UM medical grads get together for diamond reunion

A recent group photo in front of Royal Selangor Pewter iin Kuala Lumpur.

Sixty years hadn’t dulled the friendship between these University of Malaya graduates as they celebrated their Diamond Reunion.

IN October 1952, a batch of about 100 freshmen matriculated for medical studies at the University Of Malaya in Singapore (there was only one school of higher learning then to cater for Malaya and Singapore). After six years of arduous studies, about 60 to 70 finally graduated in June 1958.

These graduates have been pretty unique as they have been constantly in touch over the past 55 years. Taking into consideration six years of hostel life together, it was in effect a Diamond Reunion which was held from Sept 6 to 8, 2013. By then they had been friends for 61 years.

All of them are now in their 80s, with a few in their late 70s. It is quite remarkable that some of them are still in practice!

Their Silver Jubilee Reunion was held on Sentosa Island, Singapore, in February 1983. The 30th reunion was held at Avana Gentings from Dec 29 to 31, 1988. There were sporadic mini reunions in between those years.

By 2008 the graduates realised the attending members were dwindling with each passing year. It was decided from then on to have a reunion every year thereafter.

Thus the Golden Jubilee Reunion was held in Cameron Highlands in Sept 2008; the 51st reunion in Malacca in Sept 2009; the 52nd in Singapore in Sept 2010; the 53rd in Perth in 2011; and the 54th in Melbourne in Sept 2012.

The 55th reunion was held in Kuala Lumpur at Traders Hotel, and the highpoint was a dinner at Gobo Chit Chat Restaurant. Nineteen graduates showed up with their spouses. It was a joyous, happy, nostalgic and emotional occasion. One graduate showed up for the first time in 55 years, while two others showed up after a lapse of 30 years!

The following day included a tour of the Islamic Museum, the Royal Selangor Pewter showroom and workshop, and a fantastic dinner cruise on Lake Putrajaya. The dinner catered by Shangri-La was superb, the ambience on the boat exquisite, and the view of Putrajaya at night breathtaking.

Everyone had a memorable get-together, and it was decided to have the next reunion in Penang in 2014.

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