Mr. P.S.B. Nair - Down the Memory Lane – Lasallians Remembered

Mr. Nair, P.S.B.

Years of service in LS: 29 Period of Service: 1963 – 1992 Date of Death: 2012


The following was offered by Clarence Ng (1969) in March 2010.

Mr. Nair was our Indian physics teacher, a blessed Catholic from the South Asian sub-continent. He graduated from an Indian university and taught high school in India for many years before he joined LSC in Hong Kong. He was very beloved by the students. Mr. Nair and his family lived in Kwun Tong, where he was among us. He presented a very gentlemanly appearance in a three piece suit, complete with cologne, gold rings, and gold watch.

Teaching physics in plain English was his specialty. He started by explaining physics terminology with simple English word definitions. First, he defined it, word by word together with English grammar, to create a meaningful sentence to the students. Afterwards, he interpreted the same English sentence using mathematics. Often in order to help every student to learn physics in the class, he taught English and mathematics along with physics. He said to the class more than once, “Teaching Hong Kong students is very similar to teaching Indian students. Both need help in English and mathematics to understand physics, because English is not your native language.” With patience and inculcation, he made a sophisticated subject into a simple easy learning idea.

While he was teaching at LSC, his son was attending La Salle Primary School. In 1966, Mr. Nair was running from the Majestic Dome to the primary school under the torrential rain to look for his son, after learning the primary school wall had collapsed. Soon, he came back, soaking wet with a smile on his face and showing a sign of relief. He said to the class, “The primary school wall collapsed, and I have found my son safe.” Then, with his hands wiping his face, he continued saying, “Now you have seen how much a father loves his son.” He was indeed a loving father.

I remember a particularly anecdote from an all LaSallian schools athletic event at Mongkok Stadium. Every attendee was wearing shorts, with the exception of Mr. Nair. As always, he wore a three piece suit. However, he did not look odd; in fact he looked good when he held the microphone calling the names of each participating students and announced the results of each game. He really looked like a sport commentator or news reporter on the television… Laugh out loud.

An article offered by an old boy recalls his encounters with Mr. Nair.

Contributed by: Raj Nair         2014-02-25 22:31:06
Description: Mr. P.S.B. Nair started his career as a teacher in the southern Indian state of Kerala, having graduated with a bachelor’s degree in teaching at the tender age of 19. He worked at a local government school until the age of 32. It was during his time teaching in the government school in Kerala that he met his future wife in one of his senior classes. In fact, he ended up teaching all the siblings as well. After getting married and having two young boys, he was offered the chance to join his cousin in Hong Kong who had a successful business in textiles. Mr. Nair relished the opportunity of providing a brighter future for his family as well travelling overseas to an exotic locale to start his new job opportunity. Upon his arrival to Hong Kong shores in September 1962 and after working in the business field for a year, he became disillusioned with the harsh realities of the wheeling and dealing that takes place in a flourishing trading company and decided to pursue his original passion for teaching. He arrived with resume in hand at the general office of La Salle College and was offered a job teaching Physics by Brother Felix Sheehan. He was later to recount how the main thing that attracted him to take the teaching position at La Salle was the breathtaking beauty of the campus, especially our beloved majestic dome, which was reminiscent of the dome of the Taj Mahal to this homesick educator starting off on a new career trajectory. After teaching for a few years, Brother Felix asked him to teach a matriculation class Chemistry and Mathematics. Despite his initial reservations about teaching a subject that was not his forte, the Form 7 students under his tutelage attained outstanding results and this drew the admiration of the school management that hired him and led to him being promptly offered a permanent position among the staff. From that moment on, Mr. Nair devoted himself wholeheartedly to the school and students for the next 29 years, during which time he was given the senior post of Discipline Master of the school. This was a job at which he excelled since he was a very disciplined person and wanted the students to cultivate their own sense of responsibility. With a third son on the way, Mr. Nair wanted to provide for his family well and decided to supplement his income by teaching in an evening school three times a week. Despite the heavy workload, his strong work ethics and keenness to succeed enabled him to eventually purchase a home right next to La Salle College at 1 College Road. His three sons all graduated from La Salle College with the youngest becoming a doctor, the second a PhD graduate working in the corporate sector and his eldest son following in his footsteps by pursuing a career as a NET in a local government secondary school. All his life, Mr. Nair felt a strong sense of love and devotion to La Salle College and Hong Kong and he would always tell his friend and acquaintance about how Hong Kong is the best place to live in the world. However, after his retirement in 1992 at the age of 62, Mr. Nair felt it was his duty to return to his homeland in order to take care of his elderly parents and he stayed there until his demise in 2012 after his health had deteriorated. His felt great pride in seeing both of his grandsons enter La Salle College to continue their studies where he had devoted his career.
Categories: Deceased, Teachers