JOINING the La Sallian Brothers was one of the best decisions made by SMK St Michael Ipoh Brother Director Datuk Brother Vincent J. Corkery.
Brother Vincent, 85, said there were no regrets as he had enriching and challenging experiences throughout his life since setting foot in Malaya in 1948.
“My roots were very deep in Irish culture.
“But on an impulse, I left my beloved Ireland and travelled some 10,000 miles to Singapore and later to Ipoh,” he said in his speech during the launch of his autobiography Life Ever Dawning by the school’s board of governors chairman Tan Sri Lee Oi Hian at the school hall recently.
The book, printed by the Perak Academy, details Brother Vincent’s journey from Ireland to Ipoh.
“For almost 57 years that I have been in Ipoh, I have watched the city change remarkably and beautifully and have met thousands of students and teachers here,” he added.
Brother Vincent also paid tribute to the late Brother Ultan Paul Rosario, whom he had worked together with at the school and cherished their friendship.
“I have been very close to Brother Paul for about 40 years.
“He likes to focus on people while I prefer to get things done,” he said.
“I am now working with a lot of volunteers to develop education programmes to help children,” he added.
In his opening speech, Lee said the book was a tribute to Brother Vincent for his contribution towards education in the country.
“This is not merely a story or a historical narrative about the much respected Brother Vincent.
“It’s about his dedication to the La Sallian Brothers’ education and a celebration of his life,” he said in his speech.
Lee, an Old Boy himself, said both Brother Vincent and Brother Paul were Ipoh’s icons who have successfully instilled the Michaelian Spirit into a lot of people here.
“Brother Vincent remains a pillar and cornerstone of our society,” he said.
“His leadership skills are evident to us all and his advice is highly sought after by all students,” he added.
SMI Alumni Klang Valley president Michael Lip said Brother Vincent has written much about the other La Sallian Brothers who have passed on but never about himself.
“We felt that he should write about himself, giving readers an insight of what was seen through his eyes when he came to Ipoh.
“We are now urging him to write another book of the time when he was at the school,” he said.
“He has a lot of interesting stories to tell and we want to pay tribute to him by publishing these stories,” he added.
Lip said the first 1,000 copies of the book have been printed and 600 copies have been sold.
He said the book could still be reprinted for a second edition and made available if there is a demand for it.
Lip said anyone interested to purchase the book, priced at RM30, can contact 012-366 1223 (Francis) or 012-468 1883 (Peter).