Mr. Brian’s Birthday Bash


Mr. Brian Foenander (pic second from right), the former Discipline Master of Anglo Chinese School, Ipoh celebrated his 77th birthday recently at a bash organised by his former students from the Year of 70/72 at Mike’s Place.
Foenander is commonly addressed as Mr. Brian, although all present that night addressed him as BM which stood for Boarding Master at Horley Hall, the school’s boarding house located on the school grounds, a post he held for 29 years.
As Boarding Master, his job was akin to a father figure to the boarding students “from Kampar, Sungai Siput and other Methodist institutions, even Brunei”.

It was a 24/7 job which required him to live on the school grounds which he did with his wife and family. “I loved my job. To look after the boarders I worked with the school watchman,” smiled Brian who also coached hockey, was the schools Cadet Master and taught English and History.

1st from left is Cheong Teck Leong Class of 72

“Mr. Brian was always known as a strict discipline master. He was always stern and no-nonsense but he was always fair and just,” said Year of ‘72 student Cheong Teck Leong.

In fact, Brian is one of those “practice what you preach” teachers from yesteryear. “I don’t smoke or drink (he let me try his beer which was a ‘shandy!’) and still live a clean life “nothing mischievous. Earlier I played sport. Now I go hunting regularly.I have two guns but I prefer my bolt-action rifle over my automatic shot gun.” Brian describes his consistent blood pressure reading at 120/80 as “vintage wine”.

That night he contributed 20kg of wild boar curry which was the pièce de résistance on the dinner table. It was so tender and tasty you could eat it with a chopstick.
Testimony of his clean lifestyle was echoed by former student boarder Cheah Chee Wah saying, “he was strict no doubt but looking back, it made us who we are right now.” “Also I have never smoked because of him,” adds Cheah, a graduate student and businessman now residing in Australia.

17 thoughts on “Mr. Brian’s Birthday Bash

  1. Dear Mr Brian,

    Happy belated birthday, Sir. I remember those days at Horley Hall where you were the boarding master; how you used to maintain order and discipline with absolute success, needless to say. Thank you, Sir!! Well Done & Cheers!!!

  2. I still remember mr Brian because he is my boarding master during my days at the hostel. He is a very strict man indeed. My days at horley hall leave so much lovely memories. Can someone tell me how to locate mr Brian? I really want to thank him for his gratitude to discipline us and I had gained so much juvenile life experience through him. I wish you the best of health Mr Brian or BM

  3. Hello Mr. Brian,
    You may not remember me but I do very well. You have left a legacy of memories in my heart from the days I have attended ACS from 1965 to 1976. Those were golden years as I now recall. You were strick but what a marvelous job you caried out as a teacher, discipline master,hockey coach and mentor. I will never forget it and hope to meet up one day.

    Julian, I reconized your name and have been trying to get a hold of you. Do reply to my email (

    God bless,

  4. Congratulations BM! You looked good for 77 and many happy returns.
    Your guidance, albeit strict, has certainly has made an impact to what I have achieved today. For that, I am eternally grateful. Thank you and hope you enjoy may more years to come.

    Horley Hall 1973-75.

  5. happy birthday to you BM , i was horley hall in 1974 , my brother john was as well , we were from kuantan , we left for Bournemouth here in Dorset England in 1979 , still live here now and never been back to malaysia , i will make the trip back soon , those were good days and i still think of them , good to hear you are well, william

  6. Mr.Brian,

    Greetings. I have been trying to ‘track’you down a long time but as destiny would have it, today was the day of reckoning. Sir, may I take you into time to 1985/86 the controversial Actionline incident. Well that’s me.
    Just one thing I want to say here everyone. The way discipline in schools are maintained today, the likes of Mr.Brian is an angel!

  7. Mr. Sundralingam,

    Right on all counts.

    You may reach me at and I would much like to make contact with you. Apologies for the late response and love to hear from you.

    Thank you Ipoh Echo for the connection.


  8. Back in the late 60s, you were always spotted in a figure hugging white T shirt[to show those pectorals?] white shorts, a light blue Adidas sports shoe with knee high white socks & carry a light blue Adidas sling bag. Actually for stealth reasons its a bad combo.Those naughty buggers could spot you a mile away but they wont want to tell you for obvious reasons.

  9. BM, get ready for the next birthday bash on 8 Aug 2012, if u decide to live a century then of course we will have it every five years. Long live BM.

  10. Julian Putra, this name rings a bell, maybe u were in ACS or you were my neighbour. When I was living at 65, Birch Gardens Off Conolly Road, Mr. Purta, a Health Officer was my neighbour. This gentleman later became a developer, his elder brother a racer, who lost his left arm. Are U Mr.Putra’s son? U must be at least 53yrs old by now. If it is, then we were childhood neighbours. Is it?

  11. Happy belated birthday, dear Mr. Brian. Much appreciate your efforts in doing a job well done for so many years. It’s been over 36 years since leaving and the discipline instilled then still continues to hold a standard few can match.

    Wish you more years of happy hunting and holding the standard.

  12. Way to go Mr Brian or Mr Brain-lots of people have trouble where to put the ‘a’ & ‘i’ in your first name. I was from form 5 ACS 71. Back then, the mere mention of your name would tame down anyone. I wish I could join you in your hunting expeditions. Happy 77 years young.Cheers

  13. When I was a student, Mr. Brian wasn’t there as the DM or BM, when I retured as Principal he was gone, but I know him personally from my continuous connections with ACS even after I left the school and taught administered in various schools in Ipoh and once in Sungi Siput (North).

    He is indeed a model teacher of yesteryear! His disciplinary style may not fit into today’s education system where parents do not take well to caning but it worked during his era!

    However, his character and lifestyle befits a model teacher and that is why many of his former students honour him today. This is not the only occaassion they celebrate his birthday but in every ACS Alumni Reunion Dinner he attended, he is well received and honoured by former students.

    I hail a great teacher and sportsman. Keep fit man! You deserve a long and happy life for all you have done for ACS in particular and education in general.

  14. That’s our discipline master Mr. Brian,oh my god he looks like 50+.
    I can always remember this macho man who makes me goes ‘botak’ during my secondary
    school days of 74′.
    Happy belated Birthday to you Sir!
    God bless you and ur family.

  15. although i was a michaelian in the 60’s … i have met him on several occasions in ACS. indeed this BM is very extraordinary. he has the qualities of a caring strict concern SIFU.

  16. That’s spirit of ACSians among students and teachers. Rapport and connection of communication between teachers and students help to mould students be a responsible and discipline. We need this type of teachers that care and love their charges. Bravo

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