Catholics from the City Parish in Penang, went on a gotong-royong project at the Esplanade recently in conjunction with the season of Lent.
City Parish consists four churches – Our Lady of Sorrows, St Francis Xavier, St John Britto, Assumption.
More than fifty parishioners, including children turned up to clean the area near the Fort Cornwallis and also the children’s playground.
On the day of the clean up, the church-goers bought along the necessary tools such as brooms, rakes, shovels, baskets, and garbage bags.
The people were divided into groups, and with the tools provided, they scattered all round the large area to start their civic duties.
“We are in charge of the general cleanliness of parks and gardens. We clean up this place once in a while, when there’s a directive. We are happy that today, the Church group is here to do the cleaning-up. We had several NGOs and groups writing to us before for gotong-royong and by far, this is the largest group,” said 51-year-old Arulselvan, the senior supervisor of Padang Kota.
He was present along with several of his staff to supervise the gotong-royong works.
Arulselven said that, under the Bahagian Perkhidmatan Perbandaran, they go around different locations to do cleaning-ups, and sometimes, they will write to NGOs or groups to request gotong royong from them.
Fr Dominic Santhiyagu, the parish priest of City Parish, expressed his delight to see many people turning up for the gotong royong.
During the season of Lent in the Catholic calendar, apart from prayers, fasting, and alms giving, Catholics are also asked to do works of mercy or works for the community.