Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Payback Time for BBGS Girls

From left to right: BBGSOGA Adviser Ms Moey Yoke Lai, President Phang Sow Yoong,
Vice President Lee Yin Ling, Hon Secretary Aimee Liew, Asst Secretary Wong Kim Lin,
Social Secretary SS Patricia, Sports Secretary Claudia Chan,
Committee Members Kwan Poh Lan and Liew Lai Ying
(not in the photo Treasurer Cheah Swee Peng)

The message was clear at the EGM-cum-Hari Raya Tea held on 10 October at the Methodist College Kuala Lumpur: it is time for BBGS girls to pay back to society what they have gained from their alma mater.

After singing the school song, BBSOGA President Ms Phang Sow Yoong outlined the roadmap which includes setting up an infrastructure for the alumnae and Elena Cooke Education Fund, running a membership drive to recruit 2,000 life members, compiling a choral speaking handbook, recruiting “stockists” to be based in various parts of Malaysia and overseas to sell BBGS souvenirs and launching a publicity campaign to solicit funds from corporations.

“However, we must first go back to our former BBGS students to ask them to contribute to the Elena Cooke Education Fund. There is no gold or glory in joining the BBGSOGA. Being a member gives us an opportunity to repay our debt to BBGS and to give back to society,” said Phang who urged alumnae to contribute their expertise and time, and be the “jigsaw pieces” in the big picture.

BBGSOGA Adviser Ms Moey Yoke Lai exhorted the alumnae to go forth and do whatever was in our power to be “a mighty force for good”.

She cited as examples our founding “mothers” Ms Betty Langlands, Ms Bessie Maclay, Ms Eva Prouse, Ms Mary Glasgow, Ms Green and Ms Elena Cooke who had given the best years of their lives, some even till their last breath, for the good of the school they had so lovingly set up and developed.

Ms Moey retold the story of how Ms Prouse and Ms Glasgow had stayed behind to protect the school during World War II instead of evacuating early. When they finally left, they still managed to be of service to others in the ship which they were travelling. Ms Prouse eventually died in a Japanese internment camp. Ms Cooke was a medical student in Hong Kong during World War II where she helped out as an auxiliary nurse. Once, her nerves of steel emboldened her to defy the orders of a Japanese soldier.

The examples of such courage against all odds was brought up to illustrate the fact that BBGS old girls are called upon to be a shining example of BBGS values wherever we may be, whether it be in serving the underprivileged, fighting for justice, standing up against corruption or even simply extending financial help or a listening ear.

To put it in Ms Moey’s words, “What can we do to help our society so that we can be a mighty force for good?”

Later, the chairman of the working committee, Lim Kit Wan, presented the accounts of the Back2BBGS event in August. This was followed by a spirited Q & A session that proved that BBGS girls can be feisty within a working democracy.

An election was then conducted to replace the EXCO members who resigned at the last EGM on 16 October. The present committee is as follows:

President : Phang Sow Yoong
Vice President : Lee Yin Ling
Honorary Secretary : Aimee Liew
Assistant Secretary : Wong Kim Lin
Treasurer : Cheah Swee Peng
Social Secretary : SS Patricia
Sports Secretary : Claudia Chan
Committee Member : Kwan Poh Lan
Committee Member : Liew Lai Ying
Auditor : Loo Mi Li
Auditor : Foong Mei Lin

It is heartwarming that the new committee comprises five former school captains, one vice-captain, two senior lawyers and BBGSians from various industries—all wishing to
repay their debt to their alma mater.

After a resolution to copyright the BBGS school badge, the alumnae proceeded to fellowship over Hari Raya Tea and buy souvenirs to remind them of their beloved BBGS.

Report submitted by Lim Yuet Suan, School Captain 1984