Out of multiple tree planting projects organised by the Rotary Club of Greentown, this time, it was kickstarted at St Michael’s Institution Ipoh (SMI) on November 10 to commemorate the club’s former Charter President, Balasubramaniam Kuppusamy, who passed away recently.
The project of planting three Tecoma trees (known as the Malaysian sakura tree) to green the school also involved putting a memorial plaque of the honorable man in front of the school to remember his name and to keep his spirit alive.
The project is an accurate reflection of the school’s previous principal’s passion towards the environment and his effort in humanitarian projects. In fact, he was the founder of the Rotary Club of Greentown.
Besides that, St. Michael’s received 100 COVID-19 self-test kits donated by one of the members from the Old Michaelian Association, Kirti Tejani.
Present at the ceremony were the current principal of St Michael’s Institution Ipoh, Sit Wai Yin; Rotary Club of Greentown president, Monesh Pillai; past assistant governor, Francis Vijeyaselvan, family members of Bala, members of the Old Michaelian Association and the Board of Directors of SMI.
Due to the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), the tree planting ceremony was held on a small scale and attended by some 30 members.
When asked how to encourage people to take action in caring for our environment, Francis told Ipoh Echo that the best way to inculcate the community is by helping them understand the importance of environmental protection.
“In order to do that, we have to uplift students to participate in green programmes and activities. We need to cultivate the habit at a young age. This is also the reason why we decided to split the planting project.
“In the next tree planting project where five more trees will be planted, we are planning to bring in students and give them an opportunity to witness the process as well as educate them,” he explained.
The past assistant governor believes in greening the earth because not only does it help reduce carbon footprints, but it also beautifies the environment.
“We should plant more trees,” he said.
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Mr Bala was a fantastic SMI principal. Michaelians have honoured all our principals equally in our entrance foyer. We have made images of them in stone and set it on the walls around the entrance foyer. The principals will be forever remembered, as long as our school building stands. I have full respect for Mr Balasubramaniam but I feel that the frontage of SMI is not the appropriate place to honour his memory. By allowing this we are belittling the location where we publicly remember and honour all of SMI’s past principals.
Mr Bala, was a towering academician that Michaelians will remember. Please let Michaelians remember one of ours respectfully at our designated hall of fame. By putting up tacky and non-permanent boards that will not stand the test of time and weather, at inappropriate places is not the way Michaelians want to honour our principals. Let Mr Bala be honoured respectfully and equally, among his fellow Michaelian principals at the SMI hallowed hall of fame.