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A La Salle Brother's work is never done Print E-mail
ImageWhen the La Salle Brothers first arrived in Penang in 1852, their primary mission was to set up schools and provide education to the disadvantaged. As a testament  to the Brothers' contributions, the official Year Book of the Federation of Malaya 1967, when reporting on the quality of education in schools run by the Christian bodies, expressed the following:-

"…….. the Mission schools particularly  those under  the direction of the Roman Catholic Christian Brothers and the American Methodist Church were chiefly responsible for the rapid advancement in English education and by 1914, some three fourths of the boys receiving education were in those schools……. It is a striking tribute to the selfless of these men and women that they should have gained the ready  confidence and affection of both parents and teachers despite differences in religion and culture ..."

Available school records before World War II, in fact, showed that some 74% of the boys and almost all the girls studying English were in mission schools.
ImageOver the passage of time (150 years of it), the Brothers in Malaysia have been adapting to the changing circumstances and needs, and are far more involved than being merely in the field of primary and secondary education. Many alumni may not know of the Brothers’ commitments in the new areas of work most of which are hardly publicised and in which they are gallantly plodding on to fulfil their mission in their usual modest and humble fashion. Some of the projects that I know of are :

The Penang Learning Centre – Bro. John D’Cruz
The La Salle Centre, Ipoh      -  Bro. Vincent Corkery
Brother Augustus of Mary Library for the Visually Handicapped – Bro. Charles Levin
Education Project at Kampung Songsogon, Sabah – Bro. Lawrence Spitzig
The St. Francis Learning Centre, Malacca – Brother Ambrose Loke
LaSallian Rural Education Service in Kampung Sibulu, Sarawak - Bro Albinus O’Flaherty
Changjiao English and Computer Literacy Centre, China – Bro. David Liao
De La Salle Institute, KL (tertiary education) – Bro. Andrew Loke.

Many of these projects are run by voluntary workers and are dependent, heavily, on the generosity of friends and well-wishers.  The Brothers facilitating the work are well known to the alumni. We therefore call on the old boys and girls to come forward to support their “favourite” Brother/Brothers  in his/their project/s. Perhaps the Yayasan De La Salle could also play a big part in supporting these projects which are conjoint efforts to preserve the Lasallian Dream.

La Salle Learning Centre, Penang
ImageThe La Salle Learning Centre is the pet project of Brother John D’Cruz of St. Xavier’s Institution, Penang. It was founded in 1984 to cater to disadvantaged children with learning difficulties. Helping them ‘to learn how to learn’ is the main objective of the Centre. The present co-ordinator is Mr. John Balavendrum and he is assisted by Mr. Stephen Saw, both of whom are Lasallians.

Not too long ago, a Graduation Ceremony was held for 22 Facilitators (2002-2003 session) and 10 Trainers (2002-2003 session) at the La Salle Retreat Centre in Port Dickson. Previous graduates from the first two sessions also participated Brother Peter Foo, Visitor, graced the occasion with his presence.

This 'alternative  education  programme for  the  poor' deserves  to be  supported.  Those  who wish to make a donation to the Centre may send their contributions to:

The Co-ordinator,                                               Brother John D’Crus
La Salle Learning Centre,                                    St. Xavier’s Institution
c/o Church of St. Francis Xavier,          OR             Farquhar Street
Penang Road,                                                    10200 Penang
10000 Penang

Note : Donation cheques to be crossed and made payable to: La Salle Learning Centre
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