St Michael’s Institution’s Centennial celebration which took place at the end of September was not just one large dinner and after which all adjourned home.
In the true Michaelian spirit it was a host of activities and private get-togethers before as well as after the dinner. As the stories filtered in Ipoh Echo was able to round up a bit of that Michaelian Spirit often mentioned.
1. Michaelian Fellowship Golf Tournament
A day before the dinner, the SMI Alumni Association, Klang Valley organised a Fellowship Golf Tournament.
According to Organising Chairman Michael Lip the Alumni holds the golfing event annually at KL but this year held their tournament at the Meru Valley Golf Course to coincide with the centennial celebration.
In conjunction with the celebration the participation fees and all donations collected from the tournament were handed over to the SMI Development Fund.
For the over 60 golfers who participated it was another occasion to get together during the centennial celebration and have a round of golf for a good cause.
Michal Lip later presented the Tun Dr Lim Keng Yaik trophy to the tournament winner Ho Kat Ann.
2. SMI Centennial Eucharistic Celebration
St Michael’s 100 years celebration would not have been meaningful without a Eucharistic celebration at its school Chapel which was restored just a year ago.
Obviously this was a shared sentiment by many Old Michaelians as they packed into the chapel on the morning of the 100 years anniversary to overflowing where many that attended had to stand around the outside corridors and choir loft to participate in the celebration.
The occasion was a grand affair with the main celebrant being the newly-appointed Bishop Sebastian Francis who was accompanied by 11 other priests several of them old Michaelians.
Old Michaelian, Monsignor Michael Cheah who helped organise the celebration remarked that he was pleasantly surprised so many of the priests were present to attend this auspicious celebration.
Bishop Sebastian in his homily described St Michael’s Institution as being all about teamwork of passing on the sacred baton from its founder John Baptiste de LaSalle to the young people of today.
He also reminded the young people to emulate the life of SMI’s LaSalle Brother, Dato’ Brother Vincent Corkery ‘who answered the call at the very young age of 14 in Ireland and was in Singapore at 21 and ran his adventure of responding to that call”.
Bishop Sebastian added that one of the reasons he was here for this “auspicious celebration” was because he was invited by “a young Form 4 Michaelian student leader, Clifford Miranda of the Michaelian Catholic Community for this event. This is a good sign of taking responsibility to pass the baton.”
Brother Vincent in his address declared that he had ”never experienced the atmosphere in the chapel like this before” explaining that “a Bishop walked through the portals of the school in 1958 but this is the first time a Bishop has led the Eucharistic celebration in the chapel and has honored the school with his presence”.
Refreshments were served after the celebration and the favorite of the morning was the cool cendol which was enjoyed by everyone.
3. That Michaelian Spirit
Old Michaelians really know how to enjoy themselves.
Weeks after the centennial celebrations had passed stories began to filter in about the Michaelian’s after-dinner parties that took place around Ipoh town whether at the Syuen Hotel, Ipoh Club or the one at Sekeping Kong Heng, the boutique hotel above Kong Heng Coffee Shop in Old Town.
Sekeping Kong Heng co-owned by Michaelians Ng Sek San and Chan Kok Keong had Michaelian guests from outstation staying there who carried on with their celebration after adjourning from the school dinner.
Ng, together with his schoolmates from Year of ‘77 carried on with “their own centennial celebration” with more Michaelians filtering in till late into the night.
While Year of 77’s celebration lasted a night, the celebration by the Michaelians of Year ‘60 lasted for another 4 days when a busload of them carried on their celebration at Pangkor Island.
Staying at the Seaview Hotel, owned by Michaelian and badminton hero Tan Yee Khan, himself from Year of ‘60, the former students holidayed and feasted on fresh seafood and even participated in beach volleyball.
As with both groups many of the Michaelians that returned for the centennial celebration were now living outstation and overseas and had made the most of their time here.
Indeed the active Michaelians of yesteryear are still active today.
As a young lady aptly described the celebration at Sekeping Kong Heng “these uncles and aunties know how to throw a good party”.
Little did she realise that it was actually the Michaelian spirit that was still burning strong and bright in each of its former students.