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

‘Huminodun’ complements Sabah’s creative industry aspiration — Musa

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman commended producers of the Kadazan-language film ‘Huminodun’ which premiered at a local cinema yesterday for their effort which complemented the Sabah government’s aspiration to develop the creative industry in the state.

“The state government has identified the creative industry as an important area of development and seeing the work of so many Sabahans brought to life through this film complements our aspiration.

“The effect of the creative industry on development is something that policymakers around the world have been waking up to with countries such as South Korea and New Zealand, making it the cornerstone of their economic growth,” he said in his speech text delivered by Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan.

Musa was also glad to note that the filmmaker, Siung Films Sdn Bhd, comprised of 99 per cent of Sabah talents and had worked closely with various organisations in the state to ensure a true depiction of Sabah’s heritage displayed in the film.

Among the organisations involved were State Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry, Sabah Tourism Board, Sabah Cultural Board, Kadazandusun Cultural Association (KDCA), KDCA Women’s Council and Kadazandusun Language Foundation. — Bernama


Source: Borneo Post

Five Sabah buildings identified as historic monuments

KOTA KINABALU: The oldest training college in Sabah and the former location of the Cobbold Commission are two of five structures identified in a move to preserve more historical buildings in the state.

State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun said the state Cultural Heritage (Conservation) Enactment now provided a larger scope for older buildings here to be preserved.

The 2017 Ordinance widened the scope of subjects under its purview, Masidi added.

He said the state had not set a deadline for these buildings to be gazetted as heritage sites, which were built more than 50 years ago.

“We will continue the listing until all those that qualify are gazetted.”

Gazetted building sites must be preserved in their original form.

Tabling the 2018 state budget last week, Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman said Sabah aimed to preserve buildings that were at least 50 years old and have great historical value.

These include Turnbull Hall at Sabah College, which was named after Sir Roland Evelyn Turnbull, the second-last British governor in North Borneo.

Others include Kent College in Tuaran, built in 1952 and the oldest teacher training college in the state.

Also to be preserved is the former Wisma Radio Sabah along Jalan Tuaran here.

It was once used as the secretariat for the Cobbold Commission – the enquiry set up to determine whether the people of Sabah and Sarawak supported the proposal for the formation of Malaysia in 1962.

Source: The Star News

Marian Hill set to charm tourists with its unique attractions

SANDAKAN: Little-known Marian Hill here is set to be a new attraction with its pristine natural surroundings, as well as religious and historical significance.

A church has teamed up with Sandakan Tourism Association to promote the hill based on these elements, as well as the view it has from the hilltop.

During a recent hike with the media, St Mary’s Parish Pastoral Council chairman Pilis Malim said it took less than an hour to reach to the peak where climbers could see the expanse of Sandakan town below.

“The 2.5km journey provides views of beautiful flora.

“It begins from Marian corridor, a name dedicated to Mother Mary, who is the guardian of the parish.

“The first stop is a ‘Japanese Bunker’, which was used by the Imperial Japanese Army during World War 2,” he said, adding that there were about 10 bunkers in the area.

After a 300m climb, hikers will reach a 16m-wide by 8m-tall dam.

Pilis said the church committee members discovered the dam by chance when it was almost damaged by treasure hunters in 2013.

“The dam is believed to be built by a company in 1902 and was used by the Imperial Japanese Army as their main source of clean water.

“The committee renamed the structure as Mill Hill dam in honour of a visit by Mill Hill Missionaries at St Mary’s Cathedral here,” he said.

Hikers will continue their journey to Marian spring where Catholics believe that its water had miracle powers.

Pilis said the new attractions on Marian Hill would complement the other existing eco-tourism products in the district.

In 2015, the Sabah Forestry Department gave a licence for the church to conduct religious activities on the hill, which is located near the cathedral.

The Sandakan Diocese is working on providing infrastructure in fulfilling the hill’s status as a tourist destination that is on a par with other tourism products in the state.

Sandakan Tourism Association president Johnny Lim said he would soon invite the Sabah Tourism Board and tour agents to help promote Marian Hill.

Those interested to visit the hill can go individually but for a group of up to 15 people, they are required to book at least a week in advance.


Source: New Straits Times

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