29th March 2014, 7pm: A café alongside Tanjong Katong Road was teeming with crowds of patrons on this Saturday evening. Laughter filled the air as the patrons “queued” for their entry into the café. Unknown to many on-looking passer-bys, With A Pinch Of Salt was closed for a very special event that evening. The event was a joint dinner, celebrating the 22nd and 7th anniversary of Island Taekwon-Do Centre (ITC) and Sun Hapkido Academy Singapore (SHAS).
Although it was a casual setting, the atmosphere was lively and it was interesting to see everyone decked out in a sea of colours – a stark contrast from the white uniforms worn by everyone during our weekly training classes. At the door, there was a mini reception attended by Justina, where everyone did their registration, and handed in their ticket stubs for a chance at the lucky draw later on. Faces were all-smiles as members from both schools went around making friends and posing for photographs. Everyone was engrossed in their friendly banter while awaiting for the commencement of the celebratory dinner.
At around 7.30pm, Master Sng graced the event with a meaningful speech, which brought on a huge round of applause from everyone present that night. And with that, the feasting began!
It was a western fare for the night, with dishes all laid out in a buffet-style dinner. Chicken wings, as usual, were a crowd favourite and the tray was emptied in no time.
To accompany the food and drinks was a series of performances from the multi-talented members of the schools. One of the performers being my good friend Calvin Eng, who introduced me to Sun Hapkido Academy Singapore. His act was a saxophone duet with Mr. Gavin Soon and as this being my first anniversary dinner, I was surprised to see how members were not only “physically-talented” but they have a flair for the arts as well.
At around 9pm, the much-awaited lucky draw began. Everyone dug into their pockets for the other half of the ticket that showed their ticket number, and prayed hard that they could strike it big with Lady Luck. “The TV is mine, I know it”- became a constantly repeated phrase at the tables as everyone eyed the grand prize for the night. After numerous rounds of “OOH!” and “AHH!”, finally the lucky draw came to an end, with Mr. Wu Yong Ming bringing home the TV and all the other prize winners grinning ear to ear, posing for the camera with their “catch-of-the-day”.
Then came the prize presentations for members who have contributed greatly, in one way or another, to ITC’s Annual Championships 2014 or this anniversary dinner. It was definitely a proud moment as they received a plaque and certificates as a form of recognition for their never ending support, for both ITC and SHAS.
With that, the ITC and SHAS Anniversary Dinner drew to a close. It was definitely a fun filled night, with much to talk and laugh about. We have all made new friends, within or across schools. And, most importantly, we got to know each other better in this casual setting and forged closer bonds as both training mates, and friends.
Although occasions like these are rare, but what we took home with us at the end of the day, will definitely keep us looking forward to the next big gathering.
Written by Mr. Eddie Yang
© Sun Hapkido Academy Singapore 2014
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