Sacred Heart alumni seeks RM200k to repair, maintain school facilities

Yong (seated third left) with office bearers are looking forward to joining former students in responding to the school’s call for help.  

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SIBU, Feb 14: One of the nation’s most active school alumni, Sacred Heart Old Students Association (SHOSA), is seeking RM200,000 to repair and maintain various facilities in the school.

SHOSA president, Yong King Sung, said the main focus would be for the repair and replacement of the 17 years old sound and lighting system at the school hall, which was completed in 2003.

“Apart from some very basic maintenance, the school doesn’t have the fund to repair, let alone replace the system and at several major functions, the system failed our School,” he lamented during SHOSA meeting here today.

“It was now up to the alumni to come to the school’s rescue again, just like what it did five years ago, when they rallied former students to erase the school’s long-standing redevelopment debt,” he added.

Yong said apart from the sound system, there was also the matter of periodical maintenance and leaking roofs or broken furniture that needed replacement.

In explaining why the school had to rely on former students, its Board of Management and the public to fund its development and maintenance, a retired principal of the school explained to the meeting that Sacred Heart was not a government school and hence it cannot expect the government to fund it.

Sacred Heart, being a Mission-built school, is a “national-type school” and not a government built school, with the “K” in its prefix SMK meaning “Kebangsaan”. While government schools, also carries the prefix SMK, but the “K” means “Kerajaan” (government)

“However, this doesn’t mean that the government doesn’t help. In fact, it is the government that pays and provides for the teachers and staff and also helped the school through other ways and means on an ad-hoc basis.

“But the main task of redeveloping the school or coming up with new blocks or maintenance would fall largely on the School’s Board or Management,” Yong said.

He added that this could be seen by the effort of the late Datuk Robert Lau Hoi Chew in re-shaping Sacred Heart into what it was today.

The School’s 100th anniversary celebrations spearheaded by Lau with the massive support from corporate leaders and individuals transformed Sacred Heart and a lot of other Mission-linked schools.

Yong hoped that with the explanation from the retired principal, former students would better understand the challenges faced by the school and they would be inspired to put in even more effort to lend Sacred Heart School a helping hand.

Expressing optimism that the “old boys of Sacred Heart” would respond to their school’s cry for help, Yong urged them to show up in full force at the alumni’s 2020 Reunion scheduled for March 28.

“As usual, we are co-hosting with our sisters from St Elizabeth Secondary School and we hope former students will again rise to the occasion and raise the needed funds for our beloved schools,” he said.

To-date, on SHOSA’s side, more than 500 former students have confirmed their attendance and more were expected to sign up in the following weeks.

“This current figure is not inclusive of St Elizabeth’s side and we are sure they’ll be at least another 300 from them,” Yong enthused.

The joint reunion would he held at Level 6, Kingwood Hotel from 6:00pm onwards. — DayakDaily