remembering the good ole days....

As I was dusting some old photos, couldn't help but paused over this one. I think it was taken in 1987. It was a group photo of the school athletics team. As you can see, we were quite the champion. 

But it was not the trophies that drew my attention. It was the sight of two endearing souls seated in the middle. These were the ones who left a deep and lasting impact in my life. One was the late Mrs Wee, our Headmistress. And next to her was Mr. Siva, the head coach in athletics.

Mrs. Wee succumbed to cancer in the ensuing years. She was a tough lady. A well known fact even beyond the school boundaries. Nothing got pass her and she witheld no punches when it concerned the school's progress and the student's welfare. Very disciplined individual. A tough-as-steel mind. She was nicknamed the Iron Lady. And she expected no less of the teachers and students in CHWS. Under her management, CHWS enjoyed her glory days way back in 1980s-1990s. My admiration for her was only matched by my fear of her. But now I just miss her dearly.

Mr.Siva. A solid man of principle and character. Unlike any coach that I have ever come across. He commanded respect even without having to raise his voice. With his coaching and guidance, CHWS became the All Round Champion in our district for a few consecutive years.

The thought of him brought back memories of the training days back in the school field. I remember doing the 300m repeats under the hot 4pm sun. He would be watching and with a stopwatch in his hand, he would call out the time as we make the loop around. Somehow, the morale was always high because we were a motivated bunch under his wings. He never had to shout at us. We would often joke but there was no less reverence for him.

He often pleaded with us about our techniques and tactics. Explaining and reasoning passionately with us until we were sold and convinced of his theories. Yet he also allowed us to make our own mistakes. I don't remember him reprimanding us even when we faltered. I guess he understood that the disappointment alone was demoralizing enough. But he was not particularly lavish on the praises either. Somehow, just him being there was enough to speak of  his approval. We loved him.

When you were 16, all you could see was what was in front of you. I gave little thoughts as to what athletics would do for me. And there was no doubt that it was a passing thing. Not something to be taken too seriously, at least not in the professional sense. When it was over, I would move on....

And moved on we did as we graduated. Everyone went their separate ways. Yet, until today, I carry a part of these two individuals in me. What they instilled in me a long time ago. When words finally came together, I realize that I am who I am because of them. And I am grateful for that because they took the trouble and gave an important part of themselves: their heart. That became a part of who I am today. Their legacy lives on in me....long after they have left. And in Mrs. Wee's case, departed.  

I would do it all over again if my body allows me to compete. And on any given day, I would have Mr. Siva by my side as my beloved coach. I am sure that would be the same sentiment for all the athletes in CHWS....

Thank you, Mrs.Wee. And Thank YOU, Mr.Siva.


  1. You know Francis, back then teachers were more passionate about sports than today. I don't even want to talk about the state of sports in our schools and especially about teachers in charge of developing it.

    1. yes. those were the days! i'm glad I had someone who cared enough...:)


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