Monday, April 26, 2010

50 years After – Reunion 2010

Aboard Luxury Coach Being Taken around the Port

Cars Awaiting Distribution

A Container Ship Streaming To Berth

Tea at the 18th Floor, From Left: Amin, Gear, Gurdial, Azzat,Bear, Hank and Hal

Tea at the 18th Floor, From Left: TSG, Bear, Hank, and Hal

Cruising Along The Coast, From Left: TSG, Gear, Bear, Gurdial, Hank, Aji, Azzat, and Chua

Disembarked at Pulau Ketam: From Left: Gurdial, Chua, and Gear

Dinner, From Left: Gurdial, Aji, Gear

Dinner, From Left: Aji, Gear, Hank, Hal, and Amin

Farewell, From Left: Hank, Gear, Aji, Bear, Gurdial, TSG, Azzat, Amin, Chua, and Hal

On April 24, 2010, we had a reunion. This came 50 years after we set eyes on each other in 1960. In fact it all started a few months earlier, sometime at the end of 1959.

We were then a group of scraggy looking kids barely 14 years old trying our best to get into one of the best schools then there was. We had come for an interview to be accepted into Form 3 of the FMC ( Federation Military College )

It seemed there were many groups of hopeful boys that came from all over the country. We came in batches. Everyone would want to join the FMC, ( later the RMC ) many could not as the number offered was very limited.
We therefore considered ourselves very lucky just to be called for an interview, the first step. We came to P.Dickson (PD) where the College was then, certainly full of hope. For 3 days we were pitted against each other, put through a rigorous regime of a medical exam, an obstacle course, and classroom academic tests. At each stage there were ‘casualties’. Only a small number ‘survived’ who had then to go through a final interview.

It was such a thrill when I received later at home the warrant ticket, ( the first of many ) a familiar pink coloured paper that entitled me to a second class KTM ticket from KL to Seremban . (Others came from as far as Kangar, Kota Bahru or JB) Together with it were the various papers containing joining instructions signed by the then adjutant Lt.Osman Zain ( later Maj-Gen ,Datuk ) with instructions to report to the Boys Wing of the FMC.

That was where we first met in PD in 1960, 50 years ago. There were altogether 35 of us new boys in Form 3 . The next year about 27 more joined in direct into Form 4 making a total of 62 Form 4 students in 1961. The number dwindled after Form 5 in 1962, the majority joined the Cadet Wing to be groomed as young officers in the Armed Forces, some others left as a natural form of attrition, and some overseas for further studies.

Only a handful were left to continue into the Lower Sixth Form, 18 in Arts and about an equal number in Science.

Now, fast forward to April 24, 2010. Of the 18 of the HSC ‘Class of ‘64’, 16 are still around and kicking, 2 had passed on and 1 somehow is untraceable (last heard had migrated overseas some where)

The 16 comprised OPs, TSG, Aji, Amin Jerry, AKBear, Dolet, Azzat, Hamzah Kalidas, Mazlan, Hank, Zawawi Emzet (all from 1960) Hal, Chua, Gurdial, Haron, Gear & Shah (all from 1961) The late Ritz & Lawrence had passed on and Ong is MIA.
TSG the Executive Chairman of Wesports hosted the reunion. However much we had endeavoured to get everyone in, only 10 were able to be present.
TSG had dispatched an Alphard to our rendezvous point in PJ where 5 climbed in and 3 followed closely in a car. AKBear decided to come by commuter from Seremban to P.Klang and was picked up on arrival and whisked to Westports direct. Nobody got lost and everything went clockwork. That’s logistics, military style. Resolve a potential problem at source and things fall into place!

We were then taken around the container terminals in a luxury coach, with a police car escorting us with lights flashing ( being a security area the auxiliary police escort is mandatory ) We spent 30 mins just looking through, stretched over 3.5km of quayside, there were then about 3 container ships berthed, some with containers stacked 8 stories high, while more containers ideally arranged on the ground awaiting movements. There were Perodua Alzas in rows due for export to East Malaysia and Mazda cars also in rows just arrived awaiting distribution locally. It appeared so orderly on the ground.

A container ship is in port 65% of the time of travel. The secret is to reduce the mph (movements per hour) of the crane speed of loading and unloading so that less time is spent idly in port instead of plying the high seas. ( the other measurement is of volume in millions of TEUs - to google ‘Westports, TEUs’ for more )

TSG, later met us at his conference room on the 18th fl and gave us a walk through of Westports. ‘It is S.E.A’s multi award-winning port, that’s leading the world when it comes to productivity’ he said. We did not argue with that because it is true!

We later had tea before TSG and all of us adjourned down to the wharf for a boat cruise. We then had a stop-over for our anniversary dinner at Pulau Ketam of fresh sea-food (of course) and came back to the mainland by 2200hrs.

Before we left , Chua exclaimed when bidding farewell ‘..well done, well done, well done..’ which best summed up our appreciation, respect and awe at one of us, namely TSG who was able to see a niche, seized the opportunity and got himself into the Malaysian Business’ ‘ List of 40 Richest Malaysians in the Country’ some years ago, all within 1 generation.


Al-Manar said...

And a small group of us are trying to get going a small 55th anniversary do - with so many having left us.

kaykuala said...

Pak Cik,
Please do.It is refreshing.Based on how we all felt the other day, numbers didn't matter as long as it is made to happen and we get to meet.

norzah said...

Kk, you seemed to have a really good reunion after 50yrs. M surprised to know that TSG was in your group half a century ago. He used to hang around the late Tok Mat, the Minister of Information (RTM), and me in the late 80s. Now that he's a big tycoon, I don't think he remembers Mohd Nor Ghani. You might want to check his memory when next you meet him. Just say "hi" for me.

kaykuala said...

Sdr Norzah,
Wildo. I'll mention in my email to him. Meeting him is rare these days.

abdulhalimshah said...

Dear Hank,
After the trip, somehow I had been so tardy to write something in my blog.Perhaps it could be due to my sinus which I had to cope with during the trip.
As a rejoinder, I came in later than you though I came for the interview in 1959, same year as you but was not successful. I tried again the following year and managed to be selected.
It was a good thing that TSG made good his promise of taking us on a cruise,which he made four years ago, after our get together in 2006 in Glenmarie. Thanks to you for always being the able and efficient organiser. And of course though we did not get to cruise in TSG's yacht, the Marine Department's hospitality in taking us to Pulau Ketam and back was a most memorable trip for the reunion.It was unfortunate that a few dropped out for the reunion at the last minute.

kaykuala said...

Dear Hal,
When TSG finalised the itinerary the other day he signed off with a 'see u next yr'
It is imperative on our part then to see to it happening, more so for the 6 who didn't make it.