By MEI CHOO
BOH is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year. To mark this special occasion, Boh Plantations is making it a celebration to remember with a host of events throughout the year.
This week, this leading producer and manufacturer of tea in Malaysia marked another milestone with the unveiling of a brand new wing called Tristan’s Terrace at Boh’s Sungei Palas Tea Centre in Cameron Highlands.
The unveiling was officiated by Tourism, Arts and Culture Deputy Minister Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik.
Tristan’s Terrace is named in honour of Datuk Tristan Russell who served as Boh’s chairman for 53 years.
Boh Plantations executive chairman Caroline Russell said in her welcome speech: “Today is a significant milestone as we celebrate two very special occasions – the opening of Tristan’s Terrace at the Sungei Palas Tea Centre, and Boh’s 90th anniversary, which is themed 90 Years of Ummph!”
The new wing is an extension to the centre’s cafe, Tea’ria now renamed J.A.’s Balcony, in reference to Caroline’s grandfather John Archibald, the founder of Boh Plantations, as well as to the 20ft overhanging balcony that acts as a viewing deck.
Caroline added that the Sungei Palas Tea Centre, built in 2007, aims to provide visitors “a sensorial and leisurely experience of Boh; from an understanding of the brand legacy and milestones, to the intricacies of tea cultivation, processing and facts about tea”.
The new wing, she said, will add a further 200-seating capacity, as well as a meeting room for small events and a tea-tasting room for visitors.
Its concept is akin to a terraced walkway overlooking a garden and offering the best vantage views of the plantation.
Welcoming visitors to Tristan’s Terrace is a six-foot diameter solid brass rolling table which was once used in Sungei Palas tea factory to crush tea leaves.
Caroline said that it was fitting to name the new wing after her father whom she dubbed a ‘tea connoisseur extraordinaire’, adding that he is as synonymous with the Boh brand as was her grandfather, J.A., who established the country’s first tea garden in Cameron Highlands in 1929.
She recalled how her father, after joining the company in the 1950s at just 21 years old, went on to grow Boh to be a trusted household name in Malaysia.
“Many milestones have been achieved during his 53-year tenure as chairman from August 1966 until his retirement just this month.”
His achievements included increasing the area for tea cultivation and the number of estates (currently at four in Malaysia) as well as modernising tea production and manufacturing.
He also pioneered the early use of television advertising in an era of black-and-white TV and was responsible for bringing to life the lovable, iconic Mr Boh, one of the first televised company mascots in Asia.
Tristan also helped to publish a book, Making Their Mark on Three Continents, detailing the family’s history from the early days in Malaya up until the death of his father J.A. in 1933. The book is now available for purchase.
Thanking her father for “building a strong legacy brand”, Caroline said: “Naming this new facility in your honour is our small gesture to thank you for your love and passion for Boh.
“There is no doubt that Boh is who we are today, due in a large part, to your dedication, commitment and tireless efforts.”
The occasion was made even merrier when all present sang an early happy birthday song to Tristan who turns 87 today.
The event also saw the launch of the limited edition Emerald Blend – a fine earl grey tea blended with marigold flowers and with hints of natural citrus and floral flavours in a book-styled caddy – to commemorate Boh’s 90th anniversary.
For more, visit the Boh website at www.bohtea.com.