Class of '62/'64
Friday, June 13, 2008
Holiday Villa Subang
It was the ex-Victorians Party of the Year at the Holiday Villa Subang with 150 plus Victorians and their partners, and ex-teachers (Messrs Vincent Voo, Khoo Teng Yuen, Bernard Koay, Dr Yeoh Oon Chye, Chan Beng Fai) and the first Asian Headmaster of the Victoria Institution, Mr V Murugasu.
The registration committee was there early before 6:30 p.m. to ensure that each arrival was received cordially and presented with a souvenir mug. Sticky labels were provided to ensure that each person would be clearly identified as most of the attendees might have difficulty remembering each other's names especially those who have not seen each other for well over forty odd years. As the participants began arriving, the lobby was the scene of countless ooh's and aah's, handshakes and backslappings as old friends greeted each other. In the dining room there was more commotion as long lost friends spotted and yelled at each other across the room. Flashes were popping everywhere as groups posed for photos.
The evening's events started with the MC Alan Tan Woo Tee,
who had flown in from the U.K., initiating proceedings by announcing a one
minute silence to the memory for those classmates of ours who have departed
for more divine pastures:
As the dinner was buffet style, the ladies were asked to be the first to the food. There was a mixed variety of Malaysian dishes followed by desert consisting of a variety of local cakes and ice-kachang. Waiters served red and white wine in glasses. For the teetotallers fruit juices and soft drinks were offered.
The ceiling was low and the room was packed. The PA system could not compete against the thousand different, animated and and happy conversations going on simultaneously. Nobody cared. Some participants with more guts than gusto regaled their friends with stories of their friends' mischiefs of long long ago. All had many fond memories of their school days in VI. The hair on their heads might be thinner and their waist lines a bit wider but the exuberance and V.I. Spirit was there for all to see. Amidst all this racket, the chairman of the organising committee had to make the obligatory speech. Microphone in hand and calling for silence, Dr. Yim Yoke San delivered a short crisp speech that summarised the sentiments of all present. He was rewarded by loud applause from the audience.
Singing the school song was done with more enthusiasm than during the school days, even though a few words or phrases might have been erased from failing memory banks.
After the coffee break, everyone invited outside for the obligatory group photo. Arranging the participants was chaotic though as one hundred or so bodies had to be squeezed on the restaurant's short flight of steps. Well, eventually the group, or sections of it, anyway, was captured in various poses by the many cameras present but it's hard to tell which shot came out best. This is one version (see, some people are still lost!):
Then followed a slide show with commentary on the yesteryears of our schooldays. There were also heaps of lucky draws for free wine, free hampers and free nights at the Pangkor Island Resort, Grand Continental Hotel in Kuala Trengganu, the MS Garden Hotel in Kuantan, the Kenyir Dam Wilderness Resort. It helped that our Kenneth Chong, a hotelier, had the right connections with the sponsors of these prizes.
A cake in the shape of the V.I. crest was specially ordered for the occasion and the 78-year-old Mr. Murugasu was given the honour of cutting this beautiful nutmeg-flavoured creation. With eyes glistening with tears, he turned to MC Alan Tan and said, "Thank you for the honour." The waiters then distributed slices of the cake to each table, so all who wanted to have a slice could help themselves to one.
Lawyer Balachandran Mahesan gave a rendition of Louis Armstrong's What a wonderful world. It was a fantastic performance. It was almost as if the great Satchmo himself was present singing the song.
When Auld Lang Syne was finally sung, everybody joined hands with the persons next to them and opened their throats and sang with true heart-felt voices.
As the party drew to a close, many lingered to exchange with friends, contact information such as email addresses and hand phone numbers to help them reconnect again. The evening in its entirety was a roaring success with all attending agreeing it was well worth the wait. Our Organising Committee led by the able Dr Yim, have set a benchmark for others in the V.I. fraternity. For our fiftieth anniversary reunion in 2012, the Committee is promising a party that will surpass even the famous Chung Ling High School reunions.
So moved was our former biology teacher, Dr Yeoh Oon Chye, who
had travelled up from Singapore that he sent this message on his return:
Report by Wan Kee Yio and others
Form 5B - 1962
Alan Tan Woo Tee gets six of the best as a Bash Street Kid
in Form 2C's Speech Day concert item of 1959
Last update: August 3, 2008.
Page-Keeper: Chung Chee Min