Leaving a lasting legacy

Kota Kinabalu: History was re-written with the unveiling of the Inner Wheel Garden Plaque at the historic Atkinson Clock Tower, Wednesday, a sequel to the 2015 revival of the Garden spearheaded by the Inner Wheel Club of Kota Kinabalu (IWCKK), in collaboration with City Hall (DBKK) and the Sabah State Museum.

What made the occasion even more significant was that it coincided with International Inner Wheel (IIW) Day, celebrated all over the world. IWCKK walked the talk in translating the IIW Theme (2017-2018), “Leave a Lasting Legacy”, into reality.

The history of the Inner Wheel Garden, created by the Inner Wheel Club of Jesselton (the forerunner of IWCKK) at a cost of $1,400, dates back to 1961. The original plaque had gone missing for many years, apparently the work of vandals.

The plaque tells it all – Inner Wheel Garden Est. 3rd July 1961. The Inner Wheel Garden (formerly known as The Anns’ Garden) at the Atkinson Clock Tower was declared open by E.J.H. Berwick, President of the Jesselton Gardening Society and Director of Agriculture on July 3, 1961. The Garden is now maintained by City Hall.

Lady Goode, wife of the then Governor of British North Borneo (now Sabah), was present at the opening ceremony. She was an Honorary Member of the Inner Wheel Club of Jesselton.

The joint unveiling ceremony was conducted by DBKK Director-General Joannes Solidau who represented Mayor Datuk Yeo Boon Hai, Sabah Museum Director Mansur Assun, Sabah Archives Director Mohd Said Hinayat, Sabah Tourism Board (STB) General Manager Suzaini Ghani and IWCCK President Cecilia Amid.

Among those who witnessed the ceremony were the wife of Mayor and Chairperson of Puspanita Kota Kinabalu City Branch, Datin Rohayah Pawzy, DBKK Director of Bureau of Economic, Tourism and International Relations, Fauziahton Ag Samad, DBKK Director of Landscape Department, Walter Kenson, Sabah Museum Senior Curator (Corporate Communications), Stella Moo, Member of DBKK Board of Advisers cum Chairperson of Tourism Development Committee, Datuk Nancy Ho, and President of the Inner Wheel Club of Kota Kinabalu Rafflesia, Helen Morgan.

Interestingly, Joannes was a signatory of the tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in 2015 by three parties – DBKK, Sabah State Museum and IWCKK – in an effort to revive the Inner Wheel Garden.

In his speech read out by Joannes, Yeo said the Atkinson Clock Tower (previously known as Jesselton Clock Tower) stands proud as a Heritage Building much to the admiration of our local community and visitors alike.

“City Hall is happy to render its assistance as part of our service to the city. We hope that the Garden could be maintained and cherished by all our visitors. We advocate ‘zero garbage’ around the city because we want our city to be ‘Clean, Green and Safe’. City Hall will continue to spare no efforts to ensure that Kota Kinabalu remains as a beautiful and liveable City,” he said.

Yeo’s aspiration is that the revived Inner Wheel Garden would be another signature site of the city “as we promote our City for the world to see.”

Meanwhile, Joannes noted that the Atkinson Clock Tower is becoming increasingly popular with tourists, saying he has often seen them taking snapshots of the landmark.

It is reportedly the only oldest standing structure in Kota Kinabalu that has survived to this day.

Completed in 1905 after two years of construction work, the clock tower was built to commemorate Jesselton’s first District Officer, Francis Gorge Atkinson, who died of malaria at the age of 28 on December 6, 1902.

The second son of Rev F.H. Atkinson of Jersey and Mary Edith Atkinson was reportedly a popular District Officer and adored by many. Mary loved her son so much that she built the all-wood, no nails structure in memory of him. That was during the British North Borneo Chartered Company administration.

Earlier, in his address, Mansur said IWCKK’s endeavour was very timely, given the passing of the new State Heritage Enactment 2017 and its enforcement on January 1 this year.

“Today is a historical day as we witness the unveiling of the Inner Wheel Garden Plaque at this historical site below the iconic Atkinson Clock Tower. I commend the President and her team for the initiative to reactivate a Garden planted 57 years ago in Jesselton (now Kota Kinabalu) and to beautify the capital city,” he said.

Noting that the site is in close proximity to Padang Merdeka (yet another heritage site of Kota Kinabalu), Mansur said KK is alive with a very rich cultural heritage. “Heritage sites will further enhance the State’s wealth in culture and heritage. The Inner Wheel Club of Kota Kinabalu is in essence contributing to the legacy of our State.”

Both Joannes and Mansur acknowledged the constructive role of Ho who was instrumental in the revival of the Inner Wheel Garden and installation of a new plaque by forming the Inner Wheel Garden Committee. Members comprised past Presidents Datin Carlota Lo, Daisy Chong, Margaret Chin, Emmeline Tan, Gillian Lee and Tengku Marilyn Tengku Adlin.

The starting-point began in December 2013 when Lee (then IWCKK President), Chin and Tan explored the grounds of the Atkinson Clock Tower in an attempt to identify the location of the Inner Wheel Garden and the exact spot where a plaque was apparently once installed. Ho, then past IIW Board Director, volunteered to study the report on the ladies’ findings. Subsequently, she approached the various authorities in Kota Kinabalu to present the Club’s case to them, and discussed the possibility of reviving the Garden.

Confirming this, President Amid said Ho also mooted the idea of installing a new plaque, and a joint committee involving the three parties (IWCKK, DBKK and Sabah State Museum) was set up in December last year with past President Datin Tengku Adlina Tengku Adlin as Chairperson of the Inner Wheel Garden Committee.

DBKK and the Museum were represented by Fauziathon and Moo respectively.

“In less than a month, we witness a huge transformation of this place. This is attributed to the close collaboration among the three parties with energetic (Datuk) Nancy as the main pillar and key strategist, knitting these three parties to work together as an effective team,” she added, while thanking the Museum for allowing the Inner Wheel Garden to continue as an important feature of the Atkinson Clock Tower and the State Archives for enabling the Committee to relive the history.

Amid said the unveiling of the Inner Wheel Garden Plaque marked a realisation of the theme “Leave a Lasting Legacy”, where the plaque serves as a permanent record of Inner Wheel’s legacy since 1961 at this historical site.

According to her, DBKK has done an excellent job in maintaining the garden with a lot of creativity.

“We understand that they have planted Bauhinia Kockiana that will soon transform the outlook of this garden.”

After the formalities were over, Joannes, accompanied by Ho, who is also a past International Inner Wheel Board Director, led the Heritage Walk along Australia Place to the Jesselton Hotel, one of the oldest hotels in the State Capital. Preceding them was the Sabah Museum’s tagunggak group comprising gong and drum beaters.

The entourage adjourned to the hotel’s Bayu Restaurant for the IIW Day celebration where Ho recited the Candle of Friendship Poem, followed by the traditional lighting of the Candle by Rokiah Staun, who is the National Representative (2017-2018) of Inner Wheel Districts 330 & 331.

Fellowship prevailed after the cake-cutting ceremony to mark the auspicious occasion.

In her vote of thanks, Organising Chairperson Datin Tengku Adlina Tengku Adlin described the day as the biggest in the history of IWCKK. “An event like this cannot happen overnight. It requires planning and a bird’s eye for details, and we have been fortunate enough to be backed by the involvement of DBKK and Sabah State Museum,” she said. Rokiah then extinguished the Candle of Friendship. – Mary Chin


Source: Daily Express

600 go head-to-head in Sabah’s 3rd Kiulu Adventure Challenge

KIULU: Over 600 people put their endurance to the test in the 3rd Kiulu Adventure Challenge 2017 here on Sunday.

The adventure race saw local and international participants cycle 30km past several villages; and run 13km along the Kiulu river, which is an international water rafting hotspot.

Sabah Tourism Board chairman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai said that this year’s participation is encouraging, having exceeded its goal of 500 participants.


“This is also the first time Pekan Kiulu became the start and end point for the challenge. (Situating the race there), where 50 stalls were set up during the challenge, will benefit local traders and entrepreneurs.

“Not only is this is a sporting event, it is also a platform to promote the handicraft and traditional food and drink of the local community,” he told reporters after flagging-off the event.

Meanwhile, on the subject of tourism, the Kiulu assemblyman said that the construction of adequate infrastructure should be given emphasis to help develop rural tourism.

This includes improving roads, and providing clean water and power supply to rural areas.

“Therefore, I hope that the villagers and local community leaders will continue to give their support to rural tourism, thus boosting the economy of Kiulu,” Joniston added


Source: New Straits Times

Tattoos part of local culture, says Masidi

Kota Kinabalu: State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun said tattoos in this part of the world have long been associated with culture and should not be equated with negative traits.

“In fact if you read the papers some of those caught for abuse of drugs are well mannered and groomed.

“So having tattoos alone does not reflect the character of a person. If you look at the Dayaks or Iban people in the olden days it is a sign of a warriors’ bravery and manhood.

“Even my late father he came back with a tattoo and later on in life I asked him about it, he said every brave man had to have a tattoo.

“In the case of North Borneo i.e. Sabah and Sarawak, tattoos are part of the local culture and have nothing to do with any negative implications,” he said, after officially launching the Third Sabah International Tattoo Convention 2017, Saturday. The event at Hyatt Regency Kinabalu would end today (Sunday).

Some 72 artists from 27 countries including Australia, Cyprus, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Italy, Iran, Finland, Mexico, China and Malaysia are taking part in the annual event.

“I have met (and spoken) to some of them (International and local tattoo artist participants) for the third year now and they are reasonable people. I don’t see them as a spokesperson for ‘bad habits’.

“Eventually it’s all about personal choice and what they want to put on their bodies.

Yes, there are issues but I think we should focus on the positive parts of the convention itself.”

On the event itself, Masidi said the number of (artists) participants to the event has grown. “We realise the response from the international community has been very good.

We may need to have a bigger venue because of this increase in a participants.

“I believe later on today and tomorrow the crowds will come over to admire the various works by tatooists and this can only mean this convention which started as a small event is slowly become a good draw for international participants and tourists.

“I believe Sabah will become more well known with this event. If you look at the number of nationalities of participants its obvious that the its reputation is growing far and wide and Sabah’s image is spread all over the world.”

Event Founder and Organiser Carlos Benny Majakim said the Tattoo Convention event attracts many nationalities and was a platform also for them to engage in an exchange of their art and culture in a way.

“So basically it iss also an event to educate (each other). The tattoo artists participating here are generally in their 20s but you can also see a few artists who are over 50,” he said. – Neil Chan


Source: Daily Express

Local artist’s painting to feature on corporate stamps

KOTA KINABALU: Local artist, Josrie Haral, won top honors in the Sketching Competition for his painting of the Sabah Tourism Board (STB) Building which will celebrate its 100th anniversary next March.

Josrie’s rendition of one of the city’s last remaining British colonial-era buildings won the first prize worth RM1,000 and will be featured on corporate stamps by Pos Malaysia to commemorate the centennial of the historic STB building, which was a former post office.

“It gives me great pleasure to extend my warmest congratulations for Josrie Haral for his breathtaking landmark in the heart of the city,” said STB Chairman, Datuk Joniston Bangkuai at the prize-presentation ceremony yesterday. He said Sabah Tourism was fortunate to have the heritage building as its headquarters, noting its address is also the official 0km of Kota Kinabalu, attesting to the building’s central location.

Joniston presented prizes to the other winners of the competition including Chong Jun Hao at 2nd place, winning RM800 and Mastini Asap who won RM500. Consolation prizes were also awarded to five other participants who each won RM100.

“The artworks of all top 8 award-winning sketches will be displayed for public viewing at the STB building for one month before being featured at the Sabah Art Gallery,” said Ar. Arnold Kwan Chee Hung, Chairman of the Malaysian Institute of Architects Sabah Chapter (PAM).

Among the committee of judges evaluating the artworks include Curator of Sabah Art Gallery Jennifer P. Linggi, Arnold, Joniston, and organizing chairman Ar Patrick Vun.

Earlier in his speech, Joniston expressed his appreciation to PAM for organizing the competition earlier this month which saw 36 participants consisting of artists and students joining to appreciate and observe the STB building – a priceless heritage of the city. Artists were given a period of one week to complete their sketches.

The competition was also held in conjunction with PAM’s annual Borneo Architecture Festival where many other activities were held around the city, including a “Kiosk Design Competition” at DBKK as well as the International Design Conference next week.

The STB building is one of the three buildings here gazetted for conservation and heritage. Located on Gaya Street, it survived the bombing by Allied Forces during the Second World War in Jesselton when much along the same street was destroyed. The other colonial-era buildings are the Atkinson Clock Tower, which still stands and the Lands and Surveys Department building (later converted to the Department of Social Welfare) but was destroyed in a fire in 1992. Only a few columns remain on the site in front of the Suria Sabah shopping mall.

The STB building underwent restoration in 1989 and it was officiated open on January 19, 1991, to house STB.

Source : New Sabah Times

The 2017 Borneo International H.O.G Rally Malaysia

KOTA KINABALU: The third 2017 Borneo International H.O.G Rally Malaysia was held as one of the tourism products to promote the state.

Sabah Tourism Board General Manager Gordon Yap said that the international event held for the third time is part of a programme to promote the state with big bikes which are popular especially among professionals.

“Sabah has a beautiful landscape, where bikers can enjoy their ride from the lowlands to long wide roads with ever changing scenery and we are very happy that the Borneo International Hog Rally decided to come to Sabah again”. He said this to reporters after officiating the 2017 Borneo International H.O.G Rally Malaysia at the Hotel Ming Garden, Saturday.

Also present was Sabah Parks chairman Tengku Datuk Zainal Adlin who is a big bike enthusiast. Yapp also said that, the expedition is also one of the tourism products which can cater to more international tourists.

“Hopefully, with the completion of the Pan Borneo Highway, it will be a game changer, and could attract more participation especially the international bikers to come to Sabah,” he said.

Seventy Harley-Davidson motorcycles and 120 international and Malaysian participants participated the 10-day expedition which started at Kota Kinabalu and will end in Kuching, Sarawak in conjunction with the 2nd Kuching International Bike Week 2017.

The expedition will take bikers from here to Kota Belud, Kundasang and from Keningau to Labuan, Brunei, Miri, Sibu, Bintulu and finally Kuching.

The ride will cover a total distance of 1,578km.

Source: New Sabah Times