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.
“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.