SIBU, Nov 26: The late Brother Albinus O’Flaherty who is the former principal of Sacred Heart Secondary School, will have a road named after him.
The State Government, according to Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) chairman, Clarence Ting, has approved the application of renaming Jalan Oya to Jalan Brother Albinus on Oct 15.
“The portion of the road to be renamed begins from Jalan Oya (KPJ Sibu Specialist) and ends in front of SMK Sacred Heart traffic junction (about 1km) including its eight lanes,” said Ting.
The road and lanes signage, he said will be changed accordingly but the former road name (Jalan Oya) will be stated in a small letter at the bottom of the new name which is Jalan Brother Albinus.
Brother Albinus was born into a farming family in a village called Ballyhoneen in County Kerry, Ireland, on May 23, 1930.
He spent his early years attending a religious school in his home village where he enjoyed playing football with his peers, before joining La Salle Brothers at 14.
After spending some time in Singapore, teaching at the St Joseph’s Institution there, he returned to Ireland and went on to earn a degree in English and Literature before he was posted to St. Joseph Kuching in 1960, eventually becoming the principal of the school.
He enjoyed an illustrious career spanning 53 years here and in Sibu. After 10 years at St Joseph’s, he was transferred to teach at Sacred Heart Secondary School and became the principal from 1972 to 1987.
After he retired in 1987, he served at St Joseph’s Parish Tuition Centre as director of the A-Level of St Patrick’s Private School and appointed as principal of St Joseph’s Parish Tuition Centre from 1992 to 1997.
Brother Albinus passed away on Aug 4, 2013. He was 83,
In honour of this great man who dedicated all his life to educating the youths in the state, Sacred Heart Old Students Association (SHOASA), Sibu, had five years ago embarked on a project to seek approval from the government to rename Jalan Oya to Brother Albinus.
They did not meet any success and in April 2019, the association reignited their effort by bringing the matter to the top authorities.
When the news went viral that the government has approved the road renaming project, former students responded in jubilation.
SHOSA president, Yong King Sung thanked the Sarawak Government for approving the renaming of the road in front of the school in recognition of Brother Albinus who gave his life to educating the children of Sarawak.
“Brother Albinus has touched the lives of so many of Sarawak’s leaders and the people. Many of Sarawak’s state leaders past and present were once his students. He is highly respected by the community and beloved by his students,” said Yong. – DayakDaily
He added that Brother Albinus has left a lasting impression and to this day, the former students still speak fondly of a great teacher and principal who was a father figure to them.
He belonged to that generation of legendary La Salle Brothers who helmed mission schools. He was known and respected for his commitment in educating the Last, the Lost and the Least,” he added.
According to Yong, Brother Albinus’s firm belief was that everyone deserved the best education, irrespective of race, religion, social status or otherworldly matters.
“If not for his passion, love and care as a teacher and principal many of whom would have remained the last, the lost and the least,” he believed.
Said another former student, Dr Gregory Hii, ” As an ex-student of SHS and former chairman of SHOSA, I welcome the renaming of the road in front of SHS to Jalan Brother Albinus. I am therefore thankful to the state authorities and SMC for the decisions.”
Dr Hii described Brother Albinus as a very dedicated educator in Sarawak and the former principal of SHS.
“His contributions in education had provided many Sarawakians a sound foundation in life and eventually groomed them to become successful be it in public or private sectors,” he said.
Dr Hii said that the local community in Sibu is also known to hold Brother Albinus in the highest regard and many parents in the 70s and 80s would resort to various means just to enroll their children in SHS. – DayakDaily