Features

Published: Friday December 20, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Friday December 20, 2013 MYT 9:09:42 AM

Canossian Convent: The ties that bind

The Crazees at their recent reunion, with the writer, Rajes, seated in the centre.

The Crazees at their recent reunion, with the writer, Rajes, seated in the centre.

For a bunch of Canossian Convent school girls from Segamat, it was a case of absence making the heart fonder during a recent reunion.

THE date June 8, 2013, dawned bright and clear. Various groups of girls … erm … women, headed towards Malacca, driving, taking buses, being driven by husbands, children or other members of their families.

The lobby of Bayview Malacca was a madhouse at noon with women of all colours, shapes and sizes clamouring to check in early while carrying on conversations with those beside them.

“Hah? You still working ah? Not tired ah?”

“I din know you were staying there. Very near my Taman what? If I knew, I would’ve looked you up early, early already.”

“Four grandchildren ah? You joking or what?”

It was the day of the grand reunion of the Class of ’70 of Canossian Convent Segamat – or the CCSCO70 Crazees, as we call ourselves. Crazy, we were back then, and to our utter delight, still are – embarrassingly so! While some had stayed in touch, many had zero contact with their ex-classmates for more than 40-odd years until the organising of the reunion, which also triggered the setting up of the blog Crazy CanossianS CO’70 Reunited.

Long before the “Night of Nostalgia” was to start, the ladies gathered outside the Carnation Room, the venue for the event, not wanting to miss a moment of that special night. Voices approached higher decibels as more and more people arrived. Pretty soon, pandemonium was upon us, with everyone shouting and screaming and trying to get into photographs with various gangs.

“Oh my God, you haven’t changed at all.”

“Aiyo, you look stunning man!”

“Alamak! Everybody looks so young! I better go back to my room and hide lah!”

“I know got theme wan lah! So shy to wear this ‘Flower Power’ attire lah – so old alledy woh!”

One for the album: The class of 1970 with the writer, Rajes, fifth from the left, second row from the top. 
The class of 1970 with the writer, Rajes, fifth from the left, second row from the top.

As someone put it, the foyer was like a pasar malam (night market). The few hubbies who lingered to assist or to chat disappeared in a hurry before they got sucked into the loony bin of loud and hyper-excited bunch of crazees!

The “Night of Nostalgia” was filled with shared memories, pure nostalgic laughter and lots and lots of catching up. Besides the wining and dining, there was lots of fun and excitement. A slide-show not only tugged at aged, cholesterol-lined heartstrings but had everyone in stitches as we poked fun at ourselves, the teachers and nuns. There was also a cake for all the Crazees who had turned 60 this year. And what is a reunion without games, rapid-fire rounds and prizes! Not to mention the prolonged yam seng (toast). However, the highlight of the “Night of Nostalgia” was “The Cano Awards”! Five Crazees won awards for the Ms Cano-70 Crazee, Ms Canogreen Memory, Ms Cano-Chic, Ms Flower Power and Ms Cano-70 Evergreen categories.

Alumni Mabel Wong is all smiles at winning one of the awards given out on the night of the reunion. 
Alumni Mabel Wong is all smiles at winning one of the awards given out on the night of the reunion.

The rest of the night was reserved for nostalgic singing and dancing, but of course! The singing started off with our 1970 farewell song, “Once upon a time …” sung to the tune of Those Were The Days by Mary Hopkins. This was followed by the classic songs sung during singing lessons in the convent – Funiculi-Funicula, My Grandfather Clock, Brother John and Santa Lucia’, to name a few. We also swayed, hummed, chatted and ate to the soundtrack of our favourites songs from the 1960s, catching each other’s eye to silently query, “Do you remember this?”

Later, it was time for some 1960s grooving. We weren’t as active with the Ago-go and Rock-and-Roll, but the Cha-cha and the Twist had glucosamine-supported knees doing some crazy stunts! Everyone was jostling for space on the floor. And when the Limbo Rock came on, the sight of 60-year-olds jumping to their feet with glee was a sight to behold. If better-halves had seen us, we would never again be able to complain about knee-pain! The restaurant staff were smiling and laughing at the antics of us60-year-olds who were acting like 16-year-olds!

The night came to a close with us singing our new song, That’s What Friends Are For. We promised to stay in touch from now on, so that we can be there for each other as we face the new challenges that our twilight years might throw at us.

The reconnecting and the rebonding continued in the foyer, till much later in the lobby, till the early morning in the rooms and over an extended breakfast until check-out time dictated that we bid adieu, albeit reluctantly.

Smiles, laughter, giggles and gossip

Friends make them happen

Secrets, tears and deepest fears

Friends always share them

Fun, enjoyment, festivities and celebrations,

Friends make them complete

Hurts, regrets, pain, broken hearts,

Friends magically fix them

Without this circle of friends

Life would be empty.

Tags / Keywords: Lifestyle, Convent, Reunion

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