Largest floating crib in Malaysia

Our Mother of Perpetual Help Church (OMPH) gained the distinction of having the country’s largest floating Christmas crib when it was presented with a certificate of recognition for its efforts by the Malaysia Book of World Records at 2.00pm December 29.

Jan 10, 2020

IPOH: Our Mother of Perpetual Help Church (OMPH) gained the distinction of having the country’s largest floating Christmas crib when it was presented with a certificate of recognition for its efforts by the Malaysia Book of World Records at 2.00pm December 29.

Parishioners of OMPH, husband and wife team Victor Arulandu, 39, and his wife Lina, 36, were the couple responsible for the creation of the crib. They received the award together with OMPH parish priest Fr Patrick Massang CSsR, from MBOR’s Aaron Bong and Tan Chuin Siang at the parish here.

The church was filled with people including parishioners, those from out of town and nearby parishes, who came to witness the historic event.

Other Redemptorist priests were also present. Catholic politician Datuk Sri Edmund Santhara, the MP for Segamat, was present with his wife, Carline.

The floating crib hung by nylon strings, measures 3.96 metres wide, 2.8 metres in height and 3.3 metres in depth.

It has seven building structures on floating rocks and eight other rocks supporting the hills and plants, three of which are dedicated to the Holy Family, the three wise men and the shepherds.

The crib incorporates bubbling fountains, buildings with LED lights and intricate detailing on the oldstyle houses of Bethlehem (gabled roofs and plank doors), mountains, and a crib with a manger. Dry ice was used to give a special effect to the nativity scene, and it was surrounded by a black background to emulate the night.

Black also nicely hid the nylon strings which suspended the floating crib structure.

Victor, an architect by training, works at the firm, Ding Poi Kooi, as an assistant architect. He said the idea of a floating crib was the brainchild of Fr Massang, who told him to construct it.

Despite having created the crib at OMPH for ten years, he was still stuck for a week, until he thought of the movie, Avatar. “In that movie, there were the floating “Hallelujah Mountains of Pandora” on which there was lush greenery, and hanging vines.

With the blessing of Fr Massang, it took Victor and his wife two months to complete the floating crib made of polystyrene, papier-mache, mounting board and paper.

They worked everyday at the church, from 6.30pm onwards for three to four hours, and during the last few days worked until 4.00am to complete the job.

They started on Oct 15, and finished the crib by Dec 18.

Victor said the detailing on the houses and buildings were the most difficult. He thanked Fr Massang who shared his idea, and sparked the effort.

“With God, and help from my wife, the idea became a reality. I thank my parents who helped look after my three children when we were busy, and friends and parishioners for all the support they gave,” he said.

“We didn’t know we would get the recognition from MBOR until Dec 19, when they sent an official letter listing it as a national record for the biggest floating Christmas crib. Fr Massang made the announcement on Dec 20, after the confirmation from MBOR,” he said.

The parish paid for the construction of the crib, which cost around RM2,000 including the purchase of a unique set of figurines for the Nativity scene, made entirely of canvas..

Fr Massang said it was a good idea to have a floating crib this year, since it inspires others to see the Child of Bethlehem descend from heaven to assume flesh in a frail, human body.

It is a manifestation of God’s love and closeness to us, he said.

“Pope Francis has stressed the importance of the crib, to unify eve ryone, irrespective of their religion, so that they get to know Jesus. What better way than a floating crib that will draw people from other faiths and even the young? Also, in reality, the hills around Ipoh are also disappearing so that should wake the authorities up to see how our mountains are floating away. As we celebrate the feast of the Holy Family today, we honour all  families and the many wise men here,” he said.

Fr Massang sang two songs for the people, Silent Night in English and Bahasa Malaysia and What Child is this? to the delight of those present.

“We hope to beat our record next  year with a bigger and better crib,” he said.

MBOR’s manager of marketing solutions, Aaron Bong, in a short speech thanked Fr Massang for inviting them, and said MBOR presented the award not just because it was the largest floating crib but also because it valued the effort of the individual.

“We looked into the process and how the effort brought people together,” he said.

The biggest floating Christmas crib was on display at OMPH until Jan 5, the solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord.

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Angeleneangelene64.joseph@gmail.com
Proud of OMPH. Beautiful Christmas Carnival and outstanding floating crib.