This appeared in today’s Star in the Northern Edition of the Metro. It was a
one-page coverage with three photographs. Unfortunately, the pictures don’t
appear in the on-line version.
Tuesday July 13, 2010
200 ex-students of Kirkby gather at reunion
By JEREMY TAN
THE three-day Kirkby Reunion 2010 at the Paradise Sandy Beach Resort in Penang
saw acquaintances renewed, life experiences shared and long lost friends
Some 200 ex-students of the Kirkby Teachers Training College in Liverpool,
together with their families, flew in from across the globe for the event, which
for the first time ever included all batches from 1952 to 1962.
During the reunion dinner on Friday night, organising committee chairman P.
Ramakrishnan said it was the greatest gathering of Kirkbyites, and though they
were getting on in age, the Kirkby spirit remained strong and burnt brightly in
“All of us represent that collective history of Kirkby, crystallised forever in
our memory of a period that is cherished and treasured as a very significant
emotional landmark in the lives of each and every one of us.
“Our friendship has not been destroyed by present-day prejudices and
narrow-minded policies. We have remained unaffected, unperturbed and steadfast
in our friendship, forged during our two years and Kirkby,” he said.
“We were not only a community residing on foreign soil but we were a microcosm
of a nation. We were simply Malaysians,” he added.
Child and family services counselor Chandra Ratnam from Winnipeg, Canada, said
his first response upon being invited to the reunion, was to apply leave from
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for me to meet old friends, and also for my family
to discover how we led our lives in Kirkby,” he added.
K. Kesavapany, who is Singapore’s ambassador to Jordan, felt that these reunions
brought everyone back to a time when all were one.
“1Malaysia was already there in the 50s and 60s. We were young, wild and
adventurous, and it was probably the happiest period of my life.
“What’s wonderful is that people take the trouble to attend from all over the
world. It’s nice to see everyone alive and kicking, and doing well,” said
Kesavapany, who was the republic’s High Commissioner to Malaysia between 1997
His close friend, Senator Tunku Abdul Aziz Tunku Ibrahim, said that unlike other
reunions, Kirkby’s was the only one where numbers dwindled every year, as the
college had stopped operating.
“There are many who I’ve not seen for a long time. At first it’s difficult to
recognise them, cause they’ve all changed. But you start to look out for certain
features and characteristics of people you know.
“It’s the only time we can meet old friends, as well as meet new ones,” Tunku
Abdul Aziz said.
It brought back a host of happy memories for him, of a time when they were all
young Malayans living overseas, an experience he felt made a big impression on
“This reunion brought back all kinds of memories. They’re important as you get
older, because the experience we shared will never repeat themselves,” he added.
Datuk Abdul Hamid Said, a retired High Court judge in Kuala Lumpur, said he had
never missed a reunion thus far.
“Kirkby showed us the way and moulded us to be ambitious and independent.
“It was a time when all races united without differences. We ate the same food,
played the same games and did everything together. That’s the beauty of it,”
Abdul Hamid reminisced.
With very warm regards,