OUR “TAI-GAW’S” 90th BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION
Nonagenarian Birthday Celebration for W Bro Yan Poh Lok
13th of October 2019
Sun Lee How Fook Restaurant, Ipoh
It was an event that all of the Brethren from Kinta looked forward to the very moment we realised that this year would be the year our own “Prince of Kinta” WB Yan Poh Lok will be celebrating his 90th birthday.
When our Worshipful Mater, W Bro Viswanathan took the Master’s chair in April, he was alerted of the looming milestone of W Bro Yan Poh Lok’s 90th Birthday. As such plans were immediately put in place for the Kinta Lodge Brethren to celebrate this momentous occasion.
In Kinta like in many lodges they normally have a collective birthday celebration for all those celebrating their birthday on a particular month. However to make the celebration all the more special the Kinta Brethren agreed to set aside a special evening just for him alone.
Our Worshipful Brother’s actual birth date is on the 14th of October. However the 13th of October was set aside for the commemoration so that it would be easier for WB Yan Poh Lok’s family, who were coming in from overseas to attend the function.
To make the birthday festivities grander many others beside the Kinta brethren and their ladies we invited to the gala event. These included brethren and their good ladies from other lodges, as well as special and distinguished guests.
We were more than pleased to that our own District Grand Master, RW Bro Dato’ Jeyaraj Ratnaswamy graced us with his presence , as well as MW Ir. Cheah Kok Cheong, the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of SEA, and other distinguished brethren.
Another unique highlight of the evening was the presence of two potential candidates for Kinta Lodge so to give them a glimpse of what the Kinta and Freemasonry fellowship is all about.
We started of the event by having cocktails whilst awaiting our celebrated “Birthday Boy”. He arrived to a standing ovation from all the Brethren present. W Bro Yan was accompanied by his companion, children and grandchildren. The evening started with an opening speech and introduction by our Kinta Lodge Worshipful Master, W Bro Viswanathan. The guests were then served the first three dishes.
The evening was followed by a short citation of W Bro Yan Poh Lok life by his long-time friend in Freemasonry W Bro Lai Mun Wan. Indeed, he proved to be most fitting for person for the citation as he had many great stories to share about our “Prince of Kinta” that left many of us in laughter, but mostly in awe of how much W Bro Yan has done for Freemasonry. This was followed by a toast to the traditional Chinese render of “Yam Seng” to his good health and long life.
After another two dishes, we were treated to a speech by our RW Bro Dato’ Jeyaraj Ratnaswamy. He expressed his gratitude to Kinta for celebrating such an auspicious event and was indeed grateful to be invited for the occasion. He went on to share with us how some other brethren from around the district had celebrated their 90th and 100th birthdays. He congratulated Kinta for honouring WB Yan Poh Lok in such a manner and invited all attendees to join him for a toast to the birthday boy.
This was followed by a speech by the MW Ir. Cheah Kok Cheong, the GM of the GLMMMSEA. KC, also had many good things to say about his long-time companion, especially of W Bro Yan’s being his number two as the Deputy GM in the Order of Mark Master Masons of the Grand Lodge of SEA.
The toasts and speeches were then followed by a special event when Mr. Kareem, one of Kinta’s potential candidates, came up to centre stage and unveiled the gift from the Brethren of Kinta lodge to W Bro Yan Poh Lok. It was a beautiful portrait painting of our W Bro Yan Poh Lok in the full dress regalia of the Deputy GM of the GLMMMSEA that Mr Kareem had himself painted. The unveiling of the painting left the ladies and guests in admiration of not only the painting but of our W Bro Yan Poh Lok.
We then had the cake cutting ceremony followed by the reply from our birthday boy. In his speech, he mentioned what the city of Ipoh, his family, Freemasonry and Kinta Lodge had meant to him. This was followed by short greetings and salutations from the floor.
The last and notable speech was given by WB Yan Poh Lok’s daughter who left the audience in tears with her emotional and public display of her admiration, respect and love she felt for her father. The warm hug she gave her father afterwards was literally the icing on the cake. It was greeted with a loud and rousing ovation from all. Dinner was continued and we concluded the meaningful and lovely celebration of our Tai-Gaws 90th birthday at 10.30 pm.
Presentation of the gift from the Brethren of Kinta by Mr Kareem (Kinta’s potential candidate)
A great speech by our RWDGM to commemorate WB Yan Poh Lok’s 90th birthday
The citation by WB Lai Mun Wan, a long comrade of WB Yan Poh Lok left many in awe and laughter
A good turn-out from the Kinta Brethren, our good ladies and guests. The
A special occasion that the family of WB Yan Poh Lok joined us. Many of them reside overseas. With them was our caretaker of KMTC Michael and WB Lai Mun Wan
A beautiful and emotional filled speech by WB Yan Poh Lok’s daughter left many in tears.
Our brethren minggling with potential Kinta candidates during the dinner.
Brethren of Kinta having an awesome fellowship with their guests- the fellowship never stops at Kinta!
The cake cutting ceremony for WB Yan Poh Lok with our distinguished guests
WB Yan Poh Lok and his companion posing for a photograph with his gift