The first day of VIGGG (Tuesday, July 24) was punctuated with the Get-Together Session & Dinner at the Coffee Terrace where picture taking and the informal mingling/rebonding among the attendees became the highlight of the evening.
The second day (Wednesday, July 25), prior to the Gala Dinner in the evening, a number of attendees opted to do the Genting Highlands Tour, an enjoyable and refreshing tour reflective of mini Cameron Highlands:
• Happy Bee Farm – a good thing that none was stung!
• Genting Premium Outlets: hmm… most ladies did not contribute to the Malaysian economy!
• Strawberry Park
Prior to the VIGGG dinner, attendees had another opportunity to rebond/make new friendships, besides having fun time taking small group photos at the decorated photo booth.
The VIGGG dinner of approximately 300 attendees (including a few former teachers and one present one!) was kicked off in the Genting First World Convention Hall on Wednesday July 25 at 7:00 p.m. by the Chairman of the Organising Committee, Ngui Thiam Khoon after he received the rolling VI Banner from Wayne Soo, Chairman of VIOBA Spore where the last event was held. His address was followed by the enthusiastic singing of the National Anthem and the nostalgic verses of the School Song by all alums accompanied by the 3K Trio. This was a band composed of Wong Kok Kien, 1968 school cadet band Drum Major, Loo Keen Ngin, the 1992 Drum Major and Dennis Loh Kok Kin, the 1995 School Pianist. Dennis had also played the School Song at the VI Centennial Celebrations in 1993!
An unanticipated longish presentation by the VIOBA Foundation at the beginning caught the audience by surprise as the Foundation News Brochures were already laid on the tables as agreed with the Organising Committee. Subsequently and unfortunately, occasional technical glitches hampered the smooth running of some slide presentations and soloists as the evening progressed but our technical support team managed to do some quick recoveries.
Chee Min, our MC, gave a very interesting historical discourse on “Our Drama Tradition” where a number of attending alumni had acted in the school plays: eg Dato' Mahadev Shankar, Min Hsiung, Mizanur Rahman, Isher Singh, Kanesalingam, etc. Next, Cheong Meng Keong, Bala Mahesan and Henry Ng did beautiful solo vocal renditions of Some Enchanted Evening, O Sole Mio, What a Wonderful World and Puff, the Magic Dragon respectively while our operatic singer, David Tan, appealed to VIGGG opera aficionados with his Nessun Dorma.
Several interesting skits were presented, “My Life in the V.I.” and the humorous “Ah Beng phones Home” by Thor Kah Hoong and Chung Chee Min, respectively. (There is a chance to hear Ah Beng at the end of this report!)
Following a surprise solo presentation of Come Back to Sorrento by Wong Cheng Lim (accompanied by talented pianist/keyboarder, Dennis Loh) in dedication to and in memory of the late Dr Norman Foo Yeow Khean, the Keyboard Fungus band, composed of alums. Abdul Rahim, Dennis Appaduray, and Wong Yoke Kong, beguiled the audience with Evil Ways, Brown Eye Girl and Feelin’ Alright. [ More on Keyboard Fungus here ]
At about 11 pm, some attendees left the entertainment to reminisce about their school days and to reconnect with their friends. Those who left missed the best show in Genting! The Convention Hall was brought back to life by our very own Teresa Teng who cooed The Moon Represents My Heart to the loved starved VIGGG attendees. Immediately, everyone livened up as each was captivated and mesmerized by our very own Nightingale, Kok Zen Min. Everyone was so elated that Zen Min sang an encore song, Kiss Me, Honey Honey, Kiss Me. This so engaged the audience that they took to the dance floor without any coaxing. What a hoot! The Hall, once more, was energized and became alive with the sound of music. All was not lost!
The last item, a skit, Interview for HM of V.I. was funny in poking humor in the stupidity of the V.I. rule of “Don’t Walk on the Grass”, and on the power of women. It culminated with a proposal to relocate the Girls’ Cloakroom near to the Prefects’ Room…. to "protect the prefects", it seems! The two HM aspirants were played humorously well by Bala Mahesan and Ho Chooi Hon who also ad-libbed quite a bit! Our illustrious Nobel Prize winner, Dr. Ron McCoy (School Captain 1949), played the role of the Discipline Teacher.
In his excitement and enthusiasm, he initially forgot to act feeble (guess his age?) and mid-way up the stage, he retreated to his table to get his walking stick and then walked, as originally scripted, with a fake limp! Then there was the humorous, if frantic, prompting of his lines from assistant MC, Victor Foo, from behind him! Bala (appointed the new HM) and Chooi Hon (appointed Senior Assistant) sang Hello Dolly/Victorians and I am Woman respectively to inspire the ‘students’. As a parting message, Ron, Bala and Chooi Hon then advised all present to.... Be Yet Wiser! .
As the evening came to a close, in a tribute to our MC and author of three books on VI and its history i.e. Chung Chee Min, the audience unanimously and loudly agreed that his unique contribution to our alma mater be recognized… with an impromptu ‘honorific title’ of ‘Dato VI’ …the only ‘Datoship’ bestowed by Victorians for a Victorian! Well done, Chee Min!
The VIGGG Reunion ended at a quarter to twelve with Wong Kok Kien playing Taps on his trumpet and closing with the nostalgic, energetic and vibrant singing of Those Were the Days by Chooi Hon and Auld Lyne Syne by all, accompanied by the 3K Trio. Colourful soap bubbles swirled around the hall, released by the nine School Captains and three Head Girls present…. it was back to school days again!
We take this opportunity to express our thanks and grateful appreciation to the Organizing Committee for their dedication, selfless effort, relentless energy, hard work and beautifully detailed photography plus on-site décor and preparations in making VIGGG a tremendous and fabulous success and an unforgettable event in the celebration of the 125th Anniversary of our school, the VICTORIA INSTITUTION of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Where it all happened....
.... thanks to these guys, the OC:
Back (l. to r.) Lee Chin Choong, Chin Lik Suan
Front (l. to r.) Izlan b Izhab, Ngui Thiam Khoon, Victor Foo, Hajeedar Majid
The First World Hotel where most of the attendees were housed.
Souvenirs awaiting attendees
DAY 1: The Coffee Terrace - the renewal of old bonds
Alex Quan & Rex Lai Tuck Onn; Kenneth Koh, David Yee Sek Kum, Robert Ng Sing Ping & Chan Seng Tuck;
Quah Chek Jwee and Ron Liew Kon Swee
Jean Goh Siew Choo, Yap Moh Lan, Chong Fei Wan with classmate Rex Toh;
Choo Min Hsiung, Foo Thiam Meng & A. Kanesalingam
Ex-teacher Mrs Chong Hong Chong, Lee Yuet Mui, Raja Ahmad;
Chow Yoon Seng, Lawrence Lye Kim Loong; Ng Seng Huat, Lim Yit Foong & Wan Kee Yio
THE BADMINTON BROTHERS
San Seong Lim (School Vice-Capt. '56, Badminton Capt. '55-'56, Athletics Capt '56), San Seong Choy (Badminton Capt '50-'51),
San Seong Kok; San Seong Kok (Malayan Schoolboys Singles Champ. '55)
Front (l. to r.): Ee (Teh) Paik Lian, Felicity Jones
(Back (l. to r.): Dr Looi Ee, Dato' M. Shanmughalingam, Ms Inn Ee Heintze;
Looi Ee's son, Owen Ee Norton, with Christine Cho Oi Kwan.
DAY 2: Boarding the buses...
... to begin the tour
First stop - Chin Swee Temple
The temple in the clouds....
..... for meditation and free massages
Next, the Bee Farm
Arrival at the Bee Farm
Bonding at the Bee Farm
Buying honey products
Genting Premium Outlets
But first, some coffee to fortify oneself for the heavy shopping ahead...
PRESENT AND PAST:
Present teacher Ms Shanti Purushothman ('97- ) bonds with
ex-teacher Ms Elizabeth Periathamby ('66-'69)
GALA EVENING: The Genting International Convention Centre
Ng Yen Yen and Chong Fei Wan ham it up before the dinner
The others get the idea...
FIVE DESCENDANTS OF CAPITAN YAP KWAN SENG:
Great granddaughter Yap Moh Lan, great grandson How Wan Hong, great granddaughter Yap Lee Lin,
great grandson Chong Siew Meng, great great granddaughter Petra Chong (CSM's daughter).
THE BIG NIGHT: The dinner room awaits the guests
Behind the scenes, Dennis Loh is trying out his electronic keyboard; Dennis as school pianist (1995).
Wong Kok Kien as VICC Drum Major (1968); Warming up his trumpet minutes before the doors open for the hungry crowd.
Emcee Chung Chee Min discusses a point with tech suppport Ooi Boon Kheng
THE 3K TRIO:
Loo Keen Ngin (VICC Drum Major 1992), Wong Kok Kien (VICC Drum Major 1968) and
Dennis Loh Koh Kin (School Pianist 1995) during their rehearsals at Kok Kien's clinic.
The Trio started off the evening with Negara Ku and the School Song.
Mohd Rashdan Rashid, board member of the VIOBA Foundation,
with Dato' Yusli Mohd Yusoff, former VIOBA President;
Dato' Seri Andrew Abishegam, Chairman VIOBA Foundation and VI Board of Governors
Choy Tai Foo; Tan Kee Kwong; Dennis Loh, Julian Fong and Lay Tin
Rex Toh (back) with three ex-teachers:
Mrs Ee Paik Lian, Mrs Su-Li Boudville, Mr Vong Choong Choy, Syvester Boudville
Vinayak Pradhan, Dato' Mahadev Shankar; Krishna Rajaratnam; Tan Chang Soong
Puan Sri Penny Chang Siang Pin; One of top three HSC students of 1968
Three Head Girls:
Agnes Kok (1963), Teh Paik Lian (First Head Girl, 1956), Tong Wai Sin (1970)
Siblings of Norman Foo Yeow Khean - Victor and Ann
The much-travelled Reunion Banner is passed from the VIOBA Singapore
President Wayne Soo to the VIGGG Chairman Ngui Thiam Khoon
A presentation by Chee Min on the proud drama tradition in the V.I.
MEN WITH MIKES:
Bala ("Satchmo") Mahesan singing What a Wonderful World; Actor/Writer/Commentator Thor Kah Hoong;
Hajeedar Majid; Chairman Ngui Thiam Khoon
The band, comprising ex-ship captain Abdul Rahim Othman, and lawyers Wong Yoke Kong and Dennis Appaduray,
had appeared in the school's 1970 Talentime and later performed on national TV in Bakat 1972.
Cheong Meng Keong sang O Sole Mio and Some Enchanted Evening;
David Tan Kee Keong first gave the operatic background to, and then sang Puccini's Nessun Dorma
Come Back to Sorrento:
Clement Wong dedicates this song in memory of the late great Victorian Norman Foo
THE SAME SONG FIFTY YEARS APART !
Henry Ng Hon Yuen sings Puff the Magic Dragon (l) in 2018, and (r) at the Talentime in the VI Hall in 1968
Nightingale Kok Zen Min has the audience swooning over her Yue Liang Dai Biao Wo De Xin (The Moon Represents My Heart)
and her encore, Kiss Me, Honey, Honey, Kiss Me, earning a bouquet from Mrs Chong H. C.
Her floral collection grows... as the floor comes alive!
Ex-teachers Miss Elizabeth Periathamby & Mrs Chong H. C.;
Quah Chek Jwee & Ng Yen Yen; Rex Toh & Winnie Quah; Bala Mahesan & wife
INTERVIEW SKIT: New VI HM (Bala Mahesan) briefs Discipline Teacher (Ronald McCoy);
McCoy shows off the school's new "Ruler of Law" and two back scratchers
to implement the brand new policy of "You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours".
The VI 125th Anniversary Cake is cut by the three oldest Old Boys present
- George Lee Yau Lung (87), Chew Chye Guan (94) and Ronald McCoy (88); the oldest attendee,
Chew Chye Guan, took his Senior Cambridge exam in December 1941 and got his results after the war, in 1946!
With backing from the 3K Trio band,
the audience join Quah Chooi Hon in the lively Those were the Days
An incredible NINE School Captains are present that evening plus THREE Head Girls and SIX Vice-Captains!
l.to r.: Choo Min Hsiung (School Captain '60), Krishna Rajaratnam (SC '59), Kuan Beng Teik (SC '63),
Phua Juay Chee (SC '64), Koh Tong Chui (VC '64), Ronald S McCoy (SC '49), Teh Paik Lian (HG '56), Tong Wai Sin (HG '70),
Vinayak Pradhan (SC '68), Tan Kee Kwong (SC '66), Agnes Kok (HG '63), Yap Kian Fui (SC '71), Yusli Yusoff (SC '77)
(Five of the Vice-Captains and One Deputy Head Girl did not pose for this photo.)
Captains, Head Girls and Vice-Captain briefed on using soap bubble makers for the finale.
Wong Kok Kien closes with Day is Ended and Taps;
then the 3K Trio end the evening for all with Auld Lang Syne
Four School Captains and two Head Girls lead the audience
"Should Auld Acquaintance ...."
[Some items from the entertainment programme for your enjoyment: ]
Last updated on 4 September, 2018.