Age aside, “elderly” Georgians rock at their 50th anniversary reunion!

They came, they saw…and squealed with delight as they hugged each other…some meeting for the very first since leaving King George V School in Seremban half a century ago.

Casting aside their aches and pains for the day, nearly 40 Georgians of Class ’73 from the Arts and Science streams, gathered for a reunion lunch recently at a hotel in Port Dickson to mark their Jubilee year.

Most of them, in their late 60s and early 70s, have since retired, with some ”looking after grandchildren”, while others were still working “to keep our minds active”.

To kick off the festivities, the alumni sang the KGV school anthem with gusto to the accompaniment of “live” music and then dug into an eight-course lunch. The “live” singer kept everyone in the mood with “oldies but goodies” melodies.

Glees of laughter could be heard as they perused old black and white school photos of them.

The atmosphere was further enlivened by the many lucky draw prizes and “birthday” cakes, generously gifted by the attendees.

The door gifts, in particular, drew “oohs and aahs”. And no wonder…inside the goody bag were a limited edition mug with the KGV logo and a photo of the iconic school building printed on it, coasters, pens, key chains and tee-shirts. “All these made possible by the sponsorship of very generous Georgians,” an event organiser said.

The Georgians were also treated to a slide show, which compared photos of their younger selves to their now senior-looking selves. This sparked lots of laughter.

Teachers and classmates who had passed on were not forgotten…a few minutes were dedicated to them, with British singer Elton John’s Candle in the Wind playing in the background. A few were left teary-eyed.

Among the attendees was a former diplomat and ex-Ambassador to the Netherlands, Dato’ Dr Fauziah Mohd Taib.

Fauziah, who can be described as a blue-blooded Georgian – having studied in KGV since Std One – said she was deeply touched to be asked to help organise the reunion.

“This reunion is very important to us Georgians, both from the Arts and Science streams, because it’s been five decades since we left Upper Six. Of course, most of us have already retired.”

She said she was very happy that many former schoolmates were able to attend, despite living in other states, with one coming from as far as Sabah.

“What was more memorable,” she added, “was that the reunion is taking place in the same year that KGV School reached a milestone – it was 100 years old in January.”

Alumnus Dato’ Mohammed Najeeb Abdullah, who was a Senator in the Dewan Negara (Upper House of Parliament) from 2010-2013 and who had worked in the banking industry for 35 years, said the reunion brought back many fond memories.

He said he was proud that many of his classmates had made good on their careers, with some holding high positions in both the public and private sectors.

He also noted that most of his schoolmates were still healthy and energetic.

Najeeb attributed this to good nutrition and exercise. He dished out some advice: “Taking part in social activities, especially when one becomes older, is very important.

“Events like, for example, will ensure that we stay connected…it is a great way of keeping ourselves socially active.”

Head boy Mamman George, formerly the Director of the Education Works Branch (JKR) at the Ministry of Works, quipped: “It was such a rare treat to get together with so many friends, to get reacquainted and relive memories made 50 years ago. Judging by the uproar, we certainly were all thrilled to see each other.”

In his speech, he paid tribute to their former KGV teachers who had invested “much in our young lives.”

“We learned what it was like to work hard and play fair together. We also learned from each other – teamwork and mutual respect, lessons that have helped us go on in the future we created in so many diverse fields. It’s so gratifying to learn that we turned out good citizens and grateful Georgians.”

Former state and national rugby player, Low Tuck Seng, was also among the attendees. “It was great reconnecting with my KGV mates, some of whom I haven’t seen or been in touch with since leaving school!”

Other Georgians, no less important, included teachers, academics, a doctor, a dentist, a banker, several entrepreneurs, an IBM executive, a secretary-general of the Sabah Employers’ Association and an ex-broadcast journalist who had worked in Hong Kong for three decades.

Age was forgotten as they giggled, poked fun at each other, exchanged health tips and swayed to the “live” music.

As they were leaving, business cards and phone numbers were exchanged, old friendships re-established and new ones forged. Some yelled out…”See you at the next reunion!”

King George V School in Seremban, now known as Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan King George V, was established in 1923. And it has maintained its motto “Veni Vidi Vici” (I came, I saw, I conquered) over the years.