Hi Sau San,
 
Please see if you would have any use for the following write-up on the 
(quite) recent get-together to celebrate Cikgu Baharuddin's birthday at the 
Mid-Valley Cititel, KL.
 
Thank you so much,
Chwee Seng
 
The article in the New Straits Times and Teresa Voon’s follow-up account of
Cikgu Baharuddin’s birthday bash at the end of September this year has more
than served justice for that wonderful occasion. While I could do no more to
add to the detail and description of the event, my heart is filled with
gladness and appreciation that it has transpired in reality, and I wish to
share my personal experience as an expression of gratitude to the
organisers.
 
I had learnt about the event from the Kirkbyite website, not so many months
after I had providentially stumbled upon the website itself. Naturally, I
approached the Mid-Valley Cititel with a little trepidation, as one who 
might be considered an outsider, having been `out of the loop’ for so long. 
 
Entering the venue, I took in the throng of patrons in their sixties and seventies,
told myself that this was the right place and that there was no turning
back! Fortunately, my feeling of unease was short-lived and quickly enough
replaced by a feeling of coming home again, being recognized and absorbed
into the fold by friends whose names had been but flashes of nostalgia for
the past four decades. There were plenty of hugs amongst the ladies and
handshaking amongst the gents. Anecdotes, family histories and current
activities were exchanged and I was a willing participant in the
proceedings. Some cameramen among the teachers were busy snapping photos, 
adding to the air of festivity. Rising above the burble in excited tones was
the frequent 'are you so and so?.... You look so different!.....' At times,
names were wrongly remembered, but acceptably so after the frequently long,
intervening passage of time. On my part, I was pleasantly surprised that
some of the college mates of my batch were staying in my hometown, Melaka
and nearby Seremban.
 
I could tell that even my wife, Siew Leng, was soaking in the atmosphere. I
felt grateful to her for persuading me to attend the get-together in the
first place, and my son, Lenny, for being the enthusiastic chauffer to
counter my initial apathy. To aptly describe my feelings, I can only say
that I had not been as happy and excited for a long time. Strangely enough,
being amongst the greying crowd had not only enabled me to relive my youth
but also reaffirm the subsequent path that my life had taken. It was like
flipping back to an earlier chapter in the book of my life that has been
well read by others and realizing that I had not let down at all in the
following chapters.
 
If time and tide allow, I will surely try my best to attend any future
Kirkbyite reuninons. It is truly a wonder that the spirit of Kirkby has
lived on into this century. But then again, it may be no great wonder,
having seen for myself the dedication of those whose work had brought us
together again, at the  Mid-Valley Cititel, Kuala Lumpur on the 25th of 
September, 2005.
 
Wan Chwee Seng
Kirkby College, 1959-60