Sunday, 27 March 2011

Food Sale Reunion @ SG

Yesterday afternoon, twelve sophisticated ladies trooped into an apartment in the heart of Singapore and were greeted by this sign...

As shouts of "Cooke!", "Green!", "Maclay!", "Shirtliff!" and "Prouse!" rang around the entrance, the door opened and pandemonium ensued - shrieks of delight, raucous laughter and big bear hugs were the order of the day! Some amused husbands and wide-eyed children were also in tow but they excused themselves quite quickly. No one was brave enough to get in the way of our annual BBGS@SG reunion.

Lynette introduced us to her teenage kids, while Kiew Puan had her lovely 4 year old princess in tow.
Most of us were from the class of 86, 87 and 88 and after a quick round of introductions, we quickly settled into the order of the day: the Food Sale themed high tea. Everyone was so excited about the menu that volunteers to prepare food were signed up within two days of the invitation:-

  • Joanna - toasted sambal sandwiches

  • Lu Meng- curry puffs (from Old Chang Kee)

  • Moonlake - rojak (store bought and very popular)

  • Jeanette - cincau (which her mother made - thank you Aunty!)

  • Lynette - fried mee hoon (home made and full of flavour)

  • Charlotte - kacang putih (she didn't turn up but her kacang putih about accountability!)

  • Gek Lin - ice cream float (so refreshingly decadent)

  • Tomasina - banana cake (home baked and so yummy!)

  • Patricia - BBQ chicken wings (by Kak Yanti which were delicious)

  • Yee Git - cheese platter (the most "atas" item on offer)

  • Suet Poh - fruit platter (lots of variety and the most healthy item on the menu)

  • Kiew Puan - sotong balls (super yummy and gone in a flash)

The"girls" busily preparing and presenting their dishes

And then it was time to chat and catch up on 20 years worth of news! That's how long some of us hadn't seen each other. University, jobs, husbands, kids, years in Singapore, PSLE, plastic surgery, learning Mandarin, insurance, best infant formula were just some of the many topics talked about and laughed over. This was interspersed with school stories about teachers, school rules and food sales! We compared the abundant fillings of our toasted sandwiches to the miserable smear of sambal in our original food sale toasties. And debated the finer points of sandwich making - "Where got cucumber one?" or "Wah..the edges also got filling!"
And finally, the happy clappy group photo. Thanks to the combined efforts of everyone present, we arranged ourselves carefully around the sofa and got the camera timer to work. And voila! Even then, we managed to find something to laugh about when taking this photo with comments like: "Those of you who can still kneel, please kneel." "Hurry up lah! My knees are giving way..." Haha...until our next gathering girls, take care and God bless!

Friday, 25 March 2011

Candle 38: Ong Jin Kar

(L-R) Kevin, Joel, Daniel and Jin Kar

I knew it was going to be an interesting reunion when 8-year old Joel Chee rushed into the restaurant, plonked himself next to me and said "My mum says you were the Head Prefect and everyone was scared of you!" Haha...that's the story of my life in BBGS, dear boy...

Joel is the son of Ong Jin Kar from the class of 1986. Jin Kar, her husband Kevin and their two boys were on their way back to Perth from Bristol (UK) where Kevin has spent the last year completing his opthamologist specialist training. She even found time to co-found the European chapter of the BBGS alumni in the UK, together with Doreen Craig. They organised a successful reunion in London, which brought together a large number of BBGSians.

Jin Kar migrated to Perth shortly after secondary school, studied at the University of Western Australia and worked as an accountant before becoming a full-time mom. She enjoys living in the city which is idyllic for bringing up her kids. Her sister Jin Hui, whom I met while in Perth last year, is also based in Perth and the sisters catch up regularly.

We were joined by Moonlake Lee and her family and all 3 of us had a wonderful time chatting over dinner while the kids and husbands entertained themselves. We were amused at how some girls had glamourised themselves beyond recognition, while others have stayed exactly the same. Jin Kar was kind enough to place me in the "glamour" list! Haha... So you see little Joel, people aren't so scared of me anymore :-)

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Updates on Miss Yeap's condition

Please note that these updates are taken from the BBGS OGA website, and have been verified with members of Miss Yeap's immediate family.

UPDATE: 25 March (Friday), 10am
Good news! Miss Yeap is now recuperating and starting physiotherapy treatment in an extended care hospital in Shah Alam.

Venue: Room 95, Columbia Asia Extended Care Hospital, Lot 2, Jalan Baung, Shah Alam, Selangor

Visiting Hours: 7am - 9pm

Request: In order not to tax Miss Yeap's energy at this time, please go in a group and keep your visit short. Try not to ask Miss Yeap if she can recognise as it will put a strain on her memory. Simply identify yourself by telling Miss Yeap your name and the class you were in. Be positive! :-)

UPDATE: 4 March (Friday), 11.10 pm
Praise God that He has answered all our prayers for Miss Yeap. This morning, she was finally transferred out of ICU to the ward and was able to recognise her family members. However, Miss Yeap is still on antibiotics and has a tube in her throat so she is not able to talk yet.

The OGA will arrange to send a bouquet of flowers to Miss Yeap first. We will let you know when she is ready for visitors.

UPDATE: 17 FEB 2011 (THURS), 7.00 pm
Still having problem getting her breathing properly - she's not getting ideal levels of oxygen. Lots of phlegm that needs to be cleared - they've put her on medication for that. Heat is stable, as is BP. Eyes open every now and again, but she's not conscious enough for recognition nor speech. Still in ICU. Not shifted to ward yet.—Mei-Lyn, grandniece of Miss Yeap.

UPDATE: 8 FEB 2011 (TUES), 2.15pm
So excited to share this sms from Miss Yeap's grandniece, Mei-Lyn: “Encouraging news! They’re weaning her off the ventilator. She’s breathing on her own! 2hrs at a time so less stress to body, but still great news I think!”

This email, addressed to BBGSians, is written by Miss Yeap's grand-niece who has been staying with her.

My name is Mei Lyn and I'm Ms Yeap's grand niece. Thank you all forall your kind thoughts, comments and fervent prayers. We are all trying to stay positive about the whole situation.My grand aunt has yet to regain full consciousness, but the doctors say that upon prompting, she opens her eyes briefly and can process simple commands, so they are very positive about the condition of her brain.

However, her body is not handling the stress of surgery well, and there are some complications with her heart & BP. She is being treatedfor that by a cardio, and was previously sedated again to stabilise. Today, they performed a minor procedure to insert a tube into the throat for better hookup to the ventilator. The procedure went smoothly, and she is resting again in ICU.

Thank you all for not insisting on visiting her in ICU. It is very obvious that she is much beloved. However, even the family has received stern advice from the doctors & nurses about the ease of infection, and how we all carry pathogens. She is so very vulnerable right now. I've heard that there is a lot of information flying about from various sources. Unfortunately, from one hand to the next, some are in danger of creating panic, etc. We are unable to curtail the spread of information, but we fear the spread of less than accurate details. Luckily Sow Yoong, has been more than considerate and checks with us to help correct the details.

Please don't rush to the hospital. We thank you for the flood of concern, but please do understand the need for a clean environment. Right now, she's sedated from today's procedure, stable but still on the critical list in ICU.

All prayers/positive energy/good thoughts are deeply appreciated.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

BBGS reunion in London

Mak Mei Ling (Class of 1983) gives us a peek at what happened when twelve BBGSians based in the UK got together at the Souk Restaurant in London on 27 February 2011. Enjoy!

At the end of each year, as I heave a sigh of relief that our family has survived another 365 days without too many upheavals, my thoughts turn to the year ahead. In thinking about New Year resolutions, the level of my ambition has gone down as the number of white hairs on my head has gone up. A list of 20 ostensibly achievable resolutions when I was 22 was reduced to 10 when I was 33. This has whittled down to just the one now I am 44. However it is a significant one, designed to stop boredom in its tracks and to add some joie de vivre in a world that is increasingly competitive, complicated and unpredictable. In 2011 my one resolution was to do something or to eat somewhere or to meet someone really interesting every week.

The advantage of living in London is that you are never at a loss for things to do, places to eat or people to meet. However, I did not imagine that this would take the form of a BBGS reunion.

BBGS we pledge to thee...

How I came to be invited to the first BBGS reunion in Europe was itself very interesting. I attend All Souls Church in Langham Place, and in January I was asked to give my testimony. Immediately after the service a member of the congregation came up to me and said, ‘are you by any chance from BBGS?’

There was no need for a particular type of walk, a wink of the eye or a funny handshake. The beauty, if I may say so, of being a BBGS girl is that you are almost instantly recognisable by another BBGSian. Boey Moo Ling introduced herself and informed me that there was a BBGS reunion taking place in February. I contacted Doreen Craig who organised the event to say I would be attending and asked if I should wear my old school badge!

On 27 February, 12 of us gathered in Central London where Doreen had hired a private room in a Moroccan restaurant. The dim lighting was perfect as we did not have to be under too much scrutiny (I was not the youngest there). Everyone was very chatty and found someone else to talk to. Bits of other people’s conversations drifted around - the ais kacang machine, toasted sambal sandwiches, Mrs Abraham and her tongue twisters. Declaring who your headmistresses was gave an indication of your age but no one cared because we were far too engrossed in talking about our present lives and what brought us to London and to Europe.

Smiles all round when BBGSians get together

The moment of reckoning came when we were asked to sing the school song. Not only to sing it, but to have it recorded and uploaded onto Facebook. I cannot imagine what my children will say when they find out. I left BBGS in 1983, but am very proud to say that I remembered the tune to the song. Since the lunch I have even managed to sing the first verse in my head without having to refer to the words.

In singing the school song again after such a long gap, I hope any BBGSian would agree with me that the words, once embedded in our memories if not our hearts, have made us who we are – loyal women, who are able to call on God for help, able to shoulder burdens and who delight in simple things. If I have gone this far in life, it is not due to my own efforts but the efforts of the school in instilling in me a sense of duty and responsibility in all that I undertake, and in underpinning that duty with the understanding that everything is sustained by God. As the year goes by whether we have one or 100 resolutions, the school motto still holds true: Nisi Dominus Frustra - without God all is in vain.

BBGS cupcakes brought by Alice Lian