OP BHAJAN’S BOOK LAUNCH
Wednesday, 9 October 2019; 1530 to 1730 Hours
At The OPA Penthouse, Bangunan OPA, Saujana Resort
A Book Launch on OP Bhajan’s Autobiography “Lucky By Chance” was held on Wednesday, 9 October 2019 at 1530 hours at the Penthouse, Bangunan OPA, Saujana Resort. under the auspices of the FMC Port Dickson Budak Boy group. 120 or so guests attended from the following: the FMC Port Dickson Budak Boys; the OPA Committee members; the RAFOC Committee members and other retired Armed Forces officers who were with Bhajan whilst in Service and those who were commissioned in RMAS; the RSD Veterans’ Association Committee members; the MAF Sikh Veterans’ Association Committee members; Bhajan’s family members and friends. The “Semanggat Setiakawan” was truly demonstrated.
The guests started arriving as early at 1500 hours. By 1600 hours, OP Abd Halim Shah bin Abd Murad, as the Emcee for the launch, welcomed and thanked those present to the launch. He called for a minute of silence in respect of the passing of OP Mohd Radzi’s mother-in-law on 7 October 2019 and the two FMC Port Dickson Budak Boys recently. The Muslim guests recited the “Al-Fatihah” for them and the other Budak Boys who are no longer with us.
OP Nawawi bin Mat Desa then briefed the guests on the making of the book. He reiterated that the occasion was not the launching of the book per se, but rather to honour OP Bhajan who turned 82 on that day, and being married to his wife, Shelley, for 60 years to-date.
OP Bhajan then introduced his book and its content. He outlined the content of his book, which contained his family background, his early days in Port Dickson, his joining the “Boys’ Company” in 1952 (which in 1953, together with the “Pre-OCTU” became the “Federation Military College). In 1956, he was selected to undergo the Officer Cadet training in the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS) and spent three years in England, married an English lady, returned to Malaya as a commissioned officer and served in the Malayan, later Malaysian Army for 15 years. On his early retirement, he and his family lived in England for 21 years before moving to stay in France. After 10 years in France, he and his wife returned to England but after eight years, he made the decision to “balik kampong” in Malaysia, for medical reasons. His family remained in England.
Half-way through his presentation, the electricity went off due to the lightening that followed the heavy rain outside. Nonetheless, he continued with his presentation to thank those who were instrumental in the preparation and printing of the book and the book launch, albeit in the dark, assisted by the torch light from the hand-phones.
OP Omar bin Mohd Noor, the OPA Honorary Treasurer, then said a few words on behalf of the OPA President, who was out-station and could not be present. The OPA was the publisher of the book, the second after the book “Royal Military College – The Port Dickson Years: 1952-1961” by OP Muhammad Shuhud, now Allahyarham, in 2007. This was followed by OP Mohd Radzi bin Sheikh Ahmad, Chairman of the FMC Port Dickson Budak Boys and Jen Tan Sri Abd Rahman bin Abd Hamid, (Retd), RAFOC President, representing the retired Armed Forces officers present. Datin Kuldeep, a niece of Bhajan then said a few words on behalf of the family members.
It was interesting to see the above speakers, saying their few words in darkness, assisted by the torch lights from the handphones! All the others remained seated and none did fall asleep; if they did, they did not snore to be noticed!
The book, duly signed by OP Bhajan was then presented to the guest speakers and a few other distinguished guests. By that time the light was re-installed.
This was followed by the tea reception, ala Indian menu – “Chapati”, “Tosai”, “Mee Goreng Mamak”, “Pasembur”; with “Cendol” and “Teh Tarik” to go with them – food aplenty. While enjoying their tea, they were entertained by Lt Kol Dzulkarnain, (Retd) strumming his guitar with the evergreen songs of yesteryears.
The family members then gathered together to accompany Bhajan in the cake cutting ceremony, in conjunction with his “82nd Birthday” and his “Diamond Jubilee Anniversary” of his wedding to his wife, Shelley. This cake cutting was a surprise to Bhajan.
Whilst having their tea, “mee goring”, “roti canai”, “tosai” and whatnots, the guests took the opportunity to get a copy of the book each, and to be duly signed by OP Bhajan in situ.
It was not until 1830 hours that the last few guests left the hall, alas some had to undergo the traffic jam back to Kuala Lumpur.
All in all, it was a good book launch – good turn-out, good programme, ably emceed by OP Abd Halim, good food and a good gathering, except for the unexpected electricity cut-off.
Our salute to OP Bhajan on the successful publication and the launch of his Autobiography – “Lucky By Chance”. We wished him “Happy 82nd Birthday” and congratulations on the “60th Anniversary” of his wedding to his beloved wife, Shelley. What a day for OP Bhajan!
Our thanks to those who attended the book launch, those who contributed and those who made the event such a memorable occasion. We look forward to the launching of another autobiography by another Budak Boy in the near future.
OP Nawawi bin Mat Desa
13 October 2019