Sunday, March 25, 2012


It was event which will be remembered by many Johannians for a long time to come.It was last Saturday at the St John Institution Hall, an event organised by the SJAA to remember Master Vincent Fernandez who had passed away March 11, 2012.
Master Vincent was a true and true son of St John having studied in the school from 1949 to 1957 and returned to the school to start his teaching career in 1963 and retired in 1997. Even after retirement he was still helping out the school hockey team, form the SJAA and very much part of the school all the time.

Saturday saw about 200 people - his students, fellow teachers, friends and his family members - present for this nostalgic event.
Teaching is a noble profession and students always remember their teachers no matter, what was indeed displayed on Saturday.
But Master Vincent was just more than a teacher to the many who turned up on Saturday. Yes he was a teacher, but a teacher of life. He was a coach, a mentor, a father, a friend, a soul mate and the list can go on.
That almost everyone who attended the event, walked out of the Hall with tears welling from their eyes, the many who wept shamelessly when his favourite song - My Way - was sung by all present, was testimony of what this man meant to all present.
It was indeed a gathering of sorts where many Johannians who had not met their class or school mates met for ages, were reunited. It was an extraordinaire reunion!
That a scholarship fund under Master Vincent's name to honour him and a book is going to be written about him, speaks volumes of how many hundreds of thousands of students whom he had touched as they passed the corridors of SJI.
The speeches on that day were full of praises for Master Vincent and how he has left a vacuum in the lives of many and the school.
Master Vincent was indeed a rare breed of teachers.
Teachers these days rather give tuition and earn extra money or spend time with their family than be under the sun with no monetary rewards.
But sports teachers like Master Vincent will tell you that the experience they gained and special moments on the field are priceless.
And one such teacher is definitely Master Vincent who is close to the hearts of hundreds of thousands of Johannians, Besides being a Physical Education teacher and the sports secretary of the school, he also coached the St. John's Institution hockey and athletics team.
Master Vincent is a true 'Green' Johannian, having studied in the school from 1949 to 1957 and returned to the school to start his teaching career in 1963 and retired in 1997.
Master Vincent also has been doing sports commentary with Radio 4 (now Traxx FM) since 1963. He started with four minutes of sports roundup between 9.25pm and 9.30pm daily, before a longer time slot was dedicated to sports through Arena Sukan.
He was also one of the founding members of the Sunday Sports Talk on Traxx FM.
The 63-year-old Master Vincent, married to Puan Hajjah Zabedah, a St. John's teacher too (who taught me Bahasa Malaysia when I was in Form Three ), and has three sons and a daughter.
Two of the more famous siblings are JJ -- (HITZ FM DJ) and Zabrina (winner of Amazing Race Asia). His two other sons are Mohd Joshua and Nor Zacky.

It is without that everyone who attended the special function in Memory of Master Vincent, will have this day etched in their hearts and will forever remember him.
The Memorial ended with a lone bag-piper walking into the hall playing the tune Auld Lang Syne, followed by the entire congregation singing the school rally.
Goodbye a true Johannian Master Vincent.
Gold Bless him and his family for having touched our lives.

Below are some pictures courtesy of Markus Lim and Cigku Ruby of the event and please also look at the St John Institution blog :

File pix

Master Vincent's family

Mr David Fernandez

1 comment:

Andrew Gopal said...

Rest in peace Sir. You will always be remembered by the Johannians and your friends in Sports.