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Tuesday, November 5, 2013


Early US-initiated effort to help Malaysia in social development started with the Peace Corps programme. It was during John Kennedy's administration that Peace Corps were sent to many developing countries as ambassadors of peace teaching in rural schools, health care training, and other services.

There were two of them at Tunku Besar Secondary School, Tampin when I was in Form IV and V. Olsen was a towering figure, the hostel master who frequently disappeared in his closet-turned darkroom. The other was an African-American (Bill Hayes) who taught us chemistry.

Mr. Olsen (rightmost)

Front approach of Tunku Besar Secondary School, Tampin (recent picture).

Peace Corps nurse Erin O'Brien (left) speaking fluent Malay instructs a grateful young Malaysian mother in the care of her child.

At King George V School, Seremban the Sixth Form chemistry teacher, a very able one was a Peace Corp (pic, 2nd from left). Could not recall his name.

While working at Cameron Highlands (1973) I met Erik Sorensen, a researcher. While studying at Corvallis, Oregon I met the  city manager, Gary Pokorny who had been a Peace Corp in Kelantan. His wife was also a Peace Corp there. He gave me three boxes of hard-to-get books about Malaya that he collected while here. I have yet to make full use of the books although some information have been gleaned for bibliography work and blogging.

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