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Sportsmen & Personalities


Stefan Tseng

1997 to 2002   


Stefan attributes his success in sports to St Michael’s School Memories of your school years: I remember playing football or running around the school almost all the time, either before school, during recess, or after. I began playing football at Primary 4, and we had an amazing team (with Hariss Harun). Then I started Athletics in Primary 5 because Serjit Singh, the coach back then, asked me to try it out as I did fairly well at Sports Day. Sports Day was always fun because there was always a rivalry in the 100m and 200m with Hariss. It was good fun. Primary 6 was the year I won the Gold medal at National Schools, and broke the record for Triple Jump. A lot of my success can attributed to the conducive environment St. Michael’s School created, where we felt we could achieve anything.

Andre Ahchak

1968 to 1973   

Andre remembers many teachers in St Michael’s who had made a huge impact on him.
I entered St Michael’s School on the morning of Tuesday 2nd January 1968. My Primary One Teacher was Mrs Lourdes Nathan. I hadn’t had the privilege of going to kindergarten and Mrs Nathan made a great impression upon me in my first year of formal schooling. She was strict, but such a kind person. When she got married, she brought her wedding cake to class to share with us. It was a fruit cake!
There were many teachers in St Michael’s who made a huge impact on me. I learnt from them that nothing was impossible if you worked hard. It didn’t matter whether your family was rich or poor. You didn’t have to be smart, but honest – so that in doing your best you would achieve what you truly deserve.
Here are some teachers whom I’d like to name specifically. Apart from my Primary One A teacher, there was Mrs Leong (her son Benedict Leong was in my class). Mrs Leong taught the Primary One B, class. She was a very motherly figure who was always very cheerful.
Mr Charles Chan, my Primary Two Form Teacher, taught us discipline. He was the school’s Scout Master and he used his Scouting Skills to teach us to assemble (especially during PE) silently. Because of Mr Chan I was also involved in the Gardening Society.
Mr Alex Wong Voon Foo was my Primary 3A Form Teacher (1970). Although he was the Senior Teacher/ Discipline Master and looked stern, Mr Wong had a heart of gold. I’ve kept in touch with him, on and off, these past years.
One teacher who changed my perspective of things was Mr Joseph Varghese. He was my poetry and singing teacher. He got me to participate in the National Inter-Schools Poetry Competition. I didn’t know what it was about but I agreed to participate. I dressed as a pirate and recited a local poem about a blood-thirsty pirate Koo Sheng Fee! Surprisingly I took the top spot in the Open Solo Competition, beating others who were older. That was really news back in school!This opened opportunities for me. I was selected by the Ministry of Education to be trained by a Superintendent of Schools, Miss Janice Baruch. We were given training in elocution, speech, drama, and poetry reading. That year I also joined the SMS Bugle and Fife Band under Ms Leanor Chan and former SMS staff member Mr Ow Mun Hong.
The following year in Primary Four (1971), I was chosen by Miss Baruch to be involved in Radio and Television Poetry Programmes on Channel 5, Radio Television Singapore (RTS). Later that same year I was selected to be a presenter for Educational Television (ETV) Programmes produced by the Ministry of Education at the then Teacher’s Training College at Paterson Road. My programme producer was the famous Miss Tan Si Lai formerly of RTS. (I was a presenter of ETV programmes till I was in Secondary Three in St Joseph’s Institution.)
My Primary Four and Five Form Teacher was Mr Tan Kheng Siang. I still keep in touch with Mr Tan via Facebook. I believe has migrated to Canada. In Primary 5, I was made a School Prefect and was selected to represent St Michael’s to receive the POSB prize from Mr Yong Nyuk Lin, then Minister for Education.
In Primary Six (1973) I was still a Prefect. My Form Teacher was Mr Ow Mun Siong (the elder brother of Mr Ow Mun Hong my band instructor). The older Mr Ow was popularly known as ‘Gala’ because of his height. That year, other than preparing for the PSLE, I participated in the National Day Parade at the Jalan Besar Stadium with the SMS Band. I was also involved in the National Safety First Council Story-telling Competition, finishing in the top ten of all the primary schools in Singapore.
Some other teachers and staff who made an impression on me during my time at SMS were Mr Joseph Wee (who was also my Confirmation God-Father and a goodfriend of my father’s as they were schoolmates in St Joseph’s Institution and then at the Teachers’ Training College). Mr Joseph Toh was a stern Prefect Master but a wonderfully kind man. Mrs Colleen Sheares, who though always busy at school functions, was always ready with a word of encouragement. Mr James Low, who taught us the hymns for Mass and the School Rally, Mr Tan Wee Lee, whose patience with rascals helped many turn over a new leaf. Brother Vincent, who taught us Catechism in Primary 3, and Brother Godfrey (Francis Paulus) who was a wonderful athletics teacher. Mrs De Souza, the Chief Clerk of the School (whose son Jeremy was in my class) was another kind and loving person. My years at St Michael’s were wonderful and that is why they are still so vivid in my mind! God bless all my teachers and my friends who share those memories with me.

William Xavier

1966 to 1971   

Stefan attributes his success in sports to St Michael’s School
- Playing football during recess.
- Achieving “C” Division individual champion on sports day 1969.
- Academically, never being out of the top 3 in class.
My favourite teacher was Mrs Sheares who spotted at an early stage (Primary 3) my fondness for reading and got me on my way to my career in media.