R. Thampipillay


1879 – 1974


Who was R. Thampipillay?

R. Thampipillay was born in Ceylon and joined the Victoria Institution, Kuala Lumpur as a pupil in 1895 on his arrival in Malaya.

He was a brilliant scholar and on graduation joined the V.I. teaching staff in 1898. He played a prominent part in the formation and training of the Cadet Corps, holding the rank of Lieutenant. Throughout his career he taught a total of some fifteen thousand pupils, all of whom carried away with them fond memories of a dedicated, versatile and exemplary teacher. In the last 22 years of his service he was in charge of the Cambridge Class subjects.

Mr. Thampipillay also organised the V.I. Old Boys' Association and was its first secretary. He was awarded the Inperial Service Medal on his retirement in 1932 after thirty-four and a half years of service. His final visit to the V.I. was in 1968 when he was a guest of honour at the 75th Anniversary celebrations of the school. The Grand Old Man of the V.I. received a special award from Puan Sharifah Rodziah, the wife of then Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman.

In 1928 and 1929, Mr. Thampipillay penned his reminiscences of the old V.I. of High Street in several instalments of The Victorian. Unfortunately only two of these instalments remain and are reproduced below. They give an interesting vignette of the personalities of the Victoria Institution and life in Kuala Lumpur in the early twentieth century.

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