Newly restored Mill Hill Block. (Photo: Maryjane Tendahal)

By Ivy Chai

Nov 16 2021

KUCHING — The RM5.5 million newly restored Mill Hill Block of St Joseph’s Secondary School was given a blessing on 30 October, and it was officially launched on 2 November 2021.

The Mill Hill Block is iconic not only to St Joseph’s School but also to the history of Sarawak. It is made up of three buildings—the main building in the centre (gazetted as a heritage building) and its two wings.

Archbishop Simon Poh, after celebrating Mass concelebrated by Fr Felix Au, Fr Nicholas Ng, Fr Galvin Richard Ngumbang and Deacon Mark Bonchol at the new Chapel on 30 October, proceeded to bless all the newly restored rooms.

Heritage Corner

In describing the school, he said, “Everyone has a place in this school, a school that opens its doors to the people.” He attributed this legacy from the Mill Hill Missionaries and La Salle Brothers as a symbol of God’s love and mercy.

In the newly restored Mill Hill Block, the living quarters of the Mill Hill priests have been preserved as a history gallery. They started the school in 1882 and it was handed over to the La Salle brothers in 1950.

Official launch of restored Mill Hill Block

The launch on 2 November was officiated by the chairman of the Old Josephians’ Association (OJA) Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian, on behalf of the Sarawak Chief Minister.

Dr Sim Kui Hian, who is also Local Government and Housing Minister, read out the speech of Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, an old boy of the school. “It is a privilege and an honour to be a part of this legacy,” the Chief Minister had written.

Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari also recorded his appreciation to the Mill Hill Fathers, not only for their missionary work, but also for bringing education to the people in Sarawak. He considered the Mill Hill Block a priceless historical building, making St Joseph’s School one of the 10 oldest mission schools in Malaysia. 

Photos copyright: Maryjane Tendahal - Today's Catholic