It was sort of an anti-climax for me. Especially after all the hype. The lack of experience in organizing major events clearly showed. Perhaps my expectation was a little too high.
At the same time, some of the teachers (current and former) might get the impression that a lot of former students still don’t respect them. Perhaps their expectation, too, was a little too high.
The multimedia presentation, the live band, the traditional dance. A little overkill, a bit too much to swallow. Presentation of Gifts, Certificates, and Lucky Draws seemed more like an after thought, albeit carefully planned. The two Professors who sat at the VVIP table seemed to wish to be somewhere else.
The carnival atmosphere of the Silver Jubilee Celebration in 1981 was probably more exciting and successful, I would presume, but I wasn’t there. Malam Kilauan Emas’s atmostphere began rather formal, but ended up more like the night market.
My own personal high was seeing some of my friends (especially Suresh Vesudevan, the school’s 1981/82 Headboy) appreciated meeting Zulkifli Abdullah (formerly Douglas Uzaraga, the 1976 afternoon session Headboy).
Dato’ Hj. Abdul Rahim Mohd. Zin, Group Managing Director and President of Bank Pembangunan Malaysia Berhad, seemed to have absolutely no idea who I was. He was as blur as Mrs. Seet who mistook him for Abdul Naim Abdul Aziz.
But I finally get to meet Prakash Chandrasekaram, my former Captain of the school’s 1979 Cricket Team, whom I highly respected. He taught me something about swallowing our pride. Which led me to Naim the day after. I am now gunning for Mustafa al-Adlan. Chui Chee Seng seemed like the true embodiment of IT. Kong Ling Kai hasn’t changed a bit. That guy … Pitok? I should’ve asked for his card.
I guess, for me, the night was more about catching up with former teachers. The friends are a little easier to meet. I’ve been dying to meet Mrs. Seet Wai Lin, so I guess it was worth the trouble. She seemed to be as pretty and sweet as she was 25 years ago.
I’ve had two long meetings with Mr. Ho Kok Chew prior to the event. So Mr. Ho was well prepared with all the details to see all of us.
Mrs. Lai didn’t look a day older than the last time I saw her in 1981. I mentioned to Mrs. Lai about the informal e-Group that I had with some of my old classmates. She asked to be part of it. Oh, I don’t know. So long as some of us kept bringing up the armpit business, Mrs. Lai would be better off on the golf course, I would think.
You know, I actually went up to Mr. Peter Tey and shook his hand. I didn’t think I was gonna do that, but then I said to myself, let by gone be by gone. After all, one wouldn’t be a Headmaster for TEN years for nothing.
I went to Mr. V. Chakaravarthy and thanked him for what he did to the school. He deserved at least that from me. He reminded me of that Morgan Freeman’s character in that movie, Lean on Me. Except that Joe Clark couldn’t teach Mathematics for the Sixth Form the way Mr. Chakaravarthy did, even if Joe’s life depended on it.
Besides the raising of funds via sale of tables, I think the organizer missed the rest of the objectives of the night. Perhaps, an experienced professional emcee could make the difference. We already had at least two of those who had made it. One already won so many awards. Other than that, it was a fantastic night.
So I have to organize my own reunions. Small ones. Keep them simple. But I don’t go to pubs. Very sorry. Some from as far away as Singapore (Prakash and Bobby Tan Cher Chong), thank you my old friends (Ng Hang Ming, Zul Douglas, Michael Tang Yat Fan, Suresh, and Chee Seng) for coming to complete my table. Shahriman Kamarulzaman and Hoong Kim Beng just couldn’t make it.
I only managed 17 worth showing for-historical-purposes-only photos from my 2-megapixel BenQ, all here at my Picasa Web album.
Some related photos at my Flickr site here.