5 NOVEMBER 2022
On Saturday 05th November 2022, 49 Old Puteras (OPs) from Intake 1970 (Intake ‘70), some with their spouses, finally celebrated its much-postponed (due COVID-19 ramifications) “50th Anniversary of Joining the Royal Military College (RMC)” at the Nilai Springs Resort & Hotel. Two ex-Teachers, Mr Chakravathy & Puan Jamilah plus the then Adjutant, Col. Nik Zainin (Retired), were able to join as Intake ‘70’s Special Guests. We also had YBhg OP Dato’ Baharudin Mahyuddin, the Old Putera Association’s (OPA) President and OP Zulkhibri Mohammed, the OPA Honorary Secretary 1, as our Invited Guests. The RMC was represented by YBhg OP Brig Gen Dato’ Mohd Shaifuddin bin Mohd Shariff RMAF its Commandant and Lt Col Amran Alias, its Director of Training. We also had 3 offsprings and a daughter-in-law of 2 of our departed Brothers joining the Dinner. All in there were 91 attendees at this 50th Anniversary Dinner.
Initial preparations for this grand occasion commenced in 2019 when an Organising Committee (Org Comm) was formed comprising a representative of each Company (Coy) and with the Team Leads coming from G Coy, whose turn it was to plan and conduct Intake ‘70’s Annual Dinner.
Luck was with us when we discovered that the actual day and date of us joining the RMC, i.e.Sunday, 19th April 1970 will commensurate with the 50th year of that similar date, i.e. Sunday, 19th April 2020! On that memorable day in 1970, 124 young boys from all over Malaysia reported at the RMC to begin their Form 4 studies. Out of that, 23 brothers have, sadly, left this world.
The 50th Anniversary Celebrations was to commence in the morning with the annual Golf Tournament between Intake ’69 and Intake ’70; followed by a Tahlil Session in memory of our departed Brothers after Asar Prayers and culminating in a Grand Dinner in the evening. The following day was planned for a “Visit to the RMC”.
Several preparatory meetings were held in 2019 with Brig Gen Abdul Halim bin Qubin, RMAF, the then Commandant of the RMC and his Staff to plan for the Grand Do. Several activities involving OPs, their spouses and children were duly lined up. A visit to the RMC was scheduled for Sunday, 20th April 2020, where Intake ’70 OPs were to deliver talks to the Present Puteras (PPs) and get them to join us for Lunch. Foreign-based Intake ’70 OPs form as far away as New Zealand and Australia had committed to join the event and purchased their flight tickets.
As a special unique token of remembrance from Intake ’70 OPs to the RMC in commemoration of the 50th Anniversary, OP Muztaza Mohammad, E Coy, volunteered to undertake major renovation and upgrading of the then existing “Alumni Park” at the College. All necessary planning and works costs were to be borne entirely by him and his company.
Specially designed Corporate Shirts, Berets, Hand Towels and Commemorative Mugs were ordered from suppliers as part of the souveniers to be presented to all attending the Big Do. The artwork was done by OP Joginder Singh, G Coy, who unfortunately passed away just before the actual celebration.
We were all set to proceed with gusto to ensure a truly grand occasion when, in early 2020, the scourge of COVID-19 embarked upon the globe and Malaysia imposed its first Movement Control Order (MCO) on 18th March 2020, exactly 1 month before our planned Celebrations! However, OP Muztaza, true to his pledge, ensured that his Staff continued work on the Alumni Park whenever it was permissible and this was completed in late 2021.
Thus, after a lapse of over two (2) years since the initial date of 19th April 2020, we finally managed to reschedule our “50th Anniversary of Joining the RMC Dinner” at the Nilai Springs Resort & Hotel on Saturday, 05th November 2022.
The auspicious day began with an early morning Golf Tournament between OPs from Intake ‘69 and those from Intake ’70 at the Nilai Springs Golf Club. A total of 11 Golfers represented the former while 9 the latter. This is one of the annual activities that we, Intake ’70 OPs, do with Intake ’69, the other being our Annual Buka Puasa Gathering. It is a rather intriguing episode that a junior intake can be chummy and affable with those who were “ragging” them when in the RMC! Herein lies the inimitability of these two Intakes! Be that as it may, this time around, Intake ’70 beat the “69ers” by a single point under the system 36 scoring procedure!
On that day, a Tahlil Session was held after Asar Prayers in remembrance of all Intake ’70 Mates who have passed away.
The 50th Anniversary Dinner commenced with a Group Photo of all in attendance followed by the Welcoming Remarks by OP Hisham Harun Hashim, G Coy, the Chairman of the Org Comm. He narrated the various professions in which Intake ’70 OPs had professionally immersed themselves in. He also highlighted the fact that Intake ’70 had risen to the occasion and “adopted” a son of one of our departed Intake Mate who had lost both parents and ensured that he gained entry into the RMC and now is enrolled in an institution appropriate for his chosen career path.
Entertainment for the evening was by the Army Ordnance Band under supervision of OP Shahidan, G Coy, who was also one of the crooners for the evening.
Special Appreciation Plaques were presented to OP Hisham; as Chairman of the Org Comm; OP Datuk Muztaza for the sterling effort in the Alumni Park renovation and upgrade; OP Maslan for crafting the magnificent montage and, posthumously, to OP Joginder for the artwork now embedded in all souveniers presented.
Lucky Draws were also organized and quite several Intake ’70 OPs went home “loaded”!
An open Karaoke Session ended the melancholic and pleasant evening.
The event presented an opportunity for a surge of much reveled camaraderie and bonding for the Intake ’70 OPs (and, so, too for some of the Spouses). A few have not met each other for a great number of years; reminisces of the time since their entry into the RMC were rekindled when the heart-tugging montage meticulously crafted by OP Maslan and OP Dr Ibrahim Mohammed were screened. Some of the wives present could not believe that the images displayed during RMC days were of their current husbands!
Special appreciation must be conveyed to the Org Comm who had toiled for over 2-years to ensure this successful culmination even though challenged by the COVID-19 obstacle. In the end, the spirit of Brotherhood overcame each hurdle along the way and WE BONDED AGAIN, after a good 50 years!
Early on Sunday, 06th November 2022, 36 Intake ’70 OPs, some accompanied by their Spouses, proceeded to the RMC for the next phase of our Celebration. They were pleasantly greeted on arrival by YBhg OP Brig Gen Dato’ Mohd Shaifuddin bin Mohd Shariff RMAF, the Commandant, Staff of the RMC as well as the Present Puteras (PPs). Light refreshments were also cordially arranged by the College. Intake ’70 OPs were entertained to a intricate “War Dance” by the PPs. The entourage then moved to the Alumni Park where OP Datuk Muztaza was once again acknowledged for his yeomen services in getting the Park renovated and upgraded during Speeches by the Commandant as well as by OP Hisham Harun. It was followed by a “Placing of Intake ‘70” plaque onto the Alumni Wall done jointly by OP Hisham Harun and OP Datuk Muztaza. A Group Photo Session of the 71 OPs and their Spouses/Families along with RMC Representatives was held upon completion.
Intake ’70 then hosted the Commandant, Staff of the RMC plus PPs who participated in the “War Dance” to a sumptuous lunch overlooking the magnificent lake adjacent to the College and that marked the end of all activities for the “50th Anniversary of Joining the RMC” by Intake’ 70.
Based on our experience, we wish other Intakes to consider organizing their own Get Together sooner rather than later, since a few of our Brothers passed away while awaiting the pre-determined date for the grand event.
OP Capt Abdul Aziz Abdullah, A Coy
With inputs from:
OP Nordin Mohammad, G Coy
OP Maslan Abdullah, C Coy
OP Wan Pauzi, D Coy