The Revival Years (1945-1956)

When the British Military Administration (BMA) took over in September 1945, attempts were made to revive the work of St. John Ambulance in the same year. On 10 July 1947, a public meeting was held at Kuala Lumpur Town Hall (now Panggung Bandaraya). Representatives of St. John Ambulance from Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Perak, Pulau Pinang, Kelantan, Pahang and Singapore together with representatives from Army Medical Service, Railways Department, Education Department, Police Department and Civil Medical Service attended the meeting. His Excellency Sir Gerard Gent, Governor-General of the Malaya and Singapore was appointed SJAA Patron and his wife, Lady Gwendolen Gent, as Patroness.  At the meeting, the future of the Association was discussed. Members were to be motivated and trained in first aid to help the injured and sick.

After the meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Branches in various States began to spring up. North Borneo (Sabah) called for its first revival meeting in 1948. In 1949, the Federal Government initiated programmes to promote health awareness and services in the rural areas. As part of the effort to fight a psychological war during the Malayan State of Emergency against the Communist Insurgency, Sir Gerald Templer, British High Commissioner to the Federation of Malaya requested the St. John Ambulance Headquarters in Britain and Australia to send twenty-five welfare teams to resettlement areas in Malaya. Many later assumed the post of State Organisers attached with the St. John Ambulance in the States. Ms. Irene Checkley was the last Federal Organiser.

Dr. MacGregor was succeeded by Mr. George William Somerville (1951), Mr. Daniel Ross McPherson (April 1952), Dr. H. M. O. Lester (July 1952) and Dr. Robert Erskine Anderson (1954) who was the last Britisher to hold the District Commissioner post, served until 1956. Dr. Chang Hoey Chan, who was acting SJAB Malaya District Commissioner during 1956-57 transition, officially assumed the post in 1957.

St. John Ambulance Division in St. Michael Institution

Before Malaya gained its independence, much work was done by the organisation to prepare itself for the new challenges ahead. The senior officers from London Headquarters such as Countess Mountbatten, SJAB Overseas Superintendent-in-Chief, Ms. Ivy Richer and Ms. Irene Checkley (both Federal Organisers) traveled frequently throughout Malaya and North Borneo to help the Brigade and Association with their future developments.