St. Xavier's Institution

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St Xavier's Institution
Georgetown, Penang
Type Government
Motto Labor Omnia Vincit
("Labor Conquers All")
Established 1852
Founder De La Salle Brothers
Principal Dr. Sim Hock Keat (acting)
Grades Standard 1 - Standard 6
Form 1 - Form 6
Gender Primary:
Coeducational (Form 6)
Campus type Urban
Colour(s) Green and gold
Affiliations Malaysia Ministry Of Education
Abbreviation SXI

St Xavier's Institution is a boys' school in George Town, Penang, Malaysia. It was established in 1852[1][2] and named after Saint Francis Xavier, the pioneering Christian missionary and co-founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuit Order).[3][4][5] While being a boys' school, girls are also admitted, albeit only in Form 6.[6] The abbreviated name for the school is SXI with the pupils known as Xaverians or La Sallians, but among the students they are popular with the abbreviation SAINTS.


St. Xavier's Institution is the oldest surviving formal school in Penang and possibly Malaysia. While the year 1852 is inscribed on the school building, the history of the school begins much earlier than that.[citation needed][7]

On 25 August 1786 Reverend Father (and then later Bishop of Siam and Queda upon the demise of Bishop Conde) Domino Arnaldo Antonio-Garnault (who was appointed Vicar Apostolic of Siam), who had been residing at Cochin China and Siam (Thailand today), having been expelled with the rest of the Societe des Missions Etrangeres de Paris (MEP) from neighbouring Thailand in 1781, arrived from Kedah. Captain Light noted that Garnault was acquainted with the languages of those countries. Garnault asked Light for permission to build a Church at Penang and while Light sought to make excuses, Garnault, together with his people and asked permission to settle. Garnault picked a spot in the woods about four hundred yards from the fort (what would become Fort Cornwallis). He established a Malay language school in an attap shed in a stretch of mangrove swamp that eventually became Church Street. Monsignor Jean-Baptiste Boucho (who arrived in 1824) of the Paris Foreign Missions, with an allowance of a hundred Piastres a month from Governor Fullerton, moved the school from the church compound to a brick house he had constructed, turned it into an English-medium school for boys in 1825 and renamed it the Catholic Free School. On 20 April 1852, St. Francis Xavier's Free School, as it was known as then, and its 80 pupils came under the management of the De La Salle Brotherhood under the responsibility of two French Brothers, Lothaire-Marie Combes and Venere Chapuit and one American Brother, Jerome.[8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20]

On Nov 1786 Francis Light writes to Mr John Fergusson, "Our inhabitants increase very fast -- Chooliars, Chinese, and Christians; they are already disputing about ground, every one building as fast as they can. The French Padre from Quedda has erected his cross here, and in two months more it will never be believed that this place was never before inhabited." (In 1785 Captain Light mentions that a French Padre, Antonio Garnault (bishop and vicar-general), came from Cochin China to Penang.[21]

The Rev. Father Decroix of the Church of the Assumption writes:

"On his return from Pondicherry the first care of Mg. Garnault was to provide for the education of children of the parish. Three young Siamese ladies were eager to consecrate their lives to the service of God and of the Church. They were given the Rule of the “Amantes de la Croix” a well-known Asian religious congregation, and established themselves a house in China Street known to their contemporaries as the “Little Convent”. Besides this convent the Sisters founded a school for boys and an orphanage for girls. The Malay language was the medium of instruction in the school."[22]

From One Hundred Years of Singapore we read,

"...Rev. Father J. M. Beurel, who was very anxious to ensure to the boys entrusted to his care the advantages of a sound religious and secular education. As far back as 1841 we find him working with a view of securing the services of the Christian Brothers for educational purposes in Singapore. The Superior-General of the Congregation, who was then residing in Paris, appeared to have been more or less opposed to the project ; but the Rev. Father did not desist from his purpose, and finally proceeded in person to Paris to plead his cause. His journey was not fruitless, for towards the close of March 1852 he returned to the scene of his labours with six Brothers, three of whom were destined for Singapore, and the others for St. Xavier's, Penang, an analogous establishment."[23]

In 1856 its student population increases to 125 and in 1857 it was relocated to a newly completed building of 30 x 50 metres on Farquhar Street, and renamed St. Xavier's Institution.[24]

In 1906, the building known as Noah's Ark (because it was said to resemble a ship), built by the parish priest of Pulau Tikus as its first village school was handed over to the Christian Brothers and then became a branch of the St. Xavier's School.[25]

SXI entered its pupils for government scholarships , the prestigious Queen's Scholarships, and from 1892, for the Cambridge exams. The building was enlarged, and in 1900 the enrollment rate was over 400 pupils.

St Xavier's Institution

During the 1900s, Penang rose up to be a major shipping port, due to the rise of tin mining and rubber industry. Strict health regulations, the invention of motorcar, the need for rubber tyres and electricity, all these brought prosperity to Penang. SXI had over 1000 pupils. The boarding department was flourishing, the school has a spacious playing field and a cadet corps was formed.[citation needed][26][27][28][29][30]

The original building was destroyed in World War II when the allied nations bombed the school which has been used as the naval headquarters for the Imperial Army of Japan in December 1941. School was suspended during this period. When the war ended, schooling resumed with the pupils being educated in "attap huts" on what is now the school field pro tem while the buildings were reconstructed. The current building was completed in 1952.

The school is affiliated with two primary schools which had split away from the main school body after the war. Sekolah Rendah Kebangsaan (SRK) St. Xavier's is the main primary school, located in Air Itam, while a branch primary school, Sekolah Rendah Kebangsaan (SRK) St. Xavier's Cawangan (formerly known as St. Xavier's Branch School) is at Jalan Brother James, in Pulau Tikus. Although the primary schools do not have strong associations with each other, the majority of graduates from both primary schools move on to attend the secondary forms at St. Xavier's Institution.

The city of Georgetown was granted UNESCO World Heritage status in July 2008, with St. Xavier's Institution as one of the heritage sites.[31]

In 2013, keeping with the vision of Dato' Reverend Brother Charles Levin, the School placed a plaque on its main gate. A Malaysian national daily recorded that the plaque "describes SXI's history from 1787 when French priest Arnold Garnault initiated the St. Francis Xavier's Free School."[32]

Newspaper Reports From 1895[edit]

Notice. To-morrow (Thursday) at 1.30pm will take place at the Brothers' School the inauguration of the new building erected by Mr. Chung Ah Kwee, and the late Messrs. Gan Hong Kee, and Lim Ah Kye. The Hon'ble the Resident Councillor will preside. The parents of the pupils and all persons interested in the Institution are cordially invited. Penang, 27 November 1895. (Straits Times 27 Nov)[33]

The Brother's School. As had been previously announced, the function at the Brother's school, took place on Thursday afternoon in the upper storey of this new building which was tastefully decorated with flags etc. for the occasion. The Hon'ble Resident Councillor and Capt. Ah Kwee occupied the two seats of honour whilst round them sat Messrs Vermont and Howard, the Rev. H. Rivet, the Chinese Consul and several other Chinese gentlement of distinction. After a piece had been played by the band, an address was read to the Resident Councillor, who in a short reply said he highly appreciated what had been done for the school by Capt. Ah Kwee and spoke in warm terms of the munificence which he (Capt. Ah Kwee) and many other wealthy Chinese residents of Penang had given proof of. About forty boys of the lower forms next encircled the platform in front and went through a lively Action Song which evoked much applause from all present after which followed the performance on the harmonium of the 'Punjaub march' by Master J. D. Mello Mr. Siew Num then came forward and read an address to Captain Ah Kwee who also replied in the national dialect and requested Mr. Leong Lok Hing to interpret his feelings of joy and satisfaction to both masters and pupils in return for the grateful sentiments expressed in the address in which special mention had also been made of the lamented Messrs Hong Kee and Ah Kye. The Resident Councillor then presented a medal to Chung Ah Phin, son of Capt. Ah Kwee to whom he reserved the honour of presenting a second medal to Gan Teong Tat. The Resident Councillor requested the Rev. Bro. Director to let the boys have two holidays. Then, on the proposal of Mr. Vermont three hearty cheers were given for Mr. Trotter and Capt. Ah Kwee and the proceedings terminated. Some items of the programme were unavoidably omitted, the Resident Councillor having but very limited time at his disposal on account of the expected arrival by the mail of Sir Nicholas O'Connor. Before dispersing the boys were allowed to have a display of fireworks in front of the new building and several boxes of crackers vanished with marvelous celerity. (Straits Times 30 Nov)[34]

The ceremony blessing the new building at the Christian Brother's school was gone through on last Sunday evening and it was witnessed by a large portion of the Catholic community. The Reverend Father H. Rivet officiated and he was assisted by two other priests who acted as deacon and sub-deacon. (Straits Times 7 Dec 1895)[35]

La Sallian brothers[edit]

The school was founded by the La Sallian brothers and as such, has traditionally been headed by a brother. The headmaster of the school was a Brother Director while a Brother Supervisor acted as deputy headmaster. In recent years, the post of Brother Supervisor was replaced with two assistant principals, both not of the order.

One of the more famous Brother Directors is Brother Datuk Lawrence Spitzig, who also served two terms as Brother Director of St. John's Institution, Kuala Lumpur. He served in SXI from 1960 - 1967.

Brother directors of St. Xavier's[edit]

  • Br Marius James Byrne, who had already made a name for himself as a successful administrator of the Brothers' establishment in Penang, in what were then the Federated Malay States, was directed to join the Armidale group and take charge, because of Br Anthony Jerome's having soon to return to base in Ireland. He returned to his 'beloved Penang'. Here he effectively remained in charge for the rest of his life; he became Provincial in 1912 and with one short break remained in office until 1946; he died in 1947.
  • Bro. Flannan Paul organised St. Michael's Institution, Ipoh, and for a long time was Director of St. Xavier's Penang, and the right-hand man of Bro. Marius James, Visitor, whom he replaced for three years in 1926-1928.[36]
  • Bro. James Marcian was the Principal of Saint Joseph's College, HK, in the early 1910s, as well as director of St Xavier's Institution, Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia, and St Michael's Institute, Ipoh, Malaysia in different periods. With Bro. Marcian's masterly command of English, he wrote the school song for St. Xavier's and other schools. Bro Marcian served two terms as Director of St Xavier's Institute, Malaysia, the first was from 1912 to 1915, succeeding Brother James and the second for a brief period in 1917. Brother Marcian was born in Ireland on 31 August 1868, and he served many Christian Schools in Asia since the early part of the century. He died in 1938 in Hong Kong at the age of 70, and his remains are laid to rest in the Christian Brother's mausoleum in Happy Valley.
  • Bro. Barnitus Kennedy was born in Ireland. In 1945, he was appointed Brother Visitor. In 1965, he died in Penang.
  • Bro. Paul Gallagher, born in 1883. started his career at St Joseph’s Institution, Singapore in 1910, teaching there until 1919. He also served in the Brother’s schools in Taiping, Ipoh, Manilla and Penang, the latter being his longest posting as Director of St Xavier’s for 20 years. He served as Bro. Visitor from 1926-1929.
  • Bro. A. Mathias Linehan
  • Bro. Fintan Blake served with much distinction as Bro Director for a period six years and provided superb leadership and would later die during his term as Brother Visitor.
  • Bro Anthony Knoll was born in Toronto on 28 October 1916. He received his elementary education at St. Helen's School in Toronto where he had his first contact with the Christian Brothers. He was deeply influenced by a Brother Clement. Eventually he decided to join the Order. In October 1938, he arrived in Singapore with three other Brothers. He was posted to St. Joseph's Institution. During the Japanese invasion, he was imprisoned in Changi Prison and later in Sime Road Camp. In prison, he took care of the sick and the old. After liberation, he became the Director of St. Joseph's Institution, Singapore. In 1953, Brother Anthony became the Director of St. Xavier's Institution, Penang. In short, he rebuilt these two schools, which were ruined by the war. His hard work cost him ill health and he was advised to take leave. He spent a year of rest and treatment in Canada. In late July 1956, he was posted to La Salle College, Perth Street campus. For the next twenty-five years, he served in Hong Kong, by preference as a simple teacher. He was always concerned about the spiritual development of students and recruited boys for Rosary Crusade. Brother Anthony was a devoted spiritual director of the Legion of Mary in La Salle College. In 1972, Brother Paul Sun, superior-general in exile of the Sacred Heart Brothers in Mainland China, invited Brother Anthony to help out as Vice-principal of St. Joseph's Anglo-Chinese School. Brother Anthony could not disappoint his dear friend, although it meant that he had to live outside La Salle College. He faced this challenge with full perseverance. In May 1975, he reached a stage of physical and emotional collapse and was brought back to La Salle College. He was later sent to Canada for rest and treatment. He returned to La Salle College and served in the library. Once or twice he collapsed in the library but he always returned with minimum delay. On 28 July 1981, he was up with other Christian Brothers and said the Morning Office (prayer). He placed his host in the communion plate and left the chapel for his room. After breakfast, he was found dead fully dressed in his white robe.
  • Bro. Joseph Brophy
  • Bro Louis John Michael Jacques, also known as Bro. Theodoret Michael was born in Sarawak. He served in the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools in various capacities from 1938 until his retirement in 1986. He was appointed assistant Superior General for Asia (1966–1976), the first Asian in this position responsible for the Brothers’ Communities and schools in the region. Bro Jacques built several schools in the region, among them the St Xavier’s Branch school in Penang, La Salle Ayer Itam, La Salle Junior Training Centre in Ipoh, Assumption School Extension in Butterworth and St George’s Balik Pulau. He founded and advised the Malaysian Federation of Lasallian Associations (MFOLSA).
  • Bro. Lawrence Spitzig passed on at the age of 91 on Tuesday 18 August 2009. Born Canadian, his life had been greatly influenced by the La Salle Brothers commitment to education. He left his hometown in Toronto in 1937 to become a missionary and teacher. His first assignment was at St Josephs Institute in Singapore in 1938 at the age of 19, before he was transferred to St Johns during World War II in 1941 (1954–1960 and 1978–1983); St Xaviers Institution Penang (1960–1967) and La Salle Petaling Jaya (1967–1974). Brother Lawrence was teaching in SJI when the Japanese landed in Malaya. He was 20 years old then. He was sent to Pudu Prison and later was a prisoner of war at Changi, Singapore during World War II. He was conferred the Datukship award by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong for his service in February. In 1954, he was made principal of St Johns, then at St Xaviers before going to La Salle Petaling Jaya. Before his death, Brother Lawrence, who had taken up Malaysian citizenship, was enjoying his retirement at the Little Sisters of the Poor Home in Cheras.
  • Bro. Charles Levin, who began teaching there in 1954, is the longest-serving Brother Director of SXI, having served in that position from 1967-1979. He also had a tour of duty at St. George’s Taiping from 1982 to 1992. An accomplished pianist he is also a linguist speaking fluent Bahasa Malaysia, English, German, French and Mandarin.
  • Bro. Casimir Hannon was born in Ireland, the eldest of a family of seven. At 14, he set his sights on becoming a La Salle Brother and joined a six-year foundation programme during which he opted for overseas service. At 20 he was already en route by boat to Malaysia. His first teaching assignment at St. Xavier's Institution, Penang, was in atap sheds because the splendid old St. Xavier's had been destroyed during the war. In 1951, at short notice he was transferred to St. Michael's Institution, Ipoh to teach the senior class, an assignment usually reserved for more senior members of the staff. In 1955, he went on home leave, a memory he would treasure for many years and proceeded to do his university studies at University College Dublin. Returning in 1955 to teach at St. George's School in Balik Pulau, he was back again in Ipoh in 1962 where he was to remain for the next 15 years. In 1975, he went sabbatical, opting for a course in guidance and counselling in Dublin, Ireland. In 1978 he said goodbye to St. Michael's to return to St. Xavier's Institution, teaching sixth form. The following year in July 1979 he was appointed Director, a post he was to hold for the next 14 years. When he finally retired in 1993 it was to continue his own academic studies. He opted for a MA in English as a second language at the University of Wales. On returning he joined the academic staff of De La Salle Institute. In January 1996 he was officially appointed Principal of Sek. Men. Stella Maris, a post he had already held informally in the latter part of the previous year. His gift for hard work and his rapport with teachers and parents helped the fledgling school to develop strong wings, and a sense of its special identity as a school of excellence. In July 1996 when serious apprehensions developed regarding his health, there was widespread dismay. Despite his failing health, his commitment to Stella Maris remained firm and unyielding, and within weeks he was back at his post as Principal, and back in the classroom to continue his passion for teaching.
  • Bro. Paul Ho, the first local to serve as principal in the school’s 157-year history, was the last of the La Salle brother principals in Malaysia.He was a good baker as he ran the most famous bakery at Saint Xavier's. He retired in June 2009.

St. Xavier's Branch School, Jalan Brother James[edit]

In March 1962, the new building of St. Xavier's Branch school was opened by Raja Tun Uda Al Haj, Governor of Penang.[37] Brother Visitor T. Michael (as he then was) noted that the completion of this school "at Jalan Brother James in Pulau Tikus, and the La Salle school at Kampong Bharu" was greatly due to the drive and generosity of Heah Joo-Seang who died in London in May, not long after the new school and road were opened.[38] The road was named after Reverend Brother Marius James Byrne. Ooi Thiam-Siew, Mayor of Georgetown recalled, "It was the late Very Rev. Bro. James who gave me every encouragement to continue my schooling at St. Xavier," when he opened Jalan Brother James (off Brown Road), named after the late visitor of the Christian Brothers' schools who died in 1947. Brother James, had persuaded the then director of St. Xavier's, the Rev. Bro. Paul to give Thiam-Siew free education in 1927. "But for this, my school life would unhappily have terminated when I was only in standard six - the equivalent of our form one of today," noted the Mayor. He went on to say that when the City Council decided to name the new road after Brother James, "we did so in the conscious belief that a person who had done so much for us in the field of education should not be forgotten."[39]

The end of an era[edit]

With the retirement of Brother Paul Ho, the last of the La Sallian Brother principals, on 19 June 2009, the school will be helmed by a government-appointee, although Brother Charles Levin remains as Brother Director. St. Xavier's Institution was one of the last remaining missionary schools in Malaysia to be led by the missionaries and, certainly, the last in Penang.

A board of governors was formed in 2008 to oversee the school upon the retirement of Brother Paul.

Three brothers remain resident in St. Xavier's, although not officially part of the school proceedings.

School Anthem[edit]

Alma Mater's Call [40]

All through our college a voice is resounding,

Promptly respond to your duty's sweet call,

Harken you all for the trumpet is sounding,

Your mater's proclaiming her watchwords to all

(Chorus) Forward her children dear,

Ever with hearts sincere,

Render with joy to your mater her due,

All that is vile reject,

Heaven will e'er protect,

Sons of St Xavier's valiant and true,

Labour will conquer your motto still bearing,

Forward with courage in ways that are just,

True to your standard, be doing and daring,

As faithful Xaverians in Heaven your trust

(Chorus) Forward her children dear,

Ever with hearts sincere,

Render with joy to your mater her due,

All that is vile reject,

Heaven will e'er protect,

Sons of St Xavier's valiant and true!

Apart from the anthem "Alma Mater" above, When the Saints Go Marching In is the other unofficial anthem of the school and is played at many of the school's functions.


SXI is affiliated to other La Sallian Educational Institutions.


As the norm in Malaysian boys' secondary school, girls are enrolled only in the lower and upper sixth form while Forms One through Five are strictly for boys.

Notable alumni[edit]

  • Heah Joo Seang, rubber magnate, Managing Director of Hock Lye & Co., President of the Hu Yew Seah and Penang All Blues Club, Chairman of Han Chiang School and Phor Tay Institution
  • Hon Sui Sen(1916–1983), Minister for Finance, Singapore from 1970 to 1983
  • Tan Sri Dato' Justice Michael Chang Min Tat - Federal Court judge and Commissioner of Law Revision and Law Reform
  • Kapitan Chung Thye Phin - son of Kapitan Chung Keng Quee and last Kapitan China of Perak (Jalan Chung Thye Phin in Ipoh is named after him) - his father erected a new building for the school in 1895 and was a guest of honour, together with the Resident Councillor, at its inauguration
  • Dato Dr Lee Tiang Keng, Malaya's first Ambassador to Japan (1958), Municipal Commissioner, Penang settlement advisory councillor
  • Choong Tet Foong, BE (Mining), Inspector of Mines
  • Lim Eu Toh, co- founder, senior partner and international representative of Messrs. Tiang Lee & Co. one of the first Chinese firms in Penang to open direct business with Europe and America on western lines.[41]
  • Gan Ngoh Bee a contemporary of Chung Thye Phin[42]
  • Queen's Scholar (1902) Tan Seng Suan, B.A., M.B., B.C., at Cambridge University
  • Y.M. Tuan Syed Safi ibni al-Marhum Syed Alawi Jamal ul-Lail - Raja of Perlis Indra Kayangan (1897–1904)
  • H.H. Raja Tuan Syed Alwi ibni Al-Marhum Raja Syed Safi Jamal ul-Lail - Raja of Perlis Indra Kayangan (1904–1943)
  • H.H. Raja Tuan Syed Hamza ibni al-Marhum Syed Safi Jamal ul-Lail - Raja of Perlis Indra Kayangan (1943–1945)
  • Khoo Peng Loong PNBS, OBE, MP (Jalan Khoo Peng Loon in Sibu, Sarawak, is named after him)
  • Tan Sri Wong Pow Nee - the first Chief Minister of Penang
  • James W Boyle (1922–1971) AMN, more popularly known as Jimmy Boyle was a composer and arranger. Among his notable compositions were: "Putera Puteri", "Ingat Ingat", "Jauh Jauh' "Rayuan Mesra", or "Melody Of Love", "Api Dan Air", "Bunga Negara", "Megah Rasa", "Chendering", "Tepi Pantai", "Berdendang Ria", Sang Bayu", "Ke-Hulu Ke-Hilir", "Pantun Melayu", "Gemaran Bulan", "Bertugas", and "Sungai Pahang".
  • Datuk Khor Cheang Kee - Star journalist, Chairman of the Board of Governors of St. Xavier's
  • Dato' Ng Poh Tip - former Editor-in-chief of the Star Publications
  • Wong Sulong -(class of 1965) former Editor-in-chief of the Star Publications
  • Michael Aeria - Group Chief Editor for the Star Publications
  • Wong Chun Wai -(class of 1977) Deputy Group Chief Editor for the Star Publications
  • Tan Sri Dato' Seri Nor Mohamed Yakcop - Finance Minister II, Malaysia
  • Datuk Wong Kam Hoong - Deputy Heritage Minister
  • Karpal Singh -(class of 1960) DAP Leader, prominent lawyer.
  • Tan Sri Dato' Dr. Ani bin Arope - former Chairman of Tenaga Nasional Berhad
  • Professor Dr. Tarcissius Chin - former CEO of Malaysian Institute of Management
  • Professor Lee Hoong Phun - Deputy Dean, Faculty of Law, Monash University, Australia (Sir John Latham Professor of Law)
  • Datuk Nik Sapeia Nik Yusof - Kelantan-born marine tycoon
  • Datuk James Frederick Augustin (1898–1985) - headmaster of Sultan Abdul Hamid College and Ibrahim School (now known as Sekolah Menengah Ibrahim) in Sungai Petani, assistant superintendent of education for Kedah and Perlis until (1953–1958), Federal Legislative Council member.
  • Tan Sri Karnail Singh Nijhar (K.S. Nijhar) - Member of the Malaysian Parliament representing the Subang constituency and also one of the three vice-presidents of the Malaysian Indian Congress
  • Kedah-born Tun Haji Abdul Daim Zainuddin - Minister of Finance
  • Sonni Pillai, Assistant City Secretary (1956–62) and then as City Secretary (Chief Administrative Officer) of the City Council of George Town (1962–1970)
  • Ramkarpal Singh, MP of Bukit Gelugor
  • N.Patkunam, one of the Founder Members of the Labour Party of Malaya, George Town City Councillor, Deputy Mayor, Commissioner appointed under the Wages Council Ordinance
  • N.K. Menon son of P.K. Nambyar, Municipal Councillor, Settlement Councillor in Penang and a member of the Settlement Executive Committee, President of the British Medical Association of Malaya, President of the North Malaya Kerala Samajam, President of the Malaysian-German Society
  • Colin Rozells, national sprint champion, teacher, discipline master, Secretary-General of the Malaysian Red Cross/Red Crescent Society
  • Huang Soon Ngak B.Sc. (Econ.) Hons. (London), Banker
  • Leong Eng Khean, eldest son of Federal Legislative Councillor Leong Fee, who built the Sun Cinema (originally known as the Oriental Cinema) in Ipoh - Leong Fee's Mansion served to house St Xavier's Institution for a number of years after WWII
  • Chee Wor Lok, JP, The Penang Po Leung Kuk Committee Member, Vice-President of the Trustees and Committee of the Penang Chinese Town Hall, vice-president of the Penang Chinese Chamber of Commerce, patron of the Malayan Chinese Athletic Meet, a community leader who hailed from Toi San, Canton, China
  • Justice Denis D’Cotta, Puisne Judge, Singapore
  • Lim Cheng Ean (father of Lim Kean Chye, Lim Kean Siew and PG Lim), Barrister, Judge and Federal Legislative Councillor
  • Lim Huck Aik, chairman of the Penang Bar Committee, municipal commissioner, Straits Settlements Councillor and Federal Legislative Councillor, director of Bank Negara and pro-Chancellor of the Universiti Sains. He was a president of the Straits Chinese British Association
  • Kenneth Michael Byrne MA and HCL (Oxford), Permanent Secretary to the Min of Commerce and Industry, Singapore[citation needed]
  • Lee Joo For (b 1929), contemporary artist, Head of the Art Dept, Malaysian Teacher's College, playwright, poet, novelist, director, choreographer (he also taught art at St. Xavier's)
  • Tan Sri Leslie C. Hoffman, Editor-in-Chief, Straits Times Group, Singapore
  • Dr Sir Kamil Mohamed Ariff bin Kadir, CBE (1956)
  • Assoc. Prof. Lawrence Loh, architect, conservationist, co-owner of the Cheong Fatt Tze mansion, Chairman of the Malaysian Architects Association (PAM), Deputy-President of Badan Warisan Malaysia (National Trust of Malaysia) and the chairman of the Art Gallery Committee, Penang, Technical Advisor and Trustee of the Penang Heritage Trust
  • See Ewe Boon, Compradore of the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank, Singapore, 1890–1909
  • Cecil Rajendra
  • LP Rodrigo, Lawyer, Singapore Parliamentary Secretary, Member of Parliament, Secretary-Treasurer of the Asian Pacific Socialist Organisation,
  • Ooi Kee Beng, author, political scientist, Sinologist, fellow at Singapore's Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS) and co-ordinator of its Malaysia Studies program
  • Born in 1881 Goh Hock Huat once popularly known as the "Pineapple King of Malaya" was orphaned shortly after his birth and placed under the care of the Christian Brothers at SXI - Jalan Goh Hock Huat in Klang where he later settled, is named after him.
  • Iam-Choon Khoo (b 1949), Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering, Penn State, author of over 390 technical publications, Editor-in-Chief for the journal Nonlinear Optical Physics and Materials, inventor with several patents to his name
  • Datuk AR. A. Nachiappan (1922–2002) JP. AMN, SMK, a keen Rotarian, Kota Baru Town Board member, Kelantan State and Executive Councillor, Trustee Kelantan Stadium; On Board of Governors Sultan Ismail College; Zainab School and Pengkalan Chepa Welfare Home; Member, MAPTB, Kelantan; Kota Bharu Welfare Committee.
  • Prof Dr Choong Yeow Choy, former Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Malaya
  • Cheah Tek Thye (1860–1935), J.P., of Sing Eng Moh & Co., Secretary of the Penang Khean Guan Insurance Company, Director of the Chinese Oversea Bank and Proprietor of Eng Moh Hui Thye Kee Estate in Semelin (Kedah), was President of the Cheah Clan Temple (Penang), Municipal Commissioner for two terms and Ex-Officio of the Penang Free School.


  1. ^ Big bash set to forge closer ties by Choong, Kwee Kim published in The Star, Thursday, 19 December 2002
  2. ^ Arrival of the La Salle Brothers, De La Salle Brothers, Sabah, Malaysia
  3. ^ Koay A. (2012) 'Legacy of learning' in The Star 13 February 2012
  4. ^ About St. Xavier's from St. Xavier's Institution's Official Website
  5. ^ Siebert, Dr. A. E. (2002) 'Early Catholic Church, La Salle Education and The Penang Story' in The Penang Story – International Conference 2002 18-21 April 2002, The City Bayview Hotel, Penang, Malaysia Organisers: The Penang Heritage Trust & STAR Publications
  6. ^ The Straits Times, 28 March 1971, Page 3: Girls were admitted after World War II
  7. ^ Chin, C. (2011) 'School's untold story' in The Star 23 July 2011: The late Karl Wolf @ Rev. Bro. Charles Levin, insisting that the story behind St. Xavier's Institution must be set straight, revealed that St. Xavier's was the oldest surviving school in the whole of Malaysia, having actually been established in 1787, and not 1852 as inscribed on school building. "SXI had its beginnings in 1787 when Captain Francis Light invited French priest Father Arnold Garnault to come to the island to set up two schools — one for the girls and another for the boys, and a church on a piece of land in George Town (a site bounded by Church Street and Bishop Street)," he said, adding, "these facts were documented in Francis Brown’s book ‘La Salle-Brothers Malaya & Singapore 1852 - 1952‘." The original medium of instruction, when St. Xavier's began, was Malay but this changed to English after Hutchings School (known today as Penang Free School) was established, 29 years later, in 1816.
  8. ^ Educational directory of Malaysia and Singapore, 1965, Editors John Victor Morais, P. Philip Pothen, Published 1965, PP 10 & 123
  9. ^ Christianity in Southeast Asia by Robbie B. H. Goh, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2005, P51
  10. ^ My people, my country, Bernard Sta Maria, Malacca Portuguese Development Centre, 1982, P114
  11. ^ Time Honoured Brother Directors, e-Lasallian Network
  12. ^ Legacy of learning By ALLAN KOAY, The Star, Monday February 13, 2012
  13. ^ Cornwallis in Bengal; the administrative and judicial reforms of Lord Cornwallis in Bengal, together with accounts of the commercial expansion of the East India Company, 1786-1793, and of the foundation of Penang, 1786-1793, by A Aspinall, Manchester University Press, 1931, P194.
  14. ^ Christian Mission in Malaysia: Past emphasis, present engagement & future possibilities by Maria Perpetua Kana LL.M. (Dissertation), Australian Catholic University Research Services, 24 March 2004
  15. ^ The Journey of the Catholic Church in Malaysia 1511-1996 by Maureen Chew, Catholic Research Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 2000, P84
  16. ^ Histoire de la mission de Siam 1662-1811: Documents historiques, Volume 1, Adrien Launay, Missions etrangères de Paris, 1920, P361
  17. ^ Malaya's first British pioneer: the life of Francis Light, Harold Parker Clodd, published by Luzac, 1948, P57
  18. ^ An Indonesian frontier: Acehnese and other histories of Sumatra by Anthony Reid, NUS Press, 2005, ISBN 9971-69-298-8, ISBN 978-9971-69-298-8, P159
  19. ^ Dublin review: a quarterly and critical journal, Volume 5, 1838, P568
  20. ^ History of the Church and Churches in Malaysia and Singapore (1511-2000), by Fr. P. Decroix, MEP
  21. ^ A Short Sketch of the Lives of Francis and William Light, the Founders of Penang and Adelaide, by Archibald Francis Steuart, published by S. Low, Marston & Co, pp 23-24
  22. ^ A SHORT HISTORY OF THE PARISH OF THE ASSUMPTION by the Rev. Fr. Paul Decroix, Penang Talk, December 2003
  23. ^ One hundred years of Singapore : being some account of the capital of the Straits Settlements from its foundation by Sir Stamford Raffles on 6 February 1819 to 6 February 1919, JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET, W., 1921
  24. ^ Legacy of learning By ALLAN KOAY, The Star, Monday 13 February 2012
  25. ^ Modern dreams: an inquiry into power, cultural production, and the cityscape in contemporary urban Penang, Malaysia Issue 31 of Studies on Southeast Asia G - Reference, Information and Interdisciplinary Subjects Series by Beng-Lan Goh, SEAP Publications, 2002, P74, ISBN 0-87727-730-3, ISBN 978-0-87727-730-9
  26. ^ Loh, Prof. Dr. W. L. (2002) 'Penang’s Trade and Shipping in The Imperial Age: The 19th Century' in The Penang Story – International Conference 2002 18-21 April 2002, The City Bayview Hotel, Penang, Malaysia Organisers: The Penang Heritage Trust & STAR Publications
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  33. ^ The Straits Times, 27 November 1895, Page 5
  34. ^ The Brother's School. The Straits Times, 30 November 1895, Page 4
  35. ^ The Straits Times, 7 December 1895, Page 3
  36. ^ Educational directory of Malaysia and Singapore, 1965, John Victor Morais, P. Philip Pothen, 1965
  37. ^ The Straits Times, 28 February 1962, Page 5
  38. ^ The Straits Times, 16 May 1962, Page 6
  39. ^ The Straits Times, 7 April 1962, Page 11
  40. ^
  41. ^ More than merchants: a history of the German-speaking community in Penang, 1800s-1940s, Salma Nasution Khoo, Areca Books, 2006, ISBN 983-42834-1-5, ISBN 978-983-42834-1-4, P59
  42. ^ Yen, Ching-Hwang, 2008. The Chinese In Southeast Asia And Beyond: Socioeconomic and Political Dimensions, Page 96.

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