Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Even Disability Couldn't Dampen the BBGS Spirit

By Karen Lau (Paris)

Karen (right) with Lisa in the center.

When my buddy, Lisa Leong Yun Ping showed me the article in the Star about the BACK2BBGS event at Pavilion, she told me she wanted to attend the function. Three years ago, Lisa had a stroke and lapsed into a coma for five days.

In my heart I thought that it might be better for Lisa to stay at home as people would stare at her for being in a wheelchair. I was really glad that Susan Foong got her a ticket and informed her to use the back entrance that was more disabled-friendly.

When we arrived at Pavilion, everybody was busy chatting with one another. Lisa was excited and happy to see so many of her schoolmates. Well, if Lisa made such a great attempt to come for the event, where are the others? Wouldn’t they regret missing this happy day?

Then I saw Miss Cooke walking in slowly, flatly refusing to use a wheelchair despite her frailty. I was choked with emotions and cried tears of happiness when the emcee, Norini prompted us to greet our beloved headmistress: "Good morning Miss Cooke". It was so good to sing the school song again, “BBGS, we pledge to thee…”

Norini was so real throughout the event that I just could not hold back my tears that kept welling up. It has been 37 years since I was a schoolgirl wearing well-starched uniform, white socks and shoes.

Indeed, 4 August 2009 was one of my happiest days when I was to be able to meet Miss Cooke, Miss Moey, Miss Yeo and Mrs Thanen again. The bonus was a bear hug from Mrs Junie Simon who still remembers me. When the going gets tough, the tough gets going. Keep the BBGS spirit alive!

Note: Karen Lau, who now lives in Paris with her family, was really happy to be back in Kuala Lumpur for the BACK2BBGS event. She left BBGS in 1972, but BBGS has never left her—even in Paris. Together with some BBGSians in Paris, Karen organises sightseeing, ‘nasi lemak’ picnics, CNY ‘yee sang’ dinners for Malaysians living in France.

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