The Monday began like any other, a hot, muggy day in Kuala Lumpur. The marquis were erected, fans whirred along the perimeter of the cement floor. Slowly but surely the crowd arrived, and eventually so did the guest of honor. The band sat in their chairs apprehensively, the Malaysian drummers stood dutifully before their instruments. Students from Melawati elementary school, as well as Ampang’s middle and high school were acting as ushers, helping visitors to their seats. No matter what age, the students were courteous and helpful– and above all; friendly. The crowd settled, electricity in the air– from the excitement, and the storm brewing in the distance. Alumnus Liam Callan’s music lightly played in the background, proving this was truly an ISKL event. Student photographers, videographers and performers were also offering their services. The diversity of ISKL students and their multitude of talents was on full display. The M.C. Zak Kumal took to the stage, thanking Mr. Chisolm and his jazz band for their wonderful performance. Dr. Normal J. Hudson, our head of school, began her uplifting and at times emotional speech, citing her extensive experience in education and love for our school. The ceremony continued without a hitch, until Mr. Saif Malik, the chairman of ISKL’s board of directors was about a quarter way through his speech.
The thunder began, seeming far away at first. The crowd held their breath as it lingered over the silence. Finally the rolling roar seemed to be above the marquis itself. Zak introduced Yang Berhormat Dato’ P Kamalanathan, the deputy minister of education. He managed to keep his steady voice above the din, but suddenly, the heavens opened, giving ISKL a very Malaysian welcome. The ISKL singers then took the stage, singing You are the New Day a fitting choice for the groundbreaking ceremony. It truly is a new day for ISKL, as the new green index platinum school will now commence building on the lot. As the rain rushed down the white, canvas roofs, everyone in attendance was reminded of Dr. Hudson’s speech. She described the leaky traditional malay house that held ISKL’s first campus. This mingling of the future and the past made all in attendance consider what ISKL had brought into their lives. Zak, the M.C graduated from ISKL in 1997, before many of our current seniors were even born. A woman in the audience commented that a former art teacher at ISKL, Susan Lao, was born in the house on which the marquis was standing. The walls had been torn away, but its foundation still stood. Much like ISKL’s shift to the new campus, the surroundings may be different, but the core message remains.
Finally, it was time to break the ground. Despite the rain, the leaders of our community came forward–and although not very effectively–broke the ground with spades. The crowd cheered as confetti cannons burst, the colours mixing with the rain. The groundbreaking ceremony was an overwhelming success, and hopefully the building of the new campus runs more smoothly.
See the recorded livestream event at – http://livestream.com/iskl/events/5228672