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A Tribute: The Teacher Who Groomed World Class Hockey Internationals At Smk St Michael’s, Ipoh

By Louis Rozario Doss

Master Noel Francis d’Oliveiro in the 1960s to 1990s was the hockey Master at St Michael’s who nurtured world class hockey players for Malaysia.

The number of Michaelians who took up hockey in the 1960s-1990s was legion.

Among the most outstanding  hockey stars who wore the Malaysian international colors were the following hockey legends:

Chai Seng Yu
(Malaysian hockey captain 1960-1970s)
ASANDA World Cup, Melbourne (1964)
ASIAN CUP (Bangladesh 1970)
NHK Tournament (Tokyo 1972)
Asian Cup (Karachi 1978)
Junior World Cup (1982)
Top Scorer for National Team (1982)

Christina Chin
Malaysian Women’s Hockey International
ASIAN Cup , Women’s Championship (Seoul,1985)
ASIAN GAMES (New Delhi 1982)
SEA Games (Singapore 1983)
SEA Games (Jakarta 1987)
SEA Games (Kuala Lumpur 1989)
International Master’s  Hockey (Vancouver 1985)

Foo Keat Seong
Malaysian Hockey International (1970s)
Olympics (1984- Los Angeles)
World Cup (Bombay -1974)
World Cup (Argentina -1978)

K. Rajan
Malaysian Hockey International (1970s)
SEA Games (Kuala Lumpur -1977)
SEA Games (Jakarta- 1979)
Coached the TNB team in the National League

Charles David
Malaysian Hockey International
Olympics (Atlanta -1996)
ASIAN GAMES (Beijing -1990)
ASIAN GAMES (Hiroshima – 1994)

Abdul Kadir
Abdul Hadi
Benedict Arrais

(All Malaysian Hockey Internationals)

Here below I reproduce a memoir on Mr Noel Francis D’Oliveiro written by one of his ardent disciples, Mr Felix Jude Nathan.

By Felix Jude Nathan
Former CEO, Sibelco Malaysia
(Michaelian, Deputy Head Prefect ,1980)

“Master Noel Oliveiro conscientiously visited every  class and picked out more than 30 students to turn up for training. In November 1971, training started at the school field and before the schools’ tournament which began at the end of January 1972, the training schedule became frequent and was centralized at the famous Ipoh Municipal Padang.

Players would turn up even during the school holidays ie December 1971 and train from 7.00 am till 10.00 am in the morning and return for a second session at 4.00 pm till 6.30 pm daily. The team began to build a close relationship with the incredibly dedicated coach, with support from his dear wife who was always there to ensure that the team got their refreshments on time.

“Players from St. Michael’s from the seventies who proudly carried the school’s name went on to represent the Combined Schools  and later the State of Perak were Henried Ong, Foo Keat Seong, Benedict Arrais, K. Rajan, Christy Gomez, Abdul Kadir, Gerard Raj, Gunasegaran & Sandrasegaran (brothers), Charlie Foo Tit Yong, Kong Chee Seng, Chai Seng Yu, Reginald Sinha, Rohan Marshall, Felix  Jude Nathan, Charles Aitkens David, Anthony Christie and Mohd Abdul Hadi.” .

While many of the players above had to shorten their hockey careers due to work commitments or further studies, there were a committed few such as Foo Keat Seong, Benedict Arrais, K. Rajan, Chai Seng Yu, Charles David, and Abdul Hadi who went on to represent the Country. Foo Keat Seong and Hadi had glorious careers as they went further to captain the national side.

Master Noel was also affectionately accepted as mentor and a fatherly figure by hundreds of players that he had coached over the years. Some of his notable quotes include ‘ If you want to travel the world, master your hockey’ and ‘ You don’t have to go begging to play. Just work hard at training sessions and improve on your game..selectors will come looking for you instead’. Master Noel instilled a sense of self worth, passion and true dedication into every player that he had coached.

Cheers to the Glory days of the Michaelian Hockey team.

In memory of Mr. Noel Francis d’Oliveiro (3-12-1941 to 27-7-2012)

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