The January 2013 reunion was decided when it was made known that Cheng and Hock Lye was going to be back in Malaysia.
Sometime in August 2012, Molly Hanson (aka Siang Boon) who was bored to bits in LA, US decided to Google to see if her ACS schoolmates remembered her. She thought she may check them out since she was coming back for a short holiday in Malaysia during September. She Googled her nemesis – Sze Tho Kong Chian. To her amazement, she received a response from thrilled to pieces Casey who begged CRO organise something to meet up.
A surge of emails exchanges to London, Miri and locally. As it was a weekday, there were only a handful of us made the dinner to meet those who flew thousands of miles collectively. Sing Khow organized the Chinese restaurant in PJ Hilton and while I collected Siang Boon and her beau, Michael from Traders Hotel. Siang Boon was recognizable when she got into my car and wanted to know who is doing what, where and how everyone was. The conversation did centre on a missing doctor and she remarked how delighted she would be to have a chance to catch up with that certain individual. Without SB’s knowledge, I had earlier arranged for that individual to emerge as a surprise dinner guest. I remained zipped up and seeming disinterested but was really enlightened by her bona fide confessions.
Kim Tze had arrived from London earlier and treated us all to dinner and Stephen bought the coffee and teh tarik when we adjourned to the coffeehouse. At dinner, Siang Boon sat on my right and I shooed Sing Khow/Stephen Cheah/Foo Chee Keong away from the empty seat next to my left. I commented I wanted to park my Bally handbag on the seat. I delayed the waiters who were waiting to serve dinner and gave them the go-ahead after receipt of a phone call reporting “I am in the taxi.” Just as the waiters brought us the hot steaming food, Faizul sauntered in with his suitcases flashing his signature grin. Siang Boon’s jaw plummeted and time stood still and flashed back to 1970s…
The rest of the Sept evening is now history. The following day, Foo Chee Keong bundled Siang Boon and Michael to Seremban for a tour to ACS and also connect with Zip, Kim Fui and Koon for lunch….
Angie Yen 2012
First, Angie, Thank you for going to all this trouble organizing the reunion. And thank you all for coming to see me in spite of traffic jams, flights rescheduled. After all these years, too! I am grateful and humbled by your evident affection for me and for each other -those formative years at ACS left a rich legacy of friendship that neither time or geography could erase.
I must admit I left Malaysia precipitously- I did not say goodbye properly. For this I apologize- it was the graceless impatience of youth. But I found myself longing for familiar faces. Hometown, food eaten with friends in makeshift stalls by the river. The Old Wesley church was a bastion of moral clarity, for I was a confused young woman. ACS too offered discipline and the rigorous comfort of intellectual honesty:- 2=2 always equalled 4 then, and I was happy to memorize dates, do sums, recite poems, read books as the teachers bade me. I learnt to dissect frogs and sentences, isolate a muscle or differentiate an equation, tell a clause from a phrase.( an adverbial clause at that!) I felt clever for the first time in my life! And you were my extended family. I had 2 small sisters; I lived away from my parents in Primary School and moved back in to my parents in Form 1. The separation and return were difficult, and my home was turbulent; so, whether you knew it or not, your presence in School, Church and MYF ( Saturday 2;00 pm) was a crucial source of warmth, stability and acceptance for an odd, lonely teenager. But what teenager has not felt lonely or odd during the wonder and confusion of adolescence?
You have remained true to your young personalities,- physically older of course, but recognizable and endearing for that. Kim Sze, your white underpants will stay in my memory. Do you wish to be remembered by that? Szetho remains much loved pest/ playmate. These days we play with words only.Stephen speaks with an American twang- unexpected. I am proud of all of you. Dinner was delicious,( thank you Kim) the conversation - great and your presence, deeply comforting.
Seeing Faizul was a treat, I had not expected him. I guessed I sealed my doom when I got a little too confessional in my first update to you. Faizul didn’t seem fazed one bit, though. Michael is happy to see me so happy and encouraged me to see you guys as much as possible- so please let’s keep the website and friendships and reunions and emails going! After all this business of growing up, going to school, training for a job, earning a living , raising family, getting married , staying married- god knows we need to talk and sing and eat and dance, and be children again. I love you all. Siang boon
Yeo Siang Boon
Hi Molly and Faizul,
It was wonderful catching up with you and reminiscing... Like you, I have wonderful memories of our time at school. Angie, thanks for herding us all together!
Zul, it was true that we all wanted to be like you. You were the best athlete among us and we were all inspired by you. That's certainly how I remembered both the football and track events anyway. I don't remember teaching you Elvis on the guitar though but remember clearly you coming to play badminton at Mr Veerapan's house in Temiang. Wonderful times....
Molly, lovely to hear your story. Can't say I was surprised to learn that you had gone into medicine. As the most literate and erudite among us, the only other careers for you would have been journalism, law or teaching English literature! As a kampong boy, without TV or books, and usually without electricity at night I always felt inferior to you city kids. You will be discussing the previous night's TV shows or a book you've read, and I would be feeling like an dumb peasant! Although I was always in the bottom group in class, my objective was never to come last! Thank God I had Wing Kwong and Tham Fong to help me!! I might need to be in Pasadena in the next few months. Will let you know if I make it there and will try to meet up somewhere in LA and we can do some more reminiscing....