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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

MOAR KLUANG 2010 - 3rd - 4th July 2010

a little summary. Mother of All Reunions (MOAR) is actually a massive reunion of all the decendants of my greatgrandparents (my paternal grandmother's parents), Wong Lip Hon and Lee Siew Fah. They had 16 children together in their marriage to each other :D (i know, they are very fertile, aren't they? ;)) anyway, here's the press release to give u all a better idea:

Look ma! we are on newspaper! :D (i dont know how to read tho :D - but according to my cousin, it's similar to the one below :D)

Press Release for MOAR 2010( Article)
Dynasty or Family

Just over a century ago in 1906, Pu Yi was born and destined to rule under the Qing Dynasty.

13 years earlier, in 1893, Wong Lip Hon was born to more humble beginnings of itinerant Hakka settlers in the southern provinces of China and destined to form a close knit extended family known as the Segamat Wongs.

The former became the last Emperor of China. The latter was kidnapped and shipped to Borneo, consigned to meet the ever growing labour demands of the trade world at the beginning of the last century. Both witnessed the 2 Great World Wars. The last Manchu Emperor married 5 times but had no children and died in 1967.

Wong Lip Hon married once to Lee Siew Fah and together, they had 16 children consisting of 9 daughters and 7 sons. They met in Singapore and settled eventually in Segamat where he became a successful businessman. Miraculously all the children survived childbirth and bore them many grandchildren. He died in 1985 and his wife in 1990.

His 11 surviving children range from 69 to 86 years of age. This close knit family today has grown to over 400 - consisting of 72 grandchildren, 120 great grandchildren, 50 great, great grandchildren and over a 100 in-laws.
Spanned over 4 generations with a fifth on its way, the Wong clan in 2010 decided to celebrate the lives and times of this incredible couple who have managed to build a close family that spans all over the globe and to celebrate and honour the 11 surviving siblings.

When it comes to family reunions, it is very common to have family members to be spread across 3 generations. However, this unique Segamat Wong Family Reunion was attended by family members from 4 generations.

Affectionately termed as the ‘Mother of All Reunions - 2010’ or MOAR for short, it is the first reunion of its kind to be organized which reunited 230 relatives from around the world. Planning for the Mother Of All Reunions started as early as 2 years ago to ensure all family members were contacted and represented. The event aimed to allow family members to meet altogether, many for the very first time.

The MOAR weekend took place over 2 days on the weekend of the 3-4th July 2010 and was celebrated in true Malaysian style. A meeting of the clan was held at the Canossian Oasis retreat in Kluang, Johore, for a feast of traditional Malaysian hawker food stalls. These stalls were specially selected and stationed at the retreat for the day long gathering.

The celebration was highlighted by a gala dinner held that evening at the Prime City Hotel, Kluang officiated by the respectable Pastor Victor Wong. There were various performances presented by each generation. Relatives from overseas who were unable to attend the Reunion were beamed live on SKYPE via the internet to join in the night of celebrations. At MOAR 2010, every relative was issued a special identification tag on a coloured lanyard categorized by clan.

The following day, a moving memorial service was held at the Chinese Christian Cemetery in Segamat, Johore for Mr Wong and Mdm Lee .The service was conducted by their grandson, Pastor William Wong from Singapore.

This reunion has brought much anticipation and excitement to those attending with the different generations reaping different reactions. Said Mr Lum Chye Seng, a third-generationer who hails from Sydney, Australia, “This event was to honour the 11 surviving siblings. It was amazing to see how truly engaged and excited they were to be as actively involved as they could. Just their attitudes alone left a legacy, an imprint for future generations.” Mrs Mary Tan, one of the organizers, quipped, “Organising this event was no simple task, and a great deal of effort and coordination was required. But seeing the joy of the siblings and camaraderie of all present at the event, from the youngest (6 months) to the oldest (86), plus the fact that the event fostered even closer ties between the family members, was truly heart warming. Memories are indeed made of these.”

Press Release for MOAR

When it comes to family gatherings, it is very common for family members to be spread across 3 generations. This July, a mega Wong family reunion that spreads across 5 generations, was held in Kluang and Segamat, Johore.

This gathering, affectionately termed as the “Mother Of All Reunions” is the first reunion of its kind to be organized and reunited over 250 relatives from 14 cities in countries all over the world like America, Australia, United Kingdom, Europe and Asia.

The Wong clan originated from Mr Wong Lip Hon and Mdm Lee Swee Fah who hailed from China and settled in Segamat eventually. The couple had 16 children consisting of 9 daughters and 7 sons from one marriage. The surviving 11 siblings are aged between 86 and 69. Over the years, the family has grown to include 72 grandchildren, 120 great grandchildren and 50 great great grandchildren. The various professions represented include pastors, doctors, lawyers, journalists, engineers, army officers, businessmen, musicians and even an ex-Olympic hockey player.

Planning for the Mother Of All Reunions started as early as 2 years ago to ensure all family members were contacted and represented. The event aimed to allow family members to meet altogether, some for the very first time. A gala dinner was held at Prime City and a memorial service at the Segamat Chinese Christian Cemetery for Mr Wong and Mdm Lee.

This reunion has brought much anticipation and excitement to those attending with the different generations reaping different reactions. Said Mr Lum Chye Seng, a third-generationer who hails from Sydney, Australia, “This event was to honour the 11 surviving siblings. It was amazing to see how truly engaged and excited they were to be as actively involved as they could. Just their attitudes alone left a legacy, an imprint for future generations.” Mrs Mary Tan , one of the organizers, quipped, “ Organising the event was no simple task, and a great deal of effort and coordination was required. But seeing the joy of the siblings and camaraderie of all present at the event from the youngest (6 months) to the oldest ( 86), plus the fact that the event fostered even closer ties between the family members, was truly heart warming. Memories are indeed made of these”


after 2 years of emails flying across the globe to prepare for this Mother of All Reunions, it finally materialized last weekend.

here's the summary of what happened thru my eyes :)

2nd July 2010, Friday

Woke up at 4am as Lisa they all planned to pick me up at 4.30am-4.45am coz we wanted to reach Kluang earlier to cramp all the food we wanted to eat in. Mana tau, kena conned. Lawrence woke up late and we ended up leaving at 5.30am. i could've slept another 30mins :D

reached kluang at around 8.30am and went over to Lisa's parents' house to drop off their luggages. Then at around 8.45am they sent me to my popo's house. We had our 1st round of food at Chua Seng - roti bakar, telur separuh masak, nasi lemak and mee siam! i almost died and gone to heaven :D this breakfast was a huge thing as well coz some of the relos was already in kluang. we ended up taking almost half the coffee shop :D

after breakfast, went over to popo's house to collect stuffs to bring over to Oasis, Cannosian Convent. i forgotten what time did we arrive Oasis but i am guessing around 10ish. a few of the committee members were busy finishing up the press release, sitting arrangement for the banquet on the following night and the ID tag for each of us. what did i do? nothing much. just stoning and giving out minimal suggestion. i was pretty sleepy and tired then. we left the Oasis for yummilicious Ngau Lam mee (Beef tripe noodles) at around 1ish 2. the standard has dropped quite significantly... but i will still go back there la :D it's still good - but not as good as before :D service a little bit sux tho.. but i will still go back there :D

after lunch, we headed over to Kluang Mall for last minute shopping of stuffs for the event. after shopping and hanging out and laughed non stop, we went back to Oasis around 4ish 5. Baby Mika and my godparents already arrived then and i hang out at their room playing with the baby for sometime before going down to have dinner - catered from Hoover :D. the food was not bad. terence and family arrive shortly before dinner. we did some catching up before my kuku, unc. lau and auntie lingling and i decided to sneak out to have the pork/beef balls noodles (omg... it's still as good :D and i love it sooooooo much :D). after makan, we went back to oasis and alot of them has gone off to watch Brazil being slaughtered :P not long later, godpa told us that abang they all are sort of lost so i just follow them out to guide abang they all into oasis. hang out a bit. then i needed to rush back to popo's place to get my luggage bag. terence was a not a happy camper when i interrupted him watching Brazil being slaughtered... wahahhahahahaah....

3rd July 2010, Saturday

Dad told me to be at Oasis by 8am. i woke up at 8am all panicking... called my dad to told him i will be late only to find out he is still asleep =.=" (he stayed over at the oasis to catch up with his cousins)

when i arrived Oasis sometime before 9am, the whole place smell of freshly brewed coffee and roti bakar. The Kluang Rail Station has set up a booth there. and i straightaway made a bee line to the roti bakar queue. it is seriously the best roti bakar ever! :D everything became a blur then.... i mean i dont really remember much now... i just remembered eating a lot, looking at the kids play, talking and laughing with the aunties, uncles and cousins. in between then, minger and joanne and family arrived. talk talk talk and eat eat eat, then we took almost an hour under hot sun to capture the family picture :) after that, i gotta teman my dad and auntie lingling to see kong kong at around 2ish. i missed out on the rehearsal for our generation's segment (which is a big no no la... coz that nite i didnt even know what to do so i tried to hide behind all the cousins :P) for the banquet that night. anyway, that afternoon was a huge rush for me. from kongkong's place, rushed back to oasis coz elizabeth needed the car. see see when we reached oasis, she was already back at kongkong's place =.=!!! saw Cynthia and baby Audrey (very very cute!) for awhile and then have to rush back to kongkong's place to pass the car to elizabeth. then she sent me back to get ready for the banquet.
these ID tags shows which of the 16 children's family are we from with our name and ID number :D my official number is 6.3.2 (meaning to say my popo is the 6th child of my greatgrandparents, my dad is the 3rd child of my grandparents and i am the 2nd child of my parents :D):D

rehearsal time for the 5th generation kids :D They were preparing to sing Jesus Loves Me


rehearsal by the 4th generation - which i missed. We sang Stand By Me :D

this is just the 1st 10mins of getting everyone to gather together to take family photos :D

My darling Chanel was tired from the 1hr long photo shoot ... awww :D

Here's a beautiful video to summarize the afternoon (done by my cousin, Terence :))


The MOAR Banquet Dinner at Prime City Hotel, Kluang

the banquet - the food is really nothing to shout about. the whole event was really extremely great. found out more about my greatgrandparents and their families. my god! my greatgrandpa was kidnapped from china when he was 11yrs old and my greatgrandma's 3 brothers is some significant people and can be found in some historical book. they were all missionaries (my greatgrandma's father was some famous missionary as well) and one of them was killed by the Japanese in the WWII for trying to spread the Good News to the ppl.

The dinner programme. :D

The beauties of 3rd generation who fail in opening the umbrellas :D There was this young picture of my grandma and 2 of her sisters. So what happened was, uncle Victor ask their daughter to come up to the stage dancing to the tune of pretty woman :D it was so hilarious! they were so sporting! :D My taiku (in black) later lamented that if she knew of this, she would've veto-ed it :D

there were slide shows of my greatgrandparents and their children all through out the night and it was pretty entertaining. kudos to uncle victor for inserting the speech bubbles :D we had so much laughter that i ended up having jaw ache :D

After the dinner, i went home having warm fuzzy feeling all over. i seriously love my family soooooo much! went on FB and chatted with a few cousins before falling asleep at around 2am

4th July 2010, Sunday

Again, i kena conned by my dad (i tell u ah... this trip back, every morning also kena conned into waking up one!! :P). I asked him the previous night what time are we leaving the house for Oasis and he told me 7.45am. So, ok, i mah set my alarm clock at 7.15am. see see, my dad woke me up at 6.30am =.=!!! but it was all good la.. i mean what are the chances of us having such massive reunion again? :D

went over to Oasis around 7ish and the whole place was already bustling with activities. We left Oasis for Segamat for memorial service at the cemetery and lunch at around 10ish. i sweat buckets. really. i never been to a cemetery before, so wasnt prepared to sweat so much :P after a short service (i think about 1hr), we headed down to Segamat town for lunch. the food was really really good. :D
My Great Grandparent's tombstone :D

They came prepared. I was at the other side being roasted like a pig :D

after lunch, we took about 1hr or so to say good bye to each other :D the ride back to kl was a really really really really tiring one. we traveled on the trunk road all the way to Alor Gajah, Melaka and it was damn bumpy! and then got stuck in this really massive crawl before the Alor Gajah toll plaza. We arrived KL around 7ish and went over to Taman Paramount for Hokkien Mee (i pay, coz i lost a bet - long story :D). went home around 8ish 9 and slept before 10pm :D

overall, this reunion thingie is pretty addictive (for me la), i sort of had a withdrawal syndrome when i went back to my apartment. i wanted to turn back the clock and experience the reunion all over again. there were so many relatives that i didnt manage to speak to.

conclusion? if anyone ask me if i wanna participate in the next MOAR, i will definitely jump up and say: HELL YA!!!! :"D

i <3 my family :D

5 comments:

  1. Visiting here..luv your layout..nice..My very da very latest 4 today friend.. Dangerous!

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  2. Cant help but feeling all warm & fuzzy too after reading it. It is so beautiful!

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  3. wow...... I wanted to be in the gathering too. AND I missed Kluang food... btw, why your surname ANG and not WONG ??? tak faham !

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  4. Redbabe: thank you. i also think so... i've never been to such gathering before and i really truly felt blessed that i have a chance to experience it :D

    AnyaT: u miss Kluang food ha? come come, we plan a trip la :D This reunion is for the descendants of my paternal's grandmother's father. My popo is Wong mah... my Kong Kong is Ang. :D So that's why i m an Ang lor :D

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