We came back from the island quite late last night. It has been many years since we last attended the annual dinner of the Old Frees' Association and I thought that I should reconnect with some of the Old Frees again. I had hoped to meet up with some of my old schoolmates who are still in Penang but was disappointed on this score. Only bumped into one of them. I suppose the rest were simply....disinterested.
But I did meet up with a few other fellas whom I had lost touch with for several years now, people like Soo Kar Wong (formerly the general manager of the Hotel Merlin) and Lee Hock Choon (former colleague at Ban Hin Lee Bank). And Cheah Hooi Seng and his wife still looked pretty hale and hearty.
This year's function is already the association's 88th anniversary dinner, coinciding of course with the Grand Old Lady's 195th anniversary itself. Five more years and the school shall be celebrating its bicentenary. That means 200 years of the school's existence, people!
An interesting point brought up by the OFA president during the function: the old Headmaster's House has been converted into a homestay by Puspanita.
Who was responsible for it: the federal government or the state government? Whoever approved the deal, it was made in very bad faith. How can anyone ever convert a building in the school premises for the use of outsiders? We can't have non-Old Frees running around in a corner of what is essentially the school's premises. The Old Frees' Association is right in wanting the building back so that it can be used to house the school's archives.
Among the shows during the night, the school's Drumline put in a rousing display. I should think that any performance by the school will always get an enthusiastic response from the Old Boys. If I'm not mistaken, these boys might have performed during the funeral procession of Dr Lim Chong Eu last year.