25 September 2005 Cikgu Baharuddin's Birthday Bash
e-mail from Teresa Voon (see below)
It was truly an amazing sight to
behold! Excited Kirkbyites in their 60's and 70's thronged the foyer at
Cititel, some of whom were squealing in delight as they greeted long-lost
friends whom they have not seen for almost half a century. There were so
many new faces (and no wonder, considering the gathering consisted of
Kirkbyites from 1951-1961) like Patricia Malayapillai (60-61) and Wan Chwee
Seng (59-60) to mention but two. Then there were also those dear hearts
from afar - Angeline Chang and Michael Loh Cheng Hai from Adelaide, Rosalyn
Chew from Penang, Chin Pik Foo from Ipoh, Ahmad Omar from Johor and Shan from
Port Dickson. There was also Mahinder Singh from
The excitement grew in intensity as the minutes ticked by and reached fever pitch when a beaming Cikgu Baharuddin and a radiant Mrs Baharuddin arrived at 12 noon with Samsiah who played chauffeur to them for the occasion. What a heart-warming welcome awaited them! So many Kirkbyites surged towards Cikgu that he just could not shake hands fast enough. Cameras flashed from all directions and he was accorded the most affectionate welcome that was befitting a lecturer who had captured the hearts of so many of his ex-students and fellow students.
The real action started after we had helped ourselves to the lavish buffet spread. Our vivacious MC Tunku Faridah (who had during the lunch for Sau San some months ago, mistaken Cikgu for her junior much to his visible delight) called upon the organiser to make a speech. So yours truly announced that we were all there to honour our dear Cikgu on this occasion. After Cikgu had blown out the candles, everyone erupted into a lively rendition of 'Happy Birthday' and 'For He's a Jolly Good Fellow'. This was of course followed by a thunderous applause. Cigku was looking as pleased as Punch and so were we! Cikgu was presented with a lovely silk batik (specially handpicked by Salmah Deen) and a beautiful photo album with some photos of past Kirkby gatherings (Mimi Foo / Jim Lee's dinner at Armada Hotel and Sau San / Prof Lee Sing's lunch at Cititel) where Cikgu and Mrs Baharuddin were present. These gifts were from all of us. Mention must be made of the uplifting 'Doa' for Cikgu which was read by Fadzil.
At the mike, Cikgu spun many a tale about his teaching experiences at Kampung Kirkby. His speech spiced with humourous anecdotes and wisecracks had everyone spellbound. Even the waiters and waitresses gave him their rapt attention. As he reminisced about the howling wintry winds, we responded spontaneously by mimicking the appropriate sounds. We were all transported to an era where we were truly THE YOUNG ONES as immortalised by Cliff Richard in the song of the same name. It was such a GOOD FEELING! The piece de resistance of his speech was of course his prize-winning love poem dedicated to his dear wife which he read in an emotionally-charged voice. It elicited appreciative 'oohs' and 'ahs' from all of us. At one stage, Cikgu was so moved that he had to sit. We were all so touched and inspired! Mrs Baharuddin also shared an unforgettable experience with us. Apparently, Bala (1958-1959) mistook her for a freshie and tried to "get fresh" with her. He soon realised with shock that the "freshie hobo" turned out to be a lecturer's wife! Of course, Bala apologised profusely and of course, Mrs Baharuddin forgave him wholeheartedly.
Tan Sri Vadiveloo (Cikgu's junior), also spoke about Cikgu Baharuddin being 'a great educationist who 'helped create the spirit of Kirkby'. Chiam Tah Wen (1954-1956) also shared his thoughts about Kirkby. These speeches were followed by our effervescent Tan Ling Suan leading all of us to sing a song that she had composed for and dedicated to Cikgu and sung to the tune of 'Too Young'. It ended with a poignant line, 'To Sir With Love'!
Yours truly wrapped up the day's activities by thanking everyone for their presence and Cikgu Baharuddin for sharing his precious time with us despite his hectic schedule (he had to attend a function later that day). It was also announced that Saadiah bte Ahmad (Kirkby 1958-1959) did the Kirkbyites proud by being nominated for Woman of the Year award. She was placed second out of ten - voting was done via sms. Congratulations Saadiah! KIRKBY BOLEH!
More than 100 Kirkbyites attended our Cikgu Baharuddin's Birthday Bash. Mahani saw to it that they wrote their names in the guest book for Cikgu to remember us by. We were so privileged to have TV3 present. They gave us a generous 3-minute coverage. The event was telecast at 8pm (Bulletin Utama) over TV3 on the same day. We have Samsiah to thank for this. Cikgu Baharuddin's Birthday Bash also made the news in the New Straits Times the next day ie. 26th September, Monday. Sau San has already posted this NST report on the Kirkby website - www.kirkbyites.net
Many thanks to the following who displayed excellent Kirkby spirit and offered their services so unstintingly for this occasion to make it a success.
Tunku Faridah - for graciously accepting the role of emcee. She also designed 2 exquisite birthday cards for Cikgu Baharuddin - 1 from all attendees and 1 from absentees who also wished to send Birthday greetings to Cikgu.
- for contacting TV3
- for playing chauffeur to Cikgu Baharuddin and Mrs Baharuddin
Tan Ling Suan - for composing the song, 'Too Old' and leading us to sing it to the tune of 'Too Young'
Datuk Amin Daud - for contacting New Straits Times Press
Fadzil - for reading the 'Doa' for Cikgu Baharuddin
- for selecting the beautiful silk batik shirt
- for ordering the Birthday Cake from her friend - a mouth-watering carrot cheesecake that had many a Kirkbyite asking for a double portion
Mahani - in charge of Guest Book
Lim Yoke Kim (Treasurer) and his assistants Goh Chin Ching, Chong Hong Chong, Samsiah, Salmah, Amthullah and Martin.
All in all, it was an awesome day, one to be cherished by Kirkbyites for a long long time.
Long live the Kirkby spirit!
Teresa Voon (Tess Chong)
Cikgu Baharuddin’s prize-winning poem in the New Straits Times Classifieds Valentine’s Day Message Writing Contest
My Forever Love by CIKGU BAHARUDDIN
Fresh in my mind are our first blissful days together,
When our love was so very new,
And the passion and joy I discovered and shared with you.
People say we are like two love birds
Truly meant for each other.
Half a century has brought change to our lives,
But not to our everlasting Love.
Today I still need you, adore you,
And love you with all my heart,
Till the end of time......
My sweet Valentine