The above phrase was drummed up in our high school days at Dragon School fifty years ago to the young boys and girls coming from all over Sarawak from Tanjong Datu to Limbang representing all races and religion present in Sarawak at the time. At every school assembly in the morning we would be reminded of our obligations and the need for good behavior. We lived together like brothers and sisters. For two, three or five years we lived and learned together. Those were the classes of 1959, whether we were in Transition classes, Form I or Form IV.
Not only were students, but we were also the “gardeners, the sweepers or football field makers”. Yes, we learned and worked together. It was the good of times. It was also the time for opportunities to learn and work together.
When we finished Form III or V, almost everyone got employed as long as they applied for the right jobs, irrespective of whether they failed to get through to Form IV or Form Six. After sitting for Higher School Certificate at Upper Form Six at Tanjong Lobang School, we were offered jobs almost immediately. I was offered three different jobs from three separate Departmental heads and I opted to be a temporary Teacher. I then chose Serian Secondary School for my posting before I went to Canada for Medicine on a Colombo Plan Scholarship.
Yes, those were the good times. Most of us ended up with good careers and made our marks as heads of various Departments as Directors and so on. Nelson Liap Kudu and myself shifted to politics. Others like Julaihi, late Hillary Nyambau, Frankie Jurem, Putit, Sepuan made it to head their respective Departments, just to name a few. Our “Elvis”, Wilfred Amin remained as non recording artist. Sulong, our frankster (watch out), is now a Federal Judge.
Behind it all, it is the school motto which still influences what I had done, is and will be doing. That five little words can mean a lot if taken seriously to heart. It can mean even serving oneself although it may be considered by many “to be selfish”. However the inability to serve oneself render ourselves useless to the others. Once we have helped ourselves, then we can be of service to the others. As long as we don’t serve ourselves by or through deceit and guile but only through dedication and hard work, it should be acceptable. Otherwise nothing good will ever come out in the end.
This year, 2009, will be our Fiftieh Anniversary for the first batch of Form I, IV and two Transition Classes of 1959. There will be a “get-together” dinner in July. We will be able to meet again but for those who have gone “home” – may they rest in peace. How many I am not certain but I know a few only.
To all my friends, let us celebrate our 50th Anniversary and to my fellow Dragonians, “So that I may serve”. Happy Anniversary.