Archbishop calls on former SMK St Joseph’s alumni to help refurbish alma mater

Archbishop Simon Poh.

KUCHING, Feb 3: After receiving a donation of RM2.5 million from the State Government today, SMK St Joseph Kuching will need its former students to help furnish the St. Joseph’s School Mill Hill Block and classroom wings, said Archbishop Simon Poh.

He said, the total cost of the project is about RM5.6 million but the school management had previously managed to raise about RM3 million.

“As an Old Boy, I take this opportunity to appeal to All Boys and Girls of Form Six to do our part for our Alma Mater St. Joseph and be part of the story of the legacy of restoring St. Joseph’s School Mill Hill Block and classroom wings.

“Just as we have been blessed by the education from St. Joseph’s School, let us give and continue to bless the future generations of Josephians. Together let us restore St. Joseph’s School, our Alma Mater,” Poh said today.

He reiterated that school was grateful to the Sarawak government for donating RM2.5 million which was presented by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg this morning. Abang Johari was an Old Boy Class of Upper 6 in 1970.

“With this donation from the State Government, the school will be able to complete the restoration of the centre iconic Mill Hill Bloc and two wings where many Josephians have studied in,” he said.

Poh, himself an Old Boy of Class of Form 5, 1980, said, the school would maintain the floors containing the living quarters and rooms used by Mill Hill Fathers and La Salle Brothers.

“Once the classrooms and teachers’ staffroom are ready, the school will need to furnish these with tables, student desks and chairs, teaching aids and computers and equipment.

“In restoration work, there are always additional works that will need to be done on-site whenever the need arises. These will be additional expenses for the project,” he explained.

Nevertheless, with Sarawak Government helping the school with RM2.5 million, the school board is confident to raise the balance needed for furnishing and extra cost from variation orders in the restoration project.

Poh disclosed that the project started in 2018, when the St. Joseph’s School Board decided to restore the historical Mill Hill block with the two boarding and classroom wings, instead of knocking down and rebuilding new blocks.

“At that time, we were confident of raising at least RM1 million every year from the alumni as has been done earlier. However, the School was unable to carry out any fundraising in 2020 as well as this year 2021 because of Covid-19.

“But, at meanwhile the restoration project has already commenced and payment has to be made,” he said.

Poh also extended his gratitude to the school’s board of management and the Old Boys’ Association headed by Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian, Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah who is an Old Boy of the school and the consultants who are all alumni of the school. -DayakDaily