Sunday, 23 October 2016

A tribute to Penang Free School

Kevin Ooi, one of my many known distant cousins, penned this tribute to Penang Free School on the occasion of our Alma Mater's Bicentenary celebrations. I find it eloquently written, and applicable to all Old Frees who had the opportunity to gather for our reunions in the school field on 21 October 2016 evening:
This past week I celebrated our alma mater's 200th birthday with my batch mates with unconditional joy. Although we are of different races, religion or ethnicity I did not see any differences in the way we conducted amongst ourselves in anyway. We hugged, we reminisced and sang our school anthem with pride. I believe that it was possible because we are products of Penang Free School where emphasis were on academic, sporting and leadership greatness without any hidden agenda. Only somebody who has studied in this school can attest to that.
However it saddens me today to see that such spirit of camaraderie is almost non existent in our nation. Maybe it isn't too late to save our country if we can have more Free Schools around. The road to recovery may be long but we have so start somewhere. I am lucky to have been educated in the oldest school in the country where such values are instilled in us from the start.
My hope is that Penang Free School will continue to shine like a shining beacon to give hope to the nation whom someday can emulate our PFS spirit. Maybe there is some truth in our anthem where it is a school for the brave and the true.
Happy birthday Penang Free School and may you have many more to come. FORTIS ATQUE FIDELIS!

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