They Who Led- The Headmistresses of BBGS
- MISS BETTY LANGLANDS (MRS J.W.MOORE) 1893-1895
- MISS BESSIE MACLAY 1895,1906-1914
- MISS RUTH LEWIS (MRS ROBERT AUSTIN) 1914-1918
- MISS MOLLY HAM 1914-1918
- MRS W.H.GREEN 1918-1919
- MISS A.LUKE (MRS BENNETT) 1919-1925
- MISS O’CONNOR (MRS G. GOUGH) 1922
- MISS EVA PROUSE 1925-1941
- MISS MARY GLASGOW 1946-1957
- MISS ELENA MAUD COOKE 1958-1977
- MRS ANG SIEW KHIM 1978-1979
- MISS YEAP GAIK KHOON 1980-1993
- MRS HEW YOON YEW 1993 – 1996
- PN AINUL ZAHARA BT ABDUL RAHMAN 1996-1998
- PN NORMA BY HASHIM 1998
- PN NOOR REZAN BT BAPOO HASHIM 1996-1998
PRIMARY SCHOOL 1
- MRS CHUAH KIM NEO 1957-1969
- MRS SIEW PICK YOKE 1969-1979
- MRS ESTHER NAVARAJASINGAM 1979-1983
- PUAN MAHERAN BT. KUNTOM 1984-1991
- PUAN LAILA BT.MOHD.NOR 1992
PRIMARY SCHOOL 2
- MISS MA TAK YAN 1958-1977
- MRS LEONG SIEW TIN 1978-1979
- MRS LIM ENG NYUN (ACTING HEAD) 1979-1983
- MRS CHONG HON FUI 1984-1990
- DATIN LILY WONG 1990
Miss Bessie Maclay
The second headmistress of BBGS, then known as the Chinese Girls’ School, arrived from China in 1895. Known to be hardworking, broadminded and determined and whose word was law, she was loved by all her pupils and held in high esteem by both pupils and parents.
Coming from a well-to-do family, Miss Maclay gave of her bounty to all. On Sundays, she would hire four or five rickshaws to take poor children to Sunday School. She would give them some money to drop into the collection bag. Her generosity, however, did not restrain her from being strict – any child found misbehaving during prayer would be reprimanded. Being a nurse, she welcome everyone who came to the dispensary in her house, regardless of whether he was rich or poor. Babies were left on her doorstep. She raised five of them, all of whom grew up to be a credit to her.
In 1914, after nine years of hard work, she went on leave via America on board the Lusitania. The ship was torpedoed off the coast of Ireland and she was drowned.
Mrs W. H. Green
She was a sister of Miss Bessie Shirtliff and Miss Sarah Shirtliff (who planted the old rain tree – since chopped down- outside the headmistress’ office where the Junior Library was) and was known to be very, very strict but most efficient.
Miss Eva Prouse
She arrived from Rockhampton, Queensland, in April 1925 to take over the Chinese Girls’ School in Davidson Road from Miss Luke.
During her tenure as headmistress, the school, for the first time in 1928, presented students for the Cambridge School Certificate Examination. Among them were Mrs Chuah Kim Neo (the first headmistress of BBGS Primary 1) and Mrs Lim Siew Kwan (who became the headmistress of Brickfields Road English School).
Miss Prouse was strict but fair, and a stickler for neatness and tidiness. Straight and tall, she was always impeccably dressed and walked round the school with a firm and purposeful tread.
She took a keen interest in sports and would attend all the badminton matches in which the school participated. Before leaving for the venue, the school players and observers were usually given a talk on fair play and sportsmanship.
From 1930 to 1941, Miss Prouse and Miss Mary Glasgow worked together for the improvement of education in BBGS.
When the Second World War came, both of them were interned in Palembang, Sumatra. On February 8, 1945, a few months before the Japanese surrender, Miss Prouse died in internment. Miss Glasgow was released in October 1945 and went on home leave, later to return in August 1946 to take over the rein as principal.
The Master Architect :
Miss Mary Glasgow
A lot of “firsts” happened when Miss Glasgow was headmistress:
- The school moved to Bukit Bintang Road in 1930.
- BBGS held its first fun-fair at which RM5,000 was raised for two temporary classrooms which later became the old tuck shop.
- Choral speaking was started in 1950.
- A year later, the first BBGS school magazine was born.
In recognition of her contribution and service to education in Malaya, Miss Glasgow was awarded the MBE in 1955.
How was Miss Glasgow as headmistress? She demanded a detailed knowledge of the subject at hand and while she got her pupils to give of their best, she held their interest. She was known for her ways in making Literature come alive and was a wizard in Maths.
Miss Glasgow as headmistress? She demanded a detailed knowledge of the subject at hand and while she got her pupils to give of their best, she held their interest. She was known for her ways in making Literature come alive and was a wizard in Maths.
Miss Glasgow retired from active teaching in 1960 after 30 years of serving the many girls who attended BBGS during her tenure and returned to Ireland where she spent her last days.
The Master Builder:
Ms Elena M. Cooke
Miss Cooke had the rare distinction of being a student, teacher, headmistress and chairman of the Board of Governors of BBGS.
Her student days began in 1928 at the Chinese Girls’ School, which later became the Bukit Bintang Girls’ School.
She began her teaching career in 1945 when Miss T.M. Too was acting headmistress. She initiated and implement class libraries. The famous green-and-white striped uniform (some called it kuih talam uniform), which was designed in consultation with Miss Glasgow.
It was also Miss Cooke and Miss Glasgow who chose the school motto Nisi Dominus Frustra.
Miss Cooke took over as headmistress in 1958. Renowned as a perfectionist who demanded nothing but the best from her staff and pupils, she took on her responsibilities with characteristic thoroughness and dedication.
Under Miss Cooke, who was known for her sharp eye for even the slightest detail, her insistence on excellent pronunciation, her intolerance for laziness, rudeness and untidiness and her preoccupation with discipline, BBGS flourished.
When she retired in 1977, she left behind a legacy of godliness, commitment loyalty and perfectionism.
Mrs Ang Siew Khim
Mrs Ang had her “first taste” of BBGS around 1973 when she was a teacher of English, Literature and Geography there. More encounters with BBGS followed when she was appointed inspector of Schools by the Ministry of Education. So when she assumed the post of headmistress in 1978, BBGS was not totally new to her.
Initially, she felt that the school rules were rather strict. Later she realised that they were necessary in order to avoid confusion and indiscipline.
Mrs Ang said, “I appreciated the organization and planning – something that I personally feel strongly about. The school rules were also useful and I adapted them for the next school I was sent to. No point reinvention the wheel!”.
Mrs Ang said she was thankful to Miss Cooke for her guidance in the early months at BBGS and to Audrey Kum, the school captain then. The staff, she said, was also “very supportive and the girls seemed like angels”.
Miss Yeap Gaik Khoon
A history graduate from the University of Malaya (Singapore). Miss Yeap holds a post-graduate certificate of education (University of Hull) and a Masters in Education (University of Southampton).
Prior to her acceptance to head BBGS in 1980, she was attached to the Curriculum Development Centre.
Miss Yeap came from another well-known missionary school, the Methodist Girls’ School in Taiping where she was both a student and teacher. She also taught in King Edward VII Secondary School (Taiping) where she received her sixth form education earlier.
When Miss Yeap took over the reins of BBGS, she faced the formidable task of maintaining the high standards of BBGS while carrying on the school’s tradition.
At the same time Miss Yeap is constantly worried about the effects of the shopping complexes and entertainment outlets which have sprung up just at the school’s doorstep. She is only too well aware of the distractions and temptations they pose to the students, hence the eagle eye on the girls’ movements.
Fortunately, Miss Yeap has one special quality that helps her cope with challenges – she cares. She always has time to listen to her students and staff. They go to Miss Yeap with their problems because she was sympathetic and approachable. She encourages an open dialogue between teachers and parents to talk about the children’s progress in school.
Sport, especially hockey, was close to Miss Yeap’s heart. She was always there to give her full support to the BBGS hockey team. As a result, during her tenure, BBGS was hockey champions, both at the district and state levels.
Miss Yeap helped maintain the Christian principles of the school. Under her, Bible Knowledge, Christian Union meetings and camps continued to flourish and many girls came to know the love of God and his plan of salvation through Jesus.
Miss Yeap was quick to acknowledge that the task of leading BBGS would not have been possible if not for her committed and cooperative staff. “We are one big family and this makes working with them such a pleasure,” she said,