A Lighter Side Of 45
..... Going On To 50!
Two score and five years after completing the
Cambridge School Certificate (now known as GCE “O” level), the ACS
Class of ‘60 gathered at the River View Hotel on 07 October 2005 for
its 45th Reunion Dinner. Laced with superb food, beautiful décor and
convivial spirit, the memorable event was superbly organised and
executed by the hotel’s Director of Food & Beverage and also fellow
classmate, Richard Tan Lin Siong.
As our cohorts streamed in (many of whom were from the first Primary
One class at the then new Barker Road campus in 1950), exclamations
of “Goodness gracious! I have not seen you for such a long time”
reverberated through the air. Indeed, it has been a long time as the
last reunion was five years ago, and appearances have certainly
changed judging by the amount of hair, white hair, or no hair at all
on the heads of many!
The evening was graced by a good turn out of distinguished guests –
our former and retired principals and teachers. Among them were
Messrs Lee Hah Ing, Earnest Lau, Wan Fook Weng, Goh Chin Chye, Wee
Choon Siang, Liau Nyuk Hoi and Ms Si-Hoe Sing Sow – all robust and
in the pink of health and none the worse after surviving the ordeal
of ‘torture’ teaching the incorrigible Class of ’60. Amazingly, all
had no problem remembering those who gave them “hell” during the
School days, as their elephant memories betrayed their seasoned
years - much to the chagrin of their younger Class of ’60
The choice of Col (Retired) Cheong Kun Hung as the MC for the
evening was an obvious one as he was the only one with the talent of
recognising the majority of the cohorts. With his colourful language
(though somewhat toned down over the years) and keen army eye for
faces, he did a great job keeping everyone in check, amused and
In his welcome speech, Chris Chen Yee Ching singled out the teachers
present and the cohorts who flew in for the dinner from the US
(Robert Huang aka Wong and Joseph Hang Ga Hua), Canada (Vinodrai
Chottalal and Choon Kian Choon) and the United Kingdom (Tan Kay
Tong). Classmates who have gone to be with the Lord were not
forgotten, as they were remembered a minute’s silence. Tan Gee Paw
then gave thanks for God’s provisions and good health before dinner
Ernest Lau delivered the first ‘lecture’ for the evening in his
typical ‘hands in trousers pockets’ pose (dare you use the word
“pants” and you get a ‘F’ for English!). True to his archival
calling at the Methodist Headquarters, Mr. Lau related the miracle
of how a missing link was uncovered through diligent detective work
in ACS history that led to the discovery of a successful ACS old
boy, Li Denghui, who became the first President of the well-known
and highly regarded Fudan University in Shanghai.
behalf of the overseas jet-setting cohorts, Vinodrai then spoke
fondly of treasured memories and continuing warm friendships amongst
classmates that transcended physical distance. Following this, the
inimitable Mr Lee Hah Ing tactfully left the past behind to avoid
embarrassing some of those present with memories that were not up to
par. Instead, he got the audience rolling with laughter with jokes,
some of which bordering on shades of blue. If only he had liven up
our history lessons with such jokes, all the history students would
certainly have scored straight As in the Cambridge exams then!
Five years ago, we started the tradition of inviting an
‘international’ artiste to perform a special item at our reunion
when David Tang (aka Tong Toh Meng), then a British resident,
performed a Spanish Flamingo dance. This time round, lanky Robert
Huang from Berkeley gave a superb “Tai Chi” performance a la
California. Now we are convinced why the government thinks so highly
of “foreign talent”. Just cannot imagine Kun Hung or Leslie Mah
doing any of these performances, unless you can tear them away from
the mahjong table!
Throughout the dinner, the MC thoughtfully played all the oldies
ranging from the 1950s to 1960s, as a gentle (or was it blatant?)
reminder of the aging population that evening. This later led to a
contest when short extracts of the music were played to challenge
old and faded memories to identify the song titles and singers.
Raymond Fung He Mun finally emerged a clear winner with Robert Huang
second. Obviously, these two chaps misspent their youths listening
to “pop” music rather than study!
The evening rounded up with renderings of songs by the then school
talent-time runners up comprising Kun Hung, Freddy Eng Kwee Chew and
Anthony Tan Hock Chye, followed by Philip Goh Wee Lip and Alan Tan
Beng Hoe entertaining the crowd with Karaoke singing.
When it was time to say goodbye, ninety odd classmates and teachers
formed a circle to sing with gusto Auld Lang Syne until the next
re-union in 2010 to celebrate the Class of 1960’s Golden 50th
Anniversary. To ensure that we do not lose any of our flock until
then, everyone received a gift of herbal condiments from Eu Yan
Sang, courtesy of Leslie Mah.
The Best is Yet to Be!
The ACS Class of 1960
Tong on the right, posing with
Mr Lee Hah Ing, Mr Goh Chin Chye
and overseas classmates, Robert
Huang and Vinodrai Chottalal.