Alumni of St Anthony’s School in Teluk Intan have fond memories of their time there. The school traces its roots to 2 February 1931, when the parish priest of St Anthony’s Church, Rev Fr Michel Bonam, a Catholic missionary of the MEP (Paris Foreign Mission) started a school in a wooden shack linked to the church building to cater to the needs of the Catholic children in his parish. It adopted the Latin phrase Caritas Non Ficta (Charity Without Hypocrisy) as the school motto.
Named after St Anthony of Padua, the school had an initial enrolment of 11 students. Prior to this, Catholic children attended a Methodist school nearby (known today as the Horley Methodist School).
Identical to other mission schools, St Anthony’s is still synonymous with quality education. Many of its teachers left a deep impression on their students. For nine decades, many dedicated educators graced the classrooms of St Anthony’s, leaving an indelible mark in the lives of their charges. That was their legacy.
It was during Rev Bro Denis Hyland’s tenure as principal (1956-60) that land next to the school was acquired for a school field.
La Salle Brothers helmed the school as principals until 1977, when Toh Soon Guan was appointed as the first lay principal.
Back then, teachers at St Anthony’s were sticklers for discipline, meting out punishment that would be forbidden today! All the same, they inculcated noble values in their pupils, moulding them into citizens the country could be proud of.
Many of these students went on to become doctors, lawyers, engineers, teachers and civil servants and were successful in their careers. The school also produced national sportsmen. To this day, these alumni express their heartfelt gratitude to the school.
Anthonians can look back at their alumni’s glowing contributions to the nation in various spheres. Some of these alumni have moved to different corners of the globe. In these countries where they now reside, they have also contributed immeasurably to society.
When people think of Teluk Intan, the first prominent landmark that comes to mind is the leaning tower. St Anthony’s School, in a smaller way, can lay claim to being another landmark in town.
Alumni of St Anthony’s, one of Teluk Intan’s premier schools, can reminisce over nine decades of not only nostalgic memories but also a deep sense of pride and joy.
I believe few other relatively small schools in the smaller towns of the country have moulded as many distinguished alumni who have contributed immensely to the nation as St Anthony’s.
Anthonians can now look forward to their centennial celebrations in 2031, another auspicious milestone.