Ahmad Johnie (sixth left rear row) with the former students of SMK Matu-Daro.

Sibu: Some forty years have passed for the pioneer class of 1972-77 when 130 former SMK Matu / Daro students gathered for the first time at a hotel here last night.

The atmosphere was lively and joyous for most of them had not met since completing their Form Three at the school now known as SMK Matu. Most of the former students, some of whom are retirees, have worked or are working in many parts of the country despite growing up in villages around Matu and Daro.

A variety of exciting events were held including a video presentation featuring the past and present photos of the individual students as well as photos with their families, karaoke session, poetry recitals, poco-poco dance as well as lucky draws.

Ahmad Johnie (sixth left rear row) with the former students of SMK Matu-Daro.

Igan Member of Parliament Ahmad Johnie Zawawi, who is also a former student of the group, is the Patron of Majlis Malem Pedun Anyin SMK Matu/Daro 72-79, which in Melanau means, ‘SMK Matu/Daro 72-79 Gathering Night’.

The prizes for the lucky draws a contribution from former students, Tanjong Manis Member of Parliament Yusuf Abd Wahab, Semop State Assemblyman Abdullah Saidol and political secretary to the Chief Minister, Abu Seman Jahwie.

Ahmad Johnie said the event was aimed at strengthening relationship among former students and their families, and getting to know each other after being apart for more than four decades. He then proposed the next event to be held in Kuching in 2021.

“I would like to thank members of the organising committee for the hard work of finding these former students and reuniting a large number of Class 72-79 here tonight at this memorable gathering,” he said Saturday night.

Ahmad Johnie (centre) with the former students of SMK Matu-Daro at Hotel RH in Sibu Saturday night.