Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Robert Sparke Hutchings remembered, 2013

I turned up at the old Protestant cemetery in Northam Road, George Town at about seven o'clock in the morning yesterday. Unlike last year, I did not see anyone milling around the entrance into the place. Last year we - meaning myself and the teachers, prefects and other pupils from the Penang Free School - had come too early and the cemetery's caretakers had not arrived to open the gate yet.

Whether or not the school's contingent had arrived early this time, well, I don't know because it was already daylight and the gates were open. I simply walked in, tried to get my bearings straight and headed in the direction where I hoped the Revd Robert Sparke Hutchings' grave would be.

Then I saw that the pastor was already there and a small group of people had assembled and were getting ready for the memorial service. I quickly joined them. It was such a simple and solemn occasion, but full of significance in remembering the founder of the Penang Free School.

Prayers were conducted by the Revd Ho Kong Eng from the Church of St George the Martyr, and several of the boys participated in the readings. That concluded, the Free School contingent sang the PFS School Rally while the boys from the Hutchings School sang theirs. The service ended after bouquets and wreaths were laid at Hutchings' grave. 

The boys and teacher from Hutchings School.

And this item below was the report that came out in The Star newspaper today (Metro North, page 2).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Matters are not so clear cut. There are references which are quoted regarding the date of death in the Wiki article on Francis Light. It was also mentioned that the date of death as shown on the tombstone was 21st October. Your book source does not seem so convincing. Perhaps an academic historian should be consulted?