – Dedication ceremony at Rev. H.S.Hutchings’ tomb, Northam Road at 7 a.m ( first picture from the left), School Speech Day and Prize giving in School Hall at 8.30 a.m. (the top picture on the right showing Tunku addressing the school ) and Sesquicentenary Dinner in the School Hall at 7.45 pm (the bottom picture at the right).

Oct 22 – Sesquicentenary Ball at OFA at 8.30 pm. The master of ceremonies was Encik Zainal Alam of Radio Malaysia. Dancing was extended until 2 a.m. in the morning. The proceeds of the Ball were in aid of the PFS Student Loan Fund which was set up to assist needy Sixth Form Pupils in the school to further their studies.

It was also a week of sports and games between old and present boys. They met at cricket, badminton, table tennis, tennis, volleyball, soccer, water-polo, rugby, hockey and golf. There was also a big Walk on Sunday, Oct 16, 1966. The big walk was started by Captain Mohd. Noor at 8 a.m. The route started at PFS, by main gate to Green Lane, Scotland Road, Western Road, Residency Road, Macalister Road, Anson Road, Perak Road , Dato Kramat Road, Ayer Itam road into Green Lane and finished at PFS field.

PFS was transformed into a fairyland of lights since Oct 15 night. The school buildings were floodlit and fairy-lights hanged from trees and in a festoon round the school ground.

The Ministry of Works, Posts and Telecommunications also released commemorative postage stamps to mark the 150th anniversary of the school. In fact, a special post office was set up at the school on Oct 21 from 10a.m. to 8 pm to deal with the first day covers. Covers sent at this post office was specially franked and marked : “Posted at the Penang Free School”.

In addition, Mr. Kum Boo, the chief Education Officer, Penang declared open the Science Exhibition on Oct 14. There were more than 70 groups of exhibits, ranging from the mystery of computers, solar engines and electronics to the wonders of seashore life and mathematical fallacies. Mr. Kum Boo said that the Penang Free School had always had an excellent tradition in the teaching of science and he appealed to all teachers and pupils of secondary schools in Penang to go and view the exhibition. He futher pointed out that the school had in the past produced prominent leaders not only in the admininstrative, professional and political fields but also in all walks of life and at all levels of Malaysian society and therefore he said that it was fitting that the present Headmaster should be an old boy of the school in the person of Mr. Tan Boon Lin.

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