From: P Ramakrishnan
Date: Sat, Jan 12, 2013 at 11:11 PM
Subject: R.I.P. Ramiah Kirkby 1958/1959
With very warm regards,
R.I.P. Ramiah Kirkby 1958/1959
My dear Kirkbyites,
It saddens me to inform you that M Ramiah from the Kirkby batch of 1958-1959 passed away today (12-1-2013) at 12.30 pm. This sad news was conveyed to me by his son Ramesh at 1.39 pm.
Ramiah has been sick for some time. In the last few months he was really sick. He was suffering from septicaemia and was admitted to UH. Subsequently he was discharged but soon had to be admitted to Tung Shin Hospital. After several weeks of struggle and suffering, his brave heart finally gave in.
He leaves behind his wife, two sons, a daughter and grandchildren to mourn his loss.
His obituary will be in the Sunday Star tomorrow.
Ramiah was from Block 11. He was a P.E. optionist.
When I arrived at Kirkby that cold and unfriendly night, there was no one to help us with the luggage. The Seniors were on strike!
Ramiah, for whatever reason, had mentioned that his brother was coming to Kirkby and I happened to be that brother! He was very kind to lend me his black sweater to keep myself warm. For that, I remain grateful to him. It meant a lot when you are being ragged and shouted at!
On qualifying, he was posted to Kuantan, Pahang in 1960. Later in 1962, he was transferred to Clifford Secondary School, Kuala Lipis. At that time Subramaniam from his batch, Donald Jeyaratnem and I – his Juniors - were teaching in the same school. At the end of the year I was selected to follow a course at STTI. After that there was no crossing of our paths.
When we went on strike in 1967, Ramiah and Jeyaratnam were in the news. Their school was out in full force and they were quoted by the press. The NUT officials were very upset that they were getting the publicity and took action against them for speaking to the press without their sanction. These petty officials wanted to be the only star in the sky and they could not tolerate other well-meaning members being quoted by the press.
Years later, the staff of his school in Ipoh - Sungai Pari School –came to Penang to spend some time at the beach in Penang. That was the time I met up with Ramiah after a long absence. Mimi Foo was also there. His head was Michael De Silva was also a friend of mine.
Then in 1994, the well-known journalist from the Far Eastern Economic Review was terminally ill at the UH. I came from Penang to visit him. As I was going back after the visit, I saw Ramiah sitting on the bed. I stopped and we talked for a while. He was having a heart condition then.
On retirement, he taught at the KL International School.
A few years ago he had to be on dialysis. The first time I heard of this, together with Bala and Nada I visited him at Kelana Jaya. It was much later that his health started to deteriorate.
What is remarkable about Ramiah is the fact that on a single salary he managed to give his children a good education. One son, Ravi, is a Plantaion Advisor in Indonesia, the second son, Ramesh, runs his own corporate training consultancy and his daughter, Revathi, lectures at Curtin University in Perth.
The funeral will take place tomorrow at 1.00 pm from their home at 7 Jalan Setia Damai U13/15F, Setia Alam, 40170 Shah Alam.
Revathi can be contacted at 016-5240 707
Ramesh at: 012-5190 451
It is always a terrible pain when a Kirkbyite passes on. Unfortunately, we are at a stage when we have to endure this pain more often than not.