V.I. Upper Six 1961
30 April 2009
It is not often that we give ourselves the opportunity to re-experience a time when our world was young, full of hope and promise, when we were innocent and wide-eyed and thought we knew all that was important about the world and ourselves.
We experienced such a night on April 30th, 2009 in Kuala Lumpur when our '60-'61 Sixth Form VI class held our 48th Reunion at the Cobra Club. We came from many parts of Malaysia, from the UK, Australia and the US, some with spouses and some without. Here's who was there that night, starting with our former teachers, Dr. John Doraisamy and Mr. Vincent Voo. This list was generated from the sign-in sheet completed by attending alumni.
Dr. John Doraisamy
Alumni started arriving at around 6.45 pm. Kheeming's wife, Lee Lee, and Kim Boon's wife, Catherine, were kind enough to check in guests and create an attendance list. Some like me, chose to mill indoors in the air-conditioned hall while others sat under the magnificent Malaysian night sky. It was a beautiful night with a terang bulan.
The official part of the get-together started at around 8.15 pm when Renuka as MC, welcomed the gathered alumni and introduced Kheeming, the Chairman of the 2009 Reunion Organizing Committee. Kheeming welcomed everyone and made special mention of our attending teachers, Dr. John Doraisamy and Mr. Vincent Voo. Kheeming then asked for a moment of silence to remember K. Vijayan and Rosemary Ross both of whom had sadly passed away in 2008, as well as others who are no longer with us. Renuka then invited the teachers to say a few words. Dr. Doraisamy entertained us with choice details of his entry into the august institution that was the VI and described how awed he was at the prospect of teaching there. Mr. Voo was equally interesting with his stories about his teaching career at the VI and his relationship with the students.
We then gathered around the teachers for a series of group photos. Padmini was just great in how she organized the excited group into order and silence. Such was the excitement generated with many former classmates meeting only after 46 to 48 years.
In addition to the '60-'61 group, alumni from previous and later years also attended. What a pleasure it was to welcome Aloyah Abdul Rahman, Dibakar Raye, David Yap, David Yee, Chuah Guat Eng, Mohd Ali bin Yusof, Mohd Iwaz, Gnanam's husband Daniel Thuraiappah and Wuan Thong Lok. Rosemary Ross' brother, Balfour Ross and his wife June also graced our event and joined in the merriment.
Before dinner was served, the cake cutting ceremony was performed by our teachers, Dr. John Doraisamy, Mr. Vincent Voo and the 1961 Head Girl and her Deputy, Gnanam and Suat Pheng. The delectable cake tasted as good as it looked! I can still remember the texture and lightness of this confection. Yum!
Dinner was a terrific spread. Your Committee worked hard at providing an excellent selection that included chicken korma, mutton curry, salad, roast lamb, vegetables and fresh fruit. Much beer was consumed! Towers of beer were placed on different tables and moved faster than the Committee had anticipated so that wine was not served. The beer tasted very good with the food on that warm Malaysian night.
After dinner and dessert, alumni and guests milled around in groups both outside and inside the hall. Every now and then we could hear exclamations of delight from classmates meeting up again after more than forty years. By 10.00 p.m., the air of excitement was very much alive and throbbing. Every conversation was peppered with reminiscences of the old school. Then Kheeming offered the mike to anyone who wanted to say something on the loudspeaker. Zaidee took over the mike and invited alumni to talk. Zaidee was in top form – his interspersions were hilarious!
The evening ended with a spontaneous Qi Gong demonstration and a few tips on good Chinese health practices by Tan Chang Soon. What a fitting ending for an evening richly filled with emotional reminiscence.
We hope each and every one who can, will be planning to attend the 50th Anniversary at the 2011 Reunion. A word on the work of the Organizing Committee for this Reunion. I attended the last meeting before the actual event and was impressed with the meticulousness of the planning. We rehearsed the official proceedings, measured the podium and space around it for the group photo, reviewed the food and drink menu and the Reunion banner prepared by the club management. The Committee met several times in KL, rotating the venue between their homes.
If you have any interest in organizing or have suggestions for the 2011 event, volunteer soon and the Committee will welcome your commitment to a consistent effort over several months.
This account was mainly written by Renuka Sodhy-Chander with help from our 2009 Reunion Organizing Committee:
Kheeming Khoo (email@example.com)
Renu would be happy to direct you to the Committee's album of many more photos from that fabulous evening. Just drop her a line at (firstname.lastname@example.org)
And now we move on to a rousing 50th Anniversary Reunion in 2011!
Last update: June 1, 2009.
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