MESSAGE No. 3/2012

Dear Fellow Alumni,

REPORT ON OUR ACTIVITIES – 2nd QUARTER IN OFFICE

1. The 2nd Quarter of the first year of office of the current Alumni Committee will come to an end in a week’s time. It is now an opportune time to recapitulate what have been achieved in the past 90 days or so; and to provide an indication of what are ahead of us in the coming months.

Happenings in the 2nd Quarter (July – September) 2012

[A] Alumni Activities

2. The much look forward to Joint Annual Dinner held on Saturday, 4th August in Ipoh was well attended and more importantly, very well received. This has given us the encouragement to do even better in the coming years. Thanks to our newly created Alumni Website, for the first time we have pooled together the most comprehensive of coverage of the Annual Reunion Events. We hope that this electronic information source will continue over a long period of time to provide much viewing pleasure not only to those who were there at the Dinner but also, those who could not attend and those who are interested. It is no coincidence that in the weeks leading to the celebration of FRIENDS FOREVER and thereafter up to the present time, there has been a huge spike in the number of visitors and “hits” on our Website [current tally: 6070 new unique visitors and 22,456 “hits”].

3. Other than the once-a-year Reunion Dinner, commencing in July this year we have activated on a monthly basis several informal gatherings in Kuala Lumpur and Ipoh.  These will continue and we are working towards growing the numbers attending each time. Various Year Groups hold their own informal gatherings periodically. We are exploring the possibilities of a particular Year Group gathering being extended to include other Year Groups (invited on a paying guest basis). This inclusive approach could have a more vibrant, interesting and fulfilling effect.

4. Last year (2011), our membership increased to 285 registering a 5% growth. Up to the time of writing this report, i.e. over 9 months this year, we signed up 61 new members, reflecting a 21.4% growth rate. The launch of our Alumni Website in April and our Alumni Dinner in August have helped to galvanise interest.

[B] Our School Ties

5. As an important and relevant stakeholder of our Alma Mater, our Alumni Association is well represented in various important school events. These include the Speech Day, the Sports Day, the Annual Swimming Gala, stage plays and the Special Academic Excellence Award Ceremony scheduled for Tuesday, 9th October this year.

6. The recent Alumni Dinner and the associated Back 2 School Event have created more than a deep sense of nostalgia. The Form 5 Class of 1970 has raised a sum of RM4500 to be given as bursaries, 3 a year at RM500 each, over 3 years to financially needy students. An Old Salt [Form 5 Arts A, 1965 and 1966] has pledged a sum of RM12000 to finance 2 students right through their education from Form 1 to Form 6. We have received an indication that another Year Group [Form 5 1962 / Form 6 1964] is pooling together donations for similar Awards. Our Alumni Association has and will continue to assist in setting up such bursary schemes as well as enact the role of trustees and managers of the schemes and the funds.

7. Very recently on Thursday 20th September 2012, the donors of the “Striving for the Best” Bursaries and the Lai Chan Fah Bursaries conducted a 3-hour long motivation and guidance session in School for the 16 recipients. Our efforts have to extend beyond merely giving monies if we aim to bring out the best in each individual. Career talks and the ELLI Programme represent the other earlier recent efforts initiated for the benefit of the present students. [Please refer to DONATIONS, GIFTING & OTHERS in our Alumni Website for details.]

[C] Finance & Income

8. The surplus from the Alumni Dinner – a departure from customary practice – was entirely donated this year on Friday 24th August to our Alma Mater – RM7117 to Ipoh ACS Secondary and RM3992 to Ipoh ACS Primary.  This was a timely commitment of faith in our Schools, one that had not been demonstrated for some time and is long overdue.

9. One major source of income for our Alumni Association has been the rental from the ground floor of our Association premises. This has been sufficient to service the monthly scheduled loan repayments due to the bank and meet some outgoings. However, the last tenant reneged on the rental agreement obligations and we have yet to fill the tenancy. We will work on this.

10. We have decided to fully settle the remaining bank loan by the end of this month. Thankfully, one of our Old Salts, Dato’ Cheah Sam Kip has responded with a kind donation of RM1000. The organisers of our old boys reunion dinner at Royal Lake Club, Kuala Lumpur in 2003 (Eddie Teo, Chew Beng Hian, Gong Wee Ning and Richard Ng Sake Hoe) have graciously allowed us to use the dinner surplus which was originally dedicated for the purchase of computer equipment for our Association, and has since grown to RM6000 for this purpose. The 2008 Alumni Dinner surplus money of about RM5000 and our own internal funds will also be drawn upon to clear the remaining loan outstanding.

11. Although the one-off life membership payment of RM100 is a relatively small sum, collectively in larger numbers this is a much-needed funding source. Over and above the revenue consideration, of predominant importance is that a growth in membership to a substantively decent level will provide invaluable morale boost and encouragement to the relatively small number of alumni engaged in a more intense effort for the alumni cause. Please assist us. To begin with, do get the classmates in your Year Group to join as members. Let us take pride in our Association. It is note- worthy that the ACS Singapore OBA reported an increase in membership fees from SGD88800 in 2010 (that was already considerable) to an even higher level of SGD107900 in 2011.

12. In the meantime, we will continue our discipline of Getting More Out Of Little. Running expenses are kept to the very minimum. The level of voluntarism and sacrifice is very high. Outstation-based members travel to Ipoh entirely at their own expenses and minor Alumni activity expenses are often borne by individuals. No refreshment is provided at all and our many long meetings.

13. Beyond that, various initiatives are implemented with the caveat that the initiators will find funding on their own – no call whatsoever is made on the Association’s meager resources. For our Alumni Website, against the target of RM25000 to see the Website through over the first 3 years of operation without financial worries, we have so far raised a total sum of RM17244.95 (the last RM2000 being an amount from an anonymous alumnus who responded very recently to my appeal). We have achieved 69% of the targetted funding and need another sum of RM7755.05. Whatever contributions you can help us raise – no matter even if the individual amount is small – will be very helpful.

Looking Ahead to the 3rd Quarter

14. The first meeting of the proposed Singapore Alumni Chapter is scheduled for 3rd October in the house of James Lim [Form 6 1964]. We urge all Old Salts in Singapore to give the lead initiators of the Chapter your full support. Our best wishes go to you and we wish you early success. The formation of the Sydney and Vancouver Chapters will be next on the list. Will all alumni resident there leave us your mobile numbers and email addresses so that we can keep you in the loop? Our email address is acsipohalumni@gmail.com

15. We have just initiated a strategic study on how we can meaningfully engage in our support of Ipoh ACS. Thoughts are being given to the establishment of a Trust. Do contact us if you have specific ideas or wish to be involved.

16. We are moving closer to the formation of The Federation of Methodist Schools Alumni Association, Malaysia [FMSAAM].  More on this later when events and plans are more fully developed.

Best regards,

Lean Meng Seong
President, Alumni Association
22nd September 2012

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