Thursday, 29 November 2007

Remembering Life at BBGS

Outside BBGS - taken in 1997

A couple of friends and I reminisced about our fondest (or otherwise) memories of our dear alma mater..... We hope this will also strike a chord with other BBGSians, and for those who came much later, to give you a glimpse as to what life at BBGS in the mid 1980s was all about !

Moonlake Lee (5S5):
  • Film Shows in the assembly hall - we had to all sit on the cement floor and watch those movies (Shaggy Dog, To Sir with Love) shown on the old fashioned projector. Some girls brought paper fans and others had a battery-operated gizmo purchased from the old hawker at the bus stop.
  • Mrs Thanen and the production of the musical "The Boyfriend" - I was one of the "boys". I also acted in "The Taming of the Shrew," playing Petrucchio.....come to think of it, I was always given the male acting parts because of my short hair.... (no wonder i grew my hair long later!)
  • Speaking Bahasa Malaysia on Wednesdays.....or the prefects would fine you.....
  • Spot checks by prefects - hiding photos of boyfriends, romance novels (Mills & Boon), cassette tapes, etc - the library was always a great place to hide things :)
  • How i hated to be librarian on duty at the door of the library when we had to pass our hands over the pockets of girls leaving the library to ensure they were not taking things out. ...

Yong Pui Kim (5A4)

  • I remember making sure that my shoes were nice and white by using a white chalk.
  • Rules such as earrings had to be gold studs or gold loops only, and ribbons for the hair had to be either white or black.
  • Flashers were rampant in the area. Ms. Yeap, our headmistress, said that it was due to our unlady-like way of sitting especially those that had classes facing the road. Although most girls wore shorts under our skirts, we were still expected to sit demurely with legs crossed and not wide apart.
  • Floating classes in Form 4 (applicable to 4Sc4, 4Sc5, 4A4) - Imagine lugging heavy school bags from the canteen block (2nd floor) to the sewing room (above the home science kitchen) near the school hall.
  • No loitering at Sungei Wang Plaza after schools. If you were caught, you would get punished.
  • Weekly collections for the gym. The class that gave the most collectively were announced on assembly day at the school hall.

Mandy Ho Siew Mee (5A4)

  • Floral arrangements - It was one of my favourite things besides being the ice kacang girl during food sales. The ones in charge had to buy flowers and arrange the flowers on the teacher's table every Monday. We had to make sure to remember to change the stinky water everyday too or the flowers would wilt and die - no marks from the prefect for dead flowers!!

Tho Mei Poh (5S3)

  • Toilet duty - we had to carry the water to the toilet and make sure the toilet smelled nice when we finished cleaning it.
  • The bell ringing to signal the end of recess time :-(
  • Choral speaking rehearsals - especially the special sound effects that we made.
  • Sports day- a fun but very hot event. Luckily we had all those big giant trees at the other side of the field to hide under. I remember cheering for Jasvinder Kaur and Pang Wey. I was from PROUSE house (purple) - I remember our cheerleaders shouting, "Give me a “P;” Give me a “R;” Give me an “O”..U...S..E; What do u get - PROUSE!!!!" .... and getting a sore throat afterwards. There was also a DYNAMITE song too but I can barely remember now. (Moonlake – BBGS dynamite, don’t play with dynamite – yeh yeh yeh…)
  • Food sales - hamburgers, ice kacang, sandwiches, homemade candies, roti jala, drinks, etc to raise funds for our own school bus??? I always thought BBGS ice kacang was the best that i have tasted. I remember turning that ice machine and pouring evaporated milk into the bowls.
  • The noise that we made when the teacher was not around between subjects. Someone shouting "Ms Yeap is coming" and the girls scrambling back to their own desks and SUDDENLY total silence......All of us will looked like angels doing our work silently by the time Miss Yeap walked by.
  • Lining up outside our classes and the prefects checking our finger nails

Christina Tan Teng Teng (5S4)

  • The ever dedicated teachers like Mrs Aziz, Mrs Abraham, Mrs Simon who taught me that building up my character and learning life's essential values other than just learning books in school is as important if not more.

Ong Jin Kar (5S1)

  • Singing sessions during Assembly. How many of us still remember the words to " Sweetly sings the donkey"?
  • Mrs Abraham reiterating that “Love” is pronounced "Larve" not" lo..ove" when singing the part about “love to all men ‘neath the sun” in the BBGS school song

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Within these walls

If through these walls, we can hear the stories long ago
Those BBGS dreams their hopes and more
If through these walls, we can see the days before
We'll see the joy, the rise and growth
Every smile that greets hello

Names may change and faces pass
But the tune's the same we'll make it last
We'll learn these words before they come to pass
BBGS in my heart, ten decades we've grown to love
Add a hundred more, my heart will still belong
Within these cherished walls

Here on these walls, I found meanings of love
To conquer fears to wipe the sorrow tears
Here I learnt of friends, learnt to give a helping hand
And when I'm lost, they'll guide my way with God's will till the end...

Names may change and faces pass
But the tune's the same we'll make it last
We'll learn these words before they come to pass
Within these walls we've built our lives
For a hundred years it stayed with us
Let us keep it standing strong...

Lyrics and music by Raja Ismahan and Nik Serena - winners of the BBGS Centenary Song Competition, 1993

Sunday, 25 November 2007

Before Pavilion, there was..

Hi Everyone,

Lately, I've been reading a lot about the "evil" Pavilion that "stole" our school grounds, and it doesn't feel right to be thinking such bitter thoughts about my beloved BBGS. So in a bid to inject some positive energy into this debate, I'm posting some pictures of what it used to look like. And we can all think happy nostalgic thoughts...

Sharing my favourite photo of BBGS...again.

Office block where most of my classrooms were: 1C1, 5Sc5 and Form 6. This was the "face" of BBGS to the world outside since it fronted Jalan Bukit Bintang. Just look at how pristine and clean the lawns were...amazing...

Prouse Wing which had 6 classrooms. I spent some years here in 2C1 and 3C1. I used to love walking to the school hall under the canopied walkways that were planted with purple morning glories.

Clinic Block which housed 3 classrooms downstairs and the Home Science kitchens upstairs, which were my sister's favourite place in the whole school.

Hope you've enjoyed this pictorial tour through the old grounds.

Warmest regards,

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Funny Stories

Looking through the old school mags, I found some really funny stories that only a true-blue BBGS girl would appreciate. Here goes...

"I remember one incident when a female dog on heat was being chased around the school by a male dog, followed by the school jaga wielding a stick, and hot on his heels was Miss Cooke, determined not to allow any "hanky panky" to take place in front of us innocent girls!

Another incident was the infamous fly that flew into our Econs teacher's mouth as she droned on and on. And we stared hard in disbelief - watching and waiting - the fly never flew out!"
Lee Su Kim - Form 6, 1974

"Looking at the Weld Swimming Pool from the window of Art Class and laughing at the boys' orange-flowered swimming shorts! (Yes, yes, I know were were not supposed to.)"
Chen May Yee - Form 5, 1987

"Watching a friend sitting on another friend's chicken burger. That's what you get for eating in class!"
Yap Wai Khen - Form 5, 1988

"Fun-fair being spelt as FUND FAIR (which is more appropriate). Choral Speakng became QUARREL SPEAKING (when the very keen students fought to use the school hall for practices"

Boey Chooi Kheng (Mrs Bastion) - Form 5, 1952

"The time when my classmate - in desperation - dumped her favourite actor's picture inside her blouse when the prefects were about to start a spot check. Coolly, she told me, "They'll never dare to search in here!"
Woo Yoke Bing - Form 5, 1985

"During one of my daily routine checks, I spotted a girl wearing a hot-pink lace bra under her white baju kurung. No, I didn't confiscate it!"
Joanna Yeoh - Form 5, 1987

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

On top of Spaghetti...

Here's another one of those "silly" school assembly songs we all know and love. Try singing it to your kids - and watch out for giggles galore!

(Sung to the tune of "On Top of Old Smokey")

On top of Spaghetti
All covered with cheese
I lost my poor meatball
When somebody sneezed...Aaahchoo!

It rolled off the table
And onto the floor
And then my poor meatball
Rolled out of the door

It rolled to the garden
And under a bush
And now my poor meatball
Is nothing but mush

The mush was as tasty
As tasty could be
And then the next summer
It grew into a tree

The tree was all covered
All covered with moss
And on it grew meatballs
And tomato sauce.

So if you eat spaghetti
All covered with cheese
Hold on to your meatball
And don't ever sneeze!

P/S: Thanks for the rest of the lyrics, Irene.

Monday, 19 November 2007

How is Mrs Yeoh? a question I'm asked often by readers of this blog. Being "Mrs Yeoh's daughter" in primary school was akin to being a minor celebrity, and the label used to amuse me greatly. Today, I stand proud in recognition that my mum, Mrs Yeoh Shing Choo made a huge impact on the lives of many BBGSians who remember her fondly. She greets you here in her own words...

Hi there!

It looks as though I have faded from the radar so let me "appear "again, through my daughter, Joanna. God has been good to both Roland and I . Since transferring from SRKP Bukit Bintang (2) by choice in 1990, I have lived in Penang. I taught in a primary school, SK Minden Heights, till the end of 1998 before retiring. Roland, my husband of 38 years, and I now live in a condominium in Sg. Ara.

We have, by token of our girls' support and love, visited Australia, England, Europe and the USA. I now tutor Chinese-school-going children in the English Language. In the very near future, I shall be helping some young people from my church to communicate in good English. I really enjoy what I am doing.

My favourite hobby is cross-stitch embroidery. I have been churning out assignments requested by Joanna and Juliana. My love for this craft dates back to my BBGS schooldays when it was taught by the fearsome Miss Too. We had to embroider a tray-cloth as part for our Art Paper for LCE (PMR now). "Never use red and purple together!" were the strict instructions from Miss Too. Woe betide the girl who forgot! The whole piece of lovely work had to be unpicked and done again to the approval of Miss Too. It really made our blood pressure hit the roof - only at that time, as 15-year olds, we did not realise it. I recollect that my piece of Art work that year was not returned to me. I believe, to this day, that Miss Too kept it for posterity.

In retrospect, I am truly grateful that in the sunset years of my life, I can still do what many are unable to. Thank you BBGS!

My love and best wishes to all, Mrs S.C. Yeoh nee Chong Shing Choo (Class of 1961)

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Letter from Chen May Yee

Hi Joanna,

Stumbled on your blog and it was very fun to read about what various people have been up to. Okay, I admit I was googling myself but only to check if the crazy story I wrote about Malaysia's plan to create cyclones to scrub away the 1997 haze wasn't still showing up first (It still is, sadly.)

Anyway, a quick update: I've been in Minneapolis for almost four years. My husband's family is from here. I write and edit healthcare news at the local rag ( which is a great gig, for the most part.

I've got two girls - Zoe, 4, and Maya, 2, and my husband Chris is home with them.The community is vibrant and there are wonderful parks and children's museums so the kids have fun. But it's too cold most of the year for tropical girls like me. I have to say my outlook on living here has brightened considerably since Peninsula, a Malaysian restaurant opened by a lady from Ipoh, opened about a year ago. Amazing nyonya laksa.

Here's a piccy of the girls.

Monday, 12 November 2007

How far have we spread?

When this blog was started five months ago, I was curious to find out how widely BBGSians have spread their wings around the world. And you dear readers have certainly delivered! At last count, this blog has received over 400 visits from 20 countries. The most popular countries are :
  1. Malaysia (that's obvious!)
  2. Singapore (apples have not fallen far from the tree)
  3. United Kingdom (not surprising given our Anglophile upbringing)
  4. United States (a popular education destination, no doubt)
  5. Australia (another traditional colonial outpost)
  6. Thailand (a little surprising but I'd love to know your story!)
  7. New Zealand (students perhaps?)
  8. Hong Kong (BBGSians at work or play?)
  9. South Africa ( I know for a fact that Liew Siew Ling is logging in from Free State)
  10. Canada (yet more students?)

I'd like to say a big THANK YOU to all of you for logging in. Do continue to spread the word to more BBGSians so that we can continue keeping the school spirit alive.


Sunday, 11 November 2007

BBGS Class of 1986's 20th Year Reunion

Update from Moonlake Lee (Class of 1986, 5Sc5 - This is Moon's first attempt at blogging!)

The BBGS Class of 1986 celebrated its 20th year reunion last year....(this posting is a little late, but better late than never, right?)

A group of 48 ladies met up at the KL Hilton on Saturday, August 5, 2006 for high tea—and what a time it was! Though many of us were based in the KL/PJ area, some came from Perak, Sarawak, Singapore, Japan and England, to attend the event. We dominated the area set apart for us, and had great fun in catching up with each other and taking countless photos. Of course, there was the odd embarrassment of either not recognizing an old friend, mistaking her for someone else….or worse still, forgetting her name !

Without realizing it, 20 years have quickly slipped by—it didn’t seem too long ago when we were all at BBGS, dressed in our white blouses and blue pinafores, with the prospect of the SPM examinations always at the back of our minds. Despite this, we found time to develop friendships, many of which have lasted decades—and hopefully, for decades to come…

We’ve all gone on different paths in life— schools, careers, spouses, kids, other countries. One thing remains that unites us all, however, and that is our identity as BBGS girls, and the memories of our beloved school on Jalan Bukit Bintang.

Sadly, the physical building is no longer there but nothing will ever take away the memories, the friendships and the lessons on life values that we learned when we were all at BBGS.

Many thanks to Yong Pui Kim, June Koh Pek Yin, Lim Szu Ling, Selina Tan, and Tho Mei Poh for helping to moot the idea of a 20th year Class of 1986 reunion, and working hard along the way to drum up support for the event.

We came up with a Class of 1986 booklet to commemorate the event, and also to provide an opportunity for those who came to the event, and for those who were unable to make it, to keep in touch with each other. It’s also fun to see the “Then” and “Now” photos to see how much we have all changed….or how we still look the same!

Looking forward to our next event….the 25th year reunion!

Nisi Dominus Frustra—Without God, All Things are in Vain.

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Loo Poi Yoke remembers...

5 Sc 2 (1987) reunion: Michelle, Lynett, Yee Git, Rena and Poi Yoke

Jackie Loo Poi Yoke is mother to 2 boys, and she currently runs a wellness business with her husband. She shares her recent BBGS reunion photo and some memories with us:

  • I remember the sardine toasties we had to make every foodsale
  • On Monday it was complusory to speak English, while Wednesday was Bahasa day
  • I remember Mrs Maniam lying on the school chairs at the back of the class while we underlined the whole Sejarah book
  • I remember washing toilets and floral arrangements
  • I certainly remember having to sing the Donkey Hee-haw song, mowing meadow song and the Meatball + spaghetti song during assembly
  • I remember the strict prefects who made us pick rubbish and wrote our names down if we arrived late
  • I remember how we have to keep left everytime we go up or down the stairs
  • The permission slips for everything from A-Z, the spot checks, the black and white ribbons on the hair,
  • The sick bed
  • The BBGS school bus

That's all I remember!

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Our dear Mrs Abraham

Oh what a wonderful day! I was thrilled to meet up with Mrs Abraham for lunch. We haven't seen each other in over a decade, and she looks as bright and cheerful as ever. She sends her regards to all the BBGS girls who are reading this blog.

Mrs Laura Abraham enriched the lives of many generations of BBGSians with her passion, creativity and infectious laughter. We had such good fun in her English class: writing limericks, coining advertisments and singing the Animal Farm anthem to the tune of 'La Cucaracha'. When I credited Mrs Abraham for the richness of her lessons, she humbly replied, "We just took all the values learnt from Miss Cooke, and passed them on to you girls".

Mrs Abraham retired from BBGS in 1994, after serving our alma mater for 22 years. She's currently busy supervising the renovation of her home. Her children, Thomas and Anne-Marie, are successful professionals with Big Four firms.

Remember how Mrs Abraham used to lead the sing-alongs during school assembly? One of her recent projects has been to compile all these BBGS favourites into a songbook. It's been a labour of love, and I suggested that it should be published. How many of you think it's a good idea and would like to own this unique memorabilia? Drop us a comment and let us know.