Thursday, 9 February 2017

Penang's oldest schools

So today is the 100th anniversary of Chung Ling High School. My friends from CLHS are celebrating the Chung Ling Centenary with a grand reunion dinner on their school grounds tonight. Good for them. Congratulations. Yet another school reaching a respectable old age. That coming in the wake of my own alma mater, Penang Free School, celebrating her Bicentenary (200 years) on 21 October 2016 last year. Free School leads; others follow behind.

Which brings up the question of which other secondary schools in Penang have celebrated or will celebrate big milestones in their long histories? I've been doing some digging up and made up a list of those schools that were established before the onset of the Second World War. Naturally, the list is not exhaustive and chances are great that I may have missed out on a few great names or the year of establishment may be wrong. Either way, do let me know. Here is my list:
Penang Free School (established 1816)
St. Xavier’s Institution (established 1852)
Convent Light Street (established 1852)
St. George’s Girls' School (established 1884)
Methodist Boys’ School (established 1891)
Methodist Girls’ School (established 1892)
SMK Methodist Nibong Tebal (Anglo-Tamil School) (established 1898)
St. Mark's Secondary School (Butterworth English School) (established 1901)
Chung Hwa Confucian High School (established 1904)
SMK Agama Al-Mashoor (established 1916)
Chung Ling High School (established 1917)
Jit Sin High School (established 1918)
SMK St. George (St. Anthony’s School) (Balik Pulau English School) (established 1918)
Penang Chinese Girls High School (established 1919)
High School Bukit Mertajam (established 1927)
Union High School (established 1928)
Hutchings Secondary School (established 1928)
Convent Butterworth (established 1930)
Kolej Vokasional Batu Lanchang (established 1931)
Convent Bukit Mertajam (established 1934)
Convent Dato’ Kramat (established 1935)
Phor Tay High School (established 1935)
SMK Agama Al-Irshad (established 1936)
Among the primary schools in Penang, I can only recall the following ones that were set up before the War and are still in existence: SK Permatang Damar Laut (established 1864), SK Ayer Itam (Ayer Itam Government School) (established 1881), SK Teluk Kumbar (established 1882), Pykett Methodist School (established 1891), St. Xavier's Branch School (established 1906), SK Juara in Cherok To'kun (established 1908), Hutchings School (established 1928), Francis Light School (established 1930), Westlands School (formerly Government English School Northam Road, established 1922) (established 1935) and Wellesley Primary School (formerly Hillview Government English School, established 1924) (established 1936). No doubt, there may be many more, especially since I haven't also dug up anything on the Chinese primary schools yet.

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