Friday, 29 February 2008

Sensible Soo Kit

Joanna with Soo Kit, and her little son Matthew

One of the greatest perks about my job is the travel. What better way to catch up with BBGSians who are dispersed all over the world!

Last week, I was in San Francisco and grabbed the opportunity to catch up with another long-lost friend. Soo Kit is also from the BBGS Class of 1987 and we were recently reunited on Facebook. It's been over 20 years since we last saw each other!

Kit migrated to Canada after SPM, and went on to become a hydro-geologist. She's married to David, an English professor, and they live in Oakland CA with their 1-year old son, Matthew.

One quality we all remember about Soo Kit is how sensible and level-headed she was. This led her to being elected class monitor 3 years in a row. "I hated it!", she recalls with much laughter. "It was torture when the half the class was made up of prefects who thought they knew better". We also had a good time chatting about nicknames (we used to call her 'Socket'), classmates, teachers and exchanging life stories in general. Thanks for the brunch, Soo Kit. It was wonderful catching up with you.

Here's a soundbite from Soo Kit - in her own words:


It is always so special to reconnect with those you have had a past with and I truly enjoyed our short time together.

As always, I expected you to be where you are at, accomplished and doing well for yourself, and of course, always keeping busy and occupied! Btw, you look great and I like the long hair better than the boy cut in school:)

Yes, I checked out the blog -- such flair for writing! Gosh , I am terrible and being a scientist does not help much, does it? The pic turned out great -- I will get a copy and keep it until the next time you are here doing your pHD in Berkeley, but by then, hopefully, you will be a regular and Matthew can expect Auntie Jo-jo to visit as much as she would like. Btw, thanks for the interactive dog --- he LOVES IT and is driving me nuts:)

Take care Joanna, and happy travels, rest well before your next stop --- Shanghai?

xoxo, Kit and Matthew

Yellow Bird

Here's a letter from Poh Ching Suan, another BBGSian with fond memories of singing songs during school assembly.

Dear Joanna

I really enjoyed reading the article A Tribute to our teachers and am much delighted to know many of our school teachers are are still involved in the field of education.

Here are some songs we sang in school: (Mrs Abraham used to lead us in songs. I remember this one especially as she corrected our pronounciation of “Yeh-low bird, high up in bah-nah-nah tree… Song goes something like this

Yellow Bird

Yellow bird, high up in banana tree,
Yellow bird you sit all alone like me
Did your lady love, leave your nest again
That is very sad, makes me feel so bad.
You can fly away in the sky away
You’re more lucky than me.

I also have a pretty girl
She’s not with me today
They’re all the same those pretty girls
Build them a nest, then they’ll fly away

Isle of Capri

Twas on the isle of Capri that I found her
beneath the shade of an old walnut tree
O I can still see the flowers bloomin’ round her
Where we met on the isle of Capri.

She was as sweet as a rose at the dawning
But somehow fate hadn’t meant her for me
And though I sailed with the tide in the morning
Still my heart’s on the isle of Capri.

Summertime was nearly over
Blue Italian skies above
I said lady I’m a rover
Can you spare a sweet word of love

She whispered softly “it’s best not to linger,”
And then as I kissed her hand, I could see
She wore a plain golden ring on her finger
Twas good bye to the isle of Capri.

Best regards,
Poh Ching Suan

Monday, 18 February 2008

CNY reunion for class of 1989

Standing (l-r): Medaline Chang, Melody Tan, Corinne Wong, Fong Foong Mei, Ruth Sunitha, Lee Pek Tho
Sitting (l-r): Pauline Ng, Lini Feisol, Balvinder Kaur

Hi Joanna,

Here's a photo of a get-together on 12 Feb 2008 of BBGSgirls from Form Five 1989.
Great if you can post that up!

Kong Hei Fatt Choy


Saturday, 16 February 2008

Juwita Suwito - our Songbird

Juwita Suwito is another BBGSian who is doing us proud. She is a well-known singer on the Malaysian music scene and a positive role model for all her fans. Juwita released a solo album in 2005 and you can read all about this talented BBGSian at

Juwita recently contacted me via Facebook, and here's what she had to say:

"Wow... I visited the blog and it's great! Would love to share my story, or at least what we have of it so far. Lol...

I'm so encouraged to hear that you and your mom have been following my musical career. There have been lots of ups and downs in pursuing this passion and messages like yours are always a huge encouragement.

Could you help me jog my memory? I recall you being the head girl when I was in Form 2. I think (but am not sure!) that your mom was my math and class teacher in Primary 6, BBGS 2. Would that be about right? What are you up to nowadays?

Best regards,

P.S. Voted for the gallery at Pavilion, by the way. :)"

Monday, 11 February 2008

Kacang Putih Man

This heartwarming article was written by Sujatha Rajagopal (Class of 1992 - Form 6) for the Centenary Magazine in 1985. Suji is now a freelance copywriter who lives in San Jose (USA) with her husband and 5-year old son.

My first encounter with the kacang putih man, and his family was in the 1980s when I was in primary school. What fascinated me most were his youthful eyes. Eyes that would gleam in the friendliness as you piped in a small voice "Pakcik, nak kacang...sepuluh sen." Eyes that would watch in amusement as you ate the kacang putih or fed your friends and the pigeons that flocked in abundance over the tarmac.

The business was started by his late father, Krishnan - a short balding man, usually clad in a crisp, white shirt and white dhoti. According to him, his father started selling kacang putih at the primary school in the early 1960s until his death in the mid 1980s.

Meanwhile, he himself had been selling kacang putih in the secondary school canteen since the '70s. He also plied along Jalan Bukit Bintang and other parts of town. When I asked him how business was, he smiled a little wistfully and replied that profits were not much - just enough to cover his family's living expenses.

It is an understatement to say that the kacang putih man leads a difficult life. He wakes up daily at 4.30 am - a time when most of us would still be fast asleep. He then leaves his home to meet his supplier by 5:30 am. After that, he would make his rounds to the various parts of town to sell kacang putih.

We should recognise that the kacang putih man and the canteen-stall operators formed an important part of BBGS history.

Annual photos

Remember how we used to pose for these photos year after year?

Sitting or standing in neat rows in the baking hot sun, prim and proper in our starched uniforms, knees together, hands crossed left-over-right, squinting at the photographer while maintaining our polite smiles.

I'm so glad they made us take those photos!

Since cameras were not allowed on most days, these official photos are precious capsules of our girlhood, of firm friends (and some foes!) made in the corridors of a school that lives on in our hearts.

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Kong Hei Fatt Choy

Here's wishing all BBGSians a very Happy & Prosperous New Year!

Do have a wonderful holiday with your families, eat & drink to your heart's content and listen to annoying firecrackers & "gong xi ni" songs. If you're travelling home, drive safely. And while you're at home, why don't you dig up some of your BBGS memorabilia and share them with us?

The readers of this blog will LOVE you for it!

It's really been wonderful to re-connect with old friends from 2 decades ago, and make new friends from all generations. We're so fortunate to be bound together by the cords of loyal friendship that is the hallmark of a BBGSian.

Warmest Regards,