RETIRED teacher Peter Chin Peng Kong may be 73 years old this year but he still remembers vividly the voices of some of his students from over 40 years ago.
Chin, who is visually impaired, enthusiastically shared his tales as a former English and History teacher at St Mark’s Secondary School in Butterworth, Penang, during a trip down memory lane with some 250 ex-teachers and students in a reunion.
“This is my first meeting with them since they graduated in the 1970’s.
The former teachers and students taking a photo to commemorate the occasion at St Marks School reunion in Sunway Hotel in Seberang Jaya
“As a retiree, I definitely missed the time spent with my students, which had been my daily routine for 30 years as a teacher since 1967,” he said recently.
He added that he is the first visually impaired graduate teacher in the country.
Former students greeted Chin as they exchanged hugs, shed tears of joy and shared tales of their pranks and mischiefs during their school days.
Their teachers and ex-students’ 1971 to 1974 reunion event was held at Sunway Hotel in Seberang Jaya.
Sales manager Chan Kong Art, 60, said it took him three years to track down most of the people via WhatsApp and Facebook.
“Some even flew in from Canada, United States, Australia, Singapore, Indonesia and West Malaysia for the occasion,” he said.
Parkaran helping Chin, who is visually impaired, get up from his chair during the event.
“It is not an easy feat tracking down most of them since those from our time are not exactly technologically or smartphone savvy.
“We are just happy to be together again after all these years,” said Chan.
Al Jazeera TV producer K. Parkaran, 62, said the reunion was a nostalgic trip home for many of them who were meeting after decades of losing contact.
“Our oldest ex-teacher here is 80 years old and we are proud to be together as a multiracial group.
“The gathering portrayed us as ‘One Malaysians’. We didn’t care then who was what or formed groups based on racial identity.
“This is what we were and what we should be.”