Evergreen…

This was the theme for the annual reunion…

Evergreen

…the 6th time around, of a group of students who were together in Form 5 way back in 1980.

My first posting as a qualified trained teacher was in this town…

Kanowit

…in 1978. In fact, we were the pioneers – the ones who started the secondary school in the town (SMK Kanowit), around 10 of us…with classes from Transition up to Form 3 only. That meant that I only taught the ones in Form 3 that year for a year only and then they went back to the other secondary school in the town across the river (SMK Datuk Yakub or SEDAYA, for short)…

The old Sedaya

…(where they studied up till Form 2 before they moved over for a year) and continued their studies up till Form 5. It was not accessible by road then and students would have to stay in as boarders or use the sampan to go across from the town and back daily.

The original school is abandoned now (I hear the river is encroaching inland) and they have a nice new place about a mile away. I did not take any photographs there other than this one of the very grand and impressive entrance…

Sedaya 2

…into the main block of the buildings there and I would say it is a lot nicer than many other schools in the state or maybe, even in the country. However, it does not change the fact that I do think it is kind of sad that the students cannot go back to their old school to see their old classrooms and hostels and everything to talk and laugh about the memories that they share – for the simple reason that they are no longer there.

Well, despite the fact that I did not teach all of them, those that I did teach when they were in Form 3 in the town school invited me to join them and the other teachers from their school across the river…

Teachers and student

…to their reunion last Saturday. Helen, standing to my left, was one of those that I taught – she is currently based in Kuala Belait, Brunei and is the president of the Rotary Club there. Their teachers and I were indeed pleased to know that they are all doing very well here, there and everywhere. all these sweet kids – young, simple and innocent, that we had taught before.

I followed a few of them that morning when they drove to their old school and also to the town and we had a scrumptious lunch here…

Coffee shop, Kanowit

I cannot recall this being there when I was there, 1978 to 1982 but I did hear something about them…

Kitchen

…being in Sibu for some 30 years or so before going back to their hometown.

The food was very nice and I was so delighted that they had some ikan buris (lajong in Iban)…

Ikan buris

…freshly caught from the river that very morning and even though all of them were not very big, they tasted awesome. I had never eaten this fish cooked like this before and it was indeed very well done. I absolutely enjoyed it!

We also had this plate of roast pork…

Roast pork

…some fried noodles…

Fried mee
*Helen’s photograph, from Facebook*

…and fried cangkuk manis

Cangkuk manis

…plus another plate of vegetables – I was so busy eating that I forgot to take a photograph of that one! Hehehehehe!!!!Β I cannot remember exactly how many of us there were, around 15…and the bill, inclusive of drinks and some of us had rice as well, came up to RM160.00. That’s very reasonable, don’t you think?

That night, we had the grand and sumptuous reunion dinner here…

Paramount, Sibu
*Archive photo*

– five tables altogether.

There was this splendid mixed platter…

Paramount, mixed platter

– I particularly enjoyed the mussels!

One of the students donated the fish and we had it, steamed…

Tilapia

I hear she supplies those to the hotels and restaurants in the town and since we got ours from the source, you can bet what we had was very fresh and very very nice indeed.

We enjoyed this a lot too…

Paramount, pumpkin

– their baked pumpkin alongside the deep-fried fritters of chicken filling wrapped in pumpkin. I never had anything like this anywhere else and I sure would want to order that if ever I get the chance to have dinner at this place anytime in the near future.

The photograph of the roast chicken…

Paramount, roast chicken

…like the one of the fish above, did not come out too well (I am still getting used to my new camera especially when using it in not-very-bright conditions) and I was so busy enjoying everything that I forgot to take one of the sea cucumber and mushroom…

Paramount, sea cucumber & mushrooms

…but I did manage to snap one of the leftovers.

There were only these five courses, plus a fruit platter at the end, but servings were huge and there was more than enough to go round. Everyone thought the dinner was extra special and enjoyed what was served a lot – it was really different from the usual fare that one would get when attending banquets at such places in town…and most importantly, the other teachers and I were indeed so very flattered to be invited to this function. As one of them remarked, those in the town never bothered to invite their teachers to their reunions…and even if they did, they would only invite those in the upper forms and conveniently forget those who taught them when they were younger. I wouldn’t say this goes across the board but I do know of a number of such instances.

To wrap up, I really must thank everyone, Helen especially, for inviting me to join all of you this year – I had a delightful time going with all of you to your old school and to Kanowit and I truly enjoyed the dinner very much. All the best to each and everyone of you in your undertakings, God bless you all and your families abundantly as well…and hopefully, you will all invite me again next year. Wink! Wink! LOL!!!

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

25 thoughts on “Evergreen…”

  1. How nice it was of your former students to invite you! Wonderful time, lovely series of photos.

    Indeed, real sweet of them and I really had a great time.

  2. Ooooo, reunion! I like.. You look good in that checker shirt, very smart looking πŸ™‚
    So nice, go jalan jalan during daytime and had a nice lunch, then reunion dinner in the evening.. Life’s good πŸ™‚

    Thank you for your kind words – old shirt, used that when I was still teaching. Thank goodness it still fits. πŸ˜€

  3. yea. i heard some students have to take sampan to school everyday lol, can’t imagine my life if i were to do that >_<

    Yes, and the best thing is they’ve turned out so well despite what they had to go through. Lucky you, but for someone living in an island surrounded by sea, can you swim? Or are you one of those whose mums would never allow to go anywhere near the water?

  4. A great feast. You look smart in the pix. That looks like Taliapia fish, rite? Can’t imagine how’s life like using sampan to school every morning. I am scared to use sampan.

    I do? Why, thank you!!! Yup, that’s tilapia all right. Hmmmm….city folks. I used to cycle…a few miles to school and back.

  5. Interesting post! You must be proud of your students. Ikan buris… I love Ikan Buris Pais (wrapped in Banana Leaves)

    Indeed, I am. Especially when they turn out so well and they’re all so nice to remember their teachers – many don’t bother.

    In my family, we have what we call masak kuden. Line the bottom of an old badly-dented pot with banana leaf, rub buris with salt and cook, covered, on very low heat till done. Soooooo very nice!

  6. The mixed platter looks good, it’s usually my fav part of a Chinese banquet-style meal!

    Yes, and I would gorge myself with all the goodies…and then I would be too full to enjoy the rest. 😦

  7. Does your students know abt your blog? Do they come and read your blog…

    I’ve linked it to their Facebook page…and they comment there. Same with my other Facebook links – many prefer to comment there instead of here, dunno why. No need to sign in and whatever, I guess?

  8. Gosh… take sampan to go to school, I’ve heard it before, but I still can’t imagine that at all!
    The dishes in the reunion dinner all look rather interesting to me…

    That went on for many years. The one we started in the town proper never got off the ground full swing the 5 years I was there, squatting at a small primary school, classes up to Form 3 only. Yes, the dishes were really different from the usual – impressive, very special. The manager’s a year their senior at school and they get special superior rooms at standard room prices, those staying in.

  9. It is really nice to still keep in touch with your students from so long ago. You need a lot of practice with your camera hee..hee… πŸ˜€

    Yes, I’m going back to my old one – for night shots especially and maybe use the new one for those in broad daylight. Those taken in natural light turned out ok…but on the whole, I still prefer my old one.

  10. this reunion must have brought back many memories … many happy ones, i hope! πŸ™‚

    Yes, VERY happy. They could recall all the good things the teachers did, no matter how small or insignificant they might seem. We could not even remember ourselves.

  11. That was a very nice reunion. Wow! It has been that long since you taught in Kanowit.

    Never been there so thanks for the photo sharing. I never seen that fish before.

    I taught for 30 years and I have retired for 7 years now… Longer than how old you are, eh?

    Hard to get to see that fish these days – there may be very small ones at the market sometimes, not really worth buying. I would say it is as nice as the worth-its-weight-in-gold fish that you get from your in-laws in Kapit – the wang poo liao. Not the same, but very nice as well…and not so many bones.

    1. That was a very nice way to say that I am younger than my actual age (ie 30 years teaching + 7 years of retirement). Lol.

      The last time I had empurau was during cny this year when back to Kapit. My in-laws seldom buy nowadays. Smaller and more expensive now. Not that I missed it anyway. Like you said, very bone-y.

      Yes, quite a hassle to eat, very dangerous! I would not pay that HUGE amount of money to get a bone stuck in my throat and end up having to go and see an ENT specialist…and though it is nice, it is not THAT nice. I have many better ways to spend my money than on the fish! That is so silly.

      You mean you’re older than 37? Gee!!! You certainly look very much younger than that. Hehehehehe!!!! Now, do I get a special treat from you? πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

      1. 3 more years I would hit the big 4! ^^

        Ok ok. I got the hint. Belanja you big time when you are flying over to Kuching. Can? ^^

        Oh? No worries! I would be 65 then. Hehehehehehe!!!!!

  12. Those are really some yummy food you guys had!

    The food was great and so was the company, the feeling of joy in getting to see those near and far that one had not seen for so very long. I had not seen my own students since 1978 – how many years would that be?

  13. Interesting! I didn’t know the school is abandoned now.

    Hmm…that Sin Fook Teck place really looks familiar. My dad used to be based in Kanowit for a couple of years when I was 12 or 13 (starting from then) too and we would drive down the spend the weekend with him sometimes that that’s where we would eat.

    It used to be one of only two Chinese coffeeshops in Kanowit and is the better one, if I recall correctly.

    Nice reunion buddy!

    I can’t remember what it was when I was there, probably also a coffee shop but not one that I would frequent. I had my meals at the one across the road. Maybe we can drive there in a day trip the next time you come home – see how much you can remember of the old place.

    1. Yeah, that sounds like a lot of fun buddy! πŸ™‚

      We’ll drive down to Kanowit next time I’m back. I bet I can hardly remember the place, haven’t been there in a very long time, the time I spent there was mostly when my dad was posted at SMK Kanowit.

      Looking forward to that!

  14. You had me with that crispy pork and fish, now you are making me hungry really early this morning

    You can whip these up in no time at all, I know. πŸ˜€

  15. LOL!! so this is your ship! reasonable?! that’s very cheap and very affordable okay! haha

    It is? Plastic…but looks like brass – very nicely done! Sure looks very expensive.

All opinions expressed in my blog are solely my own, that is my prerogative - you may or may not agree, that is yours. To each his/her own. For food and other reviews, you may email me at sibutuapui@yahoo.com

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