What collective noun should I use to describe the Old Frees in their natural environment? A group or gang of Old Frees is too unimaginative, mundane and unexciting. And among others, I've thought about suggesting a market place, a bench and a diversity of Old Frees and concluded that nah, there's nothing really special. But then I realised again that we are such a bunch of self-opinionated old farts whose main purpose in life is presumably to make our own noise heard above all others, especially at the annual general meetings. So maybe, a cacophony of Old Frees will best describe us! [UPDATE #1: Someone just suggested a civilisation of Old Frees. Sounds good but it is giving us too much credit. Ha ha....] [UPDATE #2: A convulsion of Old Frees?]
In the meantime, here is the first official use of a cacophony of Old Frees in this blog or anywhere else in this world. This picture was taken with William's mobile camera at yesterday's press conference at The Old Frees' Association to announce the launch of the PFS Bicentenary celebrations.
As it would seem to be the norm nowadays, I was unfortunate enough to stand out from the rest of the cacophony with my non-conformity but this was not by design. In the first place, it never occurred to me that everyone else (except for Molly, my co-editor, but then unlike the rest of us, she's a Lady!!) would want to wear the OFA tie.
(In my opinion, the present OFA tie, and for that matter the PFS tie on which it is based, is a fashion disaster. An awkward fashion statement. I have yet to see anyone wear this tie in good taste. It doesn't go well with any colour of shirt; not even against the neutral white.)
In the second place, neither the president nor the secretary had indicated that we should be dressed formally, or was this expected of us all along? In the third place, I had thought that I should be proud enough to turn up in a T-shirt that displays the OFA crest on the breast. Oh well.....
So who were we, this cacophony of Old Frees at yesterday's press conference? On their hind legs, left to right, were Zahari Zachariah (Bicentenary Committee treasurer), Lo Liang Kheng (Outdoor Games sub-committee chairman), William Tan (in charge of the layout design for the Fidelis book), myself and Molly (the two co-editors of Fidelis), Hwang Hong Shi (Sesqui Education Grant sub-committee chairman) and Billy Yeoh (OFA deputy president). On their bottoms, left to right, Ch'ng Jin Teik (OFA secretary), Ong Ban Seang (OFA vice-president), Dato' Haji Abdul Rafique bin Abdul Karim (Bicentenary Committee chairman), MS Rajendren (OFA president) and Saw Saik Mun (OFA vice-president).