Monday, November 7, 2016
SUNGAI PETANI ( ESTATE TOWN ) FLOURISHED AS SPORTS CENTRE IN THE 50'S
Estate Town Sungai Petani Flourished As sports' Centre In The 50's
It was not a dead town.Though at 10 pm SP had closed its business ,semoultinously ( please correct the spelling ) the Empire Theater and The Odeon Theater had had the last show , except when it had their mid-nights to promote new movies.The kacang putih man still hanged around with his product.Estate workers were already snoring on their beds.....lack of transport made the access to town difficult.At day Sungai Petani lived a vigourous life,people passed through Sungai Petani to the north/south/east and west to Bagan Hulu ( old name of Pantai Merdeka ).A sea resort for picnics.
For sport activities ,Sungai Petani was recognised as a major town promoting matches of cricket,hockey,football and rugger......teams from Penang and North Perak came for friendly competitions with schools and sports clubs..........Kedah Cricket Trophy, The Augustin Trophy and The Irvine cup trophy were held annually...either by knockouts and league basis the tournament pulled up a large crowd.
Annually Ibrahim School and The Saint Therasa pulled crowds on their sports-days.Besides The Telecoms AAA , The PWD AAA and The Central Kedah AAA never miss their althetics meet.The meet managed to breed short distance 100 yards dash like Tan Fong Tin and S.Kurapiah ( once the name in everybody's lips in Kedah ).Long distance runners and many more field-events were on par with heroes at that time.S.Kurapiah was even selected in one of the international meet ( sorry I have forgotten it ).
Ibrahim School was fortunate to be in Sungai Petani..........Central Kedah was then the bowl of sports activities.......Cricket and hockey had major games almost every week.European clergymen lived around SP,because many rubber estates were around ( they became managers) Harvard Estate being the biggest.Many British Army Officers were housed at The Gurkha Camp nearby.They gathered often for cricket matches among themselves and the school team was often called to play with them.Datuk Shuib Kedah State Secretary and Tan Sri Hamzah Abu Samah who was a magistrate in Alor Star then were keen in cricket.They made their trip to SP every fortnight for cricket matches.All games were played at the School ground,this gave the schoolboys opportunity to master the games.Thus given the school many sports heroes.Alor Star was then not suitable for cricket because of the muddy ground...
Still many more.....full-stop