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Xaverians in big reunion Print E-mail

Star: 22 December, 2002
              
PENANG: Some 3,000 past and present Xaverians “came home for dinner” at the St Xavier’s Institution (SXI) last night to celebrate the 150th anniversary of La Salle education in the country.  The school compound was overrun with old boys, La Salle Brothers, teachers and guests who entered the classrooms not with books but with platters of food to reminisce about old times and rekindle friendships.    
                                                                                                                           
ImageSix Kong Ming lanterns were lit one at a time at intervals and released above the din of excited chatter into the night sky.  The first lantern inscribed with the words Signum Fidei (the La Salle sign of faith) and Labor Omnia Vincit (SXI’s motto) was lit by Brother Visitor (provincial) Brother Peter Foo as the band struck up the school rally, “Alma Mater’s Call.” 

At the dinner, each former Xaverian wore a sticker with his name and year of graduation on his shirt, which came in handy in jogging the memories of old friends who had forgotten each other’s names. State MCA chairman Wong Kam Hoong and DAP deputy chairman Karpal Singh sat down together at the hall to reminisce about a late Brother Michael nicknamed Lau Hor (tiger). 

“He was very fierce and drove terror into everyone’s hearts by disciplining through public caning,” said Karpal Singh who completed Upper Six in 1960. 

Wong said he was caned once for a “dip in the graph for conduct” in his weekly report card, adding he even said “thank you” after the lashing.  

“But one can never hate him because he did not have malice or show favouritism,” said Wong from the Class of 1967 (Upper Six). Seven old boys from the La Salle Kagoshima Alumni including the president Kentaro Noda came all the way for the fellowship dinner. 

Committee member Keisuke Kogi said their alma mater, the La Salle High School Kagoshima, was the oldest of the two La Salle schools in Japan, the other being in Hokkaido. 

“Two alumni members from St Xavier’s and a brother joined our 50th anniversary two years ago in Japan.  “We took up the invitation to come here as we have many friends here,” he said. 

School principal Brother Paul Ho was very happy with the overwhelming response from former Xaverians, adding that the dinner fellowship reflected the spirit of muhibbah (harmony). 

At the buffet dinner, guests helped themselves to some of Penang’s best hawker fare such as char kuey teow, laksa, rojak, popiah and pasembur  

The evening’s entertainment included performances by professional old-boy bands and present students who also put up cultural dances with joint performances by SXI and the Singapore St Joseph’s Institution’s military bands.  

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