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Francis Light School

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The field of Francis Light School (12 February 2005)

Francis Light School (GPS: 5.41573, 100.31451) or Sekolah Kebangsaan Francis Light is a primary school along Perak Road in George Town, Penang. It was founded in 1930 and named in honour of the English country trader who landed in Penang to establish the island as a British trading port settlement. For much of the mid 20th century, Francis Light School was considered one of the elite primary schools, as it produced one of the biggest intakes of students into the secondary Penang Free School.

Francis Light School was my alma mater, as my father also wanted my education to progress to Penang Free School, a path that it did take. Over the recent decades, the school has very much lost its luster, as the government seemed determine to erase the elitism of the colonial schools.

One of the most famous students of Francis Light School is the late P. Ramlee, who studied there from 1939 to 1941 until the Second World War broke out.

I revisited my old school on 17 August, 2016. My classmate from primary school had came back from Sydney, so I decided to take him on a ride to visit the school. Much has changed. The canteen has been relocated to a different building. Some parts of the school has become unused as the structure is deemed unsafe, yet it was neither demolished nor repaired.

Getting there

The nearest bus stop is along Perak Road. it is served by Rapid Penang bus 10.

Francis Light SchoolFrancis Light School (17 August, 2016)

Francis Light SchoolThe main wing of Francis Light School, where the school canteen used to be located. Now the canteen has been moved to a different building. (17 August, 2016)

Francis Light SchoolThis was the Standard One wing of the school. Now it appears to be the school bookshop. (17 August, 2016)

I started school in Class 1C. The next year I was promoted to class 2B, and subsequently to class 3A. I remained in the A class right through to Standard 6.

Francis Light SchoolThe school hall is still as I remember it. (17 August, 2016)

Francis Light SchoolThis is a new wing. (17 August, 2016)

The ground floor is the canteen. This wing was not yet built during my time.

Francis Light SchoolThe school quadrangle. (17 August, 2016)

If memory serves me right, during my time, this area was grass, with a few casuarina trees. Now it's all paved up.

Francis Light SchoolThe school canteen. (17 August, 2016)

This is new to me. During my time, the canteen was in the old central wing, with different hawkers selling different items. Now it appears all food is centralised.

Francis Light SchoolUncle manning the canteen. (17 August, 2016)

Francis Light SchoolMy Standard 5 wing. (17 August, 2016)

Our teacher in Standard 5 was Mrs Chang. I wonder whether she's still living.

Francis Light SchoolThe toilet. (17 August, 2016)

Francis Light SchoolThe inside of the toilet. (17 August, 2016)

Okay, so one thing hasn't changed and it's the toilet. To be exact, the smell.

Francis Light SchoolPavilion. (17 August, 2016)

I do not recall this pavilion. It is possibly erected after my time.

Francis Light SchoolThe school hall. (17 August, 2016)

The school hall still looks the same. Even the blue wooden shutters are still the same colour as before. I think nothing has changed since my time, except that there's now ventilator air conditioning. The school desks are also the same as before.

Francis Light SchoolThe honors roll. (17 August, 2016)

The head boy in my year was Low Kian Leong. I wonder where he is today.

Francis Light SchoolThe classrooms. (17 August, 2016)

On the left side, Standard 2 was downstairs, Standard 3 was upstairs. On the right side, Standard 4 was downstairs, Standard 5 was upstairs.

Francis Light SchoolThe classrooms. (17 August, 2016)

In this picture, on the left side, the canteen was downstairs, Standard 6 was upstairs. On the right side, Standard 2 was downstairs, and Headmaster's Office and Standard 3 was upstairs. Now the whole upstairs was unused.

Francis Light SchoolThe staircase. (17 August, 2016)

This staircase used to go up to the school bookshop and Standard 3. Now the whole upstairs is unused. That brown door leads to the school hall.

Francis Light SchoolThe hallway. (17 August, 2016)

During my time, you could see in the hallway glass cases with trophies in them. Now no more. I don't have any photographs of myself in school during my time. All six years, not a single photo. All I have are memories from the past.

Francis Light SchoolThe upstairs. (17 August, 2016)

I climbed upstairs just to see how it's like up there. Now it's deserted. During my time, you can hear the children's chatter from far.

Francis Light SchoolThe bookshop. (17 August, 2016)

That door used to be the school bookshop. Now it is locked.

Francis Light SchoolThe corridor. (17 August, 2016)

I spent Standard 3 here. Now it's empty.

Francis Light SchoolView from upstairs. (17 August, 2016)

The school looked so quiet, even though it is actually a school day. I met up and chat with a few of the teachers. The sense of desertedness is due to most of the classes having been relocated to the new multi-storey wing. The old wings are left empty.

Francis Light SchoolThe roof. (17 August, 2016)

The roof of our school hall. It is still exactly the same as before.

Francis Light School (12 February 2005)

Francis Light School (12 February 2005)

Francis Light School (12 February 2005)

Exterior wall of Francis Light School. (12 February 2005)

360° Street View of Francis Light School

Francis Light School is on the map of Perak Road

List of Schools in Penang and Schools in Malaysia

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