GBS Hockey Team 1970 re-union

17 April 2010  

This gathering of the 1970 Hockey Team was the result of a chance meeting with Chong Chee Huat (Alumni 1970) at a CNY dinner, hosted by the 1971 batch in Malacca.

We spoke casually about the possibility of getting the team together for a walk down memory lane, and Chee Huat responded with enough enthusiasm that indicated a commitment.

And true enough, it happened! He called me in March to say that he had contacted most of the boys, and that Foo Shih Liang (Alumni 1970) would confirm his flight from England soon.

A few days later, it was confirmed, and the re-union would be held in Malacca on 17 April 2010.  On my part I was to contact Cikgu Ninggal.

And this turned out to be quite a task, for I had last seen Cikgu Ninggal years before that.  It was a long shot, as I ventured to his kampung near Serkam, keeping my fingers crossed that he would sill be there.  A kind macik pointed vaguely to a house.  I took my chance, only to find the front door shut.  Tentatively I walked to the back portion and noticing the figure of an old Haji moving about in the half-light of the kitchen, asked if Cikgu Ninggal lived there.

Not less than a tale of toil, sweat and belief.  Forty years on, and I still salute the band of boys who created hockey history in Malacca, and who consequently carved for themselves an indelible niche in the annals of the school.

Then, not an answer, but a shout, "Saik Chuan! This is Mat Kelapa lah!"  

What a tremendous jolt into the past!  What a wonderful moment Chee Huat's task for me had created!  Two colour-blind hockey coaches had rediscovered the warmth of shared joys on the field 40 years ago.

And one can just imagine the joy that lit up the gathering that night.  No, the "boys" do  not look like hockey players any more, as 40 years have mellowed them into men at the prime of their lives.

But one remains stubbornly on the field - Shi Liang still plays English League Hockey in Huddersfield!  Kheng Kim remained on the field for some time, coaching the Singapore Hockey side.  Soo Poi remains as youthful as ever, and so too, Tiong Choo.  But I can't say the same for Meng Lee, who looks the prosperous businessman.  Yock Lin remains as calm and collected as he was in his half-back position, but now ensconced in an academic one at the National University of Singapore.  Poh Swee, I noticed, was on a vegetarian diet that night, and no wonder still maintains his youthful figure.  Guan Chua still supports the regular first eleven, coming all the way from Singapore.  Soon Tiong is still his towering self, solid and reassuring.  And Chee Huat, who had brought all of us together, still looks the full back, mustering the defence then, and now getting things together for others selflessly!

Cikgu Ninggal and I, and Mr Tan Kheam Hock who also attended the dinner, are priviledged to have been part of your growing up in GBS and we trust that you will keep together as a team.  Bless you all!



Faded photos, a hockey stick... and thereby hangs a tale...



Not less than a tale of toil, sweat and belief.  Forty years on, and I still salute the band of boys who created hockey history in Malacca, and who consequently carved for themselves an indelible niche in the annals of the school.

I am privileged to have been a part of your growing up on the hockey fields, and truly glad that you were determined enough not to have allowed your schooling to interrupt your education.  Sir Winston Churchill, who was less lucky, wrote, "My education was interrupted by my schooling".

Forty years on, and life must have become more sublime, developing you from boys of success into men of value.  Bless you all!


Editor's note:

This article is contributed by Mr Lee Saik Chuan, our Hockey Master then in 1970.  The GBS school team in 1970 had reached new heights in those days on the sports field, hitherto dominated by the other School across the river.  These are the poignant thoughts of Mr Lee Saik Chuan following the re-union held in April, 2010 in Melaka.

Those of you who have fond memories of those hockey events, or wish to share your thoughts plese add your comments below, or send an email to editor@gajahberangalumni.com

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