Lim Chooi Tee, Supersportsman
n the annals of the V.I., or any other school for that matter, it is unlikely that there will ever be a sportsman like Lim Chooi Tee. He joined the V. I. in 1956, the youngest brother to four others who had preceded him - Chooi Seng, Chooi Cheah, Chooi Kui and Chooi Per.
His sporting prowess began to show when he was only in Form Two - he was recruited into the School Table Tennis and Athletics Teams. In 1958, the first titles started rolling in when Chooi Tee became the Junior Table Tennis Champion. For good measure, he partnered Lee Teng On to win the Junior Doubles Championship as well. As if that was not enough, in the Open Singles championship, Chooi Tee, then a mere Third Former, took on the School Champion Lum Mun Kong to become runner-up. In the Open Doubles, he and partner Phang Fatt Soon became runners-up as well, losing to a pair of seniors. In that same year, Chooi Tee turned out to be born with fins as well and so joined the School Swimming Team and the School Water-polo Team. In between dips he won his Bronze Medal in life-saving.
By the time he joined Form Four in 1959, Chooi Tee's sporting prowess had exploded to so many areas that he was recruited into the School Football Team, the School Basketball Team, the School Badminton Team, and the School Rugger Team as well. He played as centre forward in football and as wing forward or anchorman in rugger. Chooi Tee dropped out of the Swimming Team that year but was nevertheless representing the school in a total of seven sports! In Treacher House, Chooi Tee held the additional positions of House Table Tennis Captain and House Badminton Captain.
In April that year his extraordinary contributions were recognised by the Headmaster, Dr. G. E. D. Lewis, and he was among the second batch of pupils to be awarded the coveted Club 21 merit badge. At year's end, when the regular Prefects took leave to prepare for their final exams, Chooi Tee was among the group of Temporary Prefects recruited from Fourth Formers to maintain discipline in the school.
When he got to Form Five, Chooi Tee was appointed a School Prefect. He dropped Water-polo from his list of school sports but continued to represent the School in Table Tennis, Football, Basketball, Badminton, Athletics and Rugger. He was appointed the Vice-Captain of the Table Tennis Team and finally secured the School Singles and Doubles championship titles under his belt. In Badminton, he partnered Ho Kah Yen to become the School Open Doubles runners-up. During the year, Chooi Tee was honoured with School Colours for Table Tennis and Rugger. In Athletics, given his stocky build, Chooi Tee excelled in the Discus and Shot Putt. He set a new Class 2 record in the latter event during the school sports when he heaved the shot over a distance of 40 feet five and a half inches. He was elected the Vice-Captain of Treacher House and captained the House Table Tennis and Football teams as well. And despite all the time spent on the field, the courts and the pool, Chooi Tee managed to get a Grade One in his School Certificate examinations at year-end with five distinctions to boot.
As a Sixth Former in 1961 and 1962, Chooi Tee continued to represent the school in those six sports. More honours came with his appointment as School Table Tennis Vice-Captain and School Rugger Captain. In Table Tennis he successfully defended his Singles title in 1961 and became Doubles runner-up with Tan Huk Lim in 1962. In addition, partnering Genevieve Lim that same year, Chooi Tee landed the Mixed Doubles Championship as well. In Badminton he was again runner-up in the Doubles Championship for two more successive years.
1961 saw the V.I. break the three-year winning streak of the Royal Military College in the annual V.I.-R.M.C. athletic meet. Chooi Tee played no small part in helping amass points for the school by heaving the shot a record-setting 41 feet 8 inches. In the 1961 School Sports, he hurled the discus a distance of 114 feet 5 inches, smashing the School record. Chooi Tee was so good in his two field events that he represented Selangor Combined Schools for four years (1959-1962), captaining the side in his last year in school. He was the Selangor and Malayan Schoolboys Shot Putt Champion, and was runner-up in the Discus. Chooi Tee also represented Selangor State in the Third National Athletics Meet.
In recognition of his sporting achievements and leadership, Chooi Tee was accorded the ultimate honour - the 1962 School Captaincy; it is hard to imagine any other serious contender for that post. In the Prefects Board over which he presided, there was an annual Table Tennis championship tournament among the prefects. Needless to say, Chooi Tee won that championship all the three years he was in the Prefects Board. During his final year, Chooi Tee was awarded three more School Colours - in Football, in Badminton and in Athletics, thereby etching a record that has been unsurpassed since and unlikely ever to be - the greatest number of Colours ever awarded to a V. I. pupil. For good measure, like icing on the celebratory cake, Chooi Tee set another record that athletics season in the Shot Putt - 41 feet 10 inches.
Although he did not play hockey or cricket for the School, Chooi Tee was nevertheless sufficiently versatile to represent his House in these two sports in addition to the other eight, making it a total of ten sports that he played for his House (and eight for his School). Put it another way, there wasn't a single sport he did not represent Treacher House in! Well, one might stretch a point and say that Chooi Tee also played Cricket for the School as well: In 1960, there was a special cricket match played between the V.I. Cricket Team of 1930 and the V.I. Prefects of 1960. Chooi Tee was in that Prefects Cricket team. So if it can be argued that Chooi Tee thus played for the School in this one match (albeit against not another school but against an older set of Victorians), then one can claim that Chooi Tee played NINE different sports for the V.I.
It is mind-boggling to visualize Chooi Tee's typical day in school: Lessons in the morning, prefect duties before school, during the recess and after school. Then in the afternoon it is down to the school field for either football, athletics, rugger, hockey or cricket. If it is not a practice or training session for that sport, then it is an inter-house match, or an inter-school match. If the latter category, then oftentimes an away match will take him away to another school, or to a stadium in Kuala Lumpur or even to another state. If it is an aquatic sport, then Chooi Tee is in his swimming trunks thrashing away in the V.I. Pool, with an extra accoutrement, a cap on his head, for water-polo. Or perhaps it is badminton or table tennis, in which case Chooi Tee is to be found in the School Hall, wielding a ping pong paddle or a badminton racket with equal adroitness. Or perhaps it is basketball in which case he is rushing up and down the court dribbling or shooting. This pattern of activity, practically every school day, from January to November, year after year! And yet Chooi Tee, at the end of 1962, managed to pass his General Paper, Physics, Chemistry, Pure and Applied Maths and obtain his Higher School Certificate to wrap up his astounding career in the V.I.
After leaving school, even while embarked on a professional career as an accountant, this die-hard Victorian still found time to serve as President of the V.I.O.B.A. for three years from 1980 to 1982.
Presently, Chooi Tee is semi-retired from professional work but is still a partner in a chartered accountant and certified public accountant firm called "C.T. LIM & CO." and does some business in Madagascar.
Will there ever be another Lim Chooi Tee in the V.I.? I think not!
Chooi Tee and his Eight Sports
Last update on 18 March 2004.
Contributed by: Chung Chee Min