I had a strange childhood in that I changed school way too many times to the extent that I've lost count of how many schools exactly did I go to. It's a long story, but it had a lot to do with my dad never having a steady job throughout his life. Let's just say that I was never in one school for more then 2 years.
I think I started in a kindergarten in Beaufort, and I'm not even sure if I was there when I was in Primary 1. Somehow I moved to KK between Primary 2 or 3 and went to Stella Maris in Tanjung Aru. After that I kept changing school to St Anthony, and then to St Agnes. Later on, I went to All Saints' before going to SMK Sultan Abdul Samad in Petaling Jaya. Then I came back to KK again and ended up in Sabah College. I'm not sure if I missed a school or two somewhere in between those.
Among all those schools, I can remember quite a lot about St Anthony, because those were the ugliest years of my life. I was living with my grandparents at the time, and my life was a living hell. I've written something about my life around that time in a post here. I can still remember some of my ex-classmates in St Anthony, even though I've long forgotten the exact year(s) I was there. Occasionally, I would stumble upon a few of my ex-classmates in the streets of KK. It's been about forty years; such a long time ago!
Just a day or two ago, I was included in a Whatsapp chatroom named "ST ANTHONYCLASS 1977", and then one by one the contacts of my ex-classmates were added into the chat group. To my horror, I could only remember some of them! The rest were total strangers!
I observed the exciting forum in the chatroom, and some of the topics that were raised sort of jogged my memory a bit. Those were the days when I was a very unhappy kid. I missed out on so many of the things that little boys were enjoying those good old days. Those days boys went fishing for karuk and sapat after school; they rode buffaloes in the paddy fields; they played sapok and rubber seeds; they got to go the the village tuckshops to play tikam-tikam at 5 sen per try in the hope of winning a plastic top. They got to play a lot. But I was for the most part prevented from doing all those. I could only watch all those fun enviously from afar!
Almost 4 decades later, I'm getting to know some of my long-lost ex-classmates once again. It's funny how things would go full circle and come back to the beginning. It all started with a brilliant idea to create a chatroom in connection with a fund-raising drive for St Anthony, and then now we have gained much more than just the benefits of the fund-raising. Plans have also been put in motion for a grand reunion this coming December.
They have all had 4 decades of experience to share during that reunion, I'm sure, and some have become grandparents too. But I bet we will also be reminiscing about riding the karabau, playing the lastik, sapok and all the mischievousness that were so much fun while we were in school.
I'm looking forward to the reunion of Class 1977.