October 24th, 2014
One hundred and five past pupils of the Victoria Institution and their spouses attended the Biennial Melbourne VIOS Reunion Dinner at the Shangrila Inn, Forest Hill, Melbourne on Friday 24 October, 2014
It was a memorable reunion indeed. Joyous exchanges of greetings rang loud and clear as the past students arrived. Failures to recognise one another brought peals of laughter as each tried to prompt the other’s recollection. There was a wonderful buzz of excitement as the past students shared reminiscences and riotous exchanges of jokes. It was indeed a night to remember as friends renewed old bonds and senior VIOS forged new links with the younger Victorians.
Ken Ong (1977) effortlessly compered the evening with his usual flair. The evening kicked off with a welcome speech by Lee Kok Leong (1976) Chairman of the Organising Committee.
As in any school reunion, all present had to sing the VI School Song. In true Victoria Institution fashion, the group stood to attention as Krishna Rajaratnam (School Captain, 1959) sternly called out “School Stand”. Quah Chooi Hon (Netball Captain, 1962) then took over the microphone and led the VIOS “assembly” as they sang all three verses lustily and with feeling. All present then sat down to enjoy a scrumptious dinner.
Throughout the evening, VIOS moved around the room intermingling with long lost school mates, some of whom they had not seen for 50 years. The years seemed to slip away as the old school boys and girls exchanged memories and old school jokes. Many of the younger Victorians had to introduce themselves to their seniors. Getting into the spirit of the evening, a very relaxed David Tan Kee Keong (1962) entertained the crowd with an impromptu rendition of an Italia aria.
Ken Ong invited representatives from interstate and overseas to address the group. Wan Kee Yio (1965) provided an update of the VIOS activities in Sydney. Pong Kai See (1965) spoke about the Malaysian VIOS. Peter Koh Tong Bak (1962) briefed the gathering on VIOS scene in North America and the successful VIVA 2013 in Vancouver. Chris Liew (1962) informed the gathering of the proposed reunion in Singapore in October 2015.
Tony Ong (1965) took on the onerous task of official photographer for the evening and was busily snapping away all night long. Chris Liew (1962) added to the collection with some candid images of the evening.
The Organising Committee (Lee Kok Leong, Kuan Beng Teik, Ken Ong and David Yee Sek Kum) should be congratulated on a great job. Two supportive spouses, Mui Chun Chew and Sylvia Yee took on the responsibility of servicing the Reception Table. The pre-dinner drinks was a great idea and acknowledgment should be made of generous contribution of beer by Ken Ong and David Yee. Thank you to all who have made the Melbourne 2014 VIO Reunion such a memorable one.
Report by Quah Chooi Hon (1962)
A Statistical Footnote
Of the 61 VI past students who attended, by far the largest group of old Victorians were those from the 1960s – 41 VIOS, followed by 12 from the 1970s. There were 5 senior VIOS who were of the 1950s vintage. It was great that we had representation from the younger generation – 2 from 1980s and 1 from the 1990s. The difference in years between the most senior Victorian and the youngest Victorian was 40 years - Charles Mok (1954) and Ryan Lee (1994). There was good representation from the VI girls – a total of 12 VI old girls graced the occasion. It was great that two of our ex-teachers were able to attend the dinner. They were Mr. Chan Kai Cheung and Mrs Koh Swee Pheng (née Loo Sai Harn). Both, incidentally, were chemistry teachers in their time!
Interstate and Overseas attendees –
Last update: November 3, 2014.
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