Forty-four…

Towards the end of the 60’s and the beginning of the 70’s, there were only two Form 6 classes in Sibu and in fact, in the whole of the central region of Sarawak – the Arts stream in Methodist Secondary School and the Science stream in Sacred Heart Secondary School. Many would drop out of school at Primary 6 or after Form 3 or later, after Form 5…by which time, there were not all that many left. Being an Arts student, I had to move from the latter to the former…and I had classmates from the other schools in the town and from far and wide, from places such as Betong, for one.

Our class was bigger, Lower 6, 1970, but some dropped out when they did not get Grade 1 in the Senior Cambridge Examination, a few left to go overseas to study and some moved to other schools such as Tanjong Lobang in Miri. By the time we finished Sixth Form in 1971, there were only 27 or 28 of us left…and to date, a few had passed away.

There was an attempt to hold a reunion sometime last year but there were not all that many who could make it at the time for one reason or other. After that, somebody suggested holding one in Sibu and I was given the task of organising. I would not say that the response was overwhelming – only 15, yours truly included, joined though there were others who signed up but later, pulled out owing to unforseen circumstances. Still, we appreciated very much the effort of everyone who came especially those who came back from as far as Australia and also Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu, Kuching, Betong and Sarikei…

MSS 1970 1971

I made a booking at this hotel and asked specially for their special room where I had attended two reunion dinners not too long ago with my Kanowit students here and here. With some of our spouses and our children, we were able to make up three tables and that was all the room could accommodate. It was very private with two staff members – a waiter and a waitress assigned to serve us, very comfortable and had its own toilet plus there was a PA system and karaoke facilities as well.

This was the first dish – their hot and cold mixed combination…

Phoenix Court hot and cold mixed combination

…which was followed by the fish lips’ soup with dry scallops and crab meat – I had requested for that instead of the unmentionable offensive stuff. I did not take a photograph of it though as the efficient staff divided the soup into little bowls and served it to us individually.

After the soup came the roast duck…

Phoenix Court Roast duck 1

…which was pretty well done…

Phoenix Court Roast duck 2

…and came with the dark sweet bean sauce dip. I do think though that what I had with my Singapore friends at another restaurant in town had a slight edge over it but then again, that was a different duck dish, not the same.

The curry fish…

Phoenix Court curry fish

…served with rice, was a hit…and was gone in no time at all. One of my classmates, back from KL, said it was the best siakap he had ever had anywhere and added that the chef must be really good. Hmmmm…I did not even know what fish it was – I just ate. LOL!!! My missus said this was nicer – it had a very slight sourish taste and not sweet like the one at the other place but my girl said that though this was very good too, she would prefer that other one. Like with everything else, I guess this was obviously a case of to each his own, one man’s meat another man’s poison.

After the fish, the dish of braised abalone slices with fresh mushroom and broccoli was served but I was up and about at the time so I did not get to snap a photograph of it as well. I guess it was good as by the time I got back to the table, there wasn’t very much of it left. The final dish was the Vietnamese prawns…

Prawns

…served with their really awesome own-made bun…

Bun

…that was so good you could eat it on its own and in fact, one of my classmates’ son did. He was allergic to prawns, he said but he tried the bread and loved it! They did not use the giant freshwater udang galah (bamboo prawns) this time around and I was glad they didn’t as the last time we had that, I thought the prawns were kind of bland, not all that nice. These big seawater prawns were a lot better as they were very fresh, sweet and succulent.

Then came the desserts – a lovely bowl of ice-cold peaches and longans each and this platter…

Dessert

…of or nee (yam paste) and mochi with or tau sar (red bean paste) and whatever else inside. The paste was not as fine as what we had with our Singaporean friends but personally, I would prefer it this way.

This dinner with 6 main courses and two desserts, 8 altogether, cost RM400 per table, exclusive of the 6% government tax. There were only 28 of us, 10 at one table and 9 at each of the other two but we all agreed to divide the total, including the drinks and everything, equally…and in the end, each of us had to fork out RM50.00 per head only for the very delightful meal and a wonderful evening. Service was great so I gave the waiter and the waitress RM10.00 each to show our appreciation of a job well done.

It truly was a memorable gathering and I was glad to have had this opportunity to meet so many of them that I had not seen since we left school…forty-four years ago!

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Author: suituapui

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

26 thoughts on “Forty-four…”

  1. Good company and good food, what more could one ask for?

    Indeed. It certainly was a lovely evening. So much joy and cheer.

  2. Or nee again. Aiyo. Must really open my eyes big big and see if there is such a thing over here.

    It’s so nice to be reunited again after so long.

    Yes, it sure was nice, very nice. Too bad not everybody could make it. No need to look for or nee there – just come over, grab a cheap promo… Come! Come!

  3. A very memorable gathering after so many years. Nice food and great company.

    Yes, hope we will have it more regularly in the years ahead.

  4. Very nice of you to organize the gathering.. I don’t like being the organizer, very mafan, coz usually when we suggest this place and this day, some will say cannot, some say dont want..All very nice food, sure nice la, coz you are the organizer πŸ˜€

    Indeed, not easy…but it was worth it. We just followed the majority – those who could not make it, too bad. Will have to wait for the next time we gather like this again. Those not interested in joining, let them be – no point forcing if people are not interested.

  5. Arthur, you have done a wonderful job, organizing this reunion……. single handed. Our hats all off to you !
    Great Venue, great food, and most delighted with your wonderful “macho” voice belting our My Way and other hits. It all ended too early. Looking forward to the next reunion.

    Not difficult – just make the booking at the restaurant and getting people to join…and keeping track of movements in or out. Would be easier if everyone is a member of our Facebook group and will update themselves on what’s going on regularly.

    Ummmm…no, I did not sing My Way. So that wasn’t me. Mine would be the not so macho one. Hehehehehe!!!!! πŸ˜€ Too early? Almost 10 – old folks like me usually sleep at 9…wake up at 4 or 5. Sign of old age, they say. πŸ˜₯

  6. A lovely group photo, and the roast duck looks succulent! Yum! πŸ™‚

    Yes, it was good though I do prefer it served Peking duck style.

  7. Duck! your favorite! So you walloped half bird?

    No, though I did have quite a few pieces. There was a lot leftover though – maybe, many do not eat duck…and man are cutting down on meat, people our age usually do so I tapaoed the leftovers back – one big bag, about as much as one whole duck at least! Can feast on it slowly, bit by bit. πŸ˜‰

  8. Well done on the organisation. My old HSC class of 65 will be having their 50th anniversary reunion in June this year. Hopefully, I will be able to get there. We had a 40th as well as a 45th and it was always great to catch up and reminisce.

    Wowwww!!!! 65! You’re older then me then. Yes, our time, it was the HSC, the Higher School Certificate, Cambridge no less! Dunno if we will have another one next year, 45 years – somebody proposed holding it in KK, Sabah but that’s very expensive, flying from here as MasWings has the monopoly and the airfares can be really ridiculous…plus the service is so poor – delays and cancellations are the order of the day.

  9. Oh…..and I wanted to let you know to keep your eyes on the drink videos I have been sharing on my blog, because not all will be tea, there are some coffee and other ones as well coming up. πŸ™‚

    Ok, noted. πŸ˜‰

  10. fuiyoh…..so long time and yet managed to reconnect. Sure will chit chat all night.

    Yes, it was a great opportunity to catch up with one another’s lives…those of us still alive. Let me see…at least, 4 or 5 gone including Huai Bin’s mum. She was our classmate too, top student in the class. Me, always at the bottom one. πŸ˜›

  11. How nice to get connected after such a long time…that’s marvellous, isn’t it? Indeed a nice gathering with so much to catch up. Beautiful group shot. Love the or nee & roast duck. Enjoy your long weekends….

    Yes, it was a lovely gathering and a great dinner too! You too, enjoy the long weekend – public holiday here tomorrow, Good Friday and the schools here are taking Easter Monday off. I’m lovin’ it!!!

  12. Very delightful indeed.. Love all the dishes you ordered… double thumbs for the dessert!!

    We can have it here too if you come again…got karaoke wor!!! Same hotel where we had so much singing the last time you all came, private room…not the pub.

  13. You’re the perfect guy to organize the reunion! I bet it was a delicious affair. πŸ˜‰

    It was easy – just choose the set from those available considering the price and dishes. Everything else came with the chosen venue – the VIP room, the waiting staff, the karaoke facilities though most did not bother to sing, too busy chatting.

  14. That’s really nice meeting up with classmates you have seen for 44 years ago! Could you recognise each other? hee..hee… πŸ˜€

    I am sure everybody had no problem recognising me – I still look the same, just twice or triple the size. Hehehehehehe!!!!!

  15. Every time I read about gatherings like this I would feel ashamed of my generation. We used to have class/alumni gatherings yearly for a few years after we left school, but after that we pretty much lost contact. Out of more than 100 friends I had in school, I am only keeping in touch with probably 15 of them now. The rest, no idea where they are now!

    I guess it will come when you have retired, old…lots of time on your hands and Facebook is a good place to get re-connected with the others. I know many do so via WhatsApp too…but I’m not techno-savvy, no smartphone. You will not find me there. 15 really good and close friends would be anytime better than 100 ones who aren’t all that keen on getting together…and will join just for the sake of joining.

  16. I think you just had these same dishes two posts ago…..kekeke! πŸ˜€ But, never mind lah, as long as it is good!

    Nope! Those two were from my post in January, my reunion dinner with my 1982 students in Kanowit:
    https://suituapui.wordpress.com/2015/01/20/so-sweet/
    …and you’re not very observant, are you?
    That one was fish head curry and this one was fish curry, the whole thing. That one was freshwater udang galah and this one’s big seawater prawns so they were not exactly the same.

    I would not say they tasted the same too as in January, many couples were rushing to get married – the ballroom, function rooms, private rooms…all were full at the hotel so it looked like they could not cope so well with such a huge crowd. I did not really think the two dishes were all that great then…but this time around, it was pretty quiet – maybe people do not like getting married around Ching Ming and wow!!! Such a great difference. These two dishes that we had and in fact, all the rest were really very good!

    1. Aiyah…can consider same lah, same style of dish mah…fish curry or fish head curry, Vietnamese prawns (udang galah or seawater prawns) with homemade bun, duck (roasted or Peking) and yam…kekeke! πŸ˜€ Actually, I’m quite an observant person, just that my memory is failing…I’m old…or getting older!

      Nowhere near as old as I am, I’m sure…well over half a century, almost two-thirds! 😦

  17. Foods look good, that curry fish head and the or nee! This or nee color look more original and something that i know. hahahahah..The one that i had and the one that u had at Sheraton is the same color, look a bit weird, but taste is alright.

    Yup, Sheraton’s is too fine, like toothpaste. So soft and smooth that it could not even stand up in a mound. Tastes good but I prefer it like this – more authentic.

  18. Good to be able to meetup with them for gathering…

    Yes, when are we going to do that…with the rest of the gang?

  19. Woooaahh.. after so many yearssssssss… this must be one to be in the album, for a very long time πŸ˜‰

    the mochi looks very yummy though πŸ˜‰

    We took a few…but of course, I chose the one in which I looked the nicest lor. Hehehehehehe!!!!

  20. Good choices on food. Like all the dishes, especially the dessert. Or nee is a Teochew specialty. I love it but long time no eat and not many places have it in KL.
    Ahh..reunions are fun. Bet you guys chatted and karaoke-d till the hotel staff pulled you guys out. πŸ˜‰
    Forty four years. That’s a long time. And it’s great you guys managed to contact so many to turn up. Maybe have another one- 50 years reunion? That would be awesome πŸ™‚

    Not really, by then, I wanted to go back already. Next day, had to send my girl back to her school, so could not stay out too late. Dunno when we will have another one – wait till someone suggests. Food was great, loved the dessert – quite common here!

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