Original Post, The Star, 17/11/2019
CONVENT Bukit Nanas (CBN) is a mission school that continues to shine.
Which school can boast queens, a central bank governor, politicians and activists, chairpersons and CEOs, among its alumni?
It is no other than one of the country’s oldest mission schools, Convent Bukit Nanas sited on a hill, smack in the middle of the city.
CBN, as it is affectionately known, can trace its roots back to 1899 when it was established by the nuns of the Holy Infant Jesus, to provide holistic education for children of the railway workers.
It has over the past 120 years, educated thousands of girls who are easily recognizable as CBNers for their confidence, bold opinions and joie de vivre.
On July 27 this year, close to 1,000 former students, from the 1950s cohort to the 2018 graduating class, met up at Sunway Pyramid Convention Centre, to celebrate the school’s 120th anniversary dinner.
Our guest of honour, Indrani Manuel, who was our beloved principal from 1979 to 1993, regaled the dinner guests with stories of brazen CBNers who in one year gave roses to Johannians (boys from the neighbouring St John’s Institution) on Valentine’s Day much to her dismay, of the inclusiveness of the school when students from the Felda settlements were enrolled to enable them to be immersed in an English language environment and of pranks the students used to try on the teachers involving no less than stink bombs and whoopee cushions. Today, little has changed.
While there is little diversity in many national schools, CBN stands tall today among its peers for its diversity and inclusiveness.
English is widely used and the school has a Dual Language Programme, teaching Maths and Science in English. Equally, the school has scored many successes, being a Cluster School of Excellence recognised by the Education Ministry and with a co-curriculum programme many would envy, such as debating, a school marching band, choir, gymnastics, cheer leading and performing arts, among others.
For many alumni, we are most grateful to the nuns that set a firm foundation of academic and co-curriculum excellence, where we were educated in a conducive, cheerful and safe learning environment and communities.
The CBN Alumni, which was established last year, aims to set up a Heritage Gallery to reflect the illustrious history of the school.
The Heritage Gallery will serve as a reminder to present and future generations of students of the ethos and values of the school, and to recognise the contribution of the founding nuns, past principals and teachers to the school’s journey and achievements. The Heritage Gallery will be housed in the school grounds and amplify the beauty of its neo gothic architecture.
The narrative of the history and journey of the school will be accompanied by artifacts, memorabilia and exhibits collected over the years, to provide visitors a glimpse of life of the students in an exemplary mission school.
The CBN Alumni, many of whom are leaders of industry and various professional bodies, are implored to support the ambitious project and join the momentum that has driven the school to be one of the finest schools for young ladies in the country!
TENGKU AZIAN SHAHRIMAN