VIOS Reunion

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Café Noel

Perth




Planning for the 2012 Reunion

Finally, it was a day that all of us here in Perth were eagerly awaiting, given the previous two annual reunions were ‘raucous’ affairs with the enjoyable presence of Peter Koh in 2010 and Chung Chee Min in 2011.

The early collaboration and planning for this reunion had commenced months earlier with David Gan kicking off what would eventually turn out to be a flurry of email exchanges among the Perth VIOS as to the choice of venue.

This topic required discussion and consensus since Café Noel, which served as the venue for the previous reunions, had restrictions, despite its superb cuisine, on the maximum number of guests it could accommodate.

What a flurry of discussion that was with many offering opinions on alternate venues given their gastronomical experiences across Perth.

Such was the zealousness of the discussion that a criteria selection matrix was developed to help towards an objective assessment of the various venues that was proposed.

After reasonable deliberation and assessment it became an overwhelming choice, yet again, to hold the reunion at Café Noel, which has by now almost become a Perth VIOS stronghold once a year!

Confirmation of Dr McCoy’s Attendance

In the midst of these, we had news that Dr Ronald McCoy might be coming over for a personal visit and hence would like to coincide it with our reunion!

This news certainly roused greater interest among the VIOS here simply because of the privilege and honour in hosting Dr McCoy as our Victorian Guest of the Year!

David Gan a.k.a “Tai Kor of Perth VIOS” eventually confirmed that Dr McCoy would indeed be attending the reunion which excited everyone greatly to the point we had a full house with 25 strong confirmed attendees.

Reminding the good doctor that there was no such thing as a free dinner, we somehow managed to arm twist Dr McCoy into sharing his experiences of the V.I. during the dinner – which was to be the highlight of the evening.

VIOS Who Came

Among these was the distinguished presence of Dr McCoy's V.I. batch mate, Tan Kah Jin, and his wife, Lucy!

The other VIOS who graced the occasion were:

Susie Lim and Kevin The evergreen Ee Phaik Lian Ron Liew and Hian
Baljit Sambhi “Rookie VIOS" Harch and Indy Martin Lee and Maureen
Chong Sze Foh and Maureen Swaran Ludher and wife Chan Tak Kwong and Poh Tin
Joe Yap Chong Yee Raja Ahmad Raja Jalalludin David Gan & Katherine

How the Evening Began

The evening started with everyone slowly trickling in and mingling with one another. It was a joyful atmosphere with ex-Victorians simply elated at meeting one another again and catching up with old times. The oneness was so evident across the whole room as we all mingled beyond all barriers of age and background.

Dr McCoy and Kah Jin looked simply sharp and witty and their presence added a special gilt to the evening.

At about quarter past seven, David called the reunion into order. He provided a brief introduction of the agenda for the evening and officially welcomed Dr McCoy and the rest of the VIOS.

Let Us Now With Thankfulness

It was then time for the boisterous singing of our School Song, led by David. Let us now with thankfulness… rang loud and clear throughout the restaurant and surely across the neighbourhood!

Many were sure to have had experienced wonderful memories and emotions during these moments, possibly transported back in time to the many bright and blessed school assembly mornings of their V.I. days.

It was a special moment …and will always be… every time the V.I. school song is sung.

Dinner Menu

Dinner was then next on the agenda as everyone was waiting eagerly to tuck into some sumptuous food, courtesy of the fine selection by David as usual.

The menu for the night consisted of the following:

Appetiser – Korean Vegetarian Parcel
Fish & Prawn Karage accompanied by Miso soup, salad & rice
Spicy Chicken and Noel Beef
Dessert – Fusion Afagato – mixed nuts and maple syrup poured over vanilla ice cream

Dinner Is Served

The setting could not have been better for enjoying such wonderful food, which was served with much care by the owner of Café Noel and his lovely daughters.

The laughter and joy that engulfed the place must indeed have brought back some memories of those noisy days at the VI tuck shop!

Time just flew as everyone enjoyed the food and chatted busily with one another.

Sharing by Dr McCoy

In the midst of this while awaiting for the dessert to be served, Dr McCoy rose to address the group and share some of the recollections and reminiscences of his V.I. days

He began by stating that being with us made him feel as if he was back with his family.

It was such a riveting sharing from him that all were in awe of his wit, sharpness of mind and, more importantly, his immense admiration and gratitude to the V.I. and his headmaster, Mr F. Daniel.

He singled out Mr Daniel for having had such an influence in his life especially the inculcating in him the importance of being disciplined and taking initiatives in life.

He also paid tribute to his class teacher Mr Ganga Singh for the discipline ingrained in him, under whom his class would always win the cleanliness competitions.

The importance of good education was emphasized in great detail by Dr McCoy and for this he was ever grateful to his parents for having got him to study at the V.I.

On a lighter note he mentioned that during the recent VIOS Grand Reunion in Cambridge, some of the lady VIOS approached him and introduced themselves stating that he was the gynaecologist who had delivered them, to which he exclaimed to them that he was unable to recognise them now since they were all wearing clothes!!

Everyone sat glued to their seats throughout the fifteen to twenty minutes of sharing by Dr McCoy, fully aware of the rare privilege of listening in person to one of the finest Malaysians ever produced by the V.I.

(Note - Personally I had the honour of sitting beside Dr McCoy for most part of the night, something that I will cherish always.)

Dessert was then served as Dr McCoy took his seat.

Sharing by Harch

With the fire of our Victorianism fanned ablaze by Dr McCoy’s sharing, David opened the floor and invited others who might want to briefly share about their own days at the V.I.

Harch, a Rookie Perth VIOS, was “volunteered” to say a few words, which he didn’t disappoint!

He mentioned that he was very happy to have been able to come and join the reunion after having immigrated to Perth only this year.

Further, meeting some of the VIOS in person, whose names he has only heard of previously was a special experience for him, not to mention the joy of being able to be united with his fellow Victorians.

How the Rest of the Night Went On

The rest of the night went on with all kinds of interesting sharing among many, with some notable ones as follows:

Kah Jin

  -   played cricket for the V.I. Was the opening batsman, who used to set the stage for a V.I. onslaught!
  -   still can't figure out his “Tamil ancestry” given the Tamil name that he once used.
  -   was from PFS but became fully converted within the two years he was at the V.I.!

Martin Lee

  -   played badminton competitively during his V.I. days, when he used to captain the Selangor Schools team. Played against the likes of Tan Aik Huang and Ng Boon Bee. Needless to say what the outcome was!
  -   Used to curi fruits from some fruit trees along Jalan Kerayong while in the process of completing the Cross Country.
  -   Punch Gunalan would have won the famous finals with Rudy Hartono, if not for a dodgy call from a Malaysian linesman!

Phaik Lian

  -   Swims two kilometres every morning.
  -   Was quite surprised that, in the company of Dr McCoy and Kah Jin, she was no longer the oldest VIOS as she was normally accustomed to!

Baljit

  -   His VI days were simply special!!

Harch

  -   Played badminton against Misbun Sidek during a school tournament where the score ended at 15-0. (You guess which way it went!)

Raja Ahmad

  -   Played football for the V.I. which apparently was the only school allowed to field two teams in the interschool competiton in his days because of its high standard. The story went that whenever the B team faced the A team, the instruction was for it to lose!
  -   Grateful to Murugasu and rated him as easily one of the strictest headmasters of the V.I. which has left such an indelible impact in his life. In fact during Murugasu’s time, the V.I. was finalist in 18 sports events in interschool tournaments almost every year.

Farewell & Auld Lang Syne

Finally it was yet again time to say goodbye and good night to one another. This time around all held hands and sang Auld Lang Syne to their hearts content. This capped yet again another momentous VIOS reunion.


Paul Naganathan




VI The V.I. Web Page


Created: December 3, 2012.
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