Would anyone have any idea of the background of Mr GS Reutens? What I remember about him from my schooldays was that he usually wore his big khaki shorts to school. You know, the old fashioned khaki shorts that sort of flare and reach down to the knees, something akin to the modern-day cargo pants but without the unsightly side pockets. Reutens would have corresponding white socks pulled up almost to his knees too. Typically, he didn't wear ties in this set-up; he would be topped up with a bow tie. The only teacher with a bow tie. I didn't interact with him at all and I believe he left the Penang Free School as the senior art master in 1968, either retired or transferred elsewhere.
What I also remember most clearly about Reutens was that he composed the rousing School Rally. When was the School Rally composed? Its history is lost in the mists of time and usually when asked, the old farters in the Old Frees Association will just say vaguely that it was maybe in the 1960s. No exact year is mentioned because nobody remembers that far back. Or bothers to remember.
But the clue may be in the verses themselves. More specifically, the third verse which goes:
Let's all then join in this Jubilee,
All with one loud voice to proclaim,
Our true loyalty and our constancy,
To our Mater still remain.
Why "Jubilee"? Because in the 1960s, the only significant event for the PFS was its sesqui-centenary celebration and nothing else. Because of this one word, I believe Reutens had written the School Rally to celebrate the school's 150th anniversary. So if anyone were to ask when was the School Rally composed, I want to put it on record that the year should be 1966. That is, unless anyone can happily prove me wrong.
Anyway, those of us who were in Form One then were attending the afternoon sessions. We wouldn't have had the benefit of hearing the School Rally sung by the School Choir for the first time at the Assembly. But if you have heard of stories from your seniors in the school, please share with me here. I will be most interested to know more about GS Reutens and the School Rally.