Sunday, 28 June 2009

Calling for tributes to Miss Cooke

Message from Phang Sow Yoong (School Captain 1972), Chairperson of Project Revive

Dear BBGSians,

We are preparing to hold a press conference in July to promote Project Revive and the scholarship fund. So I am in a rush to compile the press kit. We would like to compile a tribute to Miss Cooke. We would like to invite BBGSians to contribute their tributes to Miss Cooke to remember how she inspired excellence in thousands of girls over the years. We will select the most significant ones to compile into the press kit.

Here are some suggestions on what you can share.

  • In your opinion, in what ways has Miss Cooke contributed to BBGS?
  • How has Miss Cooke impacted your life? (give specific instances or incidents)
  • Message to Miss Cooke
  • Contributors are requested to provide names, year in form 5, email address and mobile numbers.
Please send your tributes directly to Sow Yoong at by June 30, 2009.

Joanna says: If you know of BBGSians who are technologically-challenged like my mother :-), please go the extra mile and let them know about this tribute. Offer to type their tribute and email it to Sow Yoong if you have to. You'd be surprised how many of them have stories about Miss Cooke that will amuse, inspire and move you.

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Candle 20: Nora Ibrahim

What years were you at BBGS?

I was in BBGS from January 1978 to Dec. 1982 – for secondary school education. Who were my classmates (Form S4) back then? Let’s see if I can remember at least a few of them: MENSA gal Lim Poh Lian, prefects Karen Kaur, Sharifah Shaheera, Lim Pek Si, Wendy Kydd, and then there were Lily Ong, Siti Baizura, Lin Hsiu-Yi, Shirene Shan, Lim Yuet Suan, Shanti, Yvonne, Selina Richards, Winnie, Aliza Nayan, etc.

Of course I also remember my ‘bus sekolah’ mates – Phua Chiu Soon, Mable, Wai Kwan, etc.

And all the adventures we had gone through together!! Where are you now, gals, oops, ladies.....? Do contact me. My email is:

It’s time for a reunion!

What are your fondest memories?

Weekly School Assembly: Singing the school song and the class cleanliness shields!

The libraries: Ooohh, such a wonderful place! Lots of books & peace & quiet. I must be the only student in my class, if not the whole school, who had not attended any tuition class. Neither could I afford to buy those revision books for SRP or SPM. Being able to study in the quiet library was crucial.... .

Cheerleading: Was in the Gymnastics Club, the Swimming Club, etc. Was also involved in the School Magazine. In my final year, I actually took the courage to be one of the cheerleaders for Shirtliff House!

‘Give me an M, I, G, H, T. Give me an F, I, G, H, T.

We’ve got the Might, we’ve got the Fight, we’re gonna win, all right! Yeaaaahhh, Shirtliff!!!’

Food Sales: Once, our S4 class won a mountain of kitchen towels as the prize for the most amount of money collected from a Food Sale donated towards the Gymnasium construction. It’s not the prize that matters, it’s the sharing and the team spirit that are definitely part of BBGS values!

The dedicated teachers: The highly dedicated teachers, and the Head Mistress. For example, Mrs. Aziz who encouraged a fellow classmate to pronounce words properly (using methods very much like in ‘My Fair Lady’!). Ms. Yeo, the tulip and adventurous Geography classes! Mrs. Betty Wong and the unforgettable dissection sessions and ecology experiments (she’ll be proud to know I am a biologist ;-) ). And many other excellent teachers during my secondary school years – for chemistry, physics, history, BM, Maths and Add Maths, Home Science (yummm!), PE, etc.

I greatly appreciate all their dedication, help and support as these have enabled me to further my studies and to contribute back to society. The Headmistress, Ms Yeap, in particular, generously extended extra support and encouragement. Thank you for everything!

What did you do when you left school?

Attended the University of Waterloo, Canada and graduated with BSc. (Honours Biology), where I was active in nature and environmental conservation work, and was a volunteer Students’ Vocational Advisor (SVA). Upon returning to Malaysia, I worked for an NGO – the Malayan Nature Society (MNS) at a mangrove park. The park is well-known for its silver leaf monkeys (Presbytis cristata), otters, fireflies, as well as the numerous migratory and local avian fauna, many of which are protected species under various conventions such as CITES. We tried to rehabilitate the degraded mangroves by making a brackish lake system with islands which served as secure roosts for the Milky Storks re-introduction project and the purple and grey herons and as a stop-over site for ‘international’ migratory waterfowls. Later, I worked in an organization concerned with sustainable development issues of developing countries. It was a most enlightening and humbling experience – we worked internationally and nationally with scientists as well as policy makers, legal experts, indigenous peoples, anthropologists, human rights experts, socio-economists, etc. By then, I had been to more than 23 countries, including to Switzerland for one of the pre-1992 preparatory meetings of the Climate Change convention at the United Nations HQ in Geneva.

When Academia beckoned again in 1991/2, I applied for and was offered a Chevening Scholarship to do my Master. However, back then they only offered partial scholarship to cover tuition fees. I had no money to come up with the living expenses in the UK! So, there was no way I could accept that scholarship offer. Later, I responded to an EU-Asean scholarship advertisement by the British Council. Full support was awarded, hurrah! In England, I did a course on Coastal Management, and read for my Master (LLM) in International Environmental Law, specializing in the major international and regional environmental conventions (including the UNCLOS, Climate Change, Biodiversity, OSPAR, CCAMLR, London, Basel, OSPAR, CITES, Ramsar, UNEP regional conventions, etc.). I was also awarded a Rhodes Academy scholarship to attend the Rhodes Academy of Ocean Policy and Law.

In the mean time, I co-authored a book on ‘Pulau Redang Marine Park’, which is meant for the public but it also included fauna lists for mammals, birds and marine fish.

A few years later, I went on to do my climate-related PhD research on the effects of elevated temperature and ultraviolet (UV) irradiation on the marine chemical ecology of a tropical coral reef component. It was a challenge! It has never been done before in Malaysia, and many obstacles were in the way. One of the obstacles, as usual, was research funding. The BBGS value of perseverance is deeply instilled within me – I wrote a research proposal to a private Japanese foundation and argued hard to the selection committee during an interview session on why my project should be funded. It was successful and the much-needed financial support was greatly appreciated (at that time, the highest amount ever given by the Japanese foundation to a student project!) as I had to pay for the expensive equipment and field work for my research. Nisi Dominus Frustra!!

After that, the Max Planck Society awarded me with a Postdoctoral Fellowship to work on my postdoctoral research at a Max Planck Institute in Germany. Later, I became a Research Associate for an EU project on the deep-sea. For a while, the focus was on bridging the policy-science divide in marine issues. The most exciting was to be part of the International Polar Year scientific expedition on board the ice-breaker and research vessel ‘Polarstern’, in conjunction with the EU deep-sea project and the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research. We went to the Arctic Circle, off the northern Norwegian coast where the deep-sea, coldwater corals are located. A submersible was deployed to explore the seabed at ca. 300-400 m depth. Although only half of us scientists on board could use the submersible, we all benefitted from the samples and video footages brought up by the ‘yellow submarine’. Using the samples and data from this expedition, work on deep-sea biodiversity and conservation efforts continue.

Where are you and what are you doing now?

Currently, I am based in Europe and, inter alia, co-supervising a PhD student in a project of mapping the deep-sea biodiversity, and correlating to the deep-sea sediment and bathymetry.

(At the same time, I am helping two German editors to edit a new book on ‘Polar Biology’).

What BBGS values are you passing on to the next generation?

Integrity and all its associated tributes - respect, fairness, honesty, truth, hard work, responsibility! Even in the face of adversity, do not give up one’s principles - ‘With steadfastness and careful truth!’

Team spirit! Cooperation. Give a helping hand, especially to the disadvantaged. Contribute to society.

Would like to enthuse the younger ones to study hard and work hard, perseverance, strive to do good or for a good cause (money is not everything in this life).

Nisi Dominus Frustra

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Candle 19: Jasmine Chong

Hi Joanna,

I'm Jasmine Chong or better known as Kwai Fun during my BB days. I'm a BBGSian from 1985-1995 (Graduated from class of 5Sc.4). Coming to know this blog and reading all those stories published simply brings back the memories which I cherished during those days in the school. I feel so honoured to be part of the heritage but each time when I look at Pavilion, it brings me great sorrow. I've only been there once to meet up with a friend for lunch. The first time I stepped into Pavilion, this is what I told myself: " this what used to be BBGS? We are that huge!!!" Then I started looking around and wondering about the location of the shops. Was I having my lunch at the primary school hall?

I'm finally growing out of the negative feelings and slowly beginning to accept the fact that it's no longer a suitable place for school. It's actually a good move to relocate the school though it's sad that most of the BBGS culture is no longer there in the new relocated school.

There's never a dull moment being part of this big family, and here are some of the memories from my school days:

EMBARASSING MOMENT: I still remember the 1st time ever when I was spot-checked in Form 1. That was D-day I'd never forget. Not because I brought something illegal to school. But being the naive 1st timer, when the prefect asked: "Did you wear your shorts today?". I frankly answered "Yes". And the next thing that happened, my *BERMUDA* was consficated. The reason was, we are only allowed to wear school shorts (in light blue), no Bermuda or what have you.

PROUD MOMENT: When we did our Choral Speaking in front of our ex-PM, Tun Dr Mahathir in 1994.

NEVER FORGOTTEN MOMENT: washing the toilet, floral arrangement, duty @ Co-op (if you can't find me in class, I'm at the Co-op!!), singing after the school assembly, Permission slips to go to McD, Mrs. Choe & her colour matching outfit!!

I'm now working with a multinational company as a Service Delivery Manager managing outsource vendors for a couple of countries in ASEAN. I've come along way to become who I am today, thanks to all the great values injected into me during my school days. I'm also a part time photographer, photographing children, families & babies. Hoping that I can quit someday and become a full time photographer :).

The ironic thing about my life is, I got married to a BB-boy 6 years ago. And my business partner in photography is also an ex-BB, whom we found each other via the WWW. Long live the BB spirit, in me, my hubby & my children...

Story aside, I got to know about the project that you ladies out there are working on for 4th August. Would love to be part of the event. Since I'm a photographer, myself and my dearest partner would love to take some photos for the event itself. So let me know if we can offer our service for this great event. Maybe setup a nice photobooth with some school props for some photosession hahha..*crazy ideas*

And you know what, even though you are so many years my senior, when I heard about your name, it sure rings a bell. You are that famous mind you :P

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Candle 18: Lim Wei Meng

I'm currently on holiday in New York City and had the privilege of meeting an outstanding BBGSian who is working in the Big Apple. In fact, her office is in the same art-deco building as Clark Kent a.k.a Superman. Cool!

Lim Wei Meng is the Deputy Director for the UNHCR in New York. She left BBGS after Form 6 in 1972 to read Law at University of Malaya, and joined United Nations after practicing law for a few years. It was an exciting career switch as Wei Meng soon found herself helping refugees on the Thai border with bombs exploding around her and being chased by Sri Lankan navy patrol boats!

Fun and games aside, I was struck by Wei Meng's passion about refugee protection and "making a difference" in the lives of those who have endured much suffering. Her work has taken her from the frontlines of Thailand, Somalia and India to the halls of power in Geneva and New York.

Having just moved to New York a year ago, Wei Meng and her family are adjusting to life in the Big Apple although she prefers the quiet comfort of Geneva. Still, she's obviously doing something right to be in a high-powered international role, working from a corner office in Manhattan with a view of the Chrysler building and rubbing shoulders with Bill & Hillary Clinton who are her neighbours in West Chester. Well done!

Despite all the accolades, Wei Meng is still a true BBGSian at heart. Over a delicious Japanese bento lunch, we were united in enthusiasm for Project Revive and Wei Meng's excitement is clearly demonstrated in the fact that she'll be flying back to KL to help Sow Yoong with the project. Her parting words to me were, "I'm surprised and very glad to know that the younger BBGSians are just as passionate about the school as those of us from the 70's".

Class of 1986 Reunion

40 is the New 30.... or so we would like to think .....
A good cross-section from the BBGS Class of 1986 gathered together at Halia, Sime Darby Convention Centre on June 6, 2009 to catch up on school memories and post-BBGS news. We also took this opportunity to collectively celebrate our 40th birthdays together.

Many thanks to Tho Mei Poh (5S3), Ivy Loh (5S1) and Tan Teng Teng (4S5 - she left before completing the SPM - lucky girl!) for organizing the logistics of the event.

Ladies attended from as far as Australia (Ong Jin Kar from 5S1), Penang (Chew Guat Li from 5S4) and Singapore (Moonlake Lee from 5S5).

The one amazing thing that struck most of us was that despite the passage of time, we could still see the 17-year old girls in the more mature and sophisticated ladies present at the event. Needless to say, it was a noisy affair as everyone was busy talking, laughing and showing off photos of kids and pets.

It really did not matter which career path we had taken over the past 23 years since leaving our beloved alma mater - home makers, lawyers, businesswomen, agents, HR managers, IT consultants, etc - one bond that we all shared was our formative years at BBGS. The values that we were taught have been instilled permanently in our hearts. The challenge is to pass the torch to the next generation.

Phang Sow Yoong, BBGS Alumnae from the Class of 1970, made a special guest appearance to update us about plans to revive the BBGS Old Girls Association and the launch of a Scholarship Fund to honour former BBGS Headmistress, Elena Cooke, at Pavillion on August 4, 2009.

We ended the day renewing friendships or in some cases, making new friends. With technology such as Email, Facebook, Blogger, etc - there really is no excuse not to keep in touch.

For those ladies from the Class of 1986 who were unable to attend, please email Moonlake for more information on how to keep in touch with your friends from school. You can also join the Class of 1986 on Facebook to see the photos from the reunion.

Nisi Dominus Frustra!

Project REVIVE: Report of 13 June Meeting

Dear BBGSians

BBGS Project Revive is moving on at full speed—thanks to the enthusiasm of BBGSians who attended the first meeting on 13 June. If you are interested to help out, please contact those heading the sub-committees as listed below. However, the structure is not cast in stone. Rather than being committee-driven, it is best that we work according to group dynamics and individual talents. Thus we have to be flexible. But this is something to start off with.

Nisi Dominus Frustra!

Sow Yoong

Sow Yoong and her super Project Revive team, with delicious BBGS cupcakes by Yanti Erna

BBGS Project REVIVE-Report of 13 June Meeting

Date : 13 June 2009
Time: 11 am – 1 pm
Venue: Platinum Room, Level 7, Pavilion
Attendance: 25 BBGSians

1. To remember the heritage of BBGS that once occupied the site of Pavilion

2. To reactivate the BBGS Old Girls' Association

3. To give back to society after benefiting from BBGS

4. To work towards the establishment of a visible reminder of BBGS in Pavilion



Sasha Lyna Abdul Latif

Anniza Jamaluddin

BBGS OGA/Alumni Association

Weilee Cheong


Music/Choir: Saidah Rastam

Choral Speaking: Frances Lim

Exhibition: Chew Yen Peng

Emcees Coordination: Poesy Liang


Phang Sow Yoong

Izan Sallehuddin

Poesy Liang


Shen Choo

Lim Kit Wan


Khim Goh

Sandra Wong

Mariana Isa


Winnie Tang


Lim Kit Wan

Winnie Tang

Event Management Working Committee 2nd Meeting

Date: 20th June 2009
Time: 3.30 pm
Venue: Redbox, Pavillion

Winnie has generously offered the use of the Karaoke room in Redbox on 20 June from 1 pm to 3 pm for those who want to karaoke before the meeting. Those interested must register before 18 June (12pm, Thurs) by emailing Khim Goh (HP: 012-3871767).

Please email Winnie (012-203 1887, 2148 3322) if you want to order lunch at RM25++

Sunday, 14 June 2009

What happened at June 13 meeting?

Phang Sow Yoong says:
Fantastic! The BBGSians present were a gungho lot. We have already assigned all the sub-committees. Had beautiful cupcakes with BBGS logo. Of course, we ended with the school song. Then we went for a lovely lunch. Had another meeting with Shen (to discuss event management) at Redbox Karaoke which is managed by BBGSian Winnie. Then we had fun at a VIP karaoke room. We hit on a brilliant idea to get the BBGS school song in karaoke format and book the rooms for reunion gatherings. Sorry for those who missed the work and fun!

Poesy Liang says:
For Pavilion's unconditional support for BBGS, the August 4th launch of the Elena M. Cooke Fund will be seriously tops! A rocking gala with a superb list of notable influence. Excellent timing for our seamless team to glam up the set and roll out our rich green carpet! Compiling media friends for press conference early July. Feel free to volunteer your pen for an exclusive spin or get invited to cover our movement.

We just appointed sub-committee heads according to technical talent and commercial expertise. Besides the backroom legal work, plans are on the way to launch a grand event at the main concourse, incidentally named the Bintang Circle. Miss Cooke will make an appearance at the morning launch, specifically planned to suit her. A choral speaking team is recruiting now. The day's program will lead to individual luncheons in restaurants within Pavilion, proceeds go to the fund. There will also be memorabilia like umbrellas, aprons, pens, eco-bags with our old school badge. The exhibition will be on display the entire day until evening, then the section is cordoned off for our gala.

The event will be a glamourous cocktail with lucky draws, music performances, testimonials, video presentations, skits, etc.. Master plan on the way. Next meeting June 20th, anyone can come if they think they want to help out in one way or another. We are now reaching out to BBGS girls all over the world for the database, so everybody start getting busy, alert the international chapters, alert every single generation of BBGS girls because if they hear about this only after the event, I am quite certain there will be disappointments. 2009 gala targeted attendance 1000 pax only. I feel with everybody's action, we will be able to reach that number without trouble. Feel free to exceed that target of course.

Please get the word out to help with the database, recruit volunteers to get this project off the ground, encourage avid choral speakers to join the performance, voice out if anybody has anything they want to offer to make this event a bigger surprise than it will be. Immediately, I want to find an event carpet supplier within our network, a garment manufacturer, umbrella maker, sound system supplier, balloons suppliers, event contractors and people in PR or media to help me in my own team. Oh yeah, any type of sponsorship is welcomed, to contribute to the making of the event or the lucky draws.

So Joanna, in case you haven't figured it out, you have been appointed to upkeep this blog with all the latest news as we will be directing traffic here for all forms of BBGS announcements! Isn't it exciting?? It is indeed an ambitious plan but when are things ever impossible for a BBGS girl? With combined power we can enable this! Oh yeah, if you are far away, please write in your thoughts here or send us a greeting on video. We need to start collecting videos to compile for the exhibition too. Any type of BBGS related stuff will be useful for the exhibition - anything at all. The more extensive the exhibition can be, the greater the success, we will give credits to your contribution."

Joanna says:
Way to go...GIRL POWER!

Anyone has anything else to add?

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Meeting agenda for 13 June

Agenda for 13 June meeting. Will start (11am) and end (1pm) promptly:

1. Introduction (10 mins)
2. Goal, vision & mission (10mins)
3. Scholarship criteria and administration (30 mins)
4. Programme (30 mins)
5. Timing to suit Miss Cooke's schedule (10 mins)
6. Fundraising-food and souvenirs (10 mins)
7. Event management delegated to Class of 88 (10mins)
8. Invitation list (10mins)
9. Other matters (over lunch)

Will form subcommittees to follow up to save discussion time

Saturday, 6 June 2009

United in spirit

In her quest to revive BBGS at the Pavilion, Phang Sow Yoong has been meeting BBGSians from all ages, races and genders. Her recent meeting with Sasha and Ebenezer, recent additions to the BB family, has inspired her to write this article. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Dinosaur meets "Last of the Mohicans" and Newbie
by Phang Sow Yoong

(L-R) "Dinosaur" Sow Yoong, Newbie Ebbe and Sasha, "The Last of the Mohicans"
Isn't it wonderful that a love for BBGS has united 3 people from different ages, races and religions?

Sometimes, I wonder if it is worth getting 'emo' over BBGS. My maiden trip to Pavilion resurrected memories that I thought were buried with the school's demolition.

Fortunately, I came across Joanna' blog which was therapeutic. Listening to the school song once more gave me goose bumps while answering questions in "How BBGS are you?" evoked nostalgia. Blog stories of successful BBGSians across the world made me proud of our alma mater.

Soon, I was networking with BBGSians from all ages to find out their sentiments about reviving our alumni. Through Facebook, I learnt that Sasha Lyna Abdul Latif is trying to start a BBGS-SBU alumni. Sasha, the "Last of the Mohicans", completed Form 5 in BBGS just before the school was relocated to Seri Bintang Utara (SBU) in 2000. She has been asked to start the alumni and be its first president.

"You must meet Ebenezer Abel Paul who is helping me to register the alumni. He is passionate about BBGS!" enthused Sasha, a busy young lawyer.

"Did you say he? How did a guy come into the picture? Why is he so passionate about BBGS?" I asked Sasha, not knowing that SBU is now a co-ed school. From the centenary magazine, I learnt that there were boys studying in BBGS during its early years - notably the late Mr. David Boler, a former headmaster of Bukit Bintang Boys' School.

"Wait till you meet Ebbe" replied Sasha who arranged for a meeting at Delifrance One Utama on 28 May 2009.

I was simply bowled over by this SBU guy when he answered my pointed question "What makes you so passionate about BBGS?"

"Strangely, I fell in love with BBGS when I joined SBU in 2003. Even though there was only 20 percent BBGS culture left in SBU by then, I was overwhelmed by its rich heritage," explained Ebenezer (Ebbe).

"Hey, I was not the only one who felt that way. My sister loves the school motto which inspires godliness in her. We would frequent the BBGS museum to soak ourselves in the history of this great school," he added.

Formerly an SBU School Captain, Ebbe is now doing his A Levels at HELP University College. He is among the first batch of 77 boys who were admitted to SBU. Goodness, did the girls bully the boys?

"Oh no! The girls took care of us and made us feel welcome. I was so happy in SBU that I turned down an offer to go to Victoria Institution," replied Ebbe.

Awesome! Ebbe was smitten by just 20 per cent of BBGS culture while studying at SBU. No wonder those of us who got the full blast of this amazing school never got over it. Do you blame us for wanting to keep BBGS values alive?

Ebenezer wonders if the Bukit Bintang Old Girls' Association would admit SBU boys as associate members while they wait for the BBGS -SBU Alumni to be registered.

Joanna says "Of course! Anyone who embraces BBGS values should be welcomed with open arms. Imagine how much more of an impact mothers AND fathers can leave on the next generation."

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Project REVIVE : Call to Action

Many thanks to all of you for voicing your support for Project Revive - a plan to bring BBGS memories back to life at the Pavilion. This project is being spearheaded by Phang Sow Yoong (School Captain 1972). We have the privilege of hearing from her about the exciting work that she & her team have been doing. Don't miss the opportunity to meet with them on June 13 at the Pavilion to make this a's time to ACT!


Please help us revive the Bukit Bintang Old Girls' Association. We will be discussing the scholarship fund to be set up in honour of Miss Cooke.

DATE: 13 June 2009 (Saturday)
TIME: 11am - 1pm
VENUE: Platinum Room, Level 7, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur

As there are only 30 seats for this meeting, please confirm attendance by contacting Sow Yoong at or 012 2921460. We welcome volunteers who are passionate and action-oriented.

Should BBGS be forgotten?
By Phang Sow Yoong

For years, I could never pass Jalan Bukit Bintang without feeling a stab of pain in my heart. So overwhelming was the sense of loss that I found myself suppressing memories of my alma mater - Bukit Bintang Girls' School (BBGS).

One day, I bumped into an ex-colleague who is now a director of the company that manages Pavilion, the shopping mall where BBGS once stood.

"So have you visited Pavilion?" he asked me.

"No, I still can't bring myself to go there - unless there is a BBGS museum in Pavilion!" I replied.

First time stepping in

Imagine my dilemma when we had to take a family break at the Grand Millennium Hotel next to Pavilion. I knew a visit to Pavilion was inevitable if we were to stay there. Finally, I braced myself for the defining moment when I had to step into Pavilion for the first time. There were mixed emotions as I strolled down memory lane, traversing the wide expanse of marble flooring in the ultra-modern mall.


If those moments could be captured on reel, then sepia photographs of our primary school would be superimposed over the House of L'Oreal right down to the Zegna Boutique. Images of the school field would fade into the Jaguar showroom while that of canteen block would cover the concourse. Miss Cooke's office block would probably be where Canali is located.

I could almost hear the school song being played in the background while nostalgic images flashed before me: girls in green pinafores playing five stones during recess, choral speakers swaying on stage as their voices rose to a crescendo, lingering fragrance after the toilet brigade had finished their task and teenagers giggling away as they gossiped and munched kacang putih under the frangipani tree.

Aerial view of Pavilion. Can you identify the location of various BBGS blocks?
(Photo courtesy of the Kuala Lumpur Pavilion Sdn Bhd)

Why is there no reminder of BBGS?

In contrast to the affluent mall, BBGS started as a humble school that pioneered education for girls from poor families living around the area. Through a century of providing quality education, BBGS has empowered many students to become successful women both in Malaysia and abraod.

How can we allow a legendary school like BBGS to slip into oblivion or to be deleted from our memory? That's the question I kept asking myself while window shopping at Pavilion.

There was not a single reminder of our alma mater in the 'World's Best Retail Centre' that recently won the prestigious FIABCI Prix d'Excellence Award 2009!

How else would a visitor to Pavilion know that on these very premises there once stood a great institution with 107 years of history?

Reviving the BBGS spirit

I wrote an email to my classmates that got circulated around the world - thanks to Facebook and Twitter. There was an outpouring of emotions from BBGSians worldwide - all in favour of reviving the BBGS spirit!

Keen to make Pavilion the centre of reunion gatherings for BBGSians, I wrote another email to my ex-colleague who forwarded it to the Pavilion CEO.

Joanna Yeoh and Norma Sit contacted and informed me of their blogs set up in memory of BBGS. Although Joanna is on vacation in the US, she connected me with two BBGSians: Jenny Yim who runs a boutique there and Poesy Liang who frequents Pavilion for business meetings. They volunteered to meet the Pavilion management together with me.

Meeting Pavilion management

Jenny immediately arranged for an appointment with the Pavilion management on 22 May 2009. We met the CEO, Ms Joyce Yap, and her assistant, Jerrica, at Godiva Cafe.

"We accept that our school is gone. As this land holds fond memories for us, we would like to make Pavilion the centre of our alumni reunion gatherings and activities," I explained to Joyce.

"We are planning to set up a scholarship fund to honour our headmistress, Miss Cooke and we would like to hold the launching ceremony at Pavilion," I added.

Positive response

Joyce responded positively and agreed to sponsor the concourse for the launch on 4 August 2009. We might even get to put up a mobile mini exhibition in July - subject to space availability and our design submission.

We also discussed how we might place a guest book at the concierge to record the names and contact information of BBGSians who visit Pavilion.

Now ladies, you'd love this: Joyce has kindly allowed us to use the beautiful Platinum Room at Seventh Heaven - if available - for our Alumni meetings and activities. The place is reserved exclusively for ladies as it houses beauty and slimming salons.

However, Joyce was unable to accede to our request for a memorial plaque or wall poster due to management policy. Although we are disappointed, we will not give up praying for a breakthrough.

Nisi Dominus Frustra