A Joyous Birthday Bash For Residents Aged 90 To 100


 
It was a well-deserved birthday celebration for eight residents of St Mark’s Cozy Home aged 90-100. (Muhaimin Marwan @ FMT Lifestyle)SHAH ALAM: The deep wrinkles on a senior citizen’s face speak of a lifetime of experiences: some good, some bad; some life-changing. Some have had grand adventures and some have endured indescribable heartbreak and hardship.
Yet, these experiences have moulded them into the people they are today.
St Mark’s Cozy Home, a non-profit home for the elderly in Sungai Buloh, Selangor, organised a birthday celebration recently for eight of their residents who turned 90 years old and above – in fact, one of them is 100!
The atmosphere was lively as their family and friends gathered to celebrate their lives. FMT Lifestyle caught up with two of the residents.
A life of service
Centenarian Hannah Sarojini Visvasam is the fourth of five siblings. She was born on Nov 14, 1923 in the royal town of Klang, Selangor.
She studied at two established all-girls schools in Klang – Convent and Methodist Girls School – and has fond memories of climbing trees in the schoolyard with her friends!
Hannah Sarojini Visvasam, seen here with family friend Raymund Jagan, turned 100 on Nov 14. (Muhaimin Marwan @ FMT Lifestyle)She told FMT Lifestyle that she became a qualified nurse in the 1940s, got married, and was blessed with a son. The marriage, sadly, did not last.
Finding herself a single mother and wishing to spend more time with her son, she left her job as a hospital nurse and began work with the social welfare department in 1950, becoming a stay-in caregiver at a government children’s home in Jalan Belfield, Kuala Lumpur.
By the time she retired from government service in the ’60s, she had worked in a total of six homes. She said she cared deeply for the wellbeing of the children in these homes. Hers was truly a life of service for the benefit of others.
The devout Christian, who is a grandmother of one, read Psalm 100 from the Bible in conjunction with her 100th birthday celebration – her voice strong, much like the woman she is.
Hannah in her younger days. (Muhaimin Marwan @ FMT Lifestyle)Raymund Jagan, 64, her family friend who attended the event, shared: “I find it amazing that she has reached 100 and is able to read without her glasses!”
‘Be caring’
Another resident who was celebrated was 93-year-old Chan Kim Gaik. Born in Ipoh on Aug 30, 1930, Chan said she was a student at Methodist Girls School.
Reminiscing on the past, she shared that life during the Japanese Occupation of Malaya was dreadful.
In 1950, she started training as a nurse in Penang and, in 1969, she transferred to Hospital Kuala Lumpur to join her husband, Peter Yuen Fook Mun, who was a medical technologist there.
Chan remained a nurse until her retirement in 1985. Finding herself with time on her hands now, she and her husband helped raise funds for the building of St Mark’s Cozy Home.
“We thought that since we are retired, we are free, so we will do it,” she shared, adding that they approached family and friends for contributions.
Sadly, Chan’s husband passed away last May. She has two daughters and a granddaughter.
Together with her late husband, 93-year-old Chan Kim Gaik helped raise funds for St Mark’s Cozy Home. (Muhaimin Marwan @ FMT Lifestyle)Asked if she had any words of encouragement for the younger generation, the jovial Chan shared: “I think we must be caring, let it be old or young people. Each of us has different views, each of us have good and bad qualities. No matter how bad a person is, there must be a reason. Just don’t give up, be understanding, give and take.”
According to Esther Appadurai, 51, operations manager of St Mark’s Cozy Home, this has been the second time they have organised such an event. A birthday celebration was also held last year, albeit on a smaller scale, for a resident who turned 100.
“To just acknowledge, honour, and put them in the spotlight, I think it’s something absolutely wonderful,” she said.
Other residents who were celebrated were Lai Chew Moi; Lee Kim Yin and Ling Sok King (94 years old); Foong Kiew (92 years old); Teoh Siew Lee (91 years old) and Lee Loi King (90 years old).
Learn more about St Mark’s Cozy Home via its website.
St Mark’s Cozy Home
Lot 3720, Jalan Besar,
Kampung Baru Sungai Buloh
Seksyen U19, 40160 Shah Alam,
Selangor
Contact: 03-6143 3234
-FMT


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