A giant Christmas tree was officially blessed and unveiled at the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes in Ipoh on December 3 by Assistant Priest, Rev. Fr. Simon Anand Marthamuthu with a countdown and fireworks before a large crowd of cheerful parishioners and members of the public.
The five-tier tree topped with a star, measuring a total of 55ft in height and 20ft in width and is believed to be the tallest Christmas tree ever to be erected outdoors in Perak. The tree weighs approximately 300kg and is covered with 2808ft of artificial pine Christmas garlands. A total of 1264 lights of various kinds were used to illuminate the tree. The base is covered with real tree trunks.
The key individual behind this spectacular tree is Mr Alexander Joseph, who has been planning for more than three years with the strong support of the Parish Priests, Rev. Fr. Robert Daniel Francis and Rev. Fr. Simon Anand Marthamuthu. The civil engineer who headed this project is Mr Kishore, assisted by a few other engineers. The measurements and structural plan was meticulously planned and precisely done to ensure its safety and will stand firm in any climate condition. The basic design, electrical and decoration was engineered by Mr Alexander Joseph and was assisted by his dedicated team called the Lourdes Elf Team consisting of 13 members namely Elvin Soosay, Alexchantra, Daniel Emnuelraj, Alexander Edwin, Stanislaus Selvam, Alfrad Raj Yasu, Jakson, Samuel Sinappan, Kevin Raj, Victor George, Vilson Albertraj, Kevin Paul and Levins Roy. They were also assisted by other volunteers who wished to remain anonymous.
The basic steel structure arrived from the foundry in Teluk Intan in the middle of October and the work began on October 28. It took about 36 days to complete the astonishing tree which cost about RM20,000, raised through sponsors and well-wishers. It’s the first time such an imposing Christmas tree was ever erected at Lourdes Ipoh.
The tree would be illuminated daily from 7.30pm until 1am unless any urgent maintenance works arises. It would be on display until middle of January 2018 before being dismantled and stored away carefully. It will be used again next year and years to come with different decorative themes or the tiers added to make it taller.
Unequivocally, this year will be a landmark Christmas for Church of Our Lady of Lourdes in years to come.
Alexandar Anthony Dars