Victorian Sports Personalities

May 31, 2015

The VIOBA Annual Dinner was held on the 31st of May 2015. Continuing with the VIOBA’s theme of honouring Victorians in the lead up to the 125th Anniversary of the school, the dinner theme was "Honouring VI Sports Personalities." To make it even more special, the dinner was held in the School premises and featured a Tattoo by the VI Cadet Corps Band and the Infantry Cadets. What made this evening even more remarkable was the fact that the last Tattoo performance was six long years ago in 2009.

The logistics of organising the Annual Dinner in the school compound was no mean feat. Unlike in a hotel, so many things had to be looked into by ourselves. There was much liaison with the many parties involved, including the school administration, the police, DBKL, RELA and other organisations. To this end, the Organising Committee and its Chairman, Mohd Irwan Rizal, did a great job.

Canopies housing 24 tables had been erected at one side of the Quadrangle for VIP and Guest seating, while the School Hall was also equipped with additional tables for food to be served buffet-style. Tickets were all sold out by the big day and, in total, there were almost 1,000 people at the event!

In the lead up, the School Band and Infantry had been practising practically day and night, especially in the two weeks leading up to the Tattoo, with training starting at 8 in the morning and ending only at 10.30 at night. Fortunately this was after the mid-year exams, so the boys were able to fully focus on the training. At 5 p.m. on the day of the event it started raining rather heavily but the skies cleared by 7 p.m. The rain certainly helped cool down a very hot day and a balmy evening followed with gentle breezes across the quadrangle, setting the scene for a great evening! Guests started arriving as early as 6 p.m. The VIOBA Management Committee, resplendent in their black shirts with blue trim and VIOBA Badges on the left pockets, were on hand to welcome the guests.

The Guest of Honour for the night was the Minister of Education II, Dato Seri Idris Jusoh. He arrived at 8 p.m. sharp and was received by the VIOBA President, K. C. Kwek, the VI Headmaster, Maslan Buniran, and the members of the Board of Chairmen. He was escorted into the holding room beside the School Hall where he was joined by the PTA President, Datuk Dr. Nik Zamry, the VIOBA Patron, Dato Yusli Yusoff, the BOG Chairman, Farizuddin Aman and other members of the VIOBA Management Committee. After a quick photo session and signing of the Guest Book, the Honourable Minister was escorted to a mini-stage at the Quadrangle. The VICC Band and Cadets were already there and had earlier presented their colours. [Their colours (panji-panji) had been presented to them by the Sultan of Selangor in 1968 in appreciation of the VI Cadet Corps who helped in defending the Selangor Residency during World War II. This makes us the only school cadets with their own colours!] The Minister was then given the Tabik Hormat by the VI Cadet Corps.

(1) The Minister is welcomed on arrival; (2) reviews the Guard of Honour; and (3) addresses the participants

The Minister was invited to inspect the Guard of Honour as the Band struck up. The Band then played the school song with the crowd joining in vociferously to sing one verse in English and one in Malay. That certainly brought back fond memories for all the Old Victorians present. As the band and the infantry marched out, the VI Headmaster gave a welcome speech, after which dinner was served.

In his speech, the Chairman of the Board of Governors reminded the audience that the V.I. was a special school with heritage status. “The building is close to ninety years old and suffers from neglect and poor maintenance. We invite the Ministry of Education to assist in refurbishing the school,” he said. The President of the VIOBA took his turn at the rostrum and thanked everyone present for their support. He mentioned how proud he was to have been able to hold the dinner in the school. He hoped that everyone present would continue to support the school and contribute to the development of the school.

In his speech, the Minister said that he was pleased to be able to attend the dinner of such a prestigious school. He pledged to work with the VIOBA and the school administration to improve the VI, especially its infrastructure, and to bring it back to its former glory. This brought loud cheers from all present.

(1) Tan Sri M.Jegathesan, Dato Seri Idris Jusoh, Datuk Sieh Kok Chi, Nur Azera Mokhtar;
(2) Mac Ngan Boon honoured; and (3) a token for the Minister

The night continued with the presentation of awards for the Victorian Sports Personalities. There were four recipients and all of them are well known sports figures in Malaysia: Tan Sri Dr Mani Jegathesan, Datuk Sieh Kok Chi, Rashid Sidek (in absentia, as he had badminton commitments) and Dato Mokhtar Dahari (posthumously). The latter's daughter, Nur Azera, was in attendance to receive the award. There was a special token of appreciation presented to Mr Mac Ngan Boon, the CEO of Muhibbah Engineering, who had over the years made generous donations to the VICC Band to purchase or replace musical instruments. It is through donations such as this that the VICC Band continues to function and progress. Mr. Mac was the Drum Major of the Band in 1961 and 1962 and has always been a strong supporter of the school.To cap off the presentations, a token was presented to the Honourable Minister by the Chairman, Board of Governors.

It was now time for the special event, the event that everyone had been waiting for - the Tattoo!

First in was the Infantry who performed a Parade Drill or Kawad Bunga. At one stage, as the lights were turned off, the fluorescent rings on the wrists of each cadet provided a nice effect in the dark.

Then the sounds of drums and bagpipes filled the Quadrangle as the Pipers and Drummers marched in to put on an amazing show. As they played various numbers, the crowd reacted enthusiastically. The Pipers and Drummers were impressive as always.

The infantry now came back in and did another drill before proceeding to break some tiles in a display of their strength.

Finally the Band came back in again and did a Show Presentation themed Journey of a Hero. It had three movements and was loosely based on the Indiana Jones movies. The band utilised a Colour Guard as well as static percussion pit instruments such as bells, a marimba, a vibraphone, a xylophone and a drum kit.

As the Show ended, the Band did a final performance in which they played their signature exit song, Farewell to Victoria, a rearrangement of the classic Farewell to Gibraltar. During this performance the Drum Major threw the mace up and caught it twice to rapturous applause! Toward the end of the song, the Infantry marched back in and did a final Tabik Hormat.

The skirling notes of Auld Lang Syne emanating from a lone piper, perched on the ledge above the Hall, signalled the end of the evening's programme. This was followed by a spontaneous eruption of cheers and thunderous V.I. claps. There was a final boisterous, rousing rendition of the School Song by all present that volleyed around the Quadrangle.The night had officially come to an end.

The Minister was then invited for a walkabout to view the physical conditions of the school. This ended at the VI Museum where he signed the visitors book. Again, the Honourable Minister reassured all present that he would work with the VIOBA on moving forward.

(1) The Minister inspects a classroom and (2) the V.I. Museum

After the Minister had left, many Victorians, past and present, stayed back in the Hall and Quadrangle chatting and enjoying themselves till past midnight.

See you next year when the VIOBA will honour those Victorians who have given outstanding service to the Nation!

Farewell... until next year!

Dharm Navaratnam
(Victorian 1984)

VI The V.I. Web Page

Created: June 16, 2015.
Last update: June 16, 2015.