“How did this year’s OBW go?”
Inevitably, that would be the first question asked by friends who did not attend a recent Old Boys Weekend to those who did. This year was no different regardless of this year’s event actually being called the “STAR Golden Jubilee Celebrations”. It was , in my opinion, an extended version of the usual OBW.
My usual answer would be, “It was all right,” before proceeding to talk about how many turned up overall and from our batch. I find that the specifics of what actually happened weren't important. Could I really be bothered with who performed at the grand dinner (I actually am still wondering how I was persuaded to join the Metal Doggie crew that night) or in fact what was served? What was important was who we met and the stories we shared.
I think every year, the boys whose batch is entrusted to organise the OBW get unnecessarily anxious about what to include into the agenda. The batch's honour is at stake, it seems, so they naturally try to outdo the previous batch’s effort.
However, the focus of the OBW shouldn’t be about trying to have it packed full of exceptional activities. The guiding principle should always be, does it provide the old boys with a relevant context for meeting up and reliving those good old days? At the end of the day, whatever you do for the OBW won’t satisfy everybody so I would say keep it simple and don’t reinvent the wheel.
To be honest, I enjoyed this year’s event very much. I really didn’t care much for the Sultan’s appearance and the parachutists (though the entertainment value would be enhanced somewhat if it was the Sultan who arrived by parachute). What did it for me again was those late night teh tarik sessions and generally catching up unimpeded with my buddies. And paintball, of course.
Again, coming back to those tough customers. I was hanging about at the registration counter on Saturday afternoon and one fellow had to ask, “Why don’t you have t-shirts?” He said this as if the lack of t-shirts would singularly cause the event to fail miserably. During my year, the main complaint was the absence of games between the old boys and students. We promptly addressed the issue by quickly setting up games for the following Sunday morning. But did the the sport-loving complainant turn up? No, that would be asking for too much.
Then (last year) there were the juniors who, without tact and respect, actually had the following discussion in front of the people manning the registration:
“Nak register tak?”
“Tak taulah, kena bayar RM30.”
“Tak payahlah, kita datang aje dinner, bukan orang tau pun.”
I wondered, is it still permissable to give juniors a tight slap even after leaving school?
Well, let’s get back to the question of what makes for a fantastic OBW? The answer must be: It’s as fantastic as you want it to be. It’s really up to you to round up your batch. It's your call to all put up in the same hotel (and for good measure print your own t-shirts). The organisers are only there to provide the basics to make the OBW happen but if it turns out to be crap because only you and your best friend (who happens to be your brother-in-law whom your wife has sent to keep an eye on you) turn up due to lack of interest, don’t blame it others.