Angie Yen Shu Hui
Writing reports has always being part of my job. When tasked to write your own profile, it is certainly hard, where do you start? Certainly I am not keen to write an autobiography but I should contribute my part with Hock Lye putting so much effort into the web-site to keep us all updated.
Being the eldest in a family of 4 brought along many other responsibilities. This included keeping an eye on the younger siblings and helping out in my mother’s champur stall situated next to Metropole Cinema. Tau Boon stayed at the other side of the cinema. My mother stall was the Starbucks of those days for many Chan Wah, Chong Wah and SPI students; the blended ice kachang only cost 10 cents then. Many of these SPI guys who I befriended later confessed that that they had ‘borrowed’ a lot of comic books from my father’s stall that was situated in one corner in the same stall. Some of the original Spiderman, Superman and Batman comics are somewhere in their storerooms. If they are still in their original form, they are worth a fortune now.
Growing up in ACS has been one of the best times of my life. However when you grow up and get into the world it knocks you in different direction and you get bruised, weaken yet strengthen along the way. Sometimes, you display your scars and achievements, physically and emotionally. By the grace and goodness of God, I have learnt and survived. I live with my teenage daughter in KL and make the occasional trip back to Seremban. I attend the Charis Christian Centre situated in Cheras and once a while Benjamin Yeoh can be found preaching in my church. Peter Lingam and Michael Lim Kah Sian also attend the same church. I work with British High Commission so blessed with the occasional trip back to UK when I catch up with friends now based in London.
Looking back, it has not only been the Class of 71 that I know well. There are quite a few from the Class of 70 and Class of 74 that I have mixed with. My mother’s youngest sister, my aunt, Siew Boi was in the Class of 70, so we did sneak to many of the infamous dances at the Town Hall or NSCRC with her ‘gang’ – Christine Ng Ah Yoke, Ronnie Teh, Chiew Siew. I still see Christine and Ronnie who attend my church. I organised a reunion for their batch with Kuan Yew Thiam, Gan Kim Leong, and Jeffery Ong when Siew Boi aka Margaret came back from London a few years ago.
Class of 74 was my brother’s batch (Yen Chorng Iuan; popularly known as Ah Juan) and this group included Chong Hock (Cece’s brother), Thong Yau (Siew Pheng’s brother); Helen Heng (Siang Boon’s cousin), Yap Lay Choo (Swee Chu’s cousin) Felicia (current ACSOSA president), Gary Liew, Chen Tee Shaw, Wong Lai Mei (Lai Ching’s sister). They were always in our house the entire Christmas Day for a good number of years listening to Christmas Carols sung by Ray Coniff and the Singers. I hope this article will encourage more of you from other years to get on the web-site to stay connected.
Ecclesiastes 3 (a book from the Bible) was a song made famous by Peter Paul and Mary during our times; To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven. How true!
Like fashion that goes in a complete cycle, it looks that the best time of my life is also making a comeback. The platform heel that we trotted around is back in fashion along with hipsters and flare pants, then known as the A-Go-Go style. See some of us in our ‘then’ pictures, the spectacle frames do look similar, don’t they? In the last decade, many of us especially in the Class of 71 have somehow flocked around for get-togethers. One of the things I like about meeting schoolmates after so many years is that there is no need to pretend. There is no farce when you see and meet people that you have grown up with. Sorry if you have a hang-up or personal agenda to gloat about your achievements. I am not interested and I can safely say the same for many of us who share the same view.
Many of you have become part of my life that you are not even aware of. Koon Koon, Loon Loon and myself probably took out first pictures together when we were three years old. We spent loads of time together when they were still staying at the parsonage next to our school field. I still have pictures of us at a Christmas pantomime. Wing Kwong, Lee Choo, Poh Ling were in the same class as me since Standard One. Wing Kwong is that cute guy standing, second row on the extreme left in the Standard One photos on the website. Shirley Wong was much taller than I, when we were in Standard 1. Lee Choo is on Mrs Guna’s right, second girl. Poh Ling is sitting next to Mrs Gunaratnam on her left and the cute little girl behind Poh Ling in between Mrs Guna is ME, Yen Shu Hui.
Poh Ling holds the record as she has been in the same class as me from Standard One to Form Five. Many of us including Lai Cheng, Sze Poh, Stephen, Berne, Siang Boon, Selvaraja, Krishnan, Dorothy, Adeline, Wong Lai Peng, Ng Mee Lian, Soh Kim Foo, Ranjit, Keng Hay, Lick Hun, Meng Yin, Phooi Fun, Ken Pow, Shirley Wong, Ulaganathan were together in the Express 2 & 3 classes. So were the late Kong Thiam Yoon and Yeoh Swee Yun whom I understand is not himself anymore. Folks like Yee Kam Onn, Yap Swee Chu, Ow Mei Ling, Toh Kwee Cheong, Pushpaleela, Wan Kim Moi, Loh Moi Kwee, Khoo Nee Yong, Moo Foot Onn, Khoo Siew Heong, Foo Chee Keong, Balbir Singh, Deverajah, Ee Fook Tong, Cecelia were in Standard 5. My memory of Standard 6 was Miss Heng Chor Cheng who was always staring out of the class window, lost in a world of her own.
Sze Tho Kong Chian who went to the same Methodist kindergarten as me continued our Form 6 in Locke Academy. Sze Tho was known as Augustine then. Sze Poh, Wan Kim Moi, Sng Gek Sim and myself had loads of fun at the Girl Brigade especially the plays that Sze Poh directed. Tiga Suku was our favourite. Nancy Yap, Terry Leong, Ng Jit Jam, Lim Kit Lin, Kim Fui, Teck Ho, Teck Hui, Kuan Yew Thiam, I remember them well at the Scouts, Girl Guides, Boys Brigade socials that I was invited to. Hock Lye and myself were once forfeited to do a folk dance which was probably the only dance I remember doing in ACS. Cambridge, Harvard, Nanyang and Malaya named after famous Universities of our time also bring lots of memories. It was also glorious days when the Boys Brigade Band led the march past during Sports Day.
Remember the school trips to KL, PD and Penang? Lee Chee Peng took us on a trip to PD in Form 2. We all suffered cuts on our legs as the corals were really sharp. Mrs Heng, our Domestic Science teacher organised a trip to KL in Form 3, 1969. Many of us went to Penang during the Form 4 school- holidays in December 1970. Can’t remember who organised the trip to KL when we were in Form 5. I do have the photos that will bring back memories. I will put in the web-site, pity, as some of the photos are not very clear. You can still make out the faces of Cheong Yoke Heng, Lim Kooi Mei, Chin Kit Siew in 1971, Boon Chan, Swee Chu, Siew Heong, Kooi Mei, Chia Moi when we were in Penang in 1970; Jeyabalan, Tiew Seng, Deverajah at the Warrior’s Memorial Park in KL in 1969.
Most of us parted ways after leaving ACS, pursuing studies, careers, ambitions, families and taking on the world. The clock has now turned back for many of us as we reminisce our good times during our younger days. Now that we are approaching our Golden Years there is nothing more gracious than growing older and wiser with my old school friends. To those who have reappeared in my life, thank you. There are times that I ‘harassed’ most of you to attend a reunion or gathering of some sort but I suppose someone needs to do the pushing (my only form of exercise these days).
Some of us have made visits back to our teachers. It is such a wonderful and warm feeling when you see them because who you are today were because of their influence. A section of our web site will be dedicated to our teachers and I hope that you will all contribute to this section as well.
I must make special mention to my best phone and email buddies as not many days now pass without a call, email to/ from one of them; Zip, Casey, Kim Fui, Koon, Wing Kwong, Hock Lye, Yin Chan, Hoon Peck. Thank you to special friends like Zip who I share many secrets, past and present; Casey and Fui for your affectionate ways, Benjamin for upholding in many of us in prayers, Michael Lim and family for being there. Thank you for all the encouragement and always being available to Denise and me.
To be happy, make other people happy.