I had not mentioned two days ago that Molly Ooi and I decided that we would jointly deal with the other two main sections of the OFA coffee table book, which were thea section on the deceased prominent Old Frees and another section for contributions from present Old Frees.
The latter section is the one that we are anticipating a bit of problem because we really do not know what to expect. We have so many Old Frees that had passed through the gates of the Penang Free School but how many of them would have received word that the coffee table book was being prepared? So here I am, making my own separate appeal to any Old Free who happen to be reading this message that the Old Frees' Association wants you!
You can write about another present Old Free (or many of them grouped together) who has distinguished himself (or themselves) in this country or anywhere else in the world. Or you can write about how the old school had played its part to mold or inspire you to become who you are today. My co-editor tells me that even poetry is acceptable if the message is couched along these two lines.
But just do take note that the closing date for our acceptance of stories is the end of this month. Also, the acceptance of any article is subject to the approval of the editorial board. Neither Molly nor I should be making unilateral decisions on accepting or rejecting any article.
Of the former section, we were in an initial quandry about what to do with it. Should we also include some prominent Old Frees that are still living? After a discussion with the editorial board, we have decided to play it safe by only featuring those Old Frees who have passed away. We really don't want any living prominent Old Free to feel slighted that we are not writing about them. It is a very practical decision, in my opinion.
Anyhow, you can be assured that the candidates that shall make their way into this section of the book will include at least Raja Syed Putra Al-Haji, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Dr Lim Chong Eu, Dr Wu Lien-Teh and P Ramlee. To my mind, these are the Big Five among the distinguished Old Frees for this book!