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Monday, April 27, 2009

Grand Opening and Solemn Blessing of St Cecilia's Multi-Resource Centre

New Multi-Resource Centre

Sandakan: St Cecilia Convent Secondary School, one of the most prestigious schools, is the first all girl school in Sandakan. It was established by the Blue Sisters of the Catholic Mission in 1966. Rev. Mother St Leonard was the founder of the school and she assumed duty as the first principal until 1968 where she was later replaced by Rev. Mother Francis Theresa. The era of the Catholic blue sisters came to an end when Mother Francis Theresa was transferred and replaced by a lay principal. The school is located about 4 kilometers from the town center and within its vicinity are St Mary’s Secondary School, St Mary’s Convent Primary School, St Mary’s Town Primary School and St Mary’s Labuk Primary School.

The idea of constructing a new block of building to house the Science and IT laboratories was conceived in 1998. Due to the frequent changes of principals the proposed building was shelved for quite a while and when Miss Lily Lim took over the helm of the school in 2004, she reactivated the idea but with a change of plan from a double to a triple storey building. With God’s blessing and through the collaboration of members from the school, the alumnae association and the school management board, the challenge was taken up and the first fund raising was done in 2005 with a jogathon and a food bazaar. There were no fund-raising project in 2006 as Lily Lim, the school principal and Alice Kok, chairperson of the school board were occupied with their master degree program but in 2007, a 40th anniversary charity dinner for 100 tables was successfully held and from then on they never ever look back. On 24th April 2008, the ground-breaking ceremony was blessed by Bishop Julius and two more fund raising projects were organized i.e. the charity show and the charity golf.

Miss Lily Lim, the Principal


Exactly one year later, the grand opening and solemn blessing of St Cecilia’s multi-resource centre by YB Aw Kam Wah, the state assemblyman for Elopura and Bishop Julius Dusin Gitom, the Bishop of the Diocese of Sandakan respectively was held on 25th April 2009. The event was also attended by Ir James Wong, the President of Sandakan Municipal Council, En. Mohd Ali, the representative of the Sandakan Divisonal Education Officer, Fr Thomas Makajil, rector of St Mary’s Cathedral, local dignitaries, former students and leaders of the Catholic Church.

Speech by YB Aw Kam Wah

YB Aw Kam Wah commended the working committee for a job well done and he pledged to contribute RM20,000 towards the purchase of computers. He assured the school authorities that the government is always concern and has always given priority to educational development in the country. He cited the example where mission schools throughout the country had recently been allocated grants to repair and upgrade schools and was happy to note that St Cecilia’s Secondary School was among the recipients.

Speech by Bishop Julius

Bishop Julius performing the Blessing Rite

Blessing the New Multi-Resource Centre

Bishop Julius, in delivering his speech gave thanks and praise to God Almighty that through His divine grace, the project has eventually materialized. He hoped that the building will be utilized to the optimum for the benefits of the school children. He also stressed that effective schools may only prevail through a strong partnership of all concerned parties. He also touched on the need to balance physical and spiritual development of school children and urged all those entrusted with the duty to place more emphasis in molding the young in accordance with the national educational philosophy. This will help the younger generation from coming under negative influences that come with the digital advances.

Presentation of Mementos to the guests of honor

After the opening ceremony and the rite of solemn blessing, Alice Kok expressed her appreciation to all who had responded to the invitation to the event. She thanked all kind and generous donors who had contributed in one way or another towards the project. She then presented mementos to the guests of honor.


Ribbon Cutting Ceremony by YB Aw Kam Wah and Bishop Julius

The bazaar, the last of the series of fund raising program for the building project was officially declared open by YB Aw Kam Wah and Bishop Julius.

The total cost of the building and the fixtures is close to RM1 million and hopefully through the proceeds derived from the bazaar could cover the balance of the final payment.

According to Alice Kok, the success of the project is because of the close working relationship among fellow committee members. There was a tangible sense of teamwork among members. They were devoted and committed to a common vision and purpose. The members worked very hard and they had faith and stayed focus on the strategies. She believes that with God all things are possible.

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