By V. Sivaji
The iconic Botanic Gardens in Penang has a new landscape feature thanks to several non governmental agencies and well wishers.
A grand and majestic rain tree that has greeted visitors of Penang Botanic Gardens for over 130 years was removed in 2017.
After two years, with a proposal from the management of Penang Botanic Gardens, Rose Charities Malaysia and WhyteHouse Education Group has agreed to embark to revitalise this iconic site.
The rain tree once had proudly stood at 18.5m tall with a 24.4m wide crown.
The preservation of the 130 year-old iconic rain tree stump and logs of a 90-year old Tembusu Tree from the gardens will greet visitors at the main entrance of Penang Botanic Gardens.
It took over two months of planning and three months of landscaping works with a cost of about RM50,000.
The Governor of Penang Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas graced the launching ceremony recently.
The project was made possible by a joint and corporate social responsibility (CSR) collaboration between Rose Charities Malaysia and Whytehouse Education Group in conjunction with their 10th Anniversary celebrations.
The Whytehouse Education Group sponsored the creation of the Iconic Project landscaping which is an example of a synergistic collaboration.
Meanwhile, Rose Charities International is a group of independent, secular, non-political, non-sectarian, organizations based in several countries linked by a common aim, to reduce the effects of poverty and to help people lead a better life.
They work together to support community based projects: we share resources, and learn from each other, we try to listen, and help communities find their own solutions.
They also support communities to improve quality of life. They do this within a framework of volunteerism that places emphasis on results.
There are one or more Rose Charities programs in 18 countries namely in New Zealand, Samoa, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Cambodia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Afghanistan, Uganda, Madagascar, Zambia, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Haiti and Ecuador.
Emergency relief operations or support has also been carried out over the years over most of the countries of South Asia and South East Asia.
The current chair of Rose Charities in Penang is Dato Lawrence Cheah.