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The Man From Borneo: An Autobiography

Man From BorneoBrother Michael Jacques (2010) The Man From Borneo: An Autobiography, Petaling Jaya: SIRD.

Starting with fond memories of a fascinating childhood in Sarawak, this long-awaited autobiography of Brother Michael Jacques offers a very personal and engaging account of the long and distinguished career of one of Malaysia’s most prominent educators. Drawn from his voluminous personal diaries, The Man from Borneo focuses on a lifelong commitment to the work of the De La Salle Brothers institutes of education. It is a remarkable journey that took him from Kuching to Penang, Ipoh, Singapore, Malacca, London and Rome where he rose to head the brotherhood’s Asian region. Brother Michael documents, among much else, the Japanese Occupation, the road to merdeka, the turbulence that affected the Catholic church in the aftermath of Vatican II and the efforts to establish teaching institutions in some of the world’s most conflict-ridden societies such as Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Burma. The Man from Borneo is a landmark book from an extraordinary man. It will be of great appeal to readers interested in education, historians of modern Catholicism, and general readers concerned with the history of twentieth-century Malaysia.

'… this autobiography of Brother Michael Jacques is exceptional.... Most of all, [it] will inspire in readers the value of leading a meaningful life, involving service to society' – Edmund Terence Gomez, University of Malaya


Brother Michael Jacques was born in Kuching in 1916 and became one of Malaysia’s outstanding educationalists for many decades. Part of the Lasallian brotherhood from the early 1930s, he served, on two occasions, as Brother Visitor in the Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong district. He was also elected to the Asian Assistancy in Rome. He was awarded an honorary doctorate by De La Salle University Manila and conferred with the Darjah Setia Pangkuan Negeri by the Governor of Penang. He lives in Petaling Jaya.


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