By Chelvi Murugiah
Life Ever Dawning is an autobiography of Reverend Brother Dato’ Vincent Corkery, FSC (first edition, 2014). This book, much influenced by his unquestionable faith in God, is a simple read requiring simple thoughts.
The title, ‘Life Ever Dawning’ is apparently the concurring notion of Brother Vincent’s reminder that life is a new dawn each passing day in each one’s life.
An acknowledgement that sums up the purpose of this autobiography, mirrors Brother Vincent’s pursuit of his scholarly and missionary zeal that took him away from his native Ireland to many countries across the world and finally, to the shores of Malaysia, seemingly, his second home.
Coming from a traditional Catholic community, the influence to join the priesthood, seminary or other religious congregation seemed a “greater adventure” to living in a farm, I suppose.
Much of his personal and professional development is evident during his years of service in St Michael’s Institution, Ipoh. Many chapters in the book underline the leading role he played in regard to improving learning, teaching, class and school administration and his pragmatic style in dealing with local authorities, such as, the Ministry of Education, Police and other government officials.
Overall, it’s a warm and inspiring autobiography detailing the dedication and endearing legacy of Brother Vincent’s mission as a LaSallian Brother. For a man of few words, this book must be a definitive bold move to share his life story. The book provides a reflection of his personality, revealing his inner faith and relational life.
Just as he states, “I was not interested in faults or failings, my focus was on telling the good news”. The writing is light, and the choice of words reflects an intention to highlight the bright side of issues.
My instinctive conclusion would be that Brother Vincent (taking the lyrics of Celine Dion's song, "Immortal"), had found his dream and the sense that every ounce of him needed to see it through.
The Biographical Timeline, details Vincent’s life path as in a textbook, factual. The Memories and Tributes by former students and colleagues of SMI, touched by his presence as teacher, mentor and advisor, are prominent personalities, in their own right.
So in the true “Michaelian spirit” (some level of bias is in order, as both of my sons are from La Salle and they studied at SMI) I would gladly say, “Go grab the book to support the legacy of a humble Mat Salleh who, according to my son, Nahulan, is a quiet man who has a distinct calm vibe and exudes a brother-like persona. He proudly proclaimed that the LaSallian schools are the best in Ipoh and he was fortunate to be a part of it.
I believe this has a lot to do with Vincent’s commitment to his cause.
Printed and bound in Malaysia, this book was published by the St Michael’s Institution Alumni Association Klang Valley.
Life Ever Dawning, in soft cover, is priced at RM30 a piece. The book is sold at La Salle Centre, St Michael’s Institution, Ipoh.
For details call Brother Vincent at 012 562 8361.