Man thanks Stomp for emotional reunion with Guillemard Road English School teacher after 51 years

Submitted by Stomper Liew Eng

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A man has reconnected with his former classmates and form teacher from the now-defunct Guillemard Road English School (GRES) after 51 years.

They even took a walk down memory lane – literally: by visiting the site where their school used to be at 23 Guillemard Crescent.

Stomper Liew Eng had previously approached Stomp for help in locating his long-lost peers and teacher, Ms Florence Hong, from his Primary 6 class of 1973.

Ms Hong

Liew Eng, 63, told Stomp that he hoped for a reunion to catch up and also celebrate the 50th anniversary of his Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE).

Well, his wishes have come true.

Several readers reached out to Stomp after reading Liew Eng's appeal in Oct 2023 and plans for a proper reunion were set in motion.

Liew Eng said: "Thank you Stomp for your big help and search for long-lost ones. It is deeply appreciated. We have found 10 people, including our form teacher, and seven of us met up with her for a New Year's Day reunion lunch."

Form teacher Ms Florence Hong with Ping Hoon, Guat Hoon, Siew Geok, Sor Eng, Hon Gui, See Eng and Liew Eng lunching at Kallang Leisure Park on Jan 1.

The Stomper also shared how it all went down: "It was an almost improbable but spunky start for a group of ex-classmates to usher in the New Year as they met for lunch the very first time in 51 years!

"To make it even more surreal, we even had the privilege of our form teacher joining us, to see for herself the now 'overgrown' kids whom she once shaped as far back as in 1972/73.

"Ms Hong is now 78 and we are 63, with 15 years apart. When we were 12 in 1973, she was 27.

"Yes, it was our PSLE anniversary reunion lunch held on New Year's Day but not after a gruelling search initiated by one of us months earlier.

"With the help of Stomp, the first to respond happened to be someone who knows Ms Hong. They alerted her to the search for long-lost personnel and then provided her contact to Stomp.

"Weeks later, one of my ex-classmate's elder sister, who was also from the same primary school, spotted the Stomp article. She alerted her younger sister, Guat Hoon, who in turn approached Stomp for my contact.

"A link was then established between all of us and a group chat was set up.

"Guat Hoon brought with her three other ex-classmates whom she has grown up with since 12. Though they went to different secondary schools, they have remained close and supported one another through their adolescent and adult lives, so much so that their parents and children have become good friends as well.

"As anticipation loomed like a groom meeting his bride, the big day arrived with me being given the honour to pick up and drive our beloved form teacher to our rendezvous at Chef's Playground, Kallang Leisure Park."

Liew Eng noted that among the group were "four close-knit sisters whom I passionately call the Fantastic4 or F4".

He added: "I got them to prepare for the big reunion like buying gifts and a bouquet for Ms Hong. The F4 also volunteered to scout around for a nice ambience-conducive place for half a century worth of conversations, literally.

"As vengeance has it, the F4 have also wittingly labelled me Captain LE. Hilarious, isn't it?"

The Fantastic4 said: "Thank you, Ms Hong, for grooming us to be good wives, mothers and friends for forever!"

Then came the big day, which remains firmly etched in Liew Eng's heart.

He recounted: "There was certainly a sense of great nostalgia in the air, as well as unbelief and deep gratitude, as the lucky seven dwarfs reconciled with their Snow White for the first time in five decades on New Year's Day!

"We dined and reminisced about our primary school days, including how Ms Hong was asked to single-handedly set up the school band, from the good old Fife/Bugle and Drum Corps to a full-fledged Brass Band.

"My classmate See Eng played the fife very well while I chose something less gruelling in the Boy's Scouts!

"Three hours of catching up passed by quickly as with the last 51 years, and we decided to take another group photograph.

"There was nowhere more meaningful and nostalgic than our old school building, so we proceeded to take the road down memory lane as we drove to Guillemard Crescent despite the drizzle.

"This PSLE50 reunion has been so special and unexpected for us, and a dream come true."

The Stomper also shared the words of gratitude that his friends and Ms Hong had for each other.

Liew Eng hopes to reach out to more of his former classmates, adding: "How we wish they will get to read this and the previous Stomp article, come forward swiftly and make our reunion even more successful than the 25% achieved thus far.

"We are still hoping to meet up with more people, particularly Lam On Nah, Mok Yin Leng and Lui Boon Hwee.

"We are so happy to have Stomp's help in finding our lost ones.

"Imagine us meeting our teacher for the first time in 51 years. It was so emotional. Thank you!"

View more photos in the gallery.