Sunday 16 July 2017 - 22Syawal 1438.
About 150 of us gathered at the OPA Penthouse, Saujana, at noon today, for a Raya gathering of the Port Dickson batch of the 1952 - 1961 intakes. These were those who entered the College at the Port Dickson camp, because in the middle of 1961 the College moved to Sungai Besi. Of those surviving who could make it, anyway. When Salim Rahim and Halim Shah Murad finished marking in red all the names pinned on the wall of these intakes now deceased, there was a generous swath of red ink across the list. When Radzi Shiekh Ahmad, the gathering chairman, offered prayers for the dear departed, I felt a touch of sadness doubtless many present shared with me. For the 1952 intakes, they're now 65 years past their third-form ages of around 15, making them about 80 years old. The youngest intake of 1961 like me are all above 70 years ! Certainly the hairlines and hair tones were indicative, and there were a few walking sticks, too. Many showed the ravages of time, but there were those that seemed to age well, like Yusuf Ali Zain and Raja Aman.
I recognized, greeted and exchanged banter with many of my 1961 intake. There was Hank, Salim, Shahruddin, Nor Shaari, Mooi Yoke Loong, Gurdial Singh, Yusuf Ali Zain, Amin, Abd. Rahman, Megat, Hamid Arshad, Farid Wardi, Mansor Salleh, Raja Aman, Liew Yeow Kheong, Li Heng Tiong and Khairuddin amongst them. I recognized many of the older intakes, too. It was nostalgic.
In spite of being a life member of OPA and a former member of the Saujana Golf Club from 1980 to 2000, this was the first time I set foot into the OPA penthouse. I had the vague idea that it was closer to the golf club than it actually is. I think it's quite a nice place and seems well-run. I see that the whole area has been fully developed and looks well-to-do, as it should be, I suppose. It's a Paremba project, I think. In fact it's OPA Razali of Paremba who got the site for the Penthouse, if I'm not mistaken.
After the customary photo sessions, the food served was good. I had a bit of everything, as it was exactly lunchtime. But I slipped out early through the kitchen while the din grew louder with the live music in the dining room, and everyone was engaged with everyone else. I had to get back to Seremban because the missus had to attend some function of her own.
Well done, Nawi & co.