It’s been 32 years since I’d graduated from primary school. Both my older sons had also passed this milestone and in two years’ time, my youngest, Aaron, would also be singing 唱起我们的歌来, 不要为别离悲哀, 我们是现代的主人,伟大的责任在身上 …(My eyes tear every time I sing it or hear it.)
6D was a special class. We were together since we were in primary 3 and had the same form teacher, 陈秀奇老师 for four years. Perhaps because we were the last class, there were always new pupils from overseas coming in, arriving from Taiwan, Indonesia, and Malaysia. There were also some dropouts, four boys I think, one left, probably expelled from undiagnosed Autism or hyperactive Syndrom (guessing from hindsight), and the others left because they could not cope with the demanding Chinese in the Chinese school. One girl was killed in the hijack of MAS flight which crashed in 1977.
The rest of us were stuck with each other for 4 years, building strong bond which lasted until today. In the beginning, reunions were often, especially when the foreign classmates returned for a visit. Gradually though, busy domestic and career lives took over and the reunions were far and few, often with only the same people turning up.
Every decade or so, we try to visit 老师, either at her house, or outside. In 2005, we had a reunion at a restaurant and 老师turned up. She told us then she was already 75 years old, and was not used to venturing out at night.
After a break of four years, a classmate, who is also a parent volunteer with our alma mata is organizing a reunion for our school’s 92nd anniversary. At first, responses to his email were slow, and some thought we would having problem filling up a table. Soon, more and more joined in, and now, we have managed to contact 20 classmates, a feat I thought was quite incredible. After all, it’s been so long, yet some of us have always been keeping contact with either one or the other.
I’m sure we would have lots to catch up and reminisce about. We were after all the most notorious class, with our own pet white mice, the most number of broken window panes. Don’t be mistaken, we were the last class, 6D, but our class produced a Lee Kuan Yew Book Prize winner, a doctor, lawyer, and many engineers. There’s also a CID officer, entreprenuers, and like me, having the most important job in the world, homemakers.
A classmate telephoned and asked why some of us are so sentimental about this reunion. Perhaps it’s because we’re suffering from midlife crisis, i said.
But why shouldn’t we be? Our friendship has lasted this long, and we should be proud that the majority of us considered this relationship important enough to cherish. When we sang the graduation song at twelve and separated after PSLE, would we have thought we would still be seeing each other 32years later?
How many of you still go to your primary school class reunion?