Date: Friday, 30th September 2016
Time: 6.30pm to 10.00pm
Venue: Yàn at National Gallery Singapore
When the NUS BBA class of 1980 gathered for their reunion dinner at Yàn at National Gallery Singapore, it was like no time had passed. Given that the last occasion they met was 6–7 years ago, it was a long-awaited affair indeed. But time had little effect on the enthusiasm and camaraderie of the attendees. Shouts of recognition echoed around the room as participants spotted old friends. Loud chatter and laughter could be heard as classmates caught up over drinks and regaled each other with interesting anecdotes and stories. Adding to the atmosphere was a video presentation of photos from their last reunion.
From the high spirits of the attendees, it was evident that they were all extremely excited to see their old batch mates again. Nancy Tan, who makes it a point to attend every reunion, stressed the importance of such events, saying: “It’s nice to have the opportunity to rekindle old relationships and check up on how everyone is doing.” Her sentiments were shared by many including Chong Kek Chung who added: “After graduation, everyone got busy with their own lives. This reunion is a good time for us to meet up and catch up with friends whom we’ve not seen for years.” And with conversation topics ranging from their experiences in NUS to current events, it was clear that the class of 1980 were making up for lost time. Carol Lim and Wong Yeing even discovered that they now live close to each other!
But more than reminiscing about the past and reconnecting with those they have lost touch with, attendees saw the reunion as a celebration of their good health and that of their batch mates. “I’m grateful to see so many familiar faces here as it means that they are still healthy,” said Wong Yeing. Christina Chua, who attended the event despite feeling unwell, heartily agreed, saying: “These people have been a big part of my life and it really fills me with joy to know that they are all doing well.”
The class of 1980 were also excited to reconnect with their professors, such as Chua Joon Eng, Francis Koh and Juzar Motiwalla, who made a surprise appearance at the reunion. “I’m very happy to see my old students and glad that all of them are successful despite what I taught them,” Joon Eng joked.
The joyous atmosphere continued with a joint 60th birthday celebration for the men of the class of 1980, all of whom were born in the year of the Monkey. Testament of the strong bonds between the batch mates, the group joked that they should organise another reunion in two years’ time when the ladies turn 60, and that they should aim for a larger attendance. Cheers and applause could be heard as the men gathered around to blow out the candles and have their photos taken before the class reunion committee and lecturers cut the cake.
As the event wound to an end, attendees gamely posed for more photos, even gathering for a group shot, which would be saved in a thumb drive and mailed to them as a memento of the evening. Participants also received a goodie bag containing the current BBA handbook and magazine as well as a luggage tag, belt and namecard holder embossed with the NUS logo.
Francis Yuen, a member of the organising committee, aptly summed up the spirit of the evening, saying: “We’ve all reached the age where most of us are retired and our children are all grown up. There’s no better time than now to reconnect with those who have played a major role in the earlier part of our lives.” Given the strong bonds of the class of 1980, it is certain that there will be many more reunions to come. Wong Soon Hwa also thanked everyone for their participation and support including the support and contribution from GANO, from inception to completion.
A big thank you to the organising committee Wong Soon Hwa, Shanna Tan, Ronald Ong, Francis Yuen, Nancy Tan and Colin Teoh without whom this reunion would not have been possible.