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Bro. Paul Ho, Brother Of The Moment Print E-mail
ImageDedicated, approachable, baby-faced and no nonsense when it comes to discipline, that's Brother Paul Ho, the Principal of St. Xavier's Institution Penang since 1993.  He will be the last  Brother to hold a Principal's post in a Brother's school as a result of the implementation of the national education policy in 1969. Just how did Paul Ho become a Brother...was there a specific call from God? In his own words he said:          
"There was no specific call from God. All I remember was when I was about 12 years old in primary school the Brother who was the Headmaster (Brother Matthew Liew) called me to his office and  asked me what I  liked to be. I told him I  liked to be a priest.  He asked what the reason was. I said because I liked to hear confessions,  so after some time he asked me why  didn't I become a Brother and a teacher.  So, I  started thinking about it and at the age of 20, I joined the Brothers."  
There was no turning back then for the good Brother and he is now in his 27th year of the religious life. Reflecting on his early  school  life, he recalled  that he was not  spectacular in his academic achievements : "In fact I had more red marks than blue in my various tests", he said. "Luckily some Brothers had the insight  that I had the ability to reach for the stars especially Brother John Climacus Toh, and so I did," he continued.  He caught up with lost time and graduated from the University of Manchester, UK with a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters in Education.  He also holds a host of diplomas in teaching English and journalism - not to mention his adept and qualified skills in home science.
He feels that life as a Brother is wonderful especially when it comes to touching the lives of young people. He confesses that the driving force behind his religious life is prayer and God's inspiration. "Only God and prayer can help me to hold on as a Brother." With the Brothers diminishing  number, he feels that their role is still very  relevant, by  influencing the lay people to carry on the ideals of St. John Baptist De La Salle.
Standing alone as the last Brother Principal (as there will be no more Brother holding this post after him), will he soldier on just as General Custer did in his last stand?  His answer is an emphatic YES!
My personal contact with Brother Paul has been close and a pleasant one since the day I took on the office of President of  the Xaverian Club Kuala Lumpur in 1998.  We worked  closely to forge a strong  link between students and the old Xaverians through various events and programmes. His  foresight and fortitude  in  starting the bakery class for students who are not-so-academically-inclined  is most  admirable, for the  training equips these students with a skill for life and provides them with an alternate career path when they leave school.
Syabas Brother Paul.You can count on all Xaverians' support in your work to keep SXI's flag flying high.We are proud of you and may God bless you in your endeavours.

Article by Ng Soon Hong

Acknowledgements with thanks:
1. "Xaverian 1999" issue
2. "Portrait of the De La Salle Brothers"
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