Story & Photos by Teh Keh Yee and Ngo Wan Jun
It is an awesome evening which many “Han Chiangites” will not forget easily – a mammoth crowd, good food and entertainment and a spectacular 10-minute fireworks display. The colourful backdrop at the stage added glamour to the Han Chiang Centennial Gala Dinner on October 12, 2019, which was the culmination of its centennial celebrations.
About 6,000 people attended the dinner, including Han Chiang alumni who came from all over the globe to celebrate Han Chiang’s centenary. It was “home-coming” for the alumni, with many grabbing the opportunity to meet up with former classmates, teachers and friends and reminisce about the good old times. They stood proud and looked familiar with their alma-mater.
Penang Han Chiang Associated Chinese Schools Association Board of Directors Chairman Dato’ Seri Ooi Soo Hing said “in the past 100 years, the efforts of our forefathers had contributed to the growth of Han Chiang schools, without which we would not have seen the tangible result of success of the schools.”
He said in order to maintain and promote the growth of Chinese education, we must not only have the passion, but more importantly enthusiasm and determination.
The gala dinner was a perfect finale following months of preparations and organising the various activities and programmes held in conjunction with the Han Chiang Centennial Celebration 2019.
The guest-of-honour at the centennial dinner was none other than the Minister of Finance, Malaysia, the Honourable Mr Lim Guan Eng.
Executive Advisor of Penang Han Chiang Associated Chinese Schools Association Board of Directors and Chancellor of Han Chiang University College of Communication, Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Tan Kok Ping, JP, was present. With him were Board Chairman Dato’ Seri Ooi Soo Hing, Board Honorary Advisor Dato’ Seri Ng Tee Soo and Board members.
The National and Penang State Anthems were played, followed by presentation of Centennial Video on the history of Han Chiang and its three educational institutions comprising Han Chiang Primary School, Han Chiang High School and Han Chiang University College of Communication (HCUC). The video also included the historic scenes of Penang Teochew Association where Han Chiang Primary School was founded.
The evening’s programme included performances, a dragon dance, lion dance, cultural dances, singing, a sketch and a poem recital.
Severan renditions by Han Chiang alumni, Mr Afred Yoong who graduated in 1982, wowed the audience. He has won awards in several singing competitions.
Then came the presentation of mock cheques to Han Chiang. On the stage to receive the donations were Board chairman Dato’ Seri Ooi Soo Hing, Honorary Advisor Dato’ Seri Ng Tee Soo and Board directors, witnessed by Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Tan Kok Ping.
|Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Malaysia||RM25,000.00|
|Malaysia Han Chiang Alumni Association||RM100,000.00|
|Penang Teochew Association||RM200,000.00|
|The 8th Hanyou Friendship Conference||RM330,000.00|
|Honorary Advisor of Han Chiang School Board of Directors Kuah Poh Kok||RM1,000,000.00|
|Indonesia Han Chiang Alumni Association||RM1,000,000.00|
|Federal Government|| |
Later, all the VIPs and the diners lit candles to signify serenity, comfort and hope for all and that the “light of education” ignited by forefathers of Han Chiang would continue to shine for students in the future.
Next was the evening’s highlight – the breathtaking fireworks display. Many diners sprung out of their chairs to the open space to watch the 10-minute show. The sky was literally lit with colourful shoots.
“It is very touching to see so many Han Chiang aluminis gathered together on this day.”
“I hope that the development and legacy of Han Chiang will continue in the future,” said Mr Lim Ah Seng, a graduate of Han Chiang in 1968 and a former general manager of Kwong Wah Yit Poh.