Cheshire Home charity dinner: To the relief of sufferings

by Teresa Yeo and MK Ong

The Johor Cheshire Home at Kampung Ungku Mohsin, Johor Bahru, celebrated its 53rd anniversary with a charity dinner themed “To the relief of sufferings” at the Grand Straits Garden Restaurant on 24 November to lots of scintillating performances by guests and residents, lucky draws and donations from supporters.

Sunita Kumari with the Snake Dance
Sunita Kumari with the Snake Dance

The home was established by the late Sir Leonard Cheshire and it is the oldest Cheshire home in Malaysia after the one in Singapore. The establishment of the home in Johor was initiated by His Highness the late Sultan Ibrahim and Her Highness, the late Sultanah Marcella.

The youngest performer that evening was Ho Yue Wen who is only six years old. She displayed poise and maturity and enraptured the crowd with her vocal skill.

Ho Yue Wen enthralled the crowd with her vocal skill
Ho Yue Wen enthralled the crowd with her vocal skill

Her mother, Anna Ng, 41 who has been singing for the past 20 years, also sang and mesmerised the audience with her vocal range.

When interviewed by the CJMY reporter, she said that her daughter picked up the singing skill when she accompanies her on her engagements.

Housewife and part time singer Anna  Ng has an amazing vocal range
Housewife and part time singer Anna Ng has an amazing vocal range

The Johor Cheshire Home president, Dr Ng Ben Chuan, a dentist, hoped that the dinner would be able to raise RM 80,000 for the refurbishment and maintenance of the home which currently houses 38 residents whose ages range from 13-72.

Most are physically disabled and a handful are mentally challenged. The monthly operating cost ranges from RM 30,000 – 35,000.

The CJMY reporter asked about governmental assistance and Dr Ng replied that the federal government gives an annual grant of RM 75,000 and the Johor state government, RM 30,000 which was only for food. Contributions from the public were most welcome not just at the dinner but throughout the year.

A 38-year old resident clings to Dr Ng when he speaks passionately about the Home
A 38-year old resident clings to Dr Ng when he speaks passionately about the Home

One concern mentioned by Dr Ng was the hostel at the back of the main building which is grossly under utilized. Built seven years ago, its rooms which are equipped with air conditioning and TV, are rented out at RM 45 per night.

According to Mr Gurmakh Singh, Organising Chairman of the dinner, 74 tables at RM 1,000 per table, were sold that evening of which six were for their own members and residents.

His greatest challenge was to get performers to perform at the dinner and getting the tables sold.

With donations of RM 31,000 received during the dinner, the gross takings was RM 99,000.

 

 

Mr Gurmakh Singh, the OC, has been involved with the Home for the past 24 years.
Mr Gurmakh Singh, the OC, has been involved with the Home for the past 24 years.

He added that the managerial team comprising of paid and volunteer staff and residents focused on making floor rugs which are sold to visitors.

The visitors were treated to a string of performances presented by the guest performers and the residents.

However, what got the crowd thumping their feet and clapping in unison was the dancing and singing by the residents and the heart-warming thank from the residents at the end of the wonderfully entertaining evening.

 

 

The Chinese mask changing artiste captivating  the audience
The Chinese mask changing artiste captivating the audience with the speed of changing his vividly coloured masks

 

The Jigri Yaar Bhangra troupe under Arwinder Singh Padda
The Jigri Yaar Bhangra troupe under Arwinder Singh Padda moving with passion and strong muscles

 

The sweet young dancers doing a Chinese dnce
The sweet young dancers doing a Chinese dance

 

The dancers doing a popular number
The dancers doing a popular Malay number

 

Madam Chong leading the Gangam dance with the residents
Madam Chong leading the Gangam dance with the residents, captivated the audience
Various versions of Thank  You was given by the residents
Various versions of Thank You were given by the residents at the end of the impressive and memorable evening

 

A section of the residents entertaining the audience
A section of the residents entertaining the audience

 

 

 

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