Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Epic day...

The sun was beating down; you could cut the tension with a knife. The majestic colors of blue and white were everywhere, along with mixed splashes of dark blue and blood red. It was the annual KL State Drill competition.

It was a day that many of the boys and girls of the 10th Kuala Lumpur Company had been training for. For months they toiled away, under the hot sun, even after they had spent an entire day in school or BB. They had given so much for only 15 minutes of drill. The bled, they sweat, they ached together and now... The day had come.

First up were the Junior squads. They young boys and girls of 10th KL were nervous, for some, this was their first competition, their first time showcasing their drill in front of an audience and the prospect of doing such scared them. But as they stood there having their uniform checked, they knew that this was what they had trained for. They had given so much for this day, so they were determined not to let their nerves get to them. As they went to get ready to go out, their officers came over to offer encouragement and help to calm their young hearts. They told them not to worry about what the results would be, or who would win, but to focus on giving it their best shot and doing it for God. Before they went out, they said a prayer of thanksgiving and asked God to go with them and keep them focused. As their commander, Chanan Loh, led them out into the sun to perform, they held their heads high and kept their minds focused on the task at hand. They went through the sequence to the best of their abilities. Chanan commanded his squad from the front with authority and firmness. All their training had boiled down to this, and they had pulled all the stops in their performance. When they had finished, they all let out a sigh of relief. The anxiety was over, they had done their job. Now all that was left was to wait for the results. For the Seniors though, the tension was far from over.

After receiving their instructions on where to fall in for their uniform inspection, SGT Daniel Chew and PVT Luke Chan got their squads together and fell them in at their respective positions. They were ready. They had spent the entire morning making sure every boot was buffed to a mirror shine and every belt shone like it was made of gold. They were ready. As they stood under the sun at attention, their expressions were those of determination. Each of them had to mentally prepare themselves for this great undertaking. They were ready.

SGT Daniel's squad was the first of all the company's squads to compete. As they stood at attention at the ready area, their captain, Captain Esther Chew, came over to the tent. She came to give them encouragement, to inspire them, to give them the confidence that they were ready. They had trained long and hard for this, and now the time had come. After a final prayer, offering the result to God and asking Him to give them the concentration and the peace to compete at their best, they set out. They marched, they saluted, they wheeled, they changed their facing, they slow marched, they gave it their all. As they drilled each of them had an expression of pure determination and concentration. They knew what they had to do and they did it to the best of their abilities. They put on an excellent performance, but was it enough? They were competing with some of the best drillers in the state, in the country even.

PVT Luke's squad was third. After a similar motivational speech from their Captain, they too went out to do their best. This squad was made up of the more green of the members, some of them in their first year of BB even. They were young and inexperienced, but they were just as confident and determined as the first squad. They too wanted to prove something, that they were contenders, that they were not to be underestimated. They gave it their best and no one could tell them otherwise.

After all the squads had finished presenting their sequence, it was time for the judging. The whole state held its breath as the results were announced. The suspense was palpable. First up were the results for the Junior squads. For the past eight years, 10th KL's juniors had always been the best, in uniform, commanding, and in drill. It was a legacy that went back all the way to when their officers were juniors, back in 2002, when the Junior squad of the time had swept up all the awards for best drill, best uniform, and best commander. Was this the year the legacy ended? Had they done enough? Were they able to continue this great legacy of junior drillers? The announcer spoke, " And the winner of this year's junior drill competition is... 10TH KL!" The legacy continued. The young members of the 10th Kuala Lumpur Company had retained their crown. They were all smiles as they went down to collect their trophies and shield. Chanan held it proudly in his left hand as they returned to await the results for the best commander, another accolade which had been retained since the time the author of this article won it in 2002. The announcer spoke," And the award for Best Junior Commander goes to... none other than... 10TH KL!" The sweep was complete. The plucky juniors of the 10th Kuala Lumpur Company had done it again. Chanan Loh marched up proudly to collect his award. His officers looked on with great pride as well as he returned to the squad and waited for the senior results.

The seniors had been watching the whole time, and were also extremely proud of the juniors, but were anxious to find out the results of their competition. The announcer spoke, " And the first runner up for the senior section drill competition, the first squad that will represent Kuala Lumpur state at this year's Pesta in Penang is... 3RD KL!" The hearts of the 10th KL drill squads sank. 3rd KL were extremely good drillers and had put on an amazing performance, and still only got first runner up, did they even stand a chance? They had seen the other squads perform, 1st KL had put on an equally superb show and were favorites to win. Did the 10th KL squad, which had worked so hard for so many days and weeks, stand a chance against the Boys of the 1st? The announcer spoke again, “And the champions, of this year's KL State Drill competition and the final team that will represent the state in this year’s Pesta is..." The crowd held their breaths, you could almost hear a bird's heartbeat; the wind rustled the leaves of the trees.


An almighty roar erupted from the crowd as they heard the news. They had done it! They had come out champions! All the sweat, blood, and tear that they had shed, had finally born the fruit that it deserved. Their officers embraced each other and some even shed a few tears, it was a beautiful moment. It was an epic moment, a once in a lifetime moment for some. They had done it. As each one marched out to claim their trophies, the look on their faces said it all. They were ecstatic. As SGT Daniel went out to collect his trophy and the shield, everyone could see the happiness on his face. He had put so much into this, and now he was reaping the rewards. He returned to his squad, the shield held firmly in his left hand.

The competition was over, as the state commander gave the commands to fall out, the whole of the 10th Kuala Lumpur company let out a shout of jubilation. It had been an amazing day. They had come unsure of whether they had done enough, and now were holding the proof that, yes, they had. As the entire company bowed their heads in prayer, one of the veterans of that fateful day in 2002, W/O Mark Tan, said a prayer of thanksgiving to the One that had made all this possible, the Lord God Almighty. They gave thanks for the energy that He had provided during practice, and for the peace He had granted to the drillers during the competition, and finally, His grace that allowed them to win those most prestigious of titles.

As the victors took their group photos and celebrated, the three remaining veterans from 2002, W/Os Mark Tan and Eunice Lim and Staff-Sergeant Ian Cheah, stood and watched with pride. The torch had been past. A new generation had come to take it up. The author was among the three, and as on a personal note, the feeling of seeing those members in such great joy is something that cannot be written down or expressed. I am extremely proud to have contributed to this achievement and hope that I will continue to be able to do so for many years to come.

Sure and Stedfast till I die,
Staff-Sergeant Ian Cheah,
Proud member of the Tenth Kuala Lumpur Company of the Boys' Brigade in Malaysia

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Wow... It has been a LONG time...

It has been a long long time since I updated...

Well, nothing much to say actually, that's kinda why I haven't updated...

But I will say this:

How to train your dragon was awesome, I miss you :), I wanna go out somewhere, I am pretty bored, and I am proud of all of you ;)