Thursday May 8, 2008

Petaling Jaya

iss Chiew Pek Lin who was a teacher at the V.I. from 1958 to 1959 returned from Sydney Australia for a visit in May 2008. Her past pupils from the Upper Sixth classes of 1959, 1960 and 1961 threw a dinner for her on May 8th at the Restaurant Fresh Unique Seafood, Jalan Kemajuan, Section 13, P.J. Miss Chiew had taught us English in the upper secondary classes or the General Paper in Form Six.

We had also invited along two of Miss Chiew's contemporaries, Mr Saw Choo Thong and Miss Wong Yoke Lin. The latter had to cancel at the last moment, disappointing many who were looking forward to meeting her. At the final count, we had 26 Victorians and two ex-teachers.

The two ex-teachers were in fine form as were their former pupils. Pek Lin was as pretty and charming as ever. At first, on arrival, some of us did not recognise her, mistaking her for the wife of one of our contemporaries. That certainly was a compliment to Miss Chiew!

Why do we keep calling her Miss Chiew when she has been married to Mr Francis Wong for decades? Well, I guess that's how we had first addressed her during our schooldays and old habits die hard!

Many guys were soon confessing to her of the secret crushes they had on her almost five decades ago. And those feelings had still not abated that evening! Miss Chiew did not bat an eye lid at those confessions - I guess she even knew back then!

Mr Saw, who was the history teacher and Senior Assistant in his time at the V.I. was delighted to be included in the reunion and soon had the audience lapping up his words. Both ex-teachers looked so fit and well as is apparent from the photos.

Tan Chang Soon encountering his ex-teacher after 47 years; Saw Choo Thong holding forth; Tucking in with Padmini and Ng Kim Boon

We had a great and lively evening. The action started at about 7.15 p.m. when Pek Lin arrived and only ended at 11.30 p.m. when the weary restaurant staff gently shooed us away. Wine and beer flowed freely as the noise level hovered at hazardous levels.

The seven Victorians from 1959 Upper Six and two (Ismail Omar and Rajagopal) from 1960 Upper Six mingled well with their juniors from the Upper Six science classes of 1961.

With Chakaravarthy and Kah Poong; Reminiscing with Ah Bah, Mun Kong and Ser Chew; Toasting with Gnanasothie and Poh Thiam

Ex-Headmaster V. Chakaravarthy and ex-Cabinet Minister Datuk Kok Wee Kiat made excellent speeches on their student years in VI and praised the two ex-teachers in their midst. They also lamented the decline of the school in recent years.

Obviously moved by the conviviality of the gathering, there and then, Vijayan volunteered to organise a 2009 reunion for 1961 Upper Six class and invited all present to join in.

Clockwise from left: Ng Kim Boon, ­Catherine (Mrs Ng), ­Balasingam, Vijayan, Chew Hon Nam, Iwaz Abdul Karim,
Tan Chang Soong, ­Padmini Menon, Saw Choo Thong

Clockwise from left: Rajagopal, Chong Sze Nen, ­Nellie (Mrs.­ Chong), Tay Leng Kuan, Kok ­Wee Kiat,
Gnanasothie, Poh Thiam (Mrs Kok), Tan Meng Hee, Ho Kah Poong, Ismail Omar

Report by Khoo Khee Ming

VI The V.I. Web Page

Created: May 16, 2008.
Last update: May 25, 2008.

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