74-year-old recalls four classroom era
The Yat Sen Schools 80/30 anniversary week long celebrations brought back many memories for Gregory Yee, who is one of the most senior former students.
The 74-year-old was part of the Yat Sen School 80/30 anniversary gala night on Saturday marking the end of their celebrations. Mr Yee recalled his years as a student of the then Fiji Chinese Primary School in the 1940s which is now Yat Sen Primary School.
“It goes back a long time ago. I started down at Gordon Street. “At that time it was only a wooden building where we used to play marbles underneath the house,” he said. “The school moved to Flagstaff in 1952. “So that time, it was only about four classrooms with over 8o students and it was very small school.” Mr Yee said during his time when the school in Flagstaff was still developing, there used to be a lot of bushes around the schoolyard. “We used to come and weed and pick the sensitive grass ourselves not like what the students nowadays do. There were no gardeners in those days,” he said. Mr Yee, who is now a successful businessman, did further studies in Australia after completing primary education at Yat Sen. He said the school had taught him a lot about the Chinese culture and its values. “We grew up with culture as this school is a Chinese based school,” he said. “We learned a lot about the Chinese culture that existed in the early days.
“We still treasure that today that’s why the school still teaches Chinese language. “Over the years, the school has grown so much compared to my days.” Mr Yee later became the Chinese Education Society (CES) in Fiji board chairman for over 11 years.
He was also instrumental in initiating the anniversary celebrations for the school to commemorate its achievements over the years. “The Yat Sen celebration of course is very important.
“We first started the celebrations 10 years ago which at that time was called the 70/20 celebrations,” he said.
“Yat Sen didn’t have a celebration for a long time so I thought we have a 70/20 celebration.” Mr Yee now continues to support the school through the CES board.