Toasting to usher in the New Year 2009 Toastmaster's Style

Plus the fun & laughter trademark of ITC Bintang Toastmasters Club featured below:

Ending the Chinese Year of the Rat

The year 2008 was ushered in with major events of a Death, Marriage and a Birthday as recorded in the post found at It is interesting to note that the year ended and rolled to a new lunar year with similar major events of a Death, Marriage and a Birthday too! Read the pictorial account below: THE DEATH There was the passing away of Mervin Chan in Singapore as recorded at THE WEDDING Then before the year ended, a day after Christmas was the wedding reception of Royce Tai and Melanie Han in Kuala Lumpur :


Grandpa celebrated his 88th Birthday early in January this year a week before the Chinese New Year celebrations. We had decided to drive early, as a family, from Singapore on the day of his birthday to reach the lunch celebration on time at about 1pm. We left at a good time which was about 8am which would allow us a clear 5 hours to reach KL but something happened.

I drove the car until we got across the second link at Tuas and handed over the wheel to Han who just passed his driving test a week ago. This would be an easy one for him to drive along a straight highway all the way to KL I thought and decided to nap on the seat beside him. Mom was behind busy with her knitting. I had a good nap but was awoken by some excitement in the car with some comments about the traffic jam we were in. I became alert, put on my glasses and found ourselves not on the highway anymore but back to Johore Bahru city on the road back to Singapore through the first link! Hahaha. Apparently Han had taken a wrong fork on the highway which caused him to turn around back to Singapore!

So I took over the wheel about 10am and cruised at about 170km/h to try to get to the destination on time.
We had prepared for Grandpa a nice Power of Seven card with a Good Luck red packet inside. Can anyone guess how many hundred ringgit bills was in the Ang Pau for Grandpa?
We did arrive on time to hand our special gift card to Grandpa by our oldest son Han, witnessed by all the rest.
We even beat the party from Penang in the north, led by my oldest sister who came in a little after us. This is the same sister who celebrated her 70th birthday during the year where my Story of 7 first evolved. See
Her sons followed suit and everyone had a good time celebrating Granpa's 88 birthday in Kuala Lumpur!
In conclusion, I submit that the major events of a Death, a Marriage and a Birthday are common events in what they call 'The Circle of Life' but what can be uncommon is how we can choose to serve others during our lifetime.

The Reunion of turning 50 together

After many emails that started circulating the globe in the beginning of the year to track down all the old boys of the Class of 1975 at St John's Institution, it finally happened. Those who responded and could find their way to the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on a Saturday night of 20th Dec 2008 got together to celebrate an auspicious year where most of us would have turned 50 years of age.

Front Row(L to R) : Tan Chian Howe, Leong Kwok Hung, Vincent Wan, Bro. Augustine, Chong Sun Fu
Back Row (L to R) : Kuan Kah Soon, Jeff Lee Chuan Huat, Douglas Eu, Ong Chin Kee, Francis Tan, Loh Kai Thong, Andy Lam Shih Kwong, Toh Hoe Huat
We raised our glasses for a toast to all of us with the very best wishes for the future. This was at the Chinese restaurant of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, just next to the Petronas Twin Towers.
As some couldn't arrive on time from overseas such as Benedict Lee and his wife Joon, another gathering took place at a restaurant in PJ Newtown hosted by them.
Front row (From L to R) Chong Sun Fu, Ong Chin Kee, Bro Augustine, Benedict Lee, Jeff Lee Chuan Huat
Back row (From L to R) wife of Chin Kee, wife of Bob, Bob Toh Hoe Huat, wife of Benedict, Ignatius Kraal, Tan Chian Howe, Francis Tan, Douglas Eu, Leong Kwok Hung
Everyone felt the joy of meeting up again after all those years. Look at the faces of Ignatius and Andy when they greeted each other !
The 'Red Book' , a book of Rememberance that was penned by all at the end of 1975 resurfaced again and Ignatius and Jeff above were among the many who was curious to read it again.
Above are the writings of the then Bro Director Joseph Yeoh on the left page with the physics master Mr Poon Boo Tek on the right page. Click the photo for a larger image.

Pasted in the Red Book were the envelopes we had designed and printed in our day as junior entrepreneurs to help raise funds for the school as well as a class trip to Thailand. From a physical book of rememberance, we now have advanced to digital media so check out the SJI website