Change is the only constant as a popular saying goes. For Sarikei's St. Anthony's School, she has to move with the current to accommodate the exponential growth in student population (close to 2000 students now) Unfortunately, sometimes it means tearing down what's familiar within the limited space to build bigger and taller structures.
The historic 1960 Science Block (now Block F, St Francis Block) is the only remaining structure that is kept for the memories. Even the 50-year old tree that provided shade for decades had to make way.
It was uprooted in Dec 2009 to make way for the new school hall.
I attended the SAS alumni gathering on Day 4 of CNY 2010. The school's history and plan was presented. The chairman of the fund raising committee, Frederick Wong, said he's going around Sarawak's bigger towns and KL to raise funds.
MYR$1000 or MYR$100 may be a big sum to someone working in the frontier towns of Sarawak. The bigger donation potential is outside Sarawak in the bigger West Malaysian cities and outside Malaysia. The more favourable exchange rates of other countries like USA, Canada, European countries, Australia, NZ, Taiwan and Singapore will make donations easier on the pocket. Remember folks, SAS is not a fully aided government school.
A fund raising fair was held in April 2010. Even Sugar Bun chipped in with a stall. It was well attended but then it raised only a few thousand ringgit. There were other fund raising activities but these can only raise so much in the local community. The people that Sarikei raised are mostly making their living in other towns and other countries because of a lack of suitable jobs locally. You can call it labour or brain drain. Can Sarikei renew and sustain itself? Does Sarikei have a future?
The construction had to proceed with a bank loan. St Anthony's School still lacks RM$1.3M as reported in the local newspapers. Can the donations come in for the school to redeem its loan earlier and reduce the hefty interest?
The fund raising committee has an official account
- Bank: RHB Bank Berhad, Repok Road, Sarikei, Sarawak, Malaysia
- Bank swift code: RHBBMYKLXXX
- Account no: 1-11119-7300337-6
- Account name: SAS Fund Raising Committee
You can send a cheque or transmit fund via telegraphic transfer (T/T) through an overseas bank and an official receipt will be issued.
- Address: SMK St. Anthony, P. O. Box 74, Repok Road, 96100 Sarikei, Sarawak, Malaysia.
- Telephone: +6-084-651363
Any donation above RM 500.00 will have the donor’s name engraved in the copper plague on the wall of the hall. You can also be creative and band your classmates together to offer a big donation and a classroom may be named after your class. eg: "Class of 1974".
Frederick Wong, the chairman, can be contacted at
- handphone: +6 019 8863377
- email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Good bye to the tree after 50 years of service.