Students and staff of St Joseph’s Secondary School here raised RM33,747.75 through sales of souvenir mugs, tee-shirts and donation drive for the school’s Mill Hill Block Restoration Fund.
A mock cheque for the amount was handed over to the president of Old Josephians Association (OJA) Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian by the school’s head prefect Dylan Wong Thursday morning at the school compound.
The simple ceremony was witnessed by the school principal Henry Chai, acting chairman of the school board Chris Chua and OJA committee members Raymond Goh and Patrick Law.
The restoration of the Mill Hill Block which started in August will cost RM5.5 million and to meet the cost OJA has set up the Mill Hill Restoration Fund.
Through government grants, donations from former students and well wishes enough fund has been raised to start the initial phases of the restoration work but to date it is still short of RM2.6 million.
Dr Sim congratulated the students and staff for the amount of money raised for the restoration fund and he hoped their efforts would inspire former students and well wishers to chip in to the fund.
The Mill Hill Block which housed the De La Salle Brothers is iconic not only to St Joseph’s School but also to the history of Sarawak as it was gazetted as a Heritage Building in 2010 by the state government under Sarawak Cultural Heritage Ordinance 1993.
The three-storey high Mill Hill Block comprises the main building in the centre with two wings. The main building was declared opened in 1894 by Rajah Charles Brooke, the Second White Rajah of Sarawak.
The January 1895 issue of the Sarawak Gazette described the new St Joseph’s building as “the largest private work carried out in 1894 and indeed the largest building in Kuching.