To­gether again

Sixty years hadn’t dulled the friend­ship be­tween th­ese Univer­sity of malaya grad­u­ates as they cel­e­brated their di­a­mond re­union.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - SENIOR - By DR SONNY YEOH OON SEANG

IN Oc­to­ber 1952, a batch of about 100 fresh­men ma­tric­u­lated for med­i­cal stud­ies at the Univer­sity Of Malaya in Sin­ga­pore (there was only one school of higher learn­ing then to cater for Malaya and Sin­ga­pore). Af­ter six years of ar­du­ous stud­ies, about 60 to 70 fi­nally grad­u­ated in June 1958.

Th­ese grad­u­ates have been pretty unique as they have been con­stantly in touch over the past 55 years. Tak­ing into con­sid­er­a­tion six years of hos­tel life to­gether, it was in ef­fect a Di­a­mond Re­union which was held from Sept 6 to 8, 2013. By then they had been friends for 61 years.

All of them are now in their 80s, with a few in their late 70s. It is quite re­mark­able that some of them are still in prac­tice!

Their Sil­ver Ju­bilee Re­union was held on Sen­tosa Is­land, Sin­ga­pore, in Fe­bru­ary 1983. The 30th re­union was held at Avana Gent­ings from Dec 29 to 31, 1988. There were spo­radic mini re­unions in be­tween those years.

By 2008 the grad­u­ates re­alised the at­tend­ing mem­bers were dwin­dling with each pass­ing year. It was de­cided from then on to have a re­union ev­ery year there­after.

Thus the Golden Ju­bilee Re­union was held in Cameron High­lands in Sept 2008; the 51st re­union in Malacca in Sept 2009; the 52nd in Sin­ga­pore in Sept 2010; the 53rd in Perth in 2011; and the 54th in Mel­bourne in Sept 2012.

The 55th re­union was held in Kuala Lumpur at Traders Ho­tel, and the high­point was a din­ner at Gobo Chit Chat Restau­rant. Nine­teen grad­u­ates showed up with their spouses. It was a joy­ous, happy, nos­tal­gic and emo­tional oc­ca­sion. One grad­u­ate showed up for the first time in 55 years, while two oth­ers showed up af­ter a lapse of 30 years!

The fol­low­ing day in­cluded a tour of the Is­lamic Mu­seum, the Royal Se­lan­gor Pewter show­room and workshop, and a fan­tas­tic din­ner cruise on Lake Pu­tra­jaya. The din­ner catered by Shangri-La was su­perb, the am­bi­ence on the boat ex­quis­ite, and the view of Pu­tra­jaya at night breath­tak­ing.

Ev­ery­one had a mem­o­rable get­to­gether, and it was de­cided to have the next re­union in Pe­nang in 2014.

Un­til the next time: a re­cent group photo in front of royal Se­lan­gor Pewter in Kuala Lumpur.

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