Will we ever forget the 15th February 1990! The weather was foul. Rain poured down on the village. The basement was awash with water. When press and protocol asked for 'the boss' they were referred to a soggy fellow picking up rubbish in the compound; yes indeed, muddy gumboots and straw hat camouflaged the Executive Director! Yesterday there were no coconut trees, today there they stood! An empty room became a tastefully decorated arts and crafts shop literally overnight. We'd been practicing the gala show for one month, with 45 performers dancing almost night ard day. The dress rehearsal was a fiasco; the lights didn't work properly and the sound system played up.
And then, as if by magic, it all came together. As the PM's motorcade wound its way around the mountain flank, the rain stopped. The 100 white doves released by our eminent guest flew high into splendid rainbow framing the colourful, noisy, beaded, flagged and ribboned scene against the dark green hillside. Puteri Santubong, the princess of the mountain, didn't let us down!
Sarawak had never seen anything like it. The Chief Minister was here; that was a matter of course. The Prime Minister was here and he'd brought along a glittering train of ASEA'N and European Ministers. The Damai Peninsula hasn't been so secure before, or since - there was a soldier behind every bush and the Field Force had a field day.
The Grand Opening spectacle was one of a kind too. None of us had seen a multi-media laser show before, but we didn't miss a beat while our new logo materialized out of light. A bunch of novices had become a team of seasoned veterans overnight.
By Heidi Munan: The Village of Seven Houses - The First Ten Years