WAN Great Scientist

FRANKLY, AN ARTICLE entitled “How one resourceful team of scientists coordinated their attack on a chicken bug” wouldn’t grab my attention.

The Star Features, 24 September 2014

The Star Features, 24 September 2014

But a face like this would!

The Star Features, 24 September 2014

The Star Features, 24 September 2014

That’s WAN happy professor and understandably so, with a decade of research and hard work finally paid off and sowing results. This is no chicken feat and poultry farmers owe him (and the team) big time!

We are proud of this WAN great scientist, and that goes for the whole WAN siblings, all very terror WAN.

Besides a great scientist, this prof is also an avid photographer, seen here taking pictures of the WAN clan and their other halves… 25 Jan 2012 

Besides a great scientist, this prof is also an avid photographer, seen here taking pictures of the WAN clan and their other halves… 25 Jan 2012

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(L) Cousins got together in this CNY 2012 pix; (R) The ladies – including the wife and another terror WAN.

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(L) Even these little ones felt at home at the chicken coop but Little A didn’t think so (R)… 25 Jan 2012.

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It All Began in PEPS…

SINCE LAST WEEK – in the build-up to the SMKPP Gala Dinner on 20 September 2014 – I have been re-living the past, digging into the memories of my old school days in PESS and PEPS (Pudu English Primary School).

For my “regular” kakis, our friendships were forged way back in 1976 – from both PEPS (1) and PEPS (2). Back then, we referred to ourselves as School One girls or School Two girls.

Amongst us, we have WK with a memory of an elephant and an equally mammoth collection of old photos. Back in 2012, the gang was caught up in a chain of emails for some months where we each shared pieces of recollections of our school days.

In one of the emails, WK – our “memory banker” – recalled her first meeting with me…“I could still recall my first day in Std 1, I was arranged to line up with a tanned little girl. I was scared I didn’t know how to speak Malay as I thought she was a Malay! But the next day she came to me and asked, “I lined up with you yesterday, rite?” 

WK with whom I queued up on the first day of school in 1976; since then I’ve stood with her and danced with her too; I last stood next to her in this Sept 2013 photo when we visited the school together, and back in school again in Feb 2014.

WK with whom I queued up on the first day of school in 1976; since then I’ve stood with her and danced with her too; I last stood next to her in this Sept 2013 photo when we visited the school together, and back in school again in Feb 2014.

I admit I do not recall that first day in school, so I was thankful for WK’s memory. Indeed I was tanned then. When we were back in Malaysia, even Little Em was mistaken as budak Melayu too. I’d been asked numerous times, “Ini anak awak ke? Macam budak Melayu lah“.

In a 1988 birthday card to me, another good friend WL recalled… “Was it only yesterday that two little girls got to know one another in the midst of a noisy and crowded classroom, and one speaks Hokkien and the other Cantonese. But somehow they managed to carry out a conversation and later became friends, and this special friendship lasted till today”“today” being 1988 at that time, and 26 years later today, still friends in 2014.

That goes for the rest of us… it seemed only yesterday we met as little girls. Such a blessing our friendships have survived 38 years across different continents! Hopefully that represents only half of our lifetime, may we be around to celebrate another 38 years… if Ebola and malaria don’t get me first, TOUCH WOOD!!!

Memories of PEPS (1) performances…

1976 concert

1976 concert

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1976 performance of “Planting Rice” that involved both 1Hijau and 1Merah, with class teachers Mrs. Amy Koh and Mrs. Ranjit Singh.

1979 concert performance of “The Emperor and the Nightingale”. Inset left: The Emperor and I - Eileen Chua was the Emperor and the plain nightingale (Jessica MSM played the beautifully-decorated mechanical bird).

1979 concert performance of “The Emperor and the Nightingale”. Inset left: The Emperor and I – Eileen Chua was the Emperor and I the plain nightingale (Jessica MSM played the beautifully-decorated mechanical bird).

Earlier in the same year 1979, the School One girls performed “The Emperor and the Nightingale” for an RTM children’s programme. This photo of the whole cast was taken after the recording was completed at Taman Tasik Titiwangsa.

Earlier in the same year 1979, the School One girls performed “The Emperor and the Nightingale” for an RTM children’s programme. This photo of the whole cast was taken after the recording was completed at Taman Tasik Titiwangsa.

1980 concert under the supervision of Cik Siti Mariam.

1980 concert under the supervision of Cik Siti Mariam.

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1980 trip to Malacca… (L) Two sets of sisters; (R) Everyone in this photo – except me – were at the recent 2014 SMKPP Centennial Gala Dinner.

A Reunion with OKP

I was envious that so many of my former classmates made it to the SMKPP Centennial Gala Dinner held on 20 September 2014 in Kuala Lumpur. Three flew in from Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Heck, even my husband flew home and arrived that very Friday night, he could have made it to the dinner the following day on my behalf (but that’s another story)!

So I was left “Alone in Accra” (ok, I was left with the girls), getting updates and photos from my sisters and friends, as eagerly as football fans awaited the World Cup. From this far end, I also managed to reconnect with some former schoolmates back in Malaysia.

What a reunion it was for them! Prior to Saturday’s gala dinner, they caught up over lunch. After Saturday’s dinner, they stayed up till wee hours of the morning, and were up early Sunday for breakfast, lunch, dinner/supper, truly a makan marathon. Stories and photos of their Sunday’s fun and food-filled outings, filled up my Sunday in Accra.

Who knew I was about to be rewarded with a reunion of my own!

On Sunday night, (rather Monday morning past midnight), as I was hitting the sack, a WA message came in from my sister. Out of the blue, her friend SylviaC had asked if I still remember her cousin OKP.

My eyes flew wide open and my fingers went to work. “OF COURSE I remember OKP”, I replied to my sister and begged her to get me OKP’s contact.

Unable to contain my excitement at close to 2am my side, I immediately “reported” the good news to the gang (my batch girls) back home. They were rather impressed. WK messaged “Salute you, KL ppl can’t find OKP, you in Accra pulak found her!” SQ wrote, “Oh wow, all the way from Africa. Respect Respect!

So the secret is out, I didn’t find OKP, it is thanks to my sister and her former classmate SylviaC who turns out to be OKP’s cousin. Who knew! OKP and I were in Standard One in PEPS (1) when SylviaC and my sister were in Standard Six. SylviaC went on to become the head girl of PESS in 1981 (my sister was the assistant head girl) and had left quite a lasting impression on me. If I had known they were cousins I would have found OKP much earlier!

Truth be told, I have wondered all these years where OKP was. OKP left the school when we were in Standard Three (1978), we obviously kept in touch after that because I still have the CNY card she sent me in 1981 as well as a black and white passport-sized photo she gave me as a keepsake, and a few photos we took together which are kept at home.

Over the years, I did try to look up OKP. I was successful before in locating my lost Scottish pen-pal when I was in the UK, as well as a varsity roommate when I was in HK; and recently got re-connected with a Ghanaian varsity course mate after losing touch for 17 years, through a bit of “detective work”. However, I wasn’t successful with OKP.

And today, 33 years later, I am glad to say I found my friend, OKP 🙂 This sweet virtual reunion is indeed the icing of the cake!

This CNY card I received from OKP on 4 Feb 1981, is also the last piece of news I had from her.

This CNY card I received from OKP on 4 Feb 1981, is also the last piece of news I had from her.

Postscript:

I officially re-connected with OKP on 22 Sept 2014. Three days later on 25 Sept , we “saw” each other again for the first time in 36 years! The photo exchange episode was a hilarious one!

Within the next three days too, OKP became a “wanted” person. She WA on 25 Sept that a colleague from another department (who also happens to be my sister’s former classmate) alerted her that a classmate’s sister was looking for her long-lost classmate. And that very day, OKP also received an email from “complaints department” (!!!) that another person (WK, another Std. 1 classmate) was looking for her too!

On 27 Sept, all three Standard One friends were finally “reunited” albeit virtually, after three decades. Yeah!!!

Vandort Shield Winners

The SMKPP Centennial Gala Dinner held last Saturday 20 September 2014 was a night to remember. I was glad that all four of my sisters attended the historic occasion.

Photos are still being shared by thoughtful friends, and as I was looking at them, I was able to pick out five past Vandort Shield winners.

(L-R) Ms. Lee Chii Nuo (1972 recipient, who became a teacher and dedicated her life to PESS and will retire next year) with my classmate SQ;  Lim Ooi Meng (1985 recipient) with my classmate NC; Kong Soke Yue (1987 recipient) with SQ, at SMKPP Centennial Gala Dinner, 20 Sept 2014.

(L-R) Ms. Lee Chii Nuo (1972 recipient, who became a teacher and dedicated her life to PESS and will retire next year) with my classmate SQ;  Lim Ooi Meng (1985 recipient) with my classmate NC; Kong Soke Yue (1987 recipient) with SQ, at SMKPP Centennial Gala Dinner, 20 Sept 2014.

(L) My dear friends - NC, LL, WK and BM - in another photo with Ooi Meng… I suppose this made up for missing OK, another one of our good friend who is in Australia. And now I see the lovely shades of pink and purple, and black too :-) ; (R) From my sister’s batch, 1981 Vandort Shield recipient Miaw In (left in pix) with a friend, at the SMKPP Centennial Gala Dinner, 20 Sept 2014.

(L) My dear friends – NC, LL, WK and BM – in another photo with Ooi Meng… I suppose this made up for missing OK, another one of our good friend who is in Australia. And now I see the lovely shades of pink and purple, and black too 🙂 ; (R) From my sister’s batch, 1981 Vandort Shield recipient Miaw In (left in pix) with a friend, at the SMKPP Centennial Gala Dinner, 20 Sept 2014.

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(L) A family of four librarians, three school chess players, three prefects, two assistant head girls and a Vandort Shield winner (Bee Buan, 1984 recipient). (R) And the 1986 recipient shared their moments from Africa.

The list of Vandort Shield recipients in the school hall. (Taken on 21 Sept 2013).

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The Vandort Shield (named after Mrs. Murial Vandort) is “an annual school award presented to a fifth former student who not only excelled academically but is also active in extra-mural activities. Any fifth former student who is outstanding (excluding the school captain) is eligible for this honour. Miss Chin Kwee Thai, an outstanding fifth former, was the first student to receive this award in the year 1969.”

Tribute to PESS Batch 1986

THE SMKPP Centennial Gala Dinner on 20 September 2014 at Berjaya Times Square was a reunion of friends, some who knew each other as little girls way back in primary school, all the way through secondary school.

Annie FWY and Agnes CFM who sent me most of the photos of the dinner, were my Standard One schoolmates (Annie was a classmate).

(L) This is the first dinner photo sent by Annie, all of them schoolmates since primary school; Annie with Siew Quen.

(L) This is the first dinner photo sent by Annie, all of them schoolmates since primary school; Annie with Siew Quen.

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The ladies in these two photos (Wan Koon, Boh Mun, Annie, Sook Meng… Siew Quen, Wan Koon, May Yee, Irene and Man Ying) were classmates in Standard 1 Hijau in Pudu English Primary School (1) – except SM, BM and MY who were in 1 Merah – making them friends for 38 years!

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We were together in this 1980 school concert performance.

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Classmates from Standard One to Standard Six, of which the circled ones turned up for the dinner, not too bad considering 15 out of 40 made it.

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(L-R) Man Ling, Ling Chiao, Yee Fung, Wan Yuet, Wan Le (WL was a classmate in Std One and we were briefly workmates, when I was with TV3 and WL with Mega TV which was then a subsidiary of TV3).

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(L-R) Puin Kwan, Yoke Kheng, Chooi Keng, Rebecca, Annie and Sook Meng.

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(Sitting, L-R) Melinda, Melanie Liew,  Weng Peng, Poh Leng, Sallie, Ooi Mei; Standing (L-R) Yin Peng, Meng Yoke, Sin Sien.

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The dinner wasn’t just a reunion of old friends (Irene, Man Ying, Lai Siong and Abdes) but family reunion as well, as Ngat Ching just found out an aunt from her father’s side is a former student too, aged 88!

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Siew Quen basking in the limelight introducing Ana by Karma scarves, specially brought in from Bhutan.

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Long after the dinner ended, these mid-40s ladies partied on… lots to catch up on – 38 years to be precise! And before my memory fails me, I better name them… Lai Len, Man Ying, Wan Koon, Foong Ming, Wei Li, Ngat Ching, Lai Siong, Li Li, Sin Sien, Choi Foong, Irene Chua, Boh Mun, May Yee, Rebecca Phan, Poh Kheng, Siew Quen and Siew May.

Cheers to our many years of friendships!