Kota Kinabalu: December 16, 2008 was a proud and historical day for SM All Saints in Likas – and not because they achieved 100 per cent passes or won any competition.
Instead it was the day a special set of stamps and first day covers featuring it and three other premier schools in the country officially went on sale in post offices nationwide. The four Mission schools of SMK Victoria and SMK Convent Bukit Nanas (both in Kuala Lumpur), SMK St Thomas in Kuching and SM All Saints were chosen by Pos Malaysia Berhad to be honoured in the custom-made stamps and first-day covers for their academic and curriculum achievements.
A beaming SM All Saints Principal, Lorna Mathews, declared that this was the stuff of dreams, which they had never imagined to arrive at their front door. “(We are) elated and of course very, very proud that we were chosen as one of the four schools in the whole of Malaysia. There are many premier schools but to be chosen to represent Sabah and Malaysia is beyond our wildest dreams,” she said.
Actually, they got the news about the recognition some time in June this year when Pos Malaysia called up and said they were sending some people over to take photos of the school for the purpose. But the exact release date of the stamps was not known to them. There was little to hide her delight at seeing the colourful stamps containing pictures of two of the school’s buildings.
“It means we have been acknowledged for past achievements and our contributions, the long history that we hold and history of excellence, in all sense of the word,” she said, adding she ordered 500 copies for the school.
According to Pos Malaysia Bhd stamp and philately unit head Yasmin Ramli the chosen schools had produced many national leaders, corporate figures, professionals, sportsmen and scholars “who have contributed significantly to the growth of Malaysia.”
To this end, Lorna, who has been principal since June 2003, said her school had produced notable personalities and professionals, past and present, among others, former Chief Minister Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat and Upko Deputy President-cum-Tuaran MP, Datuk Wilfred Bumburing, who was also a former Deputy Chief Minister.
“In fact present Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman was also once a student here.”
Golfer Ben Leong, swimmers Alex Lim Keng Liat and Elvin Chia, and karate exponents Michelle Koh and Sarah Chung, to name a few, were also products of the school.
Lorna, the 17th and only woman Principal of SM All Saints, believed the recognition was due reward for the school for being able to keep up with demanding standards over the years and still deliver the goods.
“Children now are different from past generations, they are more difficult and have more discipline problems but despite all kinds of changes we can still rise above that É we had just celebrated our 100 years in 2003.
“Every school has its strengths and weaknesses (and) we have our own flaws but we try to do our best. So we definitely deserved this and I strongly believe my predecessors would agree with me,” she said.
Meanwhile, she opined that it was no sheer coincidence that three of the premier schools picked were Christian Mission schools, pointing out such schools not only stimulated thinking but also were successful in instilling moral values among its students.
“I’m not sure about SMK Victoria but the other three schools are definitely all Mission schools É in fact SMK St Thomas and SM All Saints are both Anglican Mission schools.
“I think that (the recognition) has something to say about Mission schools.
“You can get academic results anywhere (but) a piece of paper will not mean anything if you don’t have the personality and character to go with it,” she said.
SM All Saints was established as King Edward VII School on Dec. 22, 1903, near the Jesselton Clock Tower.
Declared open by then Governor, E.W. Birch, the school moved twice, the second time to Karamunsing in September 1909, before settling at its present site in Likas.
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