Monday, 30 July 2007

The Typical BBGS Girl

(This article is taken from the BBGS Centenary publication)
  • Wears spectacles
  • Disciplined and obedient
  • Neat and tidy
  • Skirt is one-and-a half inches above the middle of the knee
  • Shoes - likely to be Badminton Masters - very white
  • Two plaits
  • A square, prim and proper - and religious
  • Hard-working and proud of being a BBGS girl
  • Speaks good English
  • Achievement-oriented. Usually does well in exams
  • Extremely loyal to her alma mater
  • Respectful of teachers and elders
  • Confident
  • Responsible and honest

How many of us can still identify with these typical BBGS traits? Do we believe it holds true in today's world?

I most certainly hope so!

Our School Grounds

Driving past Jalan Bukit Bintang last week, I felt a sense of great loss at not seeing our beautiful school.

I miss seeing Office Block & Clinic Block...
I miss the palm trees...
I miss the manicured lawns...
I miss hearing the sound of the school bell ringing...

So I started combing through pages of old school magazines searching for a reminder. It wasn't long before my eyes settled on this old familiar photo of BBGS. How many times have we seen this picture of the school? It's almost a cliche.

And yet looking at it, I'm comforted and happy again...for now.

Thursday, 19 July 2007

Remember Moonlake?

Moonlake Lee (BBGS Class of 1986) relocated to Singapore three years ago after living in the US and Canada for close to 13 years. Her new base in Asia allows her to spend more time with family in KL while also visiting her in-laws in Hong Kong.....yes, for those of you who knew her back in BBGS days when she could not speak a word of Cantonese....she ended up marrying a "Hongkie"...!!!

Currently taking some time off work to share quality moments with her daughters, Allie (4 years) and Hana (3 years), Moonlake was most recently the CEO of eMenders. eMenders is a group of 57 leading specialists at the Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre in Singapore, covering over 25 areas of medicine and dentistry. Prior to moving to Singapore, she practised technology and intellectual property law in a major Canadian law firm, while also completing her Masters of Law in eBusiness in Toronto, Canada.

For the BBGSians from the class of 1986 who would like to get in touch with other members of that class, please drop Moonlake an email at: and she will add you to the Group. They organized their 20th year reunion last year at the Hilton Hotel and also published a mini-directory of those who graduated from BBGS in 1986. For other BBGSians, Moonlake is always happy to be in touch with fellow school mates.

Monday, 9 July 2007

Confessions of an ex-prefect

The Prefects' Pledge:

"I accept the responsibilities of a leader in this school, and promise to give of my best in attitude, manner and action, and to encourage others to do likewise".

Here are some prefects I used to know..what a merry bunch!

Confessions of an ex-BBGS prefect
(Note: This highly original and realistic article is re-produced from the School Centenary Magazine. It's raised a few chuckles from someone who spent too many years as a Prefect ;-)

It must be the least enviable job, being a prefect, that is.

You not only have to ensure your uniform is well-starched at all times, but that your hair has to be tightly tied up with matching black or white ribons, with not a single strand of hair unclipped.

You have to get to school early so as to do gate duty (to catch late-comers) and lining-up duty. You have to gobble down your meal at recess time so that you can rush from class to class to check if desks are straight, if girls have comics or Mills & Boons in their bags or desks, if notice boards are well-maintained, if flowers are present etc. If you are not on this duty, you have to go around making sure the girls are wearing their school and house badges (although badges are now sewn onto uniforms) and that their skirts are not more than three inches above their knees.

The upside of being a prefect is that you get to dish out the punishment. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, it used to be map drawing (usually map of North America), but in the 1980's, culprits had to write essays and recite sajak in front of the headmistress during assembly. (Prefects get more wicked as girls become more devious)

And prefects have their own room. The first we had was a narrow space, converted from an old storeroom below the headmistress' office, where we fitted one of those cowboy swing doors and where we set up our own drinks corner back in 1973. Later, the Prefects' Room moved to a fairly large comfortable space above the Junior Library. Having a room to call your own is a great privilege. You can take a rest or do your homework there instead of in the library with the rest of the crowd This room stores confiscated comics, spare bows (for Sixth Formers who forget to bring theirs), badges, lost and found items etc. There are times when the temptation to read the confiscated comics is quite great. That's why prefects had those occasional bonfires in those days - to kill those temptations, once and for all!

BBGS prefects have honourable programmes to administer oo. Like the Prefects' Campaign which started in 1965 as an attempt to foster the giving spirit in every BBGS girl. During the many years it ran, BBGS collected thousands to donate to charitable organisations like the Lady Templer Hospital, the Retarded Children's Association, and the Malaysian Association for the Blind , to name a few.

Prefects in BBGS are first nominated, then elected by the girls. The school captain and vice-captain are chosen by the teachers and headmistress. There is also a Junior Prefects' Board that duplicates the functions of the Senior Board in the afternoon school session.

Sunday, 8 July 2007

Found - Lim Shu Ling

Lu Meng, Joanna & Shu Ling in Singapore

What's it like to meet up with classmates after 20 years? It's good fun...especially when you're fighting over exotic "chicken bones" yakitori in Singapore. Shu Ling introduced Lu Meng & I to some exotic fare last Friday. We had a good time catching up and re-living silly school stories.

Shu Ling is currently a Public Affairs & Strategic Communications consultant in Singapore. But this pales in comparison to her last job as a pastry chef in Sydney! She spent 9 months in Australia studying for a diploma in baking and earning her stripes baking Ozzie meat pies. Good on ya mate! :-)

Her career to date includes stints with the United Nations, British Broadcasting Corporation and Singapore Broadcasting Corporation.

Sunday, 1 July 2007

Updates on Lu Meng

Lu Meng and her husband Jimmy, and their sons, Justin and Jared

Just got back from Sentosa beach, after spending an afternoon with Lu Meng and her family. We catch up regularly, as I'm often on project in Singapore. Her two sons, Justin and Jared, are my most favourite little boys in the whole world.

Lu Meng, now known as Jaclyn, is an Occupational Therapist with her own practice in Camden Medical Centre, Singapore. She is also active in the music ministry of church, together with her husband, Jimmy. View her profile under "Meet our Founders" on

We've known each other since the age of 13, and not only have we shared BBGS experiences but BM, Maths & Physics tuition, art classes (drawing prawns) and CU camp as well. Our favourite BBGS memories include:
  • our class of nerds playing hockey with the school team (we only lost 0-1)
  • watching movies after school with crickets in our bags
  • our band of girls standing up to the boys and claiming the back seat of the school bus for ourselves

Catching up with Usha P

Here's a photo of myself, Usha, her son Jayden, and her husband Dave

I caught up with Usha and her family while visiting Sydney last year.

Being one of the smartest girls in our class, she grew up to be a doctor... and a qualified nephrologist...and a researcher. What a contrast we make, I can't even tell my nephrons from my neurons!

Usha recently gave birth to her second son, Alex (who's a gorgeous little thing). Her husband, Dave is an engineer and a paragon of patience. He has heard our BBGS stories countless times, but still manages to laugh at all the punchlines. I think he's got a secret checklist of all our anecdotes and ticks them off mentally, every time Usha and I meet up.

Cheeky Choral Speaking Champions

A unique experience for every BBGSian is Choral Speaking, the art of reciting poetry as a group. Some of us love it (because we win competitions :-), but others think it's torture (my sister has removed all traces of this painful ritual from her memory).

I was introduced to the world of choral speaking by the wonderfully expressive Mrs Aziz, who made me the "star" of the 1983 competition with a cheeky little poem entitled...

The Pleasures of Being Fat

Most of us weary mortals know
What a nuisance, a trial, a torture
In fact, what an absolute bore it is to be fat

Oh, you may try to fool others
And others may succeed in fooling you
By saying you are
Buxom, cuddly, generously-proportioned.
But deep inside -
You know you can't fool yourself.
So, face it
And brace it
You're just plain FAT.

Be fat, it's fashionable,
Don't you know that dieting is the in-thing today?
Jogging, weight-watching, calorie-counting, sessions at Joanne Drew
Now how can you have the fun of moaning over the problems you have losing weight
Unless you are fat?

Fat people the world over have problems
For some, it is the embarrasment of having to buy XL undies
Or hearing an impudent urchin chant
"Fatty Fatty Bom Bom"

But whatever it is, take heart
You are not alone in this
So whenever a barb draws blood
Rise above your pain
Show them you are bigger than they

And when you have developed a DYNAMIC, attractive personality
You can smile to yourself when they say
"You are worth your weight in gold"

Because... YOU ARE!

P/S: As I never outgrew my "puppy fat", this little poem has been been my lucky charm and pushed me to work on developing a dynamic, attractive personality.

Anonymous Lisa said...

"I love chocolate cake.
And when I was a little girl, I loved it even more.
Sometimes we used to have it for tea, and mum used to say, "If there's any leftover, you can have it to take to school, to have at play time."
And the next day, I would take it to school! Wrapped up in tin foil."


The moment we said EYE as in "I" love chocolate cake - the judges looked down. I was in Form 2 and you conducted our English class with that poem.

I have been 'heavily' involved with choral speaking ever since! The last was helping out the girls during last year's (or was it the year before last) choral speaking session for Merdeka celebrations.

There are still choral speaking competitions nowadays.. but sad to say, there seems to be a whole lot of movement, as if one is dancing on stage..! Pronounce, Enounce, Facial expression.. etc etc.

Ah, the wonderful memories of choral speaking.

5 August 2007 00:47

Blogger Joanna Yeoh said...

Thanks, Lisa. It is so encouraging to hear that my passion for choral speaking has been passed on to newer generations. That's the reason I kept going back to BB to conduct classes. Keep it up!

5 August 2007 16:46

Blogger jessie said...

I remembered I was in Miss Pek's English Class in Form 2. Sorry I couldn't remember which year but our title for Choral Speaking is The Pleasure Of Being Fat and coincidentally Joanna Yeoh is one of the judges!

11 January 2008 00:19

Anonymous wai yi said...

Hi, Ijust happen to know about your blog through Facebook recently. Reading your blog surely has triggered my memories in BBGS.This poem was my choral speaking poem when I was in Rorm 2 in year 2000 but my conductress changed a few lines to have something new. We did not want to be sued for plagiarism right?haha:P My class nearly won that year as many people were saying that we were good in the semis but sad to say at the finals, we were just not good enough. But nonetheless we have enjoyed ourselves and the pleasure of mesmerizing the crowd with the poem. After reading your posts about choral spaking, feel like indulging the feeling of 'torture' again! hehe:op

9 May 2008 12:32