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The Xaverian Journey
The Story of a Lasallian School in Penang, Malaysia 1787-2019

Author: Francis K W Loh, PhD; Cecilia Ng, PhD and Anthony Rogers, FSC

Southbound ISBN: 978-983-9054-64-4 (hardback)

 

This hardcover book, with a large number of colour photographs and illustrations, chronicles the foundation of St. Xavier’s Institution, Penang and its subsequent growth and development as the first Lasallian educational institution in Asia.

The school was established following the original creativeness and inspiration of John Baptist de la Salle and the Christian Brothers with the support of many associates. Their collective dedication towards the “service of the poor through education” in Asia is a legacy to cherish. This is a chronicle of St Xavier’s journey through the decades following its founding. By looking back into the past 170 years, the books distills lessons learnt from its history. This rich and storied backdrop sets the stage for its evolution into the 21st century and a future marked by profound changes within the community which the Institution serves.This hardcover book, with a large number of colour photographs and illustrations, chronicles the foundation of St. Xavier’s Institution, Penang and its subsequent growth and development as the first Lasallian educational institution in Asia. The school was established following the original creativeness and inspiration of John Baptist de la Salle and the Christian Brothers with the support of many associates. Their collective dedication towards the “service of the poor through education” in Asia is a legacy to cherish. This is a chronicle of St Xavier’s journey through the decades following its founding. By looking back into the past 170 years, the books distills lessons learnt from its history. This rich and storied backdrop sets the stage for its evolution into the 21st century and a future marked by profound changes within the community which the Institution serves.

 

The book comprises ten chapters and a concluding section.

 
In Chapter 1 Our Original Foundation, 1787-1852, the authors look back in time to the arrival of the founders of the school and conditions in Penang that motivated the establishment of the Institution nearly two centuries ago. The altruistic objectives of John Baptist De La Salle and his community of Brothers for the education of the poor children are discussed.
In Chapter 2 Dawn of the Lasallian Ethos, 1852-1940, the book discusses the humble origins of St Xavier's Institution, the construction of its first baroque-style building and evolutionary growth of its family of educational institutions to include St Xavier’s Branch School, St Joseph’s Training College (SJTC,) Boarding School. The spreading of Lasallian Education throughout British Malaya following the establishment of the Institution is also covered in this chapter.
In Chapter 3 War, Sorrow and Pain, 1941-1945 the book focuses on the difficulties and sufferings of the years spanning the Second World War and the Japanese Army’s occupation of Penang. The Brothers were taken away and interned in prisoner-of-war camps during this period. Towards the end of Japanese Occupation, Allied forces mounted air-raids on George Town when the buildings of St Xavier’s, then occupied by the Japanese Forces, were bombed and razed to the ground.
In Chapter 4 Re-opening of St Xavier’s after the War, 1945–1957, dedicated efforts at the reconstruction of the School buildings and revival of teaching and schooling are chronicled. This included the establishment of St Xavier’s “Private” School and assumption of responsibility for “Associated Schools.”
In Chapter 5 Growth and Restructuring, 1957 to 1970s the impact of the National Educational Policy on Mission Schools is discussed.
In Chapter 6 New Challenges in Post-NEP, 1970s - 2000s further profound changes affecting the School are discussed. These were triggered by The Aziz Report, 1971 when the School’s teachers became Government employees. At the same time the medium of instruction was changed. This happened at a time when the numbers of Brothers and SJTC-trained teachers declined.
In Chapter 7 Roll of Service - Directors, Brothers, Clergy, Headteachers, SJTC Teachers, Head Prefects, Scouts, Boards, OXA & XCKL, PTA, the book celebrates and records contributions made by the principals, teachers, students and their parents who played pivotal and important roles in the School.
In Chapter 8 Roll of Honour: Outstanding Xaverians, the names of members of the alumni of the School whose careers contributed to the development of the public and private sectors in Malaysia and abroad are recorded and celebrated.
In Chapter 9 A Living Legacy: Moulding Minds, Touching Hearts, Changing Lives the authors reflect on the importance and successes of the extra-curricular programmes of the Institution. These range from music and literary activities to the uniformed units of the Red Crescent, Scouts and Army Cadet Corps. The critical contributions of members of the Boards of Governors and Managers of the Institution and its associated Schools are also discussed.
In Chapter 10 Options for Lasallian Education in the 21st Century, the authors look ahead to the future and discuss the ways forward for the Institution.

 

For more information about the book and how to obtain a copy email: XaverianJourney2019@gmail.com

 
 
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