It was a night long awaited by the senior V.I. alumni of Perth, Western Australia. Spearheaded by David Gan Kong Eng with his drive for keeping our school spirit alive, fellow Victorians once again flocked together with our families to share the ever binding spirit.
This was the fifth Reunion Dinner, which was held in Marumo Restaurant in Nedlands. As with the previous ones, the success of this once again says that this bond we share goes beyond any race or religion but towards a common love of our school. It is at this juncture that one feels so welcome that we just want to be together.
This event should not be missed and if you know anyone out there who is a Victorian, we welcome him or her to our next gathering.
The night started with the greetings at the entrance with our sweet hosts and the marking of attendance. The name tags are handed over, I must say helps tremendously. It is this kind of detail that goes unnoticed which ensures we greet each other with our names. I dare say that this group is so familiar that we probably can do without those tags.
I would like to take us a step back to the planning of where and who can make it and also the type of food. The other key organizers, Ron Liew and Paul Nathan, note down each and everyone’s preferences which in this case falls in four categories – no raw fish, no beef, no both and no preference. This really worked well and coupled with the brilliant table wait by the Marumo staff, it was executed flawlessly.The menu was described as a seven-course Degustation of Omakase. I will go into that shortly after getting back to the Why we were here.
As we quickly lost ourselves in the laughter and sharing, our MC for the night, Paul Nathan quickly harnessed our attention as in the true spirit of the prefects. As usual there will be someone who needed special attention and we all know who he was but we had a secret weapon….Ms Ee Paik Lian, our teacher and our first head girl. She had to use the “rotan”… There is one thing to add at this juncture is that once again we feel like school kids laughing and giggling and just enjoying ourselves with each other.
David reminded us of how wonderful it was to meet up again despite a handful that just couldn’t join us and stressed on keeping our spirit ever alive. One member of our alumni is unfortunately in hospital and we pass around a card with some colorful markers to enable all of us to share our thoughts for him. He is none other than Norman Foo. We hope and pray for his recovery.
(Addendum - Latest news is Norman Foo Yeow Khean has just passed away and all of us mourn the loss of a great man and good friend. His absence will certainly be missed. He battled his lung cancer with courage, scientific detachment and defiance and outlasted the prognosis by 3.5 years. May he Rest in Peace)
There is a VIOBA event in Singapore on 8th to 10th Octpber 2015 where we are all encouraged to attend. It is not surprising we have our Victorians all over the place have persuaded the Hard Rock Hotel in Singapore to give a good discount for us.
Our traditional singing of our school song soon followed. Another detail to mention is that printed song sheets were handed out to all. Again the organizers had this part thought out too. One cannot deny that when this song is sung, a little of our past gushes through and fond memories during our assembly and our body engulfs the spirit only a true Victorian can feel. What a great night!
This time we found a new comer and what a gem of a find he was…. Robert Lim who started a brief stay way back in 1950! If you work out the math, he is a whopping 78 years old and fine and dandy. He shared his movements as he came from Bukit Mertajam and studied in BRS before coming to V.I. After only a year, his family moved to Singapore and he studied in Raffles Institute. He remembers he was in Thamboosamy House.
Paul Nathan brought up the news that our VI Band won the championship in an international event in Denmark. This certainly brought good memories of the band which has consistently maintained the high standards every year we can remember. Good on our band and the great discipline and hours and days of practice. Jimmy Wong, a VIOS from the batch of 1981, has been supporting and, from 1983 onwards, has been personally coached the band to be where it is today.
Marumo Restaurant serves a classic gourmet Japanese cuisine. Other than the good company of friends, I dare say this is another key factor to attend the dinner function. If all fails, we at least can leave with the most scrumptious and appetizing dinner (please don’t tell our organizers...).
The menu alone was deliciously described and what's more, with every meal, the personal description of the ingredients and how to palate them was even articulated by our trusty waiter. His passion alone brought the elements of each ingredient to live. This brought a lot of depth into our meal than just having them without narration.
As fast as it came out, it disappeared equally fast from the plates. It was completely empty….. A welcome break was the sorbet iced drink which was to prepare us for the blue ribbon main course. To sum up, it was just fabulous.
The spirit alone was definitely one to continue burning and just one night a year just doesn’t seem enough.
Rumours are swirling about adding to this fine tradition with another one in Summer or Spring. We shall see as we keep tuned for the official announcement. I, for one, will always be a part of this family and thank you all for sharing and welcoming us in this gathering. For nostalgic reasons, let’s see the list of the attendance of the wonderful team we have.