Friday, 28 September 2012

The haunts of an old British barrack in Pengkalan Chepa

I lived at one of the lecturers' quarters at Maktab Perguruan Perempaun Melayu (MPPM) at Pengkalan Chepa in Kelantan, from May 1969 to December 1971. The college was a previous British army barrack which was first built and used by the British till the war broke out. It was then used by the Japanese army from 1941 till it surrendered in 1945.

My father was a lecturer at MPPM in the post-war, from May 1969 to January 1972. There were very few teachers then as I remember - (Tan Sri Dr) Yahya Ibrahim, Mr Ibrahim (deceased), Dr Sharifah, Mr ____ (Taufik's father), Mr ____ (Mimi's father), Mr Khalid (quiet family), Mr Jamaludin (deceased, Dr Faezah's father and my neighbour), Madam ___, etc. I didn't know what my father taught but probably Maths and/ Malay.

Anyway, when it was my turn to teach here on weekends for the Open University Malaysia (OUM) chemistry course, I thought to walk around and see the place for myself, and feel for myself how my father had worked here. I was slotted for the Sept/Dec classes, which were scheduled during the heavy monsoon period. Despite the rain and the perilous road conditions, I had to brave myself and drive through torrential rain and also zero visibility, to arrive for my classes on time. I could have died on the road, speeding at 90 km/h or more, in heavy rain. For such a high risk and weekend work, I was paid RM700-RM1,200/mo.

OUM now has a recently renovated blue-silver building in Lundang, in front of Balai Islam. Here are some old photos of the British barrack where I taught chemistry on weekends from 2005/6 to 2007/8. These are pre-war buildings, some are more recent though.

old big hall
new modern buildings and corridors
modern corrugated stunted Doric columns
old corridor with round metal poles, post-war, 1960s
ancient corridor with square wooden poles on base, old roof, pre-war
a typical home of a British/Japanese army officer/college lecturer
modern surau and free parking