It was the Siberia of Malaysia that The Three Angels were first posted to in 1984 after completing their teacher training course in various Teachers Training Colleges. Gua Musang was by then accessible by road. Two years earlier it was only accessible by train. The few cars running around the few short roads there had to come by train. Dr. Rajoo was the only private medical paracticioner at that time in Gua Musang and his car too came by train.
In 1984 Gua Musang, the southernmost town in Kelantan bordering Pahang was the dead end by road. Only some years later that the connection to Merapoh in Pahang was opened up and thus Gua Musang was linked to Kuala Lumpur. Road travellers from the north need not go via the coastal road in Terengganu since the distance to KL is shortened by a few hundred kilometers. Soon Terengganu will be connected to the West Coast via Gua Musang when the second East West road is completed. Curently Gua Musang is connected not only to KL buat also to Ipoh via the Gua Musang-Cameron road which is part of the second East West road.
The Three Angels were comprised of three teachers in their early twenties. Miss Teo Tang Ghee, Miss Lo Suni, Miss Yong Huey Ling made up The Three Angels. It is difficult to describe them but suffice to say that the sum total of the three make up a pretty sight. Individually I would say Miss Teo as motherly inspite of her young age and a natural leader. Miss Lo is more model like and Miss Yong as a petite lady. Miss Yong is the only Kelantanese among the group and she hailed from Kota Baru.
Sekolah Kebangsaan Renok Baru was the school where they were posted. The school was located about fifteen kilometers and about a kilometer from the Gua Musang Kota Bharu trunk road. It must be fate that brought them to this school because there was another school right smack in the middle of town where they could have been posted to. They would be very happy to serve at the school in town due to the convenience of just walking to school. Being from Penang and trained in Mohd Khalid teachers Training College in Johor Baru, Miss Teo's first reaction when she knew that she was to be posted to Gua Musang was one of shock, dismay and apprehension. Being always resourceful, she soon found out about people from Penang who were residing in Gua Musang. Her fears were more controlled then.
The first lodging they managed to find was a decrepit room over a video outlet. Later they found a better room with a family who operated a hardware store on the ground floor. The room was comfortable with a living area and furnished with a settee provided by the landlord. The room came with a toilet of their own seperate from the landlord. Over the years the landlord was like a family to these ladies.
Their next problem was how to commute from Gua musang as there was no regular bus service. Luckily an Ustaz who teaches at the same school was also commuting daily by car. It was convenient for them to pay the good ustaz for a ride to and from school. The only snag was that Ustaz was too meticulous with his car. When it rains, he will park his car by the main road and everone will have to walk the 1 kilometer to school and another kilometer back to the car after school. As you can guess the Ustaz's car was spotlessly clean come rain or shine.
All the three of them were made to teach in English as well as physical education training. They set their heart and mind to their job and the improvement in the English subject shown by the yearly exam's result was so good that they were noticed by the Education office that was then located in Kuala Krai. A rural school doing so well in English. That's really something unheard off. These things only happened in the schools in towns but not in the village.
Being ever resourceful they managed to get donations from Dow Pacific Chemicals to establish the resource center for the school. Though the amount was only RM2500.00 they managed to get quite a substantial number of books on sale at a book fair in Kuala Lumpur. A small transistor radio was also purchased with several headphones included. That is no small feat for teachers teaching in such a rural environment.
It is such teachers that can make a difference to our society. They would serve anywhere in Malaysia and with as much enthusiasm even when the pupils are not of their own race or religion. Dedicated to their job is the best word to describe The Three Angels.
The Three Angels Part 2 will be about their lives after Gua Musang.