Methodist Boys' School, Penang

Methodist Boys' School is an all-boys secondary school in George Town, Penang, Malaysia. It is one of the two secondary schools in George Town that were established by Methodists, the other being Methodist Girls' School.

Methodist Boys' School
Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (L) Methodist (Malay)
槟城美以美中学 (Simplified Chinese)
Methodist Boys' School Penang School Crest.jpg
Methodist Boys' School, George Town, Penang.jpg
Air Itam Road,

, ,

Coordinates5°24′38″N 100°18′23″E / 5.410517°N 100.306413°E / 5.410517; 100.306413Coordinates: 5°24′38″N 100°18′23″E / 5.410517°N 100.306413°E / 5.410517; 100.306413
TypeAll-boys secondary school
MottoWhatsoever Things Are True
Religious affiliation(s)Christian
Established1891; 131 years ago (1891)
FounderRev. Benjamin H. Balderstone
PrincipalLau Chong Beng
GradesForms 1 - 6
Co-educational (Form 6)

Methodist Boys' School was founded in 1891 by a Methodist missionary, Rev. Benjamin H. Balderstone as the Anglo-Chinese School.[1] This secondary school was only renamed Methodist Boys' School in the 1950s when the current school buildings at Air Itam Road were completed. While the school has been an all-boys school since its establishment, girls are now admitted for Form 6 as well.

Pykett Methodist Primary School in George Town also shares its origins with Methodist Boys' School; the primary school was formed at Pykett Avenue after the relocation of the secondary school to Air Itam Road. However, the primary school will be shut down in 2019 after years of dwindling intake.[2][3]


In 1891, Rev. Benjamin H. Balderstone, a Methodist missionary from Prince Edward Island, Canada, arrived in George Town as part of a two-man mission in Penang.[1] He subsequently established the Anglo-Chinese School within a rented shophouse at Carnavon Street on 28 May, with an intake of only one student.[1][4] At that point, the Anglo-Chinese School in George Town was the fourth Methodist school in British Malaya, following the founding of three Methodist schools in Singapore - Anglo-Chinese School, Methodist Girls' School and Anglo-Chinese Girls' School.

Rev. Balderstone was forced to resign in 1893 due to his faltering eyesight. He was replaced by Rev. George F. Pykett.[1][5] By then, the school had expanded considerably, taking over five adjacent shophouses along Carnavon Street. However, as student enrollment continued increasing, even this expansion was inadequate. A purpose-built school building at Maxwell Road was subsequently completed in 1897.

Pykett played an instrumental role as the principal of the Anglo-Chinese School. It was due to his efforts that the school was held in high regard by Penang's Chinese community. Among his accomplishments, Pykett led a mission to Sumatra and set up Penang's first Scout troop in 1910.[1] The school was also expanded twice to cope with the rising student enrolment; 10 shophouses along Penang Road were acquired, followed by the rental of a building at Chulia Street.

Therefore, by the time of Rev. Pykett's retirement in 1932, there were three branches of the Anglo-Chinese School - the primary school at Chulia Street, the middle school at Penang Road and the secondary school at Maxwell Road. Rev Pykett, who died shortly after his retirement, was succeeded by Rev. Preston L. Peach.

Rev. Peach had purchased Suffolk House and its surrounding land at Air Itam Road in 1929 for $40,000 (Straits dollar) to facilitate the school's expansion. A proposal to build a new school building at the site was deferred, however, with the onset of the Great Depression. Nonetheless, a sum of $6,000 (Straits dollar) was raised by the school committee to renovate Suffolk House. The primary school and the middle school, at Chulia Street and Penang Road respectively, were then moved into Suffolk House, which was also utilised as a canteen.[6] Suffolk House served as part of the school until 1975, when it was deemed structurally unsafe and vacated; the colonial mansion has since been restored as a tourist attraction.[6][7]

The current school building at Air Itam Road was only completed in 1955 and opened by Malcolm MacDonald, the then British Commissioner-General for Southeast Asia.[5] The secondary school was relocated from Maxwell Road into the building and renamed Methodist Boys' School, while the primary school, named Pykett Methodist Primary School, was shifted out to Pykett Avenue.

List of principalsEdit

The following is a list of the principals of Methodist Boys' School since its inception in 1891.

# Name Tenure
1 Rev. B.H. Balderstone, B.A. 1891–1893
2 Rev. G.F. Pykett 1893–1895
3 Rev. A.J. Amery 1896–1898
4 Rev. G.F. Pykett 1898–1908
5 Dr. H.L.E. Luering, PhD 1908
6 Rev. G.F. Pykett 1908–1914
7 Dr. J.R. Denyes, D.D. 1914–1916
8 Rev. B.J. Baughmann, M.A. 1917–1919
9 Rev. G.F. Pykett 1919–1920
10 Rev. P.L. Peach, M.M.E, M.A. 1921–1922
11 Rev. G.F. Pykett 1922–1927
12 Rev. P.L. Peach, M.M.E, M.A. 1927–1930
13 Rev. W.A, Schurr, M.A. 1931–1933
14 Miss E.S. Cass 1933
15 Rev. T.W. Bowmar 1933–1934
16 Dr. L. Proebstel, B.A., L.L.D 1934–1935
17 Rev. A. Eklund, B.A., B.D. 1935
18 Dr. L. Proebstel, B.A., L.L.D 1936–1938
19 Dr. H.H. Peterson, B.A., Ed.D 1938
20 Dr. D.D. Chelliah 1937–1940
21 Mr. L.B. Jenkins, M.A 1939–1940
22 Rev. C.D. Patterson, MSc 1941
23 Rev. Fred David 1945
24 Miss E. Youngdahl, M.A. 1946
25 Rev. T. Runyan, M.A., B.D. 1947
26 Rev. P.H. Schumucker, B.A., B.D. 1948–1949
27 Rev. P.L. Peach, M.M.E, M.A. 1949
28 Dr. Ho Seng Ong, M.A. Ed.D 1949–1952
29 Mr. Goh Kim Leong 1952–1953
30 Dr. H.H. Peterson, B.A., Ed.D. 1953–1956
31 Mr. Loo Choo Kheam, B.A. (Hons), A.I.E.D. 1956–1957
32 Dr. Cheah Bian Kung, MSc, PhD 1957–1958
33 Mr. Loo Choo Kheam, B.A. (Hons), A.I.E.D. 1958–1970
34 Mr. Tio Seng Hee, BSc, Sc.Dip. 1970–1971
35 Dr. Cheah Bian Kung, MSc, PhD 1971–1975
36 Mr. Arthur Khoo Hock Cheng, B.A. (Hons), Dip. Ed. 1976–1977
37 Mr. Yeong Siew Mun, BSc (Hons), Dip. Ed. 1977–1986
38 Mr. Lim Fong Juan, B.A. (Hons), Dip.Ed. December 1986
39 Mr. Saw Yew Seen, BSc (Hons), Dip. Ed. 1987–1989
40 Mr. Lim Yeang Phai, P.J.K., B.A. (Hons), M.A. Dip.Ed. 1989–1994
41 Mr. Loo Hock Guan 1994 - 1999
42 Mr. Chin Wee Wah, B.A. (Hons), Dip.Ed. 1999
43 Mr. Choong Thean Chuan, B.A. (Hons), Dip.Ed. 1999–2001
44 Mr. Khor Hong Yin, P.J.K., BSc (Hons), Dip.Ed. 2003–2010
45 Mr. Gan Hua Beng, BSc (Hons), Dip.Ed. 2011-2014
46 Mr. Lau Chong Beng, BA (Hons)Ed., BA Jurisprudence (Hons), Masters in Public Administration 2015-2021

Notable alumniEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e Earnest Lau (2008). From Mission to Church: The Evolution of the Methodist Church in Singapore and Malaysia, 1885-1976. Singapore: Armour Publishing Pte Ltd. ISBN 9789814222426.
  2. ^ "Three Penang missionary schools facing demolition after land sold off". 24 December 2014. Retrieved 6 May 2017.
  3. ^ "Historic school to shut down in 2019 - Nation | The Star Online". Retrieved 6 May 2017.
  4. ^ Robbie Goh, B. H. (2005). Christianity in Southeast Asia. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. ISBN 9789812302977.
  5. ^ a b Cheah, Jin Seng (2013). Penang 500 Early Postcards. Editions Didier Millet. ISBN 9789671061718.
  6. ^ a b "History Of The Mansion - Suffolk House". Retrieved 6 May 2017.
  7. ^ Khoo, Salma Nasution (2007). Streets of George Town, Penang. Penang: Areca Books. ISBN 9789839886009.
  8. ^ "Pro-Chancellor". Home. Retrieved 6 May 2017.