MALAYSIA – The teachers and students of St Francis’ Institution (SFI), Malacca organised a grand ‘Retirement Ceremony’ as befits a person who has spent 19 years of her 35 years as an educator in her Alma Mater.
Present at the farewell ceremony held in the school quadrangle on February 14, 2022 were members of the school Board of Governors, Parent-Teacher Association, teachers, Old Boys Associations (St Francis’ Association and Franciscan Club Kuala Lumpur).
The La Salle Mission Authority was represented by Br David Liao as Br Director, Br Ambrose Loke was unwell. Many students were not able to attend due to the Covid-19 SOPs.
Dato Ronald Gan, Chairman of SFI Parent-Teacher Association described Vivienne as a passionate educator. “She is more than a teacher to the students. She is also like a mother to them. She always advised parents to pay attention to their children’s studies. Her aspiration is for students to do well in whatever they do.”
Br David Liao thanked Vivienne for her dedicated service as a Lasallian Educator. “You have retired as a Principal of the school but you don’t retire as an educator. Meanwhile, take a well deserved rest. We hope you will still be able to contribute towards La Salle Education Mission”. Br David, on behalf of La Salle Brothers of Malaysia and LEAD (La Salle East Asia District), also presented her with a ‘Certificate of Appreciation’ and a souvenir for her service rendered towards the Lasallian Mission.
Her parting words to the teachers and students, “Live up to the school motto: ‘Age Quod Agis’ ‘Whatever you do, do it well’. Specially to the teachers, ‘Teaching is your chosen profession. The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts. So be optimistic. Enjoy your career and be happy always.”
With representatives from Board of Governors, PTA, Br David Liao, Old Boys’ Associations and Headmaster of SFI Primary, Edie Gan
Br. David Liao presented Ms. Vivienne with a ‘Certificate of Appreciation’ and a souvenir for her service rendered towards the Lasallian Mission
A dinner was held at Ames Hotel, Ayer Keroh to celebrate her 60th birthday on February 24, 2022. It was well attended by her former colleagues from Sekolah Tinggi Cina Melaka (Chinese High School), former and present teachers from SFI, members of the school Board of Governors, Parent- Teacher Association, teachers, members of the Old Boys Associations (St Francis’ Association, Malacc aand Franciscan Club Kuala Lumpur).
Vivienne first came to SFI in 1980 as a Form Six student. The Brother Director/Principal then was the late Br Harold Reynolds. She was inspired by Br Harold’s role as an educator of ‘Teaching Minds, Touching Hearts and Transforming Lives’. She vowed to be an educator like him.
Yong Kheng Kwang accompanied by Dato Ronald Gan, Chairman of PTA and representatives of the teachers, presented a souvenir to Vivienne Cheon
She went to study ‘Humanities with Education’ at the University of Science, Malaysia and began her teaching career in 1987.
In 1995, Vivienne came back to SFI to teach and was promoted to Senior Assistant of Co-curriculum in 2007. In 2011, she was transferred to Sekolah Tinggi Cina Melaka on promotion as Senior Assistant of Student’s Affairs. In 2014, she was promoted as Principal in that same school.
Soon after her short stint there, her fervent wish to come back to SFI became a reality. On July 22, 2019, SFI officially welcomed Vivienne as the first female Principal.
During her stint as Principal of SFI, she ensured that the main cultural festivals like Chinese New Year, Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Deepavali and Christmas were celebrated in a big way. This was to allow students and teachers alike to learn, understand and respect the culture of the various races in Malaysia. She also fostered a caring culture between the teachers and students. All activities and programs organised by the school were recorded for remembrance which will also be beneficial for future reference.
“I never thought that this day – my retirement - will come. I am happy that I retire in SFI, my Alma Mater. Once a Lasallian, always a Lasallian.” (Text & Photos: Mr. James Sia)