1932 – Dec 21 2021
A legend has passed. Just got news a few hours ago from my brother, Malcolm; that Mr Julian Xavier had passed away yesterday (Dec 21st, 2021). Suzanne and Janice, his two daughters; on social media; had said he passed away peacefully.
Many La Sallians of La Salle School, Klang; during the 1960s to 1980s, (1) remember Mr Xavier as the teacher who taught Woodwork class in Industrial Arts when they were in Form 2 or what is now known as Year 8.
Mild mannered (got that term from a Marvel’s Super hero), he was always smiling. He would come to school in his white Renault 10 bearing the registration number “BR6117”.
Fondly known as “Bobby Charlton” after the famous English footballer (similarities besides his smile); he was on the school field, refereeing football matches, if he was not in his woodwork workshop.
The students of La Salle Klang has had the privilege of being taught by many, many legends.
These legends include Mr Xavier’s younger brother, Mr Michael Xavier; headmaster, Bro Harold Reynolds (La Salle Brothers), Mrs Mun Chee Weng (more about her in a bit), Mr Mun Chee Weng, Mrs Sivakumar, Mr Samuel Raj, Miss Irene Tan, Cikgu Johari, Dato Anthony Peter, the Lopez brothers – Mr Anthony, Mr Joseph (JoLo) & Mr James; the Fernandez sisters – Miss Maggie & Miss Thelma; my Form 4 & 5 (Year 10 & 11) class teacher, Mrs Tan… and this group of teachers were in the era when I was in school. There were many good teachers before and after that era, too.
More on Mrs Mun. She was quite a character. She was my Std 4 (Year 4) class teacher. I had not seen her in nearly 50 years until we met at our ’58 old boys La Salle reunion. We were privileged indeed, to have many of our legendary teachers join us at this reunion. So, the first thing, the very first few words Mrs Mun said to me after all these years were, “Alan, has your handwriting improved?”. She remembered my decorative-style handwriting that spies in spy movies would use to code secrets. And no; my handwriting has not lost any of its charm.
What is interesting about these teachers is that they remember us by name. It is like the years between the time we were in school and now; didn’ exist or never did.
This is the Christmas period now. One of the most memorable christmases we had was in 1976. Dad was choir master. At that time, we were living in Jalan Ladang, which was between Palm Grove and Southern Park. (2)
We had a gathering of well over 100 kids and teenagers, plus parents and friends that pushed the size of the group of about 180 – 200 people. The guitarists and music co-ordinators included Mr Xavier, Gilbert Chin and Finian Lowe. We walked from house to house in both these housing areas and even to further places by cars. The fun and singing was even more festive as we walked from house to house, I think. We tried to accommodate as many homes as possible so much so that our caroling festivities lasted for about a couple of weeks.
Mr Xavier was a La Sallian through and through. I am sure old La Sallians Klang (O.LAsalle K.) will continue to, and fondly refer Mr Xavier as the Woodwork / Industrial Arts master. Evergreen.
Suzanne, in her Facebook post; said this was Mr. Xavier’s favourite song:
- Klang is a city in Selangor, Malaysia
- Jalan Ladang, Palm Grove and Southern Park are housing suburbs in Klang.
5 thoughts on “MR JULIAN XAVIER – A LEGEND AMONG LEGENDS”
Mr Julian was my Std 5 class teacher in 1956 when our class was one of the 2 attap sheds behind the OLL Church, next to the Convent School. I wrote an essay on my dog Buto which Julian read out to the class. He asked how he should pronounce the dog’s name Butoe or Buttoh. He could have pronounced it anyway he wanted and I would not have objected! He just wanted to honour me and my work. It blew me away then – and still does to this day.
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Thank you for sharing this wonderful memory you have of Mr Xavier. Yes, he was the same person when I was in school in the early to mid-1970s. Always a person for detail.
Thanks for this tribute to Julian Xavier, Alan Atkinson. I had the pleasure of meeting him briefly a couple of times. I had gone to visit an ailing colleague named Joseph Lopez at his home in Klang. I have also met his brother and teacher Anthony Lopez. My memory of Julian is that he was such an easy person to converse with. He was courteous, pleasant, smiled easily and I heard that he was also a good guitarist. I knew his younger brother, Michael Xavier better because we both trained as teachers at St Josephs’s Training College in Pulau Tikus, Penang in the mid sixties. A life well lived.
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Thank you for sharing, Ben. All these teachers are the foundation and framework of La Salle Klang. Their tireless efforts was not work for them, but their call to service. This has resulted in many, many wonderful students not only in school but in their everyday lives, too.
Thanks for this entry. It evoked such fond memories and Mr Julian Lopez certainly added to my positive experience in LSK. May he rest in peace.