Tuesday, 26 April 2011

The old Westlands gang from 1965

I find that as we grow older, we tend to look forward to the reunion of old school friends. My last secondary school reunion in February brought together only about 40 of us. We felt that it was an accomplishment to even get this number together. Well, if secondary school reunions are already that difficult, just imagine how much more difficult it is to have a reunion of primary school friends.

Recently, I just happened to catch up with four old friends from my Westlands Primary School days. It wasn't even planned as a reunion. We were just five folks who happened to be at the right place at the right time. (Or at least, I was.)

So here we here, a picture taken at the 1926 Heritage Hotel in Burmah Road. That's Johnson on the far left and beside him is Oon Hup, just recently returned from England. Ch'ien Cheng is in the centre and next to me is Seng Oo.

After our lunch at the hotel's Hainanese Delights Restaurant, we went on a tour of the premises. Before 1999, the whole place was actually old government quarters. There were two rows, one facing Burmah Road and the other facing Immigration Road. The Penang Development Corporation converted these old quarters into a heritage hotel and tried to run it. As was to be expected when people are placed into unfamiliar roles, the hotel didn't have much of a success. I heard that the management changed hands a few times.

Anyway, it turned out that Johnson had actually lived in one of the old quarters along Immigration Road. So the short inspection of the hotel brought back a lot of nostalgia for him.

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