SMK Convent marked its 110-year milestone with a school-level celebration on Friday, January 6 followed by an anniversary dinner at WEIL Hotel on Saturday, January 7.

At the school, students and guests sang a birthday song for their alma mater right after the release of 110 balloons in the presence of guest of honour, Rt Rev Dato’ Sebastian Francis, Bishop of Penang.

Running on the theme “110 Shades of Blue”, guests from as far as Singapore came to the glamorous night at WEIL Hotel in various shades of blue, the school colour. Raja Permaisuri Perak and also royal patron of Convent Girls Alumni (CoGA), Tuanku Zara Salim graced the lively affair.

“Your response has been overwhelming. We managed to sell 70 tables in four days. We have here a gathering of over 700 girls from the class of 1940s till the turn of the century,” Agnes Wong, Chairperson of 110 Years Anniversary Celebration stated in her speech. She urged all to check the Convent Girls Alumni (CoGA) Facebook page for updates and future events.

“My sister and I are former students. Residing in KL now, I am still in contact with my classmates and visiting my former teachers. My teachers then were European nuns, mostly French and German. The nuns were very strict but we had fun as we were taught folk dancing, singing, swimming, cooking and needlework,” 76-year-old Lim shared with Ipoh Echo. She finished her Form 5 in 1959.

“We have beautiful cursive handwriting because we were taught to write on the line, not above or below, or else the nuns will hit our hands. In class, I remember volunteering to clean the blackboard and then drop the duster on purpose so that I have an excuse to pluck the rambutans below,” Lim added.

“I was the captain of the netball team because I am tall. Because of my height, I always sat at the back of the class. That was an advantage as I could then sneakily eat the food hidden inside my table, during class!” she enthused.

During the montage presentation, the deplorable state of the first floor of the main school building was highlighted. The roof structure and the ceiling of the chapel and the main block are not safe and are out of bounds. The roof tiles are cracked, the wooden beams are rotting, the ceiling leaks every time it rains and the place is infested with bats as well as termites. It is in dire need of immediate and major repairs. To preserve the heritage, do donate to SMK Convent Development Fund Account (RHB Bank, 20806100051810). “Our target is RM1.1 million,” Toh Suat Goh, Principal of SMK Convent Ipoh said.

Also present were Rt Rev Dato’ Sebastian Francis, Bishop of Penang; Monsignor Michael Cheah Fook Wah, Chairman of Board of Directors; Dr Sarkunnathas Muthusamy, Chairman of Parents Teachers Association; Terezinha Gonsalves, President of Convent Girls Alumni; and Sister Celina Wong, Provincial of the IJ Sisters.

Currently, the school has 71 teachers, 10 non-academic staff and 930 students in 33 classes.

Mei Kuan