这是张学友《祝福》里的一段歌词，写出了我们4月6日相聚的心情激荡和氛围。这一晚的相聚，真的见证了我们情牵三十多年那剪不断的缘分。1989年，当我们从德明路的校舍毕业，各分东西时，我们都没想到，毕业三十年后，我们竟然可以相约在Crowne Plaza 新加坡樟宜机场皇冠假日酒店，重温昔日的青涩岁月。
这一晚，出席的师生近240人，大家心中共同的疑问恐怕离不开：老师们还好吗？同学们还好好吗？后来，大家都一一得到了答案。这次出席的师长近30人，包括了邱新华老师、连汉川老师、卢桂霞老师、翁英俊老师、陈瑞如老师、Mr Lim Foo Keong、Mdm Tan Li Na 、Mr Teo Tiong Hin 等（恕不一一称呼）。现任校长刘德荣先生也抽空共聚，并献上祝福。面向师长，我们更是带着感恩之心，谢谢老师们当年的循循善诱，我们应该都没有让老师们失望。这个美丽的夜晚，当然少不了献上我们由衷的感谢。
DHS Reunion Dinner for Class of 1989
While attending the DHS 60th Anniversary Dinner in 2016, I mooted the idea of a Reunion Dinner for my cohort of 1989 in 2019 as that would be exactly 30 years after we graduate from school. All the schoolmates at my table supported the idea and I was “arrowed” to be the chairman for this event.
We had 16 classes with over 400 schoolmates and thus it was potentially a big event. The challenge was after almost 30 years, many have lost touch with each other for various reasons. Fortunately, I had more than 2 years to get my act together and that gave me much comfort. Step 1 was to set the objectives of the event and step 2 was to have a working committee to assist. The natural choice for committee members were class reps or monitors.
Our 1st committee meeting was held in June 2018. We all agreed that this Reunion Dinner was an opportunity to show our gratitude to our school and teachers besides uniting with friends that we have not met for almost 30 years. A target of 200 schoolmates was set and everyone was determined to make it a successful event. Question was what makes an event successful AND memorable?
Regular meetings were held with 19 committee members contributing their areas of expertise; Facebook event page was set up; Whatsapp Chats were exchanged daily and voila, on 6 April 2019, our event was held at Crowne Plaza Hotel Changi Airport. We exceeded our target by having 206 students and 30 teachers. About 10 schoolmates took time to fly back from overseas (as far as San Francisco) to attend the event. As the guests started to fill the hotel ballroom, the excitement of meeting teachers and schoolmates after such a long time was indescribable. Name tags were issued to everyone to facilitate conversations and recollection of sweet memories. Exclamation of “you still look the same!” could be heard at various corners. I could not count if there were more hugs or contact numbers being exchanged. As expected, the photobooth had a long snaky queue and many just used their smartphones when they caught hold of their ex-BFF!
Xingxin, the emcee of the night had a tough time getting everyone seated. I almost wanted to pass the mic to our most famous discipline master Mr Kiw to get the house in order. Fortunately, the mere mention of his name got the attention of everyone so that I could deliver my opening address. On behalf of the organising committee, I was able to offer our heartfelt gratitude to the teachers with a toast. Every schoolmate could agree with me that the knowledge and values imparted to us over the 4 years in DHS shaped our future. This was the main objective of our event. The 2nd toast was towards the long-lasting friendship amongst schoolmates. Prior to the event, I discovered that some schoolmates did not want to attend because of negative incidents and relationships with other. I could not help but urged everyone to put aside those feelings and let bygones be bygones! Afterall, didn’t we learn the phrase “bury the hatchet” in our English class? The last YUM SENG was for the school to flourish forever and continue the good work of producing outstanding students for our country.
It was a pity that ex-principal Mr Lim was unwell to attend the function. Current principal Mr Tony Low delivered a short but meaningful message for all of us to stay connected with the DHS family and stay Forever 16!
After several rounds at the buffet, we proceeded with the night’s program starting with a solo performance of IMPROV by Liangxi. He was the former 相声“cross-talk” performer in school and tickled the ballroom with his funny antics. After that, Deon and Leanne charmed everyone with Jacky Cheung’s song祝福 “Blessings”. This was obviously a big hit in the 1980s and the singers received flowers and wolf-whistles. Next was to invite teachers and fellow schoolmates on stage to speak. It brought back “fond memories” listening to the usual serious talk by our discipline master Mr Kiw. Next was former head prefect, Guorong who took us back memory lane about how the prefects caught students who dye their hair; wore skirts that are too short and bra-strap that were “non-conforming”.
My co-host, Huijing and I then interviewed various groups of people starting with the married couples. We grilled them about how their love blossomed in DHS and marvelled at their skills of escaping the “detection” of discipline master.
Next, we invited some entrepreneurs on stage to share about their business and urged them to work harder and sponsor our next reunion. DHS produced many scholars who subsequently took on public service in the military and police force. Through the interview on stage, we got to know schoolmates who took on roles as senior military officers and CID director.
The last group being invited on stage were those working in various ministries and statutory boards. Interestingly, majority of them were teachers. I believe all our teachers present were delighted to learn that so many of them followed their footsteps.
We marked the end of the night on a high note by singing the school anthem and releasing party poppers. Kudos to my organising committee who contributed their time and resources to make the reunion a huge success. Teachers were elated to meet ex-students and colleagues. Many lamented that this reunion should have taken place earlier. A new chairman was selected to organise the next one and we are proud to announce that the theme is already thought of by the enthusiastic committee members. We look forward to another mega event that will take us back the Dunman memory lane in 2023.
Koh Kang Wee 许康威