Are you in the Loop? PDF Print E-mail

In early December 2006, the real MBSOBA convened an Emergency General Meeting (EGM) to, among many changes to the constitution, proposed to do away with the acronym MBSOBA and rename the association MBSKL Alumni Association or something like that.

 An unprecedented number of members, more than 40, turned up for the meeting apparently to oppose the name change. Many past AGMs and EGMs could barely garner the requisite number of 20 (or some number like that) for a quorum.

 The meeting was aborted when a lawyer member rejected the secretary's explanation of a "typographical error" in the notice of meeting calling for an "Emergency General Meeting." Apparently the constitution provides for an Extraordinary General Meeting and has no mention of an Emergency General Meeting. The meeting is to be called again.

 Fearful that a properly constituted meeting would change the name, this cyber community of old people is set up for those of us who resist change to live in the past.

 So, there you have it, a community with sikit-sikit requirements to comply with but otherwise, no rules, no entrance fees/subscription, no proposer/seconder required.

 

The above announcement was broadcast to about 750 email addresses by four MBSKL alumni on 31 December 2006, creating what is now known as the MBSLoop. Google groups, on which the MBSLoop is hosted, is essentially a mailing list service where one email sent to the group will reach all subscribers via email almost instantly.

 

The four moderators were apprehensive that the MBSLoop could well turn out to be a flash in the pan when initial reaction from MBSKL alumni was enthusiastic. The fad would probably fade into oblivion within a few short months. They were wrong, the MBSLoop just celebrated four years of existence.

 

 

(MBSLoop Contents)

 

The MBSLoop is not without controversy, itself having been born out of differences with the then MBSOBA management committee. When the MBSLoop evolved on a different level, it has become complementary to the MBSKL Alumni Association.

 

The hundreds of email addresses were collected over a few years by many MBS alumni. Moderator 4 tasked with the technical aspects of the e-group, applied software to storage of many computers to extract email addresses, whittle out duplicates and consolidated the sources.

 

One of the reasons that the MBSLoop became successful was because this initial large pool of MBSians were dragged—some reluctantly—into this group.

 

The first message to the MBSLoop came from Toronto, Canada, a sort of “Hello, I’m here” kind of message. Within days, MBSLoopers—as they now call themselves—were exchanging messages like “I know you, where have you been for the past decades.”

 

It can’t be so simple as “I know you,” since many spent years together in MBSKL and were either bosom buddies or came from the neighbourhood around the school, where fond childhood and young adulthood

memories were recalled from the recesses of the brain, long unaccessed.

 

The discussions has been diverse and no subject is taboo, though some simple guidelines exist for “off topic” subjects; off topic meaning discussions with nothing to do with matters MBSKL.

 

Some MBSLoopers with the gift of memory could recall the competitors score of sports events and even the colour of the jerseys worn in the contest. Amusing discussions include recollections of Mr. T. Mori, a former headmaster, caning the whole class.

 

The MBSLoop is a source of information and advice for the younger ones as well. Some young MBSians still in school or who just left school sometimes ask for guidance on their careers from the myriad of MBSLoopers’ occupations.

 

The MBSLoop Google group allows participation by subscribers only and has some other limitations. To overcome these limitations, the moderators have also created a companion blog.

 

Search engines have facilitated the discovery of the MBSKL online presence. Thus, many alumni have reached and joined the MBSLoop and rekindled friendship among themselves. Indeed, many have continued their liaison “off loop” and happily reported their proceedings to the Loop.

 

Of the original 700-over subscriptions on creation, there are now just over 500 MBSLoopers. Many have been removed by the moderators when made aware that they are not linked to MBSKL. Many have also left, unable to cope with the deluge of messages—sometimes reaching more than 50 per day.

 

It surprises the moderators that those who choose to remain have been steadfast in staying. It is evident that email is being delivered to their mailboxes. Whether such email is being read is just a wild guess. Nevertheless, once in a while these “lurkers” will respond when incensed by a discussion.

 

The main success of the MBSLoop has been the many gatherings of MBSians, very often of diverse age groups, not only in Kuala Lumpur or within Malaysia. These gatherings happen elsewhere in the world wherever sizeable MBSLoopers are found. Aside from “flash” or impromptu meetings for meals, the main event at the beginning of each year is the MBSLoop dinner. The last one held on 12 February 2011 was co-organised with the MBSKL Alumni Association.

*****

 

 

Wan Heng Yuen (above) is both a founder and moderator of the MBSLoop Google Group. He left school after finishing upper six form in 1968. He is currently active in the MBSKL 10th KL Air Scouts Group. To join the group please email the moderators at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  or visit the MBSLoop Google Group webpage. You can also visit the MBSLoop Blog.

 

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