CheGu Mohd Ghazali Mohd Hanafiah, Head Master of Sekolah Alam Shah, Kuala Lumpur, in 1969 to mid 1970. CheGu Mohd Ghazali came to SAS, I did not remember when, as the Assistance HM to CheGu Ariffin Suhaimi. He continued as the HM when CheGu Ariffin left in 1969 Jul. And I was sure that I was a total stranger to him then because I was accepted into the board of prefect only since Jun early.
Monday, September 15 1969 during the morning assembly, CheGu Ghazali Hanafiah, made the announcement that I was appointed Acting Head Boy, I would be the Head Boy 1970 of SAS; the 8th in SAS chronology. It was a surprise announcement to many pupils and prefects (and to me several days before when 'solicited' by Jalil, the 1969 HB). But CheGu Mohd Ghazali had something in his mind, something of a new 'investment' in the school. A precursor to what SAS was for from then on. He braved himself in it by putting his trust in me, unknown to him before that. I shouldered it for him and delivered, even though he knew it only later from a distance.
SAS HB was a pretigious position indeed. He was 'above the law'. He was houseless. He was second only to the head master. So traditionally SAS HB was picked from among those with high extra-curriculum activities, especially in the sports. And they were from the Arts stream; not yet from the science stream. There were obviously some presumptions associated with it. I highly admired the first two HB when I arrived in SAS: those of the 1967 and 1968. They were really big brothers. They were school football captains. However, none of the HB so far, since the pioneer 1963 HB, carried the school over the exam 'hurdles'. Those who made it were not HB; the heaviest were just prefects. Apparently being in such a school as SAS was just the beginning. It needed sustainence to be continued beyond the school. The previous HM just continued the traditional boarding school norms. This was the nich that CheGu Mohd Ghazali was going to revolutionise. But he knew he could not find yet a perfect person for his model. Nonetheless, he knew that he had to start, and get started with a precursor.
I believed in the short months before September 15, he studied my 'CV'. Obviously I was not perfect for his 'gauntlet', but I was just the nearest approximate. But I think he wanted first to change the background of arts stream to science stream. Perhaps the 1969 HB, Jalil told him a 'million lies' about myself. Perhaps there were many other perhaps.
CheGu Ghazali left the school in mid 1970, without being able to see the results of his 'experiment'. Friday May 29 1970 assembly (we had assemblies on Monday and Friday since March) was the last assembly for HM CheGu Ghazali. And that was the last day I saw him. He was moving on to the education department. I gave a short tribute to him at the rostrum before he began the assembly, and a present on behalf of the students, and Jariah, HG, gave another one on behalf of the board of prefects. He never said anything to me on his last day.
Perhaps he gathered the payoff of the 'gamble' he laid from different sources. I believed he acquired later that the HB he did not well-know that he appointed had successfully pioneered to crossing over the exam hurdles by getting for the first time the full certificate in the STP; he was from the science stream. He went through to the university and launched out from there, unlike before that. Many other of his colleagues had similarly went through. I believed he also knew that the HB that followed were also picked up based on his criteria. Yes, in Sep 1970, I named Raja Daniel as my successor (1971). He was one million time better than me. He is a physicist in TNB, his successor is a UM lecturer turned Vice Chairman of MIMOS, Muhamad Awang Lah (1972). I knew only up to the 11th HB, Shahdan (1973) who is a UKM-graduate medical doctor. SAS then began to grow its 'stripe'. It all started from CheGu Mohd Ghazali Hanafiah in 1969.
Updated 2008 Feb 26 Tue, a call to home in Bangi my son CB collected from CheGu Mohd Ghazali, the HM 1969-70, about whom I wrote and posted my tribute for the deeds he did, which reached him through his daughter/son. The call was immediately relayed to me in Trg, and after isyak, I returned the call. In the air, over an hr we reminisced the "romance" of the 1969 to 1970 in the school called Alam Shah, from which, later, bunches and bunches of "grown up" appeared, about which, as I posted, was attributed to him. He said he spent quite some times and quite an effort, to locate me, including a rapport with the SAS office in Putrajaya. Like I re-met CheGu Hussein over the phone, I promised CheGu Ghazali my visit to his place, happened to be in the vicinity of that of CheGu Gu Hussein. Another person is needed to be informed about it. CheGu Ghazali was a teacher when I met him in 1969, and remained a teacher when I re-met him 38 years later in 2008.
Updated 2008 Nov 15 Sat, I was reminded over the SMS that I need to visit CheGu Ghazali at his residence. At least because I promised him to, since the Feb re-contact. It was a real nostalgic "suspense" when the SMS said that he kind of furious. I called him at his residence after Isyak, knowing that it would be better when he finished his pray. And yes, he was furious. Because he was impatience to have me to keep my promise to visit him as soon as possible.
Updated 2008 Nov 30 Sun, At last, I made it
|Reminiscing the old days in SAS. In his memoirs, "... sekali Cikgu, ...... Cikgu sepanjang hayat ..." Once a teacher, ... a teacher for life... Nothing will alter that.|
Part of SAS Board of Prefect 1969. Front row L-R: A Jalil Musiran (HB 1969), CheGu Ghazali (HM), CheGu Chakravarty (Chief Warden). Back Row L-R: Mat Zakaria (HB 1970), Md Asri, Kasim Buhiran.
To date nearly forty years ago. This was perhaps the date CheGu Ghazali could remember me. When he, then the Head Master, announced in the Monday morning assembly hall of SAS that I was appointed the Acting HB from the day, which consequently became the HB for 1970. The eighth for the young SAS.
On his persistence insistence since the re-contact 2008 Feb 26 Tue, I paid him the courtesy visit I promised at his residence in Kg Tunku SS1. Taking along Azizah and my #678sons - after the Wedding reception of my #3brother Num's son in Sentul Baru. Joined by Zawiah and hubby En Ithnin, just from nearby. Yes, Chegu Ghazali was a teacher when I first encountered him in 1969. And today, at 70 plus he is the same unchanged teacher. Very much energetic and "educationoholic". He was very glad that we dropped in and was really "rejuvenated" by the reminiscence. A teacher that will live on, on the natural bless of the pupils he brought up. Who since then had evolved wave after wave into all strata of post-merdeka Malaysia. To the end of either circular horizons. Our other teacher who lived in the area, who apparently knew each other, who I should not stop visiting is CheGu Hussein. Kg Tunku and Sg Way after all were my loci in 1971 and 1972, during their "primitive" state.
|A quick reunion: 2008 Dec 28 Sun,|
Updated 2009 Nov 7-10 Sat-Tue,
Accompanying CheGu Ghazali in his private visit to Terengganu
At the Mausoleum of Imam Rasul Bin Shahrum, the "Orang Kaya Imam Indera Gajah Pahang", or more well known as "Tok Gajah", d. ca. 1901.