A VETERAN teacher who has contributed much to the development of sports in Negri Sembilan was recently honoured with the Tokoh Guru award by the state branch of the National Union of the Teaching Profession.
As the chief coach of the Negri Sembilan Schools Sports Council in the 1980s, M.A.A. Anthonysamy coached schoolboy Nur Herman Majid, who later went on to win a record six SEA Games gold medals in the 110 hurdles event for Malaysia over the years.
Anthonysamy, 62, received his award from MP for Rasah Datuk Goh Siew Huat at a ceremony held in Seremban. Forty-eight other teachers who retired during the past year were presented souvenirs at the ceremony attended by more than 100 teachers.
Born in Kuala Kangsar, Anthonysamy received his primary and secondary school education at the Clifford School. His father passed away when he was in Form Two and he had to give tuition and do odd-jobs to supplement the family income.
After doing a course at the Day Training Centre in Taiping, he was posted to Batu Road (1) Primary School in the heart of Kuala Lumpur.
His interest in sports was nurtured while he was still a student – he was a middle-distance runner in events such as the 880 yards and the mile, as well as a hockey and football player.
In a teaching career spanning 34 years, Anthonysamy was posted to Kuala Kangsar's Gandhi Memorial School, the Anglo-Chinese Primary School in Seremban, SRK Port Dickson, SJK(T) Kubang in Nilai, and SRK Datuk Klana Makmor, Seremban. His last post was at SRK St Paul, Seremban, in 1996.
Even after retirement, Anthonysamy can be seen refereeing matches in Seremban, and is an official at athletics meets at state, national and international levels in Malaysia. He also coaches Negri Sembilan’s disabled athletes for the National Paralympic Athletics Championships.
Married to Grace Samuel, he has two daughters, Juliet and Anita.
Anthonysamy's advice to aspiring young teachers is: “Be grateful to God, show a high level of discipline, work diligently and obey your superiors.”