Saturday, 24 March 2012

PFS School Rally, part 3

It is very clear to me that the impending approach of 21 October 2016, though still some four years away, has made Old Frees become more aware of the Penang Free School's rich history and traditions. The Grand Old Lady of Malaysian education will be 200 years old then.

Last November when I visited the daughter of GS Reutens to ask about the School Rally, Esther had expressed much surprise that this was the first time in decades that anyone had ever asked about the School Rally or about her father.

She shared with me the original music scoresheets of the School Rally, all painstakingly written down in her father's immaculate handwriting. I had taken several photographs of the scoresheet then. My intention was to write a story on the origin of the School Rally for Fidelis, the commemorative book which The Old Frees' Association wanted published.

Last week, Esther and her husband, Teck Chye, visited the school and presented the music scorebook to the headmaster, Jalil Saad, for safekeeping in the School Archives. It is wonderful to see her doing that. The school will see to it that the scorebook will be stored properly for posterity. It is a part of the school's long history.

Throughout the decades, I have noticed that the School Rally has undergone several ever slight changes, no doubt through the misinterpretations of (well meaning) people who may not have fully comprehended the lyrics. In order to settle all the confusion over who's right and who's wrong, here below are the hallowed lyrics of the School Rally, as GS Reutens had originally written them. Do sing along with gusto as you read, especially the Old Frees:

Let us march on to fame, let the aisles proclaim,
Till our anthem will dare us to do.
Let us onward to win and new laurels gain,
Free School for the brave and for the true.

It matters neither how strait the gate,
Nor how charged with dangers the goal,
Let the tempest rage and fell odds inflate,
We'll to it with heart and soul.

When duty calls be it school or state,
We to it with God by our side,
For the sons of Free School don't hesitate,
Nor let cool their zeal and pride.

Let's all then join in this jubilee,
All with one loud voice to proclaim,
Our true loyalty and our constancy,
To our Mater still remain.

Further reading:

PFS School Rally, Part 2
GS Reutens and the PFS School Rally

1 comment:

Eiven said...

Hi Mr. Quah,

I have been reading your postings on the PFS School Rally series and I admire the amount of time and effort you have put in to uncover all these historical facts surrounding the School Rally. As far as I have researched on the internet, you have the most detailed information and as an old free myself, I would appreciate it if you could update the Wikipedia page ( in the School Anthem section. I think this information should be shared and passed on to the public especially the frees old and young alike.