Margaret Kwok, Vancouver

The moment I accepted the request from Allison Chan to do a write-up on our reunion, I regretted it. How could one adequately put into words the absolutely wonderful time that we shared? Well, a promise is a promise, so here it is.

It all began with Alfred Lee's persistence in pressuring me into organizing a class reunion cruise. Since it was Big Al who practically forced me into getting in touch with the big family of the St. Mark's School Alumni Association (B.C.) last May, I owed it to him to do something to show my appreciation. As a result, the much talked about '62 class reunion cruise actually materialized in May 2004.

It was amazing that friends came from different corners of the world such as Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, L.A., San Francisco and even as far away as Sydney, Australia to join the cruise. Our group amounted to 40+ cruisers (spouses and friends inclusive).

Our journey down memory lane began on May 1 when we met most of the '62 gang at my house party. There were 25 guests in attendance, since some people had not arrived in Vancouver yet. Originally I planned to have a “take-out?dinner party because there were so many of us and most people were from out of town. But then, by 9.30 that morning I decided that I just couldn't serve my out-of-town guests take-out. So I began planning and cooking dinner. With additional dishes from Kathryn Poon (Tse Ka Wah), George Low (Juliana Cheung's husband), May Tam, and Carol Mak, we had an almost perfect menu. Our menu comprised of oxtail stew, baked halibut, steamed rock cod, steamed prawns, potato salad, beef curry, roast duck, Italian pasta, desserts, etc., etc. Dinner was well received.

I couldn't believe the commotion we made at the party. At times I had to open the back door to let the noise out. The main attraction was of course the old photos, yearbooks and school magazines. Mind you, we were all fighting for the magnifying glass!

On May 2, with the exception of Raymond and Helen Poon who had not yet arrived, we all attended the dinner at the Shiang Restaurant in Richmond organized by the alumni association. Endless photographs were taken as always.

The cruisers set out for the Alaskan cruise on May 4. As with all cruises, there were countless shows, and food, food and more food! The unfortunate incident with the Maitre d' and the endless line-ups did not dampen our spirits. Everyone had a great time. We met for breakfast, lunch, tea, dinner and midnight snack whenever possible. Although we did not appear to do much besides talking, it turned out to be best entertainment in itself. It seemed as though we went on the time machine and became teenagers once again. Those were the days!

It was sad to learn that some of our dear friends are no longer with us. We felt so blessed that we were the fortunate ones that were able to meet old friends and make new ones on this trip. Most of us haven't seen each other in 42 years. It was amazing that everybody whom I thought I didn't know before I left St. Mark's after F. 3 remembered me as the “bouncy girl with the pony tail? It was great for me to meet Raymond Poon for the first time too. Raymond joined St. Mark's the year after I left, so we had never met prior to this trip. Therefore, unlike the other new friends that I made on the trip like Allison, Christine and Diana, Raymond and I had no idea what we looked like as teenagers.

For those of you who are interested, the ?2ers who participated in the reunion cruise included Alfred Lee, Lockie (Kilok) & Monica Ho, Catherine Ling (Chung Choi Ha), May Tam, Juliana Low (Cheung Yee Ling), Bruce Mak, Kathryn Poon (Tse Ka Wah), Christine Wong (Cheung Lan Yee), Granger Wong, Nina Wong (Nina Lui), Allison Chan (Ng How Sheung), Raymond Poon, Diana Firkin (Diana Wu) and the writer, of course.

We plan to have a 45th year reunion in 2007 before most of us lose the energy and drive to organize another large scale gathering such as this. Hopefully we would have an even bigger turnout, since by then many of us would probably be more available due to retirement, etc. Well, it is all about friendship. Who cares what we do and where we go!

This article is the penalty for my laziness in not doing my homework when I was at school. For those teachers who still remember me - I am handing in my assignment this time; and on time too!

Until next time folks - keep well and be happy!