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Dr Lester Proebstel, Missionary And Founder Of The Anglo-Chinese Continuation School
This is the picture of "Pop" as everyone knew him or Dr Lester Proebstel, one of the earlier Methodist educational missionaries to Ipoh from 1914 to 1938. The picture was taken when he returned to Ipoh in 1968 and was visiting the Kesselring Methodist Girls’ School in Silibin Road, Ipoh, probably for the dedication service (see below). He was Ralph Kesselring's mentor when he first arrived in Ipoh in 1930. Ralph was a Methodist Missionary and one of the Anglo-Chinese School (ACS) Principals.
Pop was quite the practical joker. In the 50's when he visited Malaysia he was asked Was it true that he put durian in the ship state room of a missionary returning to the USA, one who hated durian? He said absolutely not, he wouldn't waste good durian like that. .... He only put the husks!
Lester Proebstel was the founder and first Principal of the “Anglo Chinese Continuation School” which started with just 5 pupils in 1924. However under Lester's guidance, the number increased to 350 by the time of the Japanese invasion in 1941. Although there were no lessons during the occupation, Lester officially remained Principal until 1945.
In parallel with his role of Principal of this school, he was also Principal of the Anglo-Chinese School Ipoh, from 1926 to 1931 and again from 1932 to 1934. The Reverend F H Sullivan bridged the gap in between over part of 1931/1932 In October 1945, the Japanese having surrendered, school was restarted under its new Principal, Wong Wai Lam and, due to there being no available school building, was renamed the “Methodist Afternoon School” (MAS) as lessons were taken only in the afternoons, using classrooms in the Anglo-Chinese School (ACS), Ipoh. Eventually in 1959 the school was relocated to its present premises at 42, Jalan Silibin, Ipoh, where it was officially opened by DYMM the Sultan of Perak and renamed the “Methodist English School” (MES). In 1965 Teerath Ram became the Principal of MES.
However, on 10th April 1968 a dedication of a new building took place, conducted by the Reverend H Paul Castor and the building carried a new name for the school, “Kesselring Methodist Girls’ School” which later also took the Malay name of “Sekolah Perempuan Methodist Kesselring’, both names being visible on the building with the latter on top. At an unknown date, but under the stewardship of Principal Teerath Ram, (1975 to 1982) the named changed again, this time to the “Methodist High School” (MHS). This was the name the school held till it became "Wesley Methodist School" in 2008.
To read more about Ralph and Florence Kesselring, click here.
To see the Order of Service for the Dedication of the Kesselring Methodist Girls’ School, click here.
To see photographs of the Kesselring Methodist Girls’ School, click here.
To see photographs of the Staff of Kesselring Methodist Girls’ School, click here.
To read more about Anglo-Chinese School, Ipoh, click here.