MVM Batches 7 and 9

Our new graduates MVM Batches 7 and  9:

Bernard Brigitte
Dian Fitrasari
Ellen Roen
Kanistha Jethwani
Linda Intoft Gauffin
Maple Keh
Raquel Golfarin
S Gokilan
S Lingham
Mr Teo
Delorme Segolene
Dominique Leblanc
Elodie Michel
Liz Burton
Melanie Goudard
Ray Smith
Shaukani Abbas
Suzie Tuomey
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Heritage protection for neglected church

The Star: Saturday January 23, 2010 and March 20

MALACCA: The ruins of a 17th century church next to the Malacca

Ruins of the Ermida Do Rosario

River in Pangkalan Rama will finally get some protection from heritage authorities.

The Ermida do Rosario, or The Church of Rosary, was a Portuguese chapel built on the site of the Church of St Lawrence.

It was either destroyed or allowed to fall into ruins during the first decade of the Dutch occupation of Malacca in 1641 and was subsequently taken over by St Peter’s Church, which was erected nearby in 1710.

Sad state: Sim looking at the ruins of the Ermida do Rosario in Malacca Friday.

The National Heritage Department has allocated RM20,000 to carry out necessary work to give the historical site due recognition following the media highlighting the issue.

Heritage Commissioner Datuk Prof Zurina Abdul Majid said field work on the historical ruins would commence once the department finalised plans for the site.

Besides the site being used as a dumping ground, heavy machinery employed for the nearby proposed monorail project had resulted in damage to a section of the ruins.

Kota Melaka MP Sim Tong Him said he raised the issue of the site’s state of neglect in Parliament last December following numerous complaints by heritage conservationists.

2010 Granny shares her memories with readers

Wednesday March 17, The Star By ANDY CHUA

GRANDMOTHER Angela Yong, 84, who broke the hearts of fans two years ago when she quit writing due to failing health, has made a return and is working on her eighth book.

Her latest book, which has yet to be named, will be a memoir and is expected to be published in August.

“There are stories about headhunters, the outlook of people I know and even information on the anthem of Sarawak during the colonial rule called Sarawak Arise.

“I hope to give our younger generation a clearer picture of life in the old days,” Yong said.

She had previously published an autobiography, five collections of short stories and a book of Foochow proverbs and idioms.
Prolific writer: Yong was halfway through the eighth book when she fell and took a break to recover from her injury.

Her first book published in 1997 was Through the back door. This was followed by One Thing Good But Not Both; Different Lives, Different Fates; 160 Foochow Proverbs and Idioms; Green Beans and Talking Babies; Sarawak Rojak; and 888, All The Way Prosper.

When met recently at her residence, Yong, whose mind is still sharp although she has difficulty hearing, said she was prompted to continue writing by her son, Philip Hii, who is also her editor. Hii has been a lecturer in a university in the United States for the past 20 years.

“Philip called me up from the United States several times saying that since I still have a lot of interesting stories to tell, I should put them into books for people to read,” Yong said.

“Philip will be back in June. He would as usual go through the manuscript and edit it before sending it to print. I am expecting the book to be available to the public in August,” she said.

She said she had completed half of her new book before she had a fall at home in February last year and was bedridden for several weeks.

She said that she would have completed the book by the end of last year if not for the accident.

In all her previous works, she focused on real life happenings during the colonial rule and the Japanese occupation. Most readers found her stories to be entertaining, informative and humorous.

In her books, she tells the stories of her childhood and early adult life. She also has stories of people she knew and stories told to her; human stories, some tragic, others comical — but all with a touch of the same human frailties.

Yong was born in China in 1926, the year her parents migrated to Sarawak. She grew up in Sibu.

During World War II, she married James Hii Mee Chiong. They raised eight daughters and five sons. James died in 1986.

Yong, a former teacher at St Francis Xavier Primary School in Kanowit, used to entertain her 15 grandchildren by telling them stories. That was a decade ago and it was then that her children persuaded her to write.

All her books are sold at RM10 each and available at most leading bookshops in Sarawak.

Asked whether she would continue writing, she replied: “A lot of people want me to write at least 10 books. As age is really taking a toll on me, I will only do so if my health permits.”

MVM on the Road

Last year, 7 MVM members set off for Penang in convoy.  We stopped on the way in Kuala Kangsar, the old Royal Capital, taking in the oldest rubber tree in Malaysia, The Perak Royal Museum, Malay College, Istana Kenangan and of course not forgetting our tummies we had to go to a traditional coffee shop for Steak and fried Potatoes!  We arrived in Penang in the afternoon and after quickly dropping off our bags at the hotel went straight out to explore our surroundings before heading to Bagan Restaurant for a delicious dinner. The next day we were up bright and early for a coffee shop breakfast before joining  The Historic Enclave walking tour of Georgetown with a very knowledgeable guide from Penang Tourist Guides Association.  After a quick lunch it was off to the Clan jetties before another tour of the Pinang Peranakan Museum with our very enthusiastic guide.   At this point many of us were flagging considerable and we decided to drop in at Clove Hall, a beautifully renovated old home, now expertly converted into a boutique hotel, where the owner very kindly laid on high tea and then offered to take us to many of his shopping contacts in Georgetown for a rummage around some very interesting antique shops.  After purchasing a few treasures we finally stopped for dinner at a traditional Peranakan Restaurant before making our way back to the hotel through a torrential rain storm.  Enthusiasm at a high the girls all managed to stay up for a pyjama party way into the night for a good gossip before bed!!On our final day we decided to head over to Balik Pulau For a driving tour of the beautiful agricultural side of the island before heading back to KL after lunch. It was a wonderful trip, we managed to cram so much into just two days and had a lot of fun along the way. With many thanks to Zahara for her brilliant organisational skills.  Roll on the next trip! Angela Naylor

MVM gets big boost for 2010

MVM Logo

Dear MVMers,

The MVM Newsletter will be back in circulation shortly, as the recently conducted survey on our Yahoo! Group showed it is a important and valued tool of communication.

As you all know the MVM is now in its third year and we have grown to over 100 members! We must become more professional and formalised to enable us to grow as a group.  In the very near future a secretriatiat will be set up by Muzium Negara to service the MVM, this will enable us to have professional help with publicity, administration, and a budget to develop different projects.  In the future, the MVM training programme will be free.  MVM volunteers will be required to wear a uniform (vest and t-shirt) whilst undergoing tours so that they are easily indentified by visitors to the Muzium.  New Security ID will be issued to all members.  Many other facilities and benefits will be announced in the coming months and we will keep you updated.

There are still vacancies to be filled on the Committee for this year and we need volunteers to help with communications, the blog, PR, weekend and weekday training programmes, school volunteers, and recruitment.  Please step up and take the challenge, MVM needs YOU!

I look forward to seeing you all at the Graduation Ceremony for our newest batches on March 27th.

Chrissy Lioe, MVM President