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Monday, September 13, 2010

Blessing, Ground Breaking and Signing Ceremony for the Diocesan Pastoral cum

Sandakan : The historic and auspicious solemn blessing, ground breaking and signing ceremony for the Diocesan Pastoral cum Worship Centre took off today, Monday 13th September 2010 at 10.00 am witnessed by some 150 faithful from across the four parishes of the Diocese.

Bishop Julius welcoming the guest of honor, YB Datuk Edward Khoo

The new 3 storey of some 18,000 sq ft building will be constructed at the former St Mary’s Convent Primary School site, off Jalan Puncak, Sandakan. The completed centre will sit on an elevated plateau overlooking the town centre and the Sulu sea.

In the souvenir booklet, Rt Rev Julius Dusin Gitom D.D. expressed that the centre once completed will be the hallmark of the Diocese. It will serve as a diocesan secretariat tending to pastoral needs of the faithful. There will be ample space to house the bishop’s office, administrative and pastoral offices, all the commissions, residences for parish and visiting diocesan clergy, meeting and conferences facility, library and archive and a 200  capacity hall for formation seminars.

The prelate also shared that the building is not just another structure. It represents the spirit of solidarity prevailing among the faithful, the growing and vibrant Catholic community in the  Diocese of Sandakan.
Mr John Pang, the Chairman of the Diocesan Centre Building Committee in his opening address, expressed his sincere appreciation to Bishop Julius for the trust he had in him to spearhead the project.

He went on to say, ‘The task of building such a centre is not easy. However, with full unity and trusting in the Lord, nothing is impossible’.

He was particularly grateful to YB Datuk Edward Khoo, the assistant minister to the Chief Minister of Sabah for having kindly accepted the invitation as the guest of honor despite of his heavy schedule. He thanked the State Government for keeping the Catholic faithful at heart through the annual grant allocated to the Diocese.

YB Datuk Edward Khoo in his speech congratulated Bishop Julius and all the faithful for the bold step taken to construct a building of such magnitude costing some RM2.9 million. The building once completed will be the identity of the Catholic community in this eastern part of Sabah serving some 60,000 members.

He said, ‘The Government appreciates the effort of the Christians and all other religious bodies towards building and molding upright virtues among its members. This effort is important especially in a diverse society. Citizens of good moral value will be able to contribute to the peace, prosperity and progress of the nation’.

Bishop Julius blessing the site

YB Datuk Edward Khoo (3rd from left)  launching the ground breaking ceremony
Bishop Julius then performed the solemn blessing rite accompanied by a hymn sung by the Church choir followed by the symbolic launch of the ground breaking ceremony, the start of the micro pile drill by YB Datuk Edward Khoo.
YB Datuk Edward, Bishop Julius and John Pang released the three bunches of balloons, marking the significant occasion for the start of the building project proper.

Also present at the occasion were Ir James Wong, the President of the Sandakan Municipal Council, Heads of Government Departments, Mr. KK Lee, the building Consultant, John Ng, representative of STL Drilling Sdn Bhd  and local dignitaries.

The winning bid for the centre was submitted by City Construction Sdn Bhd and the construction is expected to take 12 months.

The agreement of the said project was officially sealed between Bishop Julius, the owner and  Mr Lou Chi Nam of City Construction Sdn Bhd, the main contractor, with William Liaw as the official witness, in Father Mulders’ Catechetical Centre. Also witnessing the signing ceremony were YB Datuk Edward, Ir James Wong, Ir KK Lee, John Pang and all committee members of the building committee.
Bishop Julius presenting a souvenir to YB Datuk Edward Khoo

The Diocese is grateful to the following who had contributed free professional and technical services towards the project 

  • Ar Soh Kah Wai of Sabah Interdesign, Kota Kinabalu
  • Ir KK Lee of KK Lee Consulting Engineer
  • Mr Chan Soo Meng of Perunding SF Sdn Bhd, Sandakan
  • Mr Richard Wong of Jurukur Kuantiti Konsultant, Kota Kinabalu
  • Mr Raymond Wong of Ukur Maju Tanah Sdn Bhd, Sandakan
Alice Wong
Alice Wong, the Organizing Chairperson of the ceremony shared with joy that the event went on as planned. She commended the hard work and commitment of the committee and the many volunteers who have brought the occasion to a great happening.


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