Monday, September 13, 2004


Datuk Father Arthur Julien

Since my parent's aren't letting me participate in Father Julien's funeral procession, I'll have to contend with paying him my last respects as the procession passes by the school tomorrow.

It's due to pass by at 11:45am, Hamilton Road will be closed to traffic from 11:30am to 12:30pm. All 3 schools are flying the school flag at half mast and there would be no classes for the primary school.

Today's edition of The Star had ran another article about Father Julien for the second day in a row. It was only today that the article appeared on The Star Online.

Belgian who gave his all to the poor

PENANG: He sailed to Malaysia 52 years ago and dedicated a great part of his life to education and helping the poor.

By the time he passed away on Saturday, at the Little Sisters of the Poor home, Datuk Father Arthur Julien had touched many hearts – from students to labourers and fishermen.

The 87-year-old Belgian missionary, who spoke fluent Mandarin and Hokkien, had founded three Chinese schools – the Heng Ee Primary School in 1952, its secondary school in 1967 and pre-school in 1969.

Father Julien was known to fork out money from his own pockets to give to the poor and was a familiar face to many low-income families in Air Itam and George Town whom he would visit regularly decades ago.

He had even donated his inheritance of RM60,000 from his father to construct the SM Heng Ee’s building at Hamilton Road.

SM Heng Ee acting principal Goh Boon Poh said:

“He would not spend donations from well wishers on himself.

“Instead, he used the money to give away to poor students who otherwise could not afford to buy school books and food,” he said.

The flags at all three schools were flown at half-mast.

On Saturday, upon learning of his death due to old age, droves of people, some from as far as Singapore, came to pay their last respects.

International Young Christian Students Movement (YCS) Asian region co-ordinator Teh Ah See said: “He was a friend to the poor as he would often visit poor residents in Rifle Range, Presgrave Street and Noordin Street Ghaut.

Research officer Loh Yen Siew, 25, was among six YCS members who flew in from Singapore.

“We wouldn’t be what we are if it had not been for him.

“He showed us courage and persistence through his sharing and deeds.”

A special mass will be held at the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit in Island Park at 10am tomorrow while the funeral procession will start from there at 11.45am and end at SM Heng Ee.

Later, his coffin will be laid to rest at the Catholic Cemetery at Jalan Kelawei.

Btw, nice to see my former classmate's face in The Star.

That's Zhong Yong on the left side of the pic, blowing his trumpet. =)

Behind him is a statue of Father Julien, which had been built last year in his honour. Flowers, wreaths and other stuff have been placed at or beside the statue today. Hope he's in somewhere better now.

EDIT: Posted my comment at

You'll always be in our hearts, Father Julien.


Nicole said...

I read that in the newspaper yesterday. He founded three schools?!

Just wondering, are you having exams now? You're selsom online.

Sweetie Guy Hutchinson said...

I had never heard of Datuk Father Arthur Julien, but I was very touched by your article. RIP.