A Missionary Life:
Rev. J. Wesley Day
China, Malaysia, Indonesia
Chapter 6. Teluk Anson, Malaya
(now Teluk Intan, Malaysia), 1952-1955
August 1952 we were on the MS Soesdyke, which left us at Penang, Malaya, from where a taxi took us the fifty miles to our new home at Teluk Intan (then called Teluk Anson.)
Wesley Day family, 1952
My assignment was pastor of the Wesley (English speaking) Methodist Church and Chaplain of the Horley Methodist (then Anglo-Chinese) Boys School. School staff was very helpful, as was our Methodist Youth Fellowship. The government favored–indeed required–religious teaching, and I was quickly involved in several chapel services.
After a year our Malaysian principal, W. E. Pereira retired (mandatory retirement at age 55. He continued as a teacher.) I was appointed as his successor.
Speaking at school assembly, Malaya
Mr. Pereira had been a popular and able administrator, and I was glad to take his advice in everything. Then one day a sixth grade boy was sent to the office for repeated fighting.
"I recommend," said my advisor, "that this boy be spanked by the principal."
The boy made his plea. "Please spank me, Sir. Only please don't tell my father."
The boy plead to no avail. He was suspended. He was allowed to go and get his book and go home. Mr. Pereira and I called on his father.
"I don't see how this can be," said his father. "We don't let him play when he comes home. We send him right to his studies."
You can imagine what Mr. Pereira, a district scout-master, said to the boy's father.
The boy's suspension was then ended. He was never sent to the office again.
In accepting the appointment of principal I had asked Bishop Archer to appoint a qualified Malaysian for this job when possible. This he did about a year later. My successor was Teerathram.
One day the woman who lived in the house next to the school yard complained that some boys were climbing the fence into her yard. The principal heard their story, then slapped each boy on the hand with a ruler. All parties, including the boys, were satisfied, and there were no further complaints.
So much for corporal punishment in Malaysia.
One of the teachers, Stanley Padman, was a leader among the boys, and a devoted Christian. Missionaries and other pastors came and went, but Stanley, then he, his wife and family, were a strong Christian influence that did not move away. We still correspond.
Christmas at Teluk Anson, 1953
Members of the Tamil Indian congregation.
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