KUCHING: The Old Josephians Association (OJA) Kuching is organising the third consecutive ‘Ora Et Labora Run’ themed ‘Save Mill Hill’, slated for July 27 this year.
Flag-off is scheduled to be held at the premises of SMK St Joseph here, at 6am.
The ‘Ora Et Labora Run’ aims to raise funds for the restoration of the Mill Hill Block.
Apart from that, it is also an opportune time for former students to gather for a reunion and at the same time, render service to their alma mater.
According to Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian, who is also OJA president, this year the alumni body hopes to raise RM100,000 from the annual run.
“An estimated sum of RM3.7 million is expected to complete restoration works set to enable the use of classrooms for lessons. At present, the two front blocks are out of bounds for all as they are deemed unsafe.
“Prior to this, funds raised from annual dinners and contributions by former students have accumulated to RM620,000, which will be channelled into the Mill Hill Block Restoration Fund,” he said.
At the launching of ‘Ora Et Labora Run 2019’, Dr Sim presented a cheque for RM620,000 to the chairman of SJS Mill Hill Block Restoration Committee, Father Felix Au.
Dr Sim also handed two cheques – each for RM10,000 – to SMK St Joseph and St Joseph Private School for the running of extra-curricular activities for the school-children.
The sum was raised during Ora Et Labora Run 2018.
Dr Sim said generous contribution by companies and individuals would be most welcome to assist in the restoration of Mill Hill Block.
“OJA hopes to start the restoration of Mill Hill Block in August, in phases, and targets to complete the restoration in 2021,” he added.
Meanwhile, Fr Au, who is also the chairman of SMK St Joseph Board of Management, said the Mill Hill central building was constructed in 1894 under the supervision of Fr Anthony Haidegger, the then-principal of St Joseph’s School.
It was officially declared open by Rajah Charles Brooke on Dec 21, 1894.
The January 1895 issue of Sarawak Gazette described it as ‘the largest private work carried out in 1894 and indeed the largest building in Kuching’. In 1927, the two three-storey wings were added to meet growing student population. These three buildings continued to serve the school well and stood as a historical legacy.
In responding to the rumour that SMK St Joseph would be absorbed to become part of St Joseph’s Private School, Fr Felix clarified that SMK St Joseph would continue to run independently as a public school.
It is noteworthy, however, that SK Joseph (primary school) would cease running after 2020 – its facilities would be taken over by Joseph’s Private School completely in 2021.
OJA is expecting at least 2,000 runners comprising current students, alumni and the public to take part in this year’s event.
The run is divided into the 3km Fun Jog/Walk for families and children, 5km ‘Fun Run’, and 10km competitive run with two categories – Men and Women’s Open for the public.
To make it more interesting this year, the ‘Team Challenge’ (Inter-School) category would be added.
The first four arriving at the finish line would lift the challenge trophy, which then would be kept by the school should its team win for two consecutive years.
The ‘Josephians’ category for existing students and alumni members, remains the same as last year’s.
All run finishers would receive medals and for the 10km competitive run, the top five finishers would receive additional cash prizes.
The registration fees per person are RM45 for the 3km Fun Jog/Walk and 5km Fun Run, and RM55 for the 10km competitive run.
Each registered runner is entitled to a T-shirt by Newton and a running bib.
Entry forms can be obtained at Revolution Run Borneo – Green Heights, and they are also downloadable via www.malaysiarunner.com.
OJA also extended its gratitude to main sponsor Sarawak Energy Bhd and partners Revolution Run Borneo, Kuching Happy Runner Club, and Ayam Brand for supporting this event.
For more information on ‘Ora Et Labora Run’, contact Revolution Run Borneo office at 082-459 397.
More information can also be obtained on OJA website at www.sjoba.org.my, or www.facebook.com/oldjosephiansassociation .