Sunday, December 21, 2008

FMC REUNION DINNER – AN EVENING TO CHERISH

FRIDAY 19, 2008 shall long be remembered by all that attended the 'Federation Military College (FMC) Regular & Short Service Commissioned (SSC) Intakes 1 to 10 Reunion Dinner' held at Best Western Premier Seri Pacific Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, as a day of joy and to reminisce their youthful days as Cadets of FMC (now renamed Royal Military College). The occasion also marked the 50th Anniversary of the first batch of military cadets to be trained and commissioned locally at the college facility at Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan on 2 January 1957. FMC moved to its new facility at Sg. Besi, Selangor in 1961, and was subsequently renamed RMC in December 1966.

The reunion dinner was attended by no less than 270 people of all races, comprising former FMC cadets and their spouses, including those from Brunei and Singapore. To the surprise of most, even former instructors of early FMC, such as Gen Tan Sri Yacob Mat Zain, Admiral Tan Sri Thanabalasingam and Gen Tan Sri Borhan Ahmad made their appearance. All three reached their pinnacle of their career as Service Chief and Chief of Defence Forces. Admiral Tan Sri Thanabalasingam became the first Chief of Malaysian Navy in his early 30's, probably the world's youngest Navy Chief at the time.

A special mention was made by the Master of Ceremony, Col Kamal Omar on the presence of an Englishman, Major Crafter who was an instructor in 1959, and subsequently became the Officer Commanding Cadet Wing. Upon completion of service at FMC in 1961, he decided to take a local wife and remained in the country ever since.Mentioned was also made of a cadet from Intake 1, Major Joe Lee who traveled all the way from Toronto, Canada to be united with members of his Intake.

The presence of HRH Raja Perlis and HRH Raja Puan Perlis made the evening even more momentous and gracious. HRH Raja Perlis who himself spend sometime as a cadet at FMC in the early 60's, before being send to continue his officer training at England's Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. Upon graduation in 1965, he served the Reconnaissance Regiment, in what is known today as the Armoured Corp. His affiliation to the Armed Forces, and to the Armoured Corp in particular is a well known fact, and he seemed to be very much at ease in the presence of the officers and men of the Armed Forces.

I would also like to add the fact that when I was the Commanding Officer of the 9th Battalion Royal Malay Regiment based in Alor Setar, Kedah in 1980, I had the pleasant opportunity of having both their highnesses who were then the Raja Muda and Raja Puan Muda, to dinner at my official residence. Their presence to dinner at my residence is well documented in photographs that I treasure till this very day. Until the time that I retired from the military service in 1998, I never had the opportunity to meet their Royal Highnesses.

Several speeches were made that evening, and the speeches by Pengiran Inbu Basit (Regular Intake 5) from Brunei and Kasavan Soon (Regular Intake 4) from Singapore, where they said that how their training at FMC had later influence their meritorious service with the government, and in private life. The espirit de corps that had been nurtured with their peers during their FMC days, is still strong and deep rooted in them.

HRH Raja Perlis certainly stole the show that evening by his willingness to give a speech that is informal, and filled with humour. Someone remarked that had HRH been physically strong, he would have stood at the rostrum much longer, and shown to us the more humourous side of himself. As a cadet and being a member of the royal family, he withstood the challenges of soldiering, and the extra ordinary physical hardship that all cadets have to endure during training.A mention was made of Gen Tan Sri Borhan who was an instructor during the time, who made his cadets including HRH, to scale the hill at the shooting range. It was all done in good faith.

HRH Raja Perlis also mentioned in his speech of his desire that this Reunion Dinner will be a yearly affair, supposedly to maintain the espirit de corps among FMC's former cadets, and to relive the spirit of college.

Entertainment for the evening was provided by the Regimental Brass Band of the Royal Malaysian Ranjer Corps, and the motley band that named themselves the 'Los Cappuccinos'.

It was certainly an evening to cherish and to renew old acquaintances. As for me, I felt rejuvenated having to be reunited with friends and bosses that I have not met for more than 25 years or so. It is friendship that we so dearly look forward to at this very late age of ours.


CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION
Posted at 6.21pm on Dec 21, 2008

3 comments:

SIKIT2 UNTONG said...

...good write-up....on the other hand, this sort of gathering should be strongly supported by a majority and not just a hand-full. Failing which at the end of the day, the losers certainly would be the former FMC cadets themselves ...nobody else would support this sort of reunion.

maurice said...

Pak Chat,

Thanks for the update.Really happy to see the success of the gathering.

I was contacted by Kol Meor (Intake 10) about the gathering a few weeks before but could not attend as we are not around in KL on the particular day.

What happened to the coverage of Golf Gathering at Saujana Impian the morning before? Don't tell me you have totally given up playing this beautiful game?

Congratulations to Col Meor, Col Kamal and others for the time and efforts in organizing the event.

ArshadRaji said...

Dear Sakit2 Untong & Maurice,

The plan for next year's reunion will be further expanded. I am quite sure both of you will be included.
With regards to Golf, I have left the game 5 years ago. I no longer get any thrill playing golf. I suppose age has finally could up with me. And Kamal performed remarkably well as the MC for the evening.