"THOSE WERE THE DAYS...."
Sixth Form Arts Classes of 1962/1963
A Golden Jubilee is memorable whatever is being commemorated. This year, 2013, the V.I. Sixth Form Arts Class of 1962/63 has finally arrived at this landmark in time. This celebration is meaningful more than simply as the arrival of a milestone. The V.I. as an institution before and during the 1960s, regrettably no longer exists today. So this commemoration also recalls an institution arguably unique, certainly to its many staff and students who made its classrooms and corridors an important part of their life histories, even in its day. These memories speak of a time when government schools, not private, were at the top of the education heap, a far cry from the status of government schools today. To the class of 1962/63, this commemoration also celebrates the camaraderie that developed and was sustained by shared memories over half a century. In this sense, it is a celebration of survival, physical of course, but also of bonds created but never broken. For each of us in the class, it brings to life both the highs and lows of school life, with the highs made higher and the lows not so low with the passage of time. Although time is unkind to many of us, it is especially kind to events long past.
The celebration was held on June 6, 2013, at the Flame, in the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club. It was not the original choice; that honour belonging to the PJ Hilton, the venue of the first reunion that started this current series of gatherings. But, in the end, better judgment (it won’t do to attribute it to luck, or that some of the organizing committee bulldozed their way through) prevailed.
Nik Sidek has to be commended for suggesting the location, and advancing the expenses (he was a, probably the only, club member). It was a superb venue, complete privacy (we had the entire restaurant to ourselves), great food (both Western and Asian) and wonderful ambiance. The ever generous Hasanuddin hired a band and singer to do tunes our generation could relate and could dance the night away to. There was merriment aplenty. He also contributed much more than his share, making life a breeze for the treasurer – no accounting was needed because we would always end up in surplus. Our Ministry of Finance should be so lucky. Tai Meng, who baked the cake and brought it untouched (tremendous will power) all the way from Singapore to KL, Rahil, the organization guru, with the effervescent Shirley and Tai Meng and the multitasking Shaun organized everything from sponsored door gifts to logistics. Their combined efforts produced a memorable evening for 30 of us able to attend the gathering. We would have had 32, but one lost the way, was discouraged and went home while another never broke free from a traffic jam not far from home.
We were privileged to have our two former school masters, Messrs. John Doraisamy and Saw Chu Tong, join our dinner. Their cutting our 50th Anniversary cake was a highlight of the evening. They also regaled us with their reminiscences, about a V.I. before and just after our time, but a V.I. we knew well and loved. Shaun did his mandatory magic, and a ditty to the tune of Que Sera Sera was sung with words changed to reflect our shared experiences.
Dinner and festivities over, everyone was on the floor, many dancing, some trying to, and some just imagining they were. John Doraisamy, who famously defined dancing as the vertical expression of a horizontal desire, lived up to that definition. In the course of the evening, we discovered a duo of songbirds among us by the name of Lee Fah and Shahidah. Although it was just an evening we spent together, there was no better way to celebrate our 50th, and look forward to our 75th … and a lot more in between.
Report by K. C. Cheong
July 28, 2013
Econs teacher John Doraisamy and History teacher, Saw Chu Thong
Ibrahim, Cheong Kee Fong, Liu Cheng Choong, Saw Chu Thong, John Doraisamy, Cheong Kee Cheok
Pamela Sodhy (left), pictured here with Siti and Grace, flew in from the USA
Last update:September 8, 2013.
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