Wednesday, November 2, 2016

All Souls Day 2016@St Michaels Church, Ipoh.

All Souls Day 2016 at St Michaels Church cemetery.

The weather was warm but the sky was cloudy with clear blue skies on All Souls Day 2016.

The cemetery at St Michaels Church had been tidied up and was covered with white marble chips, 
St Michael's Church. My parents are interred at the church cemetery.
White marble chips amidst a tidy setting make for a pretty picture.

Amidst the backdrop of crosses and a blue sky the cemetery looked a pretty picture.

Cemeteries are places we go to visit our loved ones but with age we tend to meet with old family friends seen only occasionally.

I was there to say a prayer at my parents grave and those i knew that were interred there.
The grave of Sybil Kathigasu at the cemetery. 

I stopped by the grave of Sybil Kathigasu, the heroine Eurasian nurse of Papan who was tortured by the Japanese during the 2nd World War and awarded the George Medal for bravery.

I similarly stopped by the grave of Datuk Brother Vincent Corkery, the former Director of St Michaels Institution (SMI) who passed away in March this year.
The graves of Fr Anthony Chong and Brother Vincent Corkery (right pix) Former SMI Teacher Clement Vythilingam at the grave of Bro Vincent.  

Bro Vincent appeared to have a good number of visitors and this included former SMI teacher Clement Vythilingam.

Interestingly Bro Vincent lies next to Fr Anthony Chong a former priest with St Michael’s Church.

 Also at the cemetery paying his respects to his parents. was Martin Jalleh, a religious yet political commentator who posts regularly on his Facebook page,
Martin Jalleh offering flowers for his parents. 

A lovely morning of fond memories.  


Saturday, October 29, 2016

St Joseph’s Hall: Reflecting the Growing Catholic Community at St Mary’s Chapel

A grand opening for St Josephs Hall 

The official opening of St Joseph’s Hall at St Mary’s Chapel, recently marked another milestone in the growth of the chapel.

The hall which is linked to the Chapel was officiated by Vice Provincial of OMPH Church Rev Fr Eugene Fernandez CssR after the 10am Sunday mass on October 9th 2016.

Rev Fr Eugene Fernandez officiated at the opening of St Josephs hall.
St Mary's Chapel with St Joseph's Hall on the left. At the hilllock behind is 

...the Grotto at St Mary's 

 In his homily Fr Eugene said that the opening of St Joseph’s Hall was a testimony of the faith of the catholic community at Tg Rambutan.

“St Joseph’s Hall is a reflection of a community that is walking with Jesus and a show of their strong faith throughout the years” said Fr Eugene.
Clockwise. The chapel built by three local youth in 1979 and subsequently enlarged during the time of Fr David Anthony.
..after which activities such as mass, baptism's and wedding was held there.
Indeed the Catholic community at the 8th milestone, Kg Tersusun, Ulu Kinta has grown from a community of five families in the 60’s it now boasts of having over 100 families, a chapel and hall and a grotto atop the adjoining hill.

A slide presentation of the history about the community stated that during the 60’s and 70’s the community was served by the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, 16 Km away.

The community initially held their Mass at the nearby Methodist School. It was not until 1979 that three local youth from within the community built the chapel at the present location.

The community subsequently enlarged the chapel during the period with Fr David Anthony after which various activities such as mass, feast day, baptism and weddings was held. 

The chapel then was built on government land. In 1987 their application for the land was approved.
The chapel received approval for the land in 1987 and the current St Mary's Chapel was blessed in 1992
The Catholic community at St Mary's. From 5 initially to well over 100 families now.

 It was not until 1992, with a grant of RM70,000 from the Penang Diocesan Fund and together with donations from the parishioners, the present chapel was built and officially blessed and opened by Bishop Antony Selvanayagam.

According to Peter James, Chairman of St Mary’s Project and Upgrading Committee, the project to build a hall was mooted since 2007.

“The initial plan was to have an open hall which was completed in 2010.

“However as there was bouts of theft and vandalism by monkeys from the adjoining hill despite having iron grilles the committee decided to build a closed hall”

A fundraising was started in 2013 and resulted with the opening of St Josephs Hall.

The mass and opening ceremony saw an attendance of over 350 who also attended the lunch. While St Joseph’s hall accommodated over 200 diners the rest spilled over to the tents outside.
St Mary's Chapel 2016 a far cry from 1979, thirty seven years ago.
The Offertory on October 9, building materials, sweets and a souvenir.

The morning mass was held smoothly amidst a melodic choir and a responsive congregation.
A view of St Mary's from the top of the Grotto. 
A full house luncheon at St Joseph's Hall paying attention and ....
...listening to Rev Fr Eugene Fernandez, Project Chairperson Peter James and viewing the slide presentation of St Mary's brief history.
Fr Joseph Stephen with members of the Project committee. 
Lunch is served ....
...with ample seating comfort to enjoy ones meal
Fr Joseph Stephen and Peter James presented souvenirs to thank the benefactors (l-r) Lawrence and Kathy Tham, Francis and Irene Ng, Dato Simon and Datin Miki Chan and Michael and Phyllis Goh

 In contrast to the images of a young and growing chapel some thirty years ago the progress that St Mary’s Chapel displays now is a clear testimony of the faith of a community that has helped it grow and progress.
The multiple members from the Redemptorist Congregation who have worked with the residents to grow the community over the last 40 years. 

Communion (video) at St Mary's Chapel, October 2016.


Thursday, September 15, 2016

OMPH Church Ipoh Celebrates The Mid-Autumn Festival

OMPH Church parishioners before the start of the lantern walk.
The Mid-Autumn Festival has been celebrated all throughout Ipoh town recently and OMPH Church not wanting to be left out held their own festival celebration at Parish level.
The event was organised by the Chinese Apostolate group. (above pix) Richard Choo from the Chinese group addressing the guests. (below) The MC's addressing the guest in English,Chinese and Bahasa Malaysia
The Parish event was organized by the Chinese Apostolate group and held at the Church premises last Sunday evening September 11.
Rev Fr Joseph Stephen welcoming the parishioners.
It was an elaborate affair with Parish Priest Rev Fr Joseph Stephens officiating at the event.

The evening started with dinner being served before the commencing of the activities.
A slide presentation explaining the origin of the Mid-Autumn Festival during dinner. 
While the parishioners dined a video explained how the Mid-Autumn celebration came about.
Dance presentation by the Chinese Apostolate group. 
The activities after dinner included dances by the Chinese section and games where both young and senior could participate in.
Games. Passing the hula hoop without breaking the human chain
The winners of the Treasure Hunt (above) and the participants(below)
A section of the parishioners viewing the activities
The final event of the night was the lantern walk held at the parking lot within the church.
The final event, the Lantern walk was what all the children were waiting for.
Some of the families that participated in the walk.
It was an evening of fun for the families in the Parish that concluded by 10pm.


Saturday, September 10, 2016

The Bronson Chronicles: Hash House Harriers Hike from Gopeng to Cameron Highlands, 1970.

The HHH group in 1970 that hiked to Cameron Highlands from Gopeng.

This report is a flashback based on photographs taken by an Ipohite named Bronson (not his real name)

The name Bronson was taken from a TV drama at the time called ‘Then Came Bronson’ about an American motorcyclist astride a Harley Davidson riding around the country.

Bronson too rode a motorbike, a British model single cylinder AJS 500. Bronson liked to take photographs and used an 35mm viewfinder camera.
HHH 2016 (left pix 5th from left) Foo Wan Shoon, Liew Chee Tuck and Foo Wan Thot after dinner and their Friday run. (right pix) Liew and Wan Thot identifying the 1970 team.
Photographs those days were printed and recently when he had returned to Ipoh passed me a stack of photographs with captions of what was the occasion and where it took place.
Bronson’s prints’ was still in good condition and I had selected this report of his hike with the Hash House Harriers from Gopeng to Cameron Highlands. The year was 1970.

As Branson could not recall all the names of the Harriers on the hike he referred me to fellow runner Foo Wan Shoon who in turn referred me again to his brother Foo Wan Thot and fellow runner Liew Chee Tuck.

I recently met the trio at dinner after their Friday run at Falim but was asked to meet again the next day. The trio were in their 60’s and 70’s now but with the aid of the photographs still remembered the hike fondly.
The late Jackett Simpson (centre, left pix) with Dato Bill Davidson. (right pix) Dato Davidson
According to Liew the hike took place in 1970, a year after the 1969 May 13 riots. It was organized by then Osborne and Chapel Gopeng Manager the late Jackett Simpson.

“Simpson worked in Gopeng and he made arrangements for the transport and orang asli guides.

“At the time before we went into the jungle we had to register ourselves at the Gopeng Police station.

“All the hikers met at 6am at the Station before boarding a lorry that took us along the Gopeng  pipeline until the point of entry at Sg Itek. From there we began our track up to Cameron Highlands.

“We had orang asli’s to guide us uphill. Our journey was a mix of jungle tracks and streams and despite the hike being grueling all of the way we managed to exit at the Bharat Tea Estate before Tanah Rata at around 4.30 pm.
The track was uphill
(left pix) Foo Wan Thot and King Lee Hoo Keat, (centre) Charlie Loh, (right pix) Wan Sai Phan and Aziz.

and gruelling 
...but we came out at Bharat Tea Estate (above pix) at 4.30pm.
According to Liew the group stayed the night at the Foo Yat Kai villa located at Tanah Rata and returned home the next day.

He added that during that period in the 60’s the HHH was the only group that did the climb from Gopeng to Cameron Highland and the 1970 hike was the groups 3rd since 1966.

Liew recalled that the HHH Perak Chapter started in 1966 stating that some of the early pioneer members besides himself was Foo Wan Thot, one time a Grandmaster, his brother Foo Wan Shoon, Phillip Leong who for a time the secretary who wrote the raunchy newsletters and then there was Bronson.
Liew was introduced to the club in 1968 by fellow runner Phillip Leong.

“At the time HHH was mainly a club made up of of 90% expatriates. However when we joined it was for the exercise and it was fun as at the end of the run there was a beer wagon waiting”.

Liew described Wan Shoon and Bronson as the young members of the group that was always ahead of the rest,
(l-r) Bronson and Wan Shoon, the 'young' runners that was always ahead of the group.
“Especially for Bronson. He would wear jungle boots and run ahead of the rest which was possibly the reason he could capture all the photographs”.

A visit to former secretary Phillip Leong brought back memories describing those days as so much fun and camaraderie.
(l-r) Bronson, King Lee, Charlie Loh and Phillip Leong (5th from left and inset) 
As he looked at his old photograph the his main mention was that he was so slim and had more hair then.

Apparently the photographs of Bronson rekindled a spark in the lives of these former young men all of whom recalled their adventurous times four decades ago.
(l-r front row) Foo Wan Shoon and Bronson. (2nd row  from right) Liew Chee Tuck. (l-r back row) Foo Wan Thot and Jacket Simpson (4th from left)
As for this report it portrayed a time when young men of those days found the jungle as a fun place and a challenge.