HANDSHAKES, hugs and beaming faces were the order of the day when SMK St George’s Class of ’75 students gathered at their first reunion dinner in Taiping recently.
Although only about 30 from the original batch of about 120 turned up at the dinner, most of them could not contain their happiness upon seeing each other after parting ways about 30 years ago.
One of the happiest persons at the gathering was the old boys’ former discipline teacher, Ng Kam Chee, who is now 71 years old.
“Of course I am happy to see my former students and they are doing well in life,” said Ng who also taught gymnastics then.
He admitted that some of them were “quite naughty” but things seldom got out of hand.
“Those involved in fist fights are normally called up and a handshake usually ended their disputes,” he said.
Ng’s strict disciplinary practices must have left a strong impression on the students. Many of the old boys who were seen smoking at the hotel’s entrance scuttled for cover when they saw Ng.
Ng, when asked about indiscipline among students today, said, “The television influence is terrible.
“In the old days, our students were not exposed to such distractions.
“Parents also don’t have much time for their children nowadays.
“They should spend at least an hour or two daily with them to offset such distractions,” said Ng who has two grown-up children and five grandchildren.
Ng attributed the success achieved by the school prima-rily to the supervisory role played by the school’s Brothers.
“In those days, they conducted daily inspections in classrooms, thus keeping not only the students but also the class teachers on track,” said Ng.
Also present at the dinner were former teachers including Brother John D’Cruz, a former director of the school who is residing in New Zealand and Class of ’75 physics teacher, Wong Yen Lau.
While there may not be any public figures among them, one of the old boys, Szeto Wai Loong, 47, a senior manager of a public-listed construction company said:
“I guess most of us are living comfortably now and dapat cari makan.”
Earlier, the old boys toured the school, checking out their former classrooms. The school’s afternoon supervisor Chan Fook Keong who is also a member of Class of ’75 showed them around.
“We have not be able to get in touch with many of our former classmates via correspondence or e-mail,” Szeto said when asked why only about 30 had turned up for the gathe-ring.
“But the turnout at this gathering is encouraging and we may hold another when we turn 50 in three years' time.”