IMG_3990 web (BB Sarawak State Chaplain Rev. George Wong Hun Hin signs the plaque
BB Sarawak State Chaplain Rev. George Wong signs the plaque

by James TC Wong

SIBU – Under the sunny skies of Sibu, Boys’ Brigade founder Sir William Alexander Smith couldn’t have been more proud with the historic event taking place at Sungei Merah on Mar 9.

Three hundred Officers, Helpers, Boys and Girls from the 34 Coys throughout Sarawak were present to witness the opening and dedication ceremony of the new Sarawak BB HQ building nestled in the serene suburbs of Sibu.

IMG_3777 The new BB House
The new BB House

Costing RM1 million, the three-storey building was collectively funded by generous donors and all the Coys in Sarawak. The proposal to own a new state building was tabled and approved two years ago during the State AGM. In January last year the property was identified and acquired. Following that in April, a Building Fund was launched whereby all Coys were tasked to raise the funds prorated to each Coy’s strength.

To grace the occasion was the Guest of Honor, Sarawak BB Chaplain Rev. George Wong Hin Hung.

Other distinguished guests included Methodist Sibu North District Superintendent Rev. Dr. Tiong Chung Tiing, Chaplain Rev. James Chin (Wesley MC, 1st Sibu), BB Sarawak State Commissioner Hon. Capt. Lo Hoi Fook, Mr. and Mrs. Paul Juby (United Kingdom, Founder of 2nd Penang and BB Malaysia Hon. VP), Mr. Sunny Wu (Hong Kong, BB Asia VP), Mr. Wesley Lo Wing Ching, (BB Hong Kong), Mr and Mrs Lim K. Tham (Singapore, BB Asia Secretary-General), Mr. Tham Leong (BB Malaysia Hon. President), Mr. Michael Moorthy (former BB Malaysia and BB Asia President), Hon. Capt. Joseph Tin Kiew Seng (1st Sibu) and Mdm. Katherine Chan (2nd Subang).

IMG_3779 Singing of the opening hymn Underneath the Banner
Singing of hymn “Underneath the Banner”

More than 500,000 Boys and Girls worldwide have joined the Boys’ Brigade which is an inter-denominational Christian youth organization founded by Sir William 130 years ago in Glasgow.

From its humble beginnings in 1961, Sarawak BB today has grown to a strong membership of more than 2,700 Boys and Girls, and 350 Officers.

IMG_3732 Inspecting the Guard of Honor by State Chaplain Rev. George Wong
Inspecting the Guard of Honor by State Chaplain Rev. George Wong (rear, right)

At 5:00 pm sharp, State Commissioner Hon. Capt. Lo invited Chaplain Rev. Wong to inspect the Guard of Honor consisting of 52 members to denote the number of years of the BB establishment in Sarawak.

This was followed by the opening prayer by the Chaplain of 1st Sibu.

Guided by Psalm 127:1, “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who built it labor in vain …”, Rev. Chin prayed to God to be with the Boys’ Brigade in building the “house” together. The good Chaplain also asked God to continue to use the BB to advance His Kingdom, and glorified God for His blessings upon the youth movement.

IMG_3648 (1st Sibu Brass Band)
The spectacular Sibu BB Band

In his opening speech, Hon. Capt. Tin welcomed all the guests and thanked God for His provisions. He also expressed his deep appreciation to fellow BB Officers coming from abroad to witness the auspicious milestone in the annals of the Sarawak BB.

“When we first mooted the idea of buying our own building, it was by faith because we didn’t have enough funds. Thank God for the generosity and love from our donors and the conscientious effort put in by all our Sarawak Coys to bless all with this building,” said Hon. Capt. Tin, the Organizing Chairman for the event and also the Building Fund.

State Commissioner Hon. Capt. Lo in his speech praised all those involved in the fund-raising. “After 52 years we can now call our own building ‘BB House’ because you have made it possible,” he said.

Congratulatory messages and words of encouragement were also delivered by Mr. Paul Juby, Mr. Sunny Wu, Mr. Lim K. Tham, Mr. Michael Moorthy and Mr. Tham Leong.

Among the highlights of the day’s event were splendid dance performances from the BB Methodist Children’s Home and 3rd Sibu. 1st Sibu Band also performed a medley of two songs much to the delight of all present.

Rev. Dr. Tiong Chung Tiing conducted the closing prayer and table grace before a buffet dinner was served to all.