Tuesday, 18 May 2010 17:47
The MBS Alumni Association had come into existence long before the war, with the earliest existing information in the form of a 1919 photograph taken in the school. During World War 2, as the School was forced to shut down, it is presumed that the Association suffered the same fate.
When Rev. P.L. Peach returned to Malaya (Malaysia) after the war to reorganize the Methodist Boys' School, Kuala Lumpur one of the things he did was to insert an advertisemenitn the local newspaper calling upon the old boys of the school to attend a meeting in the school hall to consider reviving the activities of the old boys' association. It was well responded with 250 old boys attending the meeting held on l6th April, 1948 which was presided by Rev. P.L. Peach. He made an inspiring opening address and the gathering unanimously decided to revive the association. The first committee of management was elected as follows:-
There was no premises to house the asociation at that time and committee meetings were held in the school hall.
In 1950 Mr. M.W. Navaratnam succeeded Mr. P.C. Au-Yong as President for a period of one year. Except for committee meetings and the annual dinner, there were not much activities.
It was not until 1951 when the late Mr. Foong Soon Seng became President of the association that more activities were organized. A premises at the Fui Chew Association building was rented to provide accommodation for members to participate in social activities and in-door games and a trophy was presented by the President for competitions between the present and the old boys in various games.
When Mr. Douglas K .K. Lee (now Dato' Lee) who was then a member of the Selangor State Council took office as President of the association in 1953, he initiated the idea of the association having its own building. Application was submitted to the District Officer on 17th June 1953 for a piece of State land at Davidson Road for the purpose of erecting a building for the asociation. It was largely through the initiative and efforts of Dato' K.K. Lee that a 30-years lease was granted to the Association. In this connection, it must also be recorded the services rendered by Mr. Chung Yoke Onn, a prominent architect and a committee member, in drawing up and preparing the site plans and building plans for the asociation free of charge. The following prominent old boys were elected trustees at the Annual General Meeting held on 5th February 1960 to hold the approved land on behalf of the Association:-
With the approval of the land for the building of the asociation building, fund raising was started in earnest when Datuk S.M. Yong (later Tan Sri S.M. Yong) became the President in 1956.
It was through his leadership and the earnest efforts of each and every committee members of 1956/7 and the principal of the school (Mr. T. Mori) that a substantial sum was raised. Tenders were called by the architect Mr. Chung Yoke Onn and the committee decided to accept the tender of Mr. Ng Kuan Liew for $33,750/-. The building was eventually completed and a Certificate of Fitness was issued by the Municipal Architect on 1Oth September 1957. The new building was officially declared open on Saturday, 3rd August 1957 at 7pm. by Dr. Ho Seng Ong, the Education Secretary of the Methodist Mission Schools, a past Principal of M.B.S. and a life-member of the Association.
The premises was well decorated and furnished and most of the items were donated by old boys and well-wishers Indoor games such as billiards, table-tennis, chess, darts, etc' were provided for the entertainment of the members and friends.
Since then the administration of the M.B.S.O.B.A. has been passed on from strength to strength to the present day. That was exactly 40 years ago on l6th April, 1948. In its efforts the asscciation has fulfilled its object toward the school and its members. Let us record a vote of thanks and appreciation to all the past Presidents and their Committees of Management for the good work they have done and to pass on the light to the younger generation so that they too will be able to serve the M.B.S.O.B.A.
The above article was written in 1988 by the late Mr. Thong Hon Keong, former President of the Association.
(Photo: A retreat was held in 2008 to chart out the future and direction of the association.)