Thursday, April 17, 2008

1st Tahan Expedition, part 30....Where are the RUGGED 10 today?

Where are the RUGGED 10 today?
Where is our guide Ahmad today?

Ok, let's start with the 4 teachers.

Mr Twang Peck Ee
After his stint at Broderick Sec Sch,
he joined the PE Dept of NJC. He also taught in some other schools in his later teaching years. He has happily retired from teaching many years ago. The last time I met him, he was living at Casuarina Road, off Thomson Road.

Mr Balbir Singh
After his stint at Balestier Hill Sec, he too joined the PE Dept of NJC. In later years, he was promoted as a vice-principal to a school in Bedok, where he eventually retired. I have met Balbir, in the course of my work, many times.
We remain firm as friends and as fellow 1st Tahanners. The last occasion we met was only last year at Changi Airport. He was on his way to Indonesia as an educational consultant while I was on my 1st exploratory trip to Myanmar.

Mr Tng Kim Guan
Kim Guan had the most varied roles amongst us. After his stint in Victoria School, he went upwards to a number of posts and places including Principal of Serangoon Sec, Deputy Principal of Raffles Instituition and finally Cluster Superintendent. In the course of my work, I met him more than the others. We remain firm friends. He has retired from a very fruitful education career. He lives in the Yio Chu Kang area.

Mr Dick Yip ( myself )
After my stint in PBS, I was head-hunted to join Hwa Chong JC PE Dept in the early 1980's.
I headed the PE and Sports Dept in 1991 until I left for SS where I retired from service in 2005.

T Jesudasen ( NJC)
Today Jesudasen is an ambassador in our Min of Foreign Affairs.
The last time I met him was when he and his wife took a walk in the beautiful grounds of HJC and we had a short, brief chat nearly 15 years ago.

Francis Lee, Louis Hwang, Tham Han Chew, Tan Yam Tee and Tan Yeow Huat ....all NJC
Well, I have never met them again since those 1969 days. ( Would love to see them again!)
And I have no details of where they are today.

And finally our expedition guide, Ahmad
In 1985 I led a Tahan team from HJC to climb the mountain again. There, I made some enquiry
about Ahmad. Other guides knew him but told me he was unfortunately not around at that time. I was really hoping to see him again. Then in 1995, Taman Negara Resort, a newly formed consortium came down to Singapore to further promote Tahan National Park and their new facilities, activities and adventure trips. Only a handful of "old hands"teachers, with a strong and active adventure background, were selected and fully sponsored for that trip to Taman Negara.
I was one of them.
So I ended up re-living my warm memories of Tahan, Melantai, wild animals, the boat trip, the rapids, leeches and nocturnal animals wandering around our huts. Then....I made extensive enquiries about our 1969 guide, Ahmad. I had an old photo with me. The news I got was sad. They told me that he had passed away not that long ago.

No comments: