Monday, April 11, 2011

Heng Ee St John Ambulance 40th Anniversary Celebration

It's finally over. After months of preparation, the Heng Ee St John Ambulance Divisions celebrated their 40th Anniversary in a grand style. Five years ago, we did it in the school field and the large scale campfire style celebration stunned and fascinated many. This time we wanted to do something different. Formal dinner indoors. Very ambitious indeed. Target : 80 tables. The scariest part actually was that, except for the chairperson who attended the function five years ago as a form two member, none of the organising committee members actually knew about the mammoth task that lay ahead. With an inexperienced bunch of teenagers as the organising committee, I took up the insane decision to go ahead with the plans. Of course I had the confidence because of Thian Wooi. The guy in black on the left. He is our ex-member, now a professional doing decorations for large scale functions. With him helping with the main organising work, I knew I could count on him.
Meixue (centre) had seen the celebration five years ago but deep in her heart she knew this would be no easy job. Like me, she had no choice but to go along with the crazy idea. But she did her role very well as the main person running the whole show. She must have gone through very difficult times these few months. Well done, Meixue. I know how much you suffered. Looking back, don't you feel proud that you have done such a good job? And the handsome guy standing next to her? Minghan the vice-chairman, barely 17, is a fun-loving happy go lucky chap who didn't know the difficulty of the job entrusted to him because he was not around 5 years ago. But through the months of preparation you can see him and the rest of the committee members like Gheeyang, Yongming slowly growing in maturity in organisation work. There are many others which I will not name here, who really sacrificed so much of their time and effort to make this a success.
Among the other teacher advisors, only Ms Cheah and Sashi knew what an anniversary celebration was like. The rest are inexperienced and didn't really know what we were doing. I am very grateful for Ms Cheah's help. She took over a lot of supervision and made my work easier. After agreeing to my proposal of having a grand dress up dinner, the committee set up to discuss our budget. RM40K! I didn't want to say it out but for a school society to handle this large amount is a bit frightening. But with a very generous ex-member Dato Yeap supporting our efforts, Thian Wooi's ability to get me low costing, a bit of funds I accumulated in the Divisions throughout the years and most of all the experience of doing the past 3 anniversary celebrations, I knew we could do it. Of course, first I had to convince the boss to let us do it. Getting his approval was super easy. I don't know whether he knew what we were saying, he just confidently said go ahead! I thank him for the confidence he had in us. We have indeed made a name for ourselves of being able to do large scale functions. But his confidence in us made us even more pressured, to live up to his expectations. Our first task was to prepare TRACES VI our commemorative magazine and to collect funds build our base. Surprisingly our members did very well with the collection. Most of them managed to hit the target of RM50 to qualify for the dinner. To make sure that the function can achieve the target, we "encouraged" societies and clubs from the school to donate RM350 to book at least a table. At first, the response was rather slow and I had to request the school administration to allow me to get the students to use their own society fund to donate. Later when word got out that it was a dress-up function, the response was so overwhelming that we had to stop them coming because we wanted to keep more tables for RM500 donation from parents and ex-members. My prediction that students would rather pay RM35 for a dress-up, sit-down formal dinner than RM10 for a cheap meal in the school field came true. On that night they came dressed to kill!At first some of my committee members were actually sceptical that their friends would come but I had some support from some of them like Mingyie who knew and could visualize what I had in my plans. The response from ex-members were a bit slow but picked up later. A special thank you to Hangming who purposely made the trip back to help in the function. And to those who were away in other states and couldn't attend but sent donations, I can only say this. I'm really touched by your spirit and support. But I was disappointed with some ex-members who actually received monetary awards from Dato Yeap for their academic performance but refuse to donate or attend even though they are in Penang. Well, not all the members have this sense of belonging that I always instill in them. Clearly I have failed in my task.
Next came the important part of providing entertainment. Like the previous anniversary celebrations, we wanted items which appeal to the masses. Other than the cultural and classical performances shown during the School Concert, which not many people know how to appreciate, there are various ways our students can actually showcase their talents. We divided our entertainment into 3 parts. A Talent Search participated by St John members where the final judges are the dinner participants themselves. Shafei rendering the song "My heart will go on..."Siang Yue.......Ai Xiao De Yan Qing .......Shuen Wen and Shu Ning........with their own accompaniment........Yongming.....multi-talented....superb voice, self accompanied on the keyboard, emcee and model.....Yeat Siong ..our very own Jay Chou.... And the winners are........ Some items presented by our guests. And of course stunning performances from our very own St John members and ex-members .
Siew Hui with her professional style singing We were so lucky to have Lian Lian to lead the entertainment. She planned and choreographed the fashion show and dances and even danced so many items that night. The fashion show.... The dances.....The emcees............A St John Ambulance function would not be complete without HQ attendance. We were very honoured that the Area Commander brought along 9 SSO/ASO and MCAD also bought a table. Here is Dr Lee, HQ Area Commander giving his speech....The Reception....A lot of work needs to be put in to plan the seating arrangements and to seat 800 people is not easy.The Banquet Hall..........When the guests entered the hall, all of them just said "Wow! So grand!"The Highlight of the evening.........The Finale........The OC and the members enjoying themselves.........Photographers having a field day..........On the left is Vincent....most of these photos are taken from his album (without permission actually! But I don't think he minds. He is also from our Heng Ee St John Ambulance family)The smiles on their faces say it all.........................


赤子之手——勇明 said...

thanks mr wong!!

Vanessa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vanessa said...

The committees did a wonderful job, and the event was fabulous. I don't think I'll ever forget you guys.. :)
- shuning