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Lodge Kinabalu, Sabah

5 November 2019

Ashlar Editor’s Highlight

As the Editor of the District Grand Lodge of the Eastern Archipelago Ashlar Newsletter many wonderful articles related to the charitable works of our Brethren pass my way. The Paitan Charity Project was one that captured my heart.

This article in itself is in fact a no nonsense charity project report. Photographs are worth a thousand words for it was the photos of this project that left me in awe of the Lodge Kinabalu brethren as they fanned out into the remote hinterlands of Sabah to dispense much needed relief and consolation support to the very people that provide education to some 160 children of the poorest families residing in the remote Baluran District of Sabah.

So too do I stand in awe of Sister Dorothy and Sister Hilary (who happens to be her sibling) of the Franciscan Order for their unselfish dedication and daily sacrifice to see that these children receive an education. Like all those dedicated to the service of others I am sure that they see their work as just a normal way of life.

It was at first my intention to edit the project report to make it read more like a newsletter article. Instead I left intact as it was sent to me that it might serve as an example to other lodges on how to run a project of this magnitude.

Thank you the Brethren of Lodge Kinabalu for your hard work and efforts to take on such a difficult but well needed project. We must not forget our DGLEA District Board of Benevolence in contributing Ringitt Malaysia Fifty Thousand (RM50,000) to this worthy cause.

There are many individuals who contributed as you will see in the report. So too will you see mention “Mason’s Friends”. These were non-Masons who opened their hearts to the plight of Sister Dorothy and Sister Hilary. May the Great Architect of the Universe bless them one and all.

W Bro Louis Ruehlmann

1. Subject

Application For Contribution From District Board of Benevolent Fund For The Construction of Sister Dorothy’s Quarter For Boarding House at Paitan, Sabah.

Location of Paitan

2. Back Ground History

Paitan, some 400 km away from Kota Kinabalu and about 300 km from Sandakan, is one of the remotest and poorest areas of Sabah in the Beluran District.

The communities mainly consist of Dusun and Orang Sungai fishermen settled along the coast and live in poverty with some families doing shifting cultivation for living.

This area, without electricity, water supply and any other basic facility, is the place where Sister Dorothy and a few nuns teach, live and care taking those unfortunate children for last decades of which otherwise they would have followed their forefather lifes without any opportunity to get education.

Sister Dorothy of the Franciscan Order runs 11 Kindergartens throughout the District for some 160 children with part time teachers whom she committed to pay.

She also runs a Boarding House for Secondary School students who live too far from the school and unable to commute due to lack of transport and poor road access.

She also needs to provide foods to students, employ helpers for cooking and maintaining the Boarding School. All these running expenses derive from charity collection by Catholic Churches and donations from general public in Sabah. However, these are irregular and hard to come by. They live in hardship for most of the time.

3. Discovery of the Situation

Our WBro Samuel Chin and WBro Datuk John Lo visited Paitan area in the 3rd Quarter of last year and discovered the discovered the disheartening hardship of the students and the nuns at the Boarding House.

They reported back to our brethren of what they had seen and found of their trip. Our brethren felt some urgent needs to contribute for such a good cause to mitigate the hardship of the Boarding House.

Our brethren had made a 2nd trip to Paitan at the end of last year to supply the children with rice, sugar, oil and other basic necessities.

Photo of access road and quarters

The brethren accompanied by Worshipful Master then WBro Peter Liew (now IPM) contributed and delivered the food stuff and other basic needs for the students.

The journey from Kota Kinabalu took 7 hours driving through rough terrains over 40 km of potholed gravel road. Only 4 wheeled drives with low gears would be safe to go.

4. The Students And Boarding House

The students appeared in good health and having enough clothing to live on. They wore over sized clothing apparently accepted whatever handed down to them.

They lacked of foods, shoes, studying materials, computers, medicines and other basic living facilities which would be a long term problem they have to bear. Money and electronic games are their far reach dreams.

The Boarding House was built a few years back by Sabah Credit Corporation and is in good condition. They were occupying on a small plot of land belongs to Meridian Oil Palm Estate (land owner) who had been kind enough to give a letter of consent for their occupancy.

The problem is the adjacent wooden house which the nuns live. The wooden house, built on stilts on raw untreated logs, is completely dilapidated due to serve termite infection. The white ants eaten wooden structure with floor boards and joints could be easily peeled away by fingers and shall be about to collapse if hits by next storm. It is really unsafe for dwelling.

More so Sister Dorothy is an elderly lady in her sixties, could be hurt when accident occurs during climbing up the crumbling wooden staircase or when the termite infected wood floor board collapsed. This would be a disaster as the children depend on her and other nuns to live on.

5. Fund Raising For Construction of New Quarter For Nuns

Sister Dorothy and the nuns are care takers of the Boarding House and 11 Kindergartners for children lived in poverty in the nearby remote Kampongs. They deserved a better living condition.

Our brethren decided to build them a new single storey quarter to be made of Industrial Building System (IBS) with steel frame structure, metal roof sheet and cement board walling of semi-permanent construction which could last for 25~30 years.

The new quarter has planned with 3 bedrooms, a kitchen and 2 toilets with shower facilities of size 7.6m x 10.9m (approximately 90 sq m) which could provide minimum comfort to the sister and nuns with a strong roof over their heads to resist the storms.

We also decided to furnish them with furniture, solar lightning and a solar powered freezer which enables children to have more meals with meats donated by public to be kept frozen.

The fabrication of IBS building has started at the cost of RM 100,000.00 after a substantial discount. The construction which takes about 4~5 months to complete must commence urgently despite the shortfall in funds.

New Home Plan

New Home Elevation

6. The Manner in Which the Lodge Raises Funds

Brethren of the Lodge have put in efforts by passing the hat around and so far managed to raise the following amounts from generous donations by few quarters:-

We plead for the kind support from the District Benevolent Fund to give a grant of RM50,000.00 to support this project to make it successful before end of October 2019.

We are confident that other brethren will come forward with more donations for the good cause to make up the remaining shortfall.


This short report gives an insight to the overall progress of the project for building a new house for Sister Dorothy at Paitan ( herein known as Paitan Charity Project) up to 15 September 2019.

Evaluation of the progress was done through constant monitoring of site activities by executive members of Lodge Kinabalu Advisory Committee. Whereas, the financial control and disbursement of payments to contractors was administered by W. Bro Samuel Chin.

The overall physical progress up to 15 September 2019 was approximate 80% work commenced on 04 August 2019 and the originally scheduled to complete on 04 October 2019 with a construction period of 2 months .

The Contractor informed of their possible slight delay of 2 weeks for completion in view of the problems they encountered at site :-

  • Logistic problem as the Kampong road is inaccessible to lorries, hence transportation of building materials have had to be carried out by workers on foot.

  • Frequent flooding of the kampong road resulting the earth track inaccessible with communication totally cut off.

Nevertheless, the Contractor assured us that the building would be completed in October 2019.


To re-build a new house for Sister Dorothy and nuns to replace the existing old timber house on 3 foot stilts which is completely dilapidated and termite infested in Paitan, District of Beluran , ‘Sabah.

Sister Dorothy and her assistant nuns of the Franciscan Order provide education supports in one of the remotest part of Sabah in Beluran District with 11 kindergartens for 160 children of poorest families and is also running a boarding house for secondary school children who live far away from their schools.


The construction of the building with the following facilities :-

  • Footing and stilts

  • Ground floor with 3 bedrooms , living / dining, kitchen, 2 toilets , veranda to be finished with floor tiles.

  • Galvanized steel frame and weather resistant cement board for walls.

  • Galvanized steel coloured bond corrugated roof sheet with steel roof trusses and purlins.

  • Weather shield paint for external walls and emulsion paint for internal walls.





  • Floor tiles

  • Windows, doors

  • Stair, handrail

  • M&E fittings

  • Painting


The prefabrication of the house took a bit longer than expected but finally completed around 15 August 2019.

The parts were delivered to the site and construction started. The frame looks a lot more complicated than originally thought but looks pretty solid and firm . RM20,000.00 was paid in advance to begin prefabrication and another Rm30,000.00 was paid to begin transporting and construction the building. Additional RM5,000.00 was agreed for the extra work of floor tiling and painting to finish the house decently.

Photos of the work progress are attached herewith.



Brethren of the Sabah lodges have put in efforts to raise the following amount from generous donations by few doners :-



  • 1st payment made upon pre-fabrication of steel works = RM20,000.00

  • 2nd payment made upon erection of steel frame at site = RM30,000.00

Total RM50,000.00 had paid to the Contractor.

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