Sandakan: A replica of a helicopter standing proudly in the midst of SJK (C) Chi Wah never fails to grab the attention of passers-by and today it has become a popular landmark in Sandakan.
The school located at Mile 1, Jalan Utara has its own rich history too, being one of the oldest Chinese schools in Sabah, but the presence of the S51 model has boosted its name even more since 1975.
Thirty seven years ago, the replica of a helicopter that once belonged to the Governor of Hong Kong was presented to the students of the school.
A businessman decided to donate it to SJK (C) Chi Wah through the Rotary Club of Sandakan and since then has remained in the school grounds for the enjoyment of students and the public.
Apparently, the helicopter on which it was based on was sold to the Malaysian Air Charter Sdn Bhd in 1966 and used for training.
It was then sent to Sandakan in 1968 for the purpose of air-surveying commercial potentials and in 1972, the Malaysian Air Charter Sdn Bhd sold it to another company and it was placed at the Sandakan Airport.
SJK (C) Chi Wah was established in 1912 with only 40 children and founded by local educationist, Kapitan Lim Weng Ceng and Liau Yu Kui.
In 1962, the number of pupils surged to more than 1,600 and in 1971, the Board of Management applied for a four-acre land to expand the school.
One of its recent achievements has been to receive the award as Sustainable School 2005-2006 as well as earning a four-star rating.--Courtesy of New Sabah Times