The Sultan Sulaiman Cadet Corp
by Cikgu Razali Abdul Mutalib
The late Mr Cham Ah Kim, Mr Song Thiam Lye and yours truly were among the very first Cadet officers of the newly-formedCorp (around 1960). We were a very enthusiastic lot – both the officers and the cadets.
Unfortunately most of the cadet meetings in the afternoon were spent learning how to march and I could feel the slow but obvious disenchantment creeping in after the initial thrill of wearing our uniforms wore off. So the three of us decided to do something different – we would take our ‘boys’ on a route march!! And we did just that One fine morning we marched from SMSS to the Rest House in Merchang!.
I was reminded of this episode by Y.Bhg. Datuk Wan Mutalib Embong who was one of the cadets who took part in our ‘long march’. We spent the night in the Rest House (it was just outside the Merchang mosque compund), and it was here that I saw a sight that both thrilled and awed me till this day.
There was a thunderstorm that evening and I was leaning on the window sill looking across the road towards the sea. Suddenly there was a bright bolt of lightning and I saw it strike the very top of a coconut tree and wound its way down the trunk rowards the ground!
The next morning I went to look at the tree and sure enough I could see the path the lightning took by the trail of torn bark along the trunk. An old man who also went to look at the tree told me that that tree will soon die.
We had arranged for a couple of army trucks to get us to get back to school the next morning. It was too much to ask us to walk back to school!
I hope some of the cadets who went on that route march will read this and maybe this will trigger off memories of individuals who also shared that experience.