Friday, June 6, 2014

Penang Free School (PFS) Bicentenary Heritage Fun Ride

Hundreds of cyclists thronged the streets here at a bicentenary heritage fun ride organised by Penang Free School (PFS) last Sunday.

Families with children in tow and friends took part in the curtain-raiser to the PFS 200th anniversary celebrations in 2016.

The cyclists had a gala time on the scenic 15km route in the heritage zone and beyond. They rode on conventional bicycles and tandems, bicycles for two riders.

PFS bicentenary committee organising chairman Datuk Abdul Rafique Abdul Karim said the participants stopped at 15 historical sites -- such as the P. Ramlee House, Jalan Hamilton, Taman Hutchings, Jalan Hargreaves and Jalan Pinhorn -- which have historical links to PFS.

"The bicentennial celebration countdown has started and the fun ride is one of the many events leading up to the actual day on Oct 21, 2016," said Rafique.

Among the dignitaries who attended PFS was Malaysia's first prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj, silverscreen icon P. Ramlee, and Penang second chief minister Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu.

Rafique was present at SMK Hutchings in Lebuh Farquhar to flag off the event which ended at the PFS pavilion in Jalan Masjid Negeri.

 The PFS Bicentenary Heritage Trail Map, with the school crest displayed below, was mounted on a board at the school compound was unveiled by Rafique and his committee members.

He said the celebration was a milestone for the school as it is the oldest English school in the country.

Rafique is expecting about 3,000 alumni locally and overseas to converge on the island in 2016.

There was also a lucky draw where five participants won bicycles as grand prizes.

PFS alumnus Juzaidi Raias, 46, who works for a petroleum company based in Garraf, Iraq, came to participate in the fun ride. He was on a month-long leave.

"PFS is close to my heart and it is sentimental for me to come back to my alma mater.

" The ride, with my fellow alumni, brings back feelings of nostalgia. I left the school 29 years ago.

"I like cycling and the best part of the ride is I get to visit the places associated to PFS," he said.

 It has been years since I went back to my beloved school after they starts screening people (strangers) going into the school back in 2007. So much has changed, yet it remains in my heart...

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