Friday, 20 December 2013

50 years of wedded bliss

I first met Chong Kee Kian in the early 1980s. It was about the time when I was still the honorary secretary of the Penang Chess Association and we were using the Hooi Lye Association in Kimberley Street for our weekly playing sessions. Kee Kian turned up one fine day at a playing session and we became friends after that. At that time, he was still working at the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) base in Butterworth.

When other priorities took over in the 1990s, we sort of lost touch with one another. It was not until when I became more involved attending functions at The Old Frees' Association that we started bumping into one another again, albeit only once a year. Of course, by then, he had retired.

We met again at this year's OFA annual dinner on the 21st of October. Together with several other Old Frees who were in their eighties, he had lined up on the stage as the OFA honoured them. That's him on the far right. He saw me in the crowd and got a little excited. And soon enough, he handed me an invitation to his 50th wedding anniversary dinner.

Well, yesterday was the day of his wedding golden anniversary. I went with my wife to the E&O Hotel. He had booked the whole ballroom for his anniversary function. And Kee Kian being an avid dance enthusiast, the centre of the ballroom was empty for people to dance. And I mean, really dance. Ballroom dancing. Of course, with me being born with two left feet, I only thing that I could do last night was to marvel at the dancers among his invited guests.

But there is something I can do right here and it is to pay tribute to this old chess kaki friend of mine who is well into his eighties but still sprightly enough on his feet as he danced the night away. Kee Kian, here's wishing you and your lovely wife all the very best!

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