It was in 1967 when Mrs Vivian Chong and eleven MGS girls painted the mural entitled ‘Occupation of Women’ consisting of three different panels; manual workers, vocational workers and professionals on the wall outside the Principal’s office.
One of the painters, Chan Wai Chun was in pleasant shock when she visited the school in 2009 and saw that the mural had survived the passage of time, forty two years to be exact. Through the help of a friend, known as the ‘Heritage Man’ to many, Wai Chun showed Law Siak Hong a former Ipoh ACS student, the mural. Siak Hong later managed to convince Wai Chun to lead the mural restoration project as he believed that this is the only Malaysian school mural that is all about women.
“It is a reflection of the socio-economic history of Ipoh, and in turn, of Malaysia. More importantly, it is going to be half a century old and it needs conservation so it can last longer, if not for ever!,” said Siak Hong.
“In terms of art, the style of this mural is called a triptych. The style was of mosaic, each ‘tile’ painstakingly painted with a small brush,” said Wai Chun to Ipoh Echo who was there to witness the process.
After the meeting with the current MGS school principal, Datin Mungit Kaur on October 10 2014, the restoration began on November 7, 2015. Wai Chun managed to contact another three original painters; Lam Lai Meng, Ooi Siew Ling and CHan Kok Loon who were willing to help her and the whole restoration. The team also was joined by another two former students of ACS; Law and Kong Kai Tuck.
During the dedication ceremony happening last month at the school, Dr Ting Cheh Sing said he hoped the mural will last as long as the school will stand.
“This mural is dedicated to all MGS teachers and students – past, present and future,” said Ting in his speech.