A VISIT TO THE TWO V.I.'S
Two days before VIGGG at Genting, a group of Old Victorians, with assorted spouses (and even a parent) in tow, made two visits to the V.I. - both V.I.s to be exact.
They had come from Australia, North America and Singapore to attend the Genting reunion and this was a unique opportunity to sample the local food and take in the sights as well. Sunday July 22 2018 was chosen and local Victorians helped shepherd the group from one location to the other.
The highlight was surely the visit to Taman Budaya at Jalan Tun H. S. Lee (the former High Street) where the Old V.I. was once located. The original first building (Block 1) had burned down in 1999 but had now been restored magnificently (and bestowed Heritage status) and handed over to the National Culture and Arts Department, Federal Territory. By prior arrangement with Alice Lee, the Director and his staff were there to welcome the group at 1:30 p.m. The first group ever from the Victoria Institution, as revealed by him, the visitors were given the royal treatment and entertained to a special cultural show.
The present V.I. was the next location. In contrast, the present school was all deserted and rooms locked up as it was a Sunday. The group could wander only along the corridors and visit the School Hall, letting all the distant school memories flood back.
The restored Old V.I. building and its heritage status.
The advance party greeted enthusiastically on arrival...
..and a warm welcome from Encik Mohd Amran, Director,
Jabatan Kebudayaan dan Kesenian Negara, Wilayah Persekutuan, Kuala Lumpur,
as their official photographer records the event.
Treated like VIPs, the visitors and performers pose at the iconic front steps.
A presentation on the history of the old V.I.
The enthralled visitors are treated to a special performance.
Tarian Payong and ...
...a spectacularly graceful dance.
The group is called on stage to receive a special token from the Director.
Once more, the visitors and performers pose together.
In air-conditioned comfort, Ann Foo and Alice Lee chat with their hosts
under the Gothic arches that once graced the inner corridors.
The group explores the grounds.
The back staircase is in pristine condition.
Practically a century separates the visitors of Mr Shaw (centre, back row) from the visitors of 2018.
The same back staircase accommodating two very diverse groups - Shaw and his staff at left, and the 21st century visitors.
Now, back to the other V.I. - the present V.I.
Sorry, the V.I. Museum is not open on Sundays.
Dennis Loh, who once played during school assemblies, tickles the ivory again.
Ann Foo scans the names on the outdated Honour Boards.
Koh Tong Chui, School Badminton Captain for 1963-1964, locates his name.
It's been sixty years since Sieh Kok Ying (second from left) last stood on the stage.
As the visitors are leaving they glimpse the renowned VI Marching Band
rehearsing for the world championship in Taiwan the following week.
(The Victorians finished a close second to the eventual winners.)
Photo credits: Chris Liew, Alice Lee,