SOME 100 former students of Victoria Institution from Class of 1989 thoroughly enjoyed the get-together where they shared memories of their schooling days.
Event organising committee member Praba Ganesan said the 30th anniversary reunion was planned over months and it went off without a hitch at the Royal Selangor Golf Club.
“The turnout was still encouraging despite the many who could not join due to prior engagements.
“Some of us do meet up quite often, while we see others every now and then but there are a few who have never met since leaving school after completing our Form Five.
“So the dinner was both comforting and a little bit awkward at the same time, ” said the chief executive of Kuasa, a democracy outreach organisation.
Praba said plans were in the pipeline for another gathering, for those who could not make it this round.
“Hopefully we will not need to wait another 10 years, the 40th anniversary, to meet up again, ” he said.
Former VI Cadet Corps band chairman Allan Foo Kit Seng described the gathering as “very timely and meaningful.”
Foo said he was very proud of the school’s achievements in various fields.
Recently, the VI band proved they were still a cut above the rest when they emerged as the overall marching show band champion in the Malaysia World Band Competition 2019, edging 29 other teams, including a visiting team from the Philippines.
Foo also expressed gratitude for the role played by former and present teachers, who had moulded them to be leaders in society.
“It was our caring and dedicated teachers who made our schooldays so fun.
“They are the ones who nurtured us to be what we are today. We are grateful to them, ” said the established entrepreneur.
Former class monitor Yusseri Yusoff said he still kept in touch with most of his former classmates and they met up once every few months.
“If there is a need or an SOS, they know who to call. I will be there for them.
“Frankly, I did not expect my post to be a lifelong commitment, ” he said in jest.
“But I still enjoy shouldering the responsibility. It’s class monitor or nothing for me. I shall never be demoted, ” he joked.
The Star’s deputy editor Simon Khoo also reminisced about the good old days when race was never a barrier among Victorians.
“Yes, we quarrelled and fought. But we never look down on each other’s creed, colour and culture.”
He cited a major punch-up involving two of his schoolmates, Shamsuri Mahmud and Chew Pit King, dubbed the fight of the century back then.
Chew, who was at the reunion, had even previously joked with Shamsuri about having a rematch but there never was any animosity between them, living up to the saying “Once a Victorian, Always a Victorian” and their school motto “Be Yet Wiser”.
“How times have changed! It only shows that there is an urgent need to give more focus to national unity, ” said Khoo.
Victoria Institution is the oldest secondary school in Kuala Lumpur.
Among the notable alumni are sportsmen the late Datuk Mokhtar Dahari and the Sidek brothers, former minister Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, former top cop Tan Sri Zaman Khan Rahim Khan, prominent businessman Tan Sri Francis Yeoh, economist Tan Sri Dr Ramon Navaratnam and Attorney-General Tommy Thomas.