When I first arrived in Kuching in 1972, there were very few classmates or schoolmates around. Occasionally, we bumped into each other at Electra House Kuching. Ideas of having an association where we could meet regularly were exchanged at the Open Air Market.
Nothing materialized over the meetings with "70 sen kolok mee and 20 sen ABC". Kopitiam talks were empty and lack of follow-ups. We did not have any hand phone, no fax number or e-mail address to contact each other during those days. And, more excusably, our pocket money was very limited for any proper meeting on such project. The proposal lingered on for some 15 years in my mind.
Then, we had the more realistic group of motivators and movers like Mr. Peter Seo, Mr. Wee Yiaw Hin, Mr. Patrick Wong, Dr. Gregory Hii, Mr. Eng Tien Ping and other supporters. Our Founding Secretary, Mr. Sim Hui Chuan, volunteered to draft the constitutions for registration.
The pro-tem committee organized the first gathering at Aurora Hotel Ballroom Kuching in 1987 with a big bang. We were proud and honoured to have our Reverend Brothers to be with us. We had Brother Adrian, Brother Albinus and the late Brother Hilary at then function. And, since then, this bang has been repeated for 18 times. This year 2004, we are at a more glamorous venue of Merdeka Palace Kuching.
The scenario after 18 years.... Our dream to have a building of our own, or business for steady income to run any association activities had not materialized. We did not have 1,000 acres of Oil Palm Plantation for the prospective development into housing and shops in the next 50 to 100 years. We do not even have any permanent address or 3" x 12" signboard displayed at any leading hotel where we can meet regularly. We do not have the basic infrastructure to show to anybody on the existence of our association.
But, never mind, insofar, we have done relatively well - inviting former teachers & Brothers to our annual gatherings, giving excellence education awards to children of our members and also soliciting/donating to the school building fund. I wish to take this opportunity to thank all the present and past committee members for all the well-done activities and to salute all the past presidents namely Mr. Simon Lao, Mr. Andrew Tan, Mr. Chieng Lee Ching, Mr. Aloysius Dris, Mr. Casimir Wong for their continuous effort at the helm. And to the present president, Mr. Roland Ling and his committee, I wish to thank all of you for inviting me to put up a write-up mesmerizing our association in your annual souvenir magazine. Thank you.
The old members are journeying into their golden years and we hope the younger blood will carry on the association with more dynamic approaches and keep the flag of our association always flying high in Kuching. ( I always pray that it would not end with a whisper.)
William TK Wong Founding President