Monday, 18 May 2009

Candle 17: Jenny Yim

Hi Joanna,

I sent you a short note via Facebook awhile ago. Would like to give you a few more details about me.

Name : Yim Soo Ling
Joined BBGS primary school I from 1967 - 1972
BBGS secondary school from 1973 - 1977
House : Shirtliff

I was active in the School Choir during the late Mrs. Isobel Wee's time. I will never forget how she taught us how to sing. Everytime we couldn't reach a high note, she will pull up some strands of her hair telling us to go higher.. & higher... !

I remember very well sometime between 1976 - 1977, Mrs. Jegadeva who was my Form V class teacher introduced her friend, Mrs. Joan Lau to our school and thus started the Dance & Movement class. Mrs. Joan Lau was a very reputable ballet dancer from Australia, she married a Malaysian doctor and came to stay in K.L. in Taman Zooview. Those days, she used to bring along her baby boy Christopher to our school when she was giving us dance & movement lessons. We were all learning the five basic ballet steps at age 16 !!! Wow, that really hurt back then!!

She cheorographed a beautiful show for our Choral Speaking Day in 1977 consisting of a short mime from The Blue Danube , a dance from the song My Favourite Things from the Sound of Music, (of which I took part in both), tap dancing from the Carpenters and many more. Last but not least, she even donated a whole trunk of all her old costumes to our school!

To Mrs. Jega & Mrs. Joan Lau, thank you so much for your time, effort and love for all of us at BBGS.

I am now a Brand Consultant for the menswear Italian Brand, CANALI. Have been in the Fashion business for 20 years. Like I told you earlier, the shop is at the Pavilion and if I am not mistaken, the shop that I occupying used to be the school office and Ms.Cooke's office block. I am very touched by each and every old BBGS girl's emotion on wanting to keep the memories of our beloved school alive, even now with the new Pavilion building. Even though BBGS is not there anymore, I feel that everyday when I go to work, I am going back to my beloved school.

Soo Ling

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Class of 1986 Reunion - UPDATE

Calling BBGS Class of 1986

Get together and
catch up session – June 6, 2009

RSVP at:
or contact Tho Mei Poh ( or Moonlake Lee ( for details. Hope to see you there!

Please spread the word to other Class of 1986 ladies :-)

Friday, 15 May 2009

Something to share

Fong Foong Mei (Class of 1989) is one of our stars, having won a Pulitzer Prize for journalism in 2007. She recently shared with me a very personal and thought-provoking article that was recently published in the Wall Street Journal. I'd like to share it with you.

Dear Joanna,

We last corresponded after news of my Pulitzer came out a couple of years back. I thought you might find this recent story I wrote of interest to the blog, it's a rather personal piece and deals with infertility--certainly not something Ms. Yeap, Mrs. Aziz and all warned us about.

BBGS was an amazing school because it taught us to reach for the skies. But one of the byproducts of career success for us has been delayed--or missed--opportunities for children, as we stay in school longer, start families later and come up smack dab against biological realities. Since running this, several old classmates have reached out to me and shared their own stories about difficulties starting families. So I thought it might be a good idea to have this piece find a wider audience among old BBGS-sians. I'm fairly sure there are not a few of us who have faced or are facing such difficulties.

(PS. Also, you might have heard but the girls from my year--1989--are planning a 20 year reunion on July 11 in KL. I'm hoping to make it but not sure. Details on

Foong Mei

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Candle 16: Jacqueline Doss

Dear Joanna,

I'd like to first thank you for taking time to do Project Kindle . It's a wonderful idea and will give us a chance to appreciate our Alma Mater.

My name is Jacqueline Doss and I was in school from 1974-1978. After school I went on to study medicine at the Kasturba Medical College , Manipal. I did my compulsory goverment rotation and went in private practice as a general practitioner . I took a break from practice to teach children Speech and Drama . I taught public speaking , poetry recital and story telling . It was some thing I had always wanted to do and it gave me the chance to be at home as the kids grew. I have been back in practice at Mahkota Medical Centre, Malacca since 2007 .

I have very fond memories of BBGS and till today proudly tell everyone that I studied at the prestigious Bukit Bintang Girls' School. I know I am who I am today because I walked those corridors of BBGS. The school song still brings tears to my eyes . I was rather mischievous but hey! what's school without the fun. My fringe used to fall all over my face and my form mistress the now Puan Sri Rathi Khoo used to bring clips to pin it up for me in school. I enjoyed our tedious choral speaking practices and that has helped me train both my children"s school choral speaking teams in primary school. While less emphasis is placed on pronunciation and enunciation I still pride myself in teaching them the importance of it . It may not have won them a place in the national finals but I hope its something they will carry with them all their lives as we do after being a part of BBGS choral speaking heritage.

The Taming of the Shrew was a play many of our teachers loved to do. I guess there must have been many a shrew to tame. In Form 3 after our SRP each form had to take part in thannual drama competition . Mrs Jega our teacher had warned us that we were not to mis school the day after the exams. Those who missed school would have to take part in the drama. We of course we didn't believe she would do it and took the day off to watch the " Towering Inferno". As you guessed there was quite an inferno in class the next day. The group of us who missed class were in the play and yours truly was the shrew . We'll we tried to get out of it but did not succeed . However , I must say I enjoyed every minute of it.

There are so many things I remember like our food sales, our Bible Knowledge classes, Home Science class [ and the fact that I couldn't sew to save my life ] ,the sound of Miss Cooke's court shoes as she walked down the corridors , our assemblies and the list goes on . Today I am confident , eloquent [ In an article Mrs Jegadeva wrote in the newspapers about why she refused to be a choral speaking judge - she spoke of how you could pick out a BBGS girls in Oxford street by just hearing her speak] and I feel a responsible citizen because of everything I learnt not only at home but also in School . I feel truly blessed to have been in BBGS[ Ask my children - They roll their eyes when I speak about my school and can't believe I love it so much.]

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Candle 15: Aroonsri Regianni Getz

Gia attended BBGS for a few short years while her father served his term as Thai Ambassador to Malaysia. That was enough to leave a mark on her heart and she recently contacted me to reach out to classmates who might still remember her. Here's Gia's story in her own words.

Full name: Aroonsri Regianni Getz (former Chaiyachatti)

What years were you at BBGS?
1986 - 1989

What are your fondest memories?
Participating in a school concert and teaching my classmates Thai traditional dance. We performed on stage during a BBGS school event.

What did you do when you left school?
I moved to Italy with my family and then attended a private boarding school in the UK.

Where are you and what are you doing now?
I'm living in New York and have been here for the past 7 years. I travelled and lived around the world before I came here.

What BBGS values are you passing on to the next generation?
Well I guess I can only speak for myself in my case.....umm being only non Malaysian in that class (well maybe even in that year?) was a great experience. I have made few good friends that I have just recently reconnected with on Facebook. It is amazing to have found them again after all these years - my first best friend from BBGS 1.Ika Farhana Helene( was Helene Tan) and 2. Chek Umi (gosh is her last name Hazaria?)

Who would you like to get in touch with and how can they reach you?
My classmates, of course! They can always reach me on Facebook (Aroonsri Regianni Getz)

Monday, 11 May 2009

BBGS at Pavilion

Pang Sow Yoong (BBGS Class of 1972 Sixth Form) is liaising with the management of Pavillion with regard, to the possibility of setting up a tangible reminder (memorial/display etc) that this was once BBGS!

Please email your ideas/brainstorms/thought showers to Sow Yoong at

  • BBGS Tuckshop: If we can't get exhibition space, then we contact old girls who are in the food business to start a eatery there (ask for discounted rental). Decorate the restaurant with memorabilia, place old BBGS school magazines there, have a notice board to hang print outs from all BBGS girls who send their greetings and post the latest BBGS news there. The shop can also sell old postcards, school badges, etc to raise funds. Waitresses will be dressed in BBGS uniforms. The stall will sell the best kueh talam in town!

  • Wall Poster showing facade of BBGS: If all we can get is just a wall space, then we will maximise it by asking old girls to get themselves videotaped as they relate their school memories in front of the wall poster. We can ask Pavilion, MAS, AirAsia or successful old girls to sponsor prizes for the best video. The younger girls can help us to set up podcast, Facebooks, youtube and interactive websites to publicise the project.

  • Launching Ceremony: If we can get Pavilion to sponsor the foyer for the launching ceremony of the wall poster, we can invite all the former headmistresses, teachers, cleaners, jaga etc to the launch. Programmes can include our famous Choral Speaking, singing our school song, etc. Also get girls from Seri Bintang to do their cheerleading stuff (however Ms Cooke might not be too pleased about it) as they are our younger sisters who must also know their roots.

Update from Phang Sow Yoong (12 May 2009)

Hi BBGSians,

So grateful to Joanna for keeping the spirit of BBGS alive in this blog. Am so encouraged to see the fierce loyalty among BBGSians of all races and religions. Where to find this spirit in KL schools today? My family is amazed at how emotional we can get about a demolished school. The MoE certainly can learn a thing or two from BBGS where racial integration is concerned.

To answer ANONYMOUS...I think we should sing the BBGS song in the English and Malay versions as well as get SBU to sing their song. Our younger sisters must know their BBGS roots and catch the spirit. still have BBGS blood in your veins. We welcome you with open arms. We need ppl like you to carry on the tradition, Can you link us up with SBU girls?

JOSEPHINE: Ooh but you can't match yours truly who studied in BBGS from kindergarten to Form 6. My kindergarten comprised two classrooms in the wooden secondary school tuckshop which was later taken over by "Kow Soh" (story in Centenary magazine). As a thoroughbred, my blood boils whenever I think of the fate of BBGS.

My ex-colleague has passed my email to the CEO and marketing team of Pavilion and he said they will be contacting us soon.

Pray please...remember the school motto NISI DOMINUS FRUSTRA. (This was engraved on my garden waterfall--my husband's idea! So wise of him!)

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Any stories from America?

Greetings from sunny California!

I'm finally in the USA for the start of a 2-month vacation with family and friends. At the moment, my travel plans include spending time in San Francisco, Sacramento, Las Vegas, New York and Philadelphia. I'd love to catch up with any BBGSians in the vicinity and capture stories for Project Kindle.

So if you'd like to share your story or know anyone in the US who'd like to share theirs, feel free to get in touch with me at