Miscellaneous / Tun Dr Mahathir

Those who made me proud…

I would like to wish a wonderful happy birthday to YABhg. Tun Dr Mahathir Bin Mohamad.

He is 84 today.

On this day, I wish he’d knew that a group young Malaysians achieved something that all Malaysians can be proud of; the boys in the Victoria Institution Cadet Corps Band (VICC Band) won the International Band Competition held in Modena, Italy a few days ago.

They beat several other school bands from other countries including the defending champion from Holland which came in second.

2007 In Holland

Awaiting their turn at the 2005 World Marching Band Competition in Holland

The VICC Band has a rich history which many do not know. It is the oldest school band in Malaysia and is exactly 100 years old this year.

VI Band has the only chrome plated Premier side drums in the world

VI Band has the only chrome plated Premier side drums in the world

It was established in 1909 as an extension to the school cadet infantry which was established 8 years earlier. With only fife and drums as their musical instruments, it expanded with the inclusion of the bugle section in 1915.

In 1965, it received the first batch of bagpipes. Making it the oldest school in South East Asia to have the bagpipe section.

In 1967, the brass section was established, culminating to the demise of the bugle section a couple of years later.

Stadium Merdeka (1973)

Stadium Merdeka (1973)

When the American President, Lyndon Baines Johnson visited Malaysia in the mid 60’s, VICC Band had the enviable task to be the marching band in the guard of honour.

Towards the end of the 70’s, the reputation of VICC Band as the best school band in Malaysia reached its peak by winning the first National Band Competition in 1980. The drum major at that time was Warrant Officer II Ahmad Nordin. He was an Upper Six student.

VICC Band defeated 13 other bands representing each state in Malaysia to become the champion.  Numerous band championships were won by them in countless competitions from thereon. Until now, it is also the only school band in Malaysia known to organise its own military tattoos (copying the more famous Edinburgh tattoos).

Life as a VI cadet bandboy is a hectic, grueling and demanding vocation. They put blood and tears into it. The mottos for the VICC Band are ‘Rise to the Occasion’, ‘To Perfection’ and ‘Never Say Die’.

And believe me, they follow those mottos to a tee.

The band in recent years

The band in recent years

They are the most disciplined, proud and honourable student in school. They excel in everything that they do. The officers (usually Form 4 onwards) sometimes are accorded with the same respect the VI Prefects get.

With this kind of mentality, attitude and the constant need to be the best in everything, it came as no surprise that they managed to be the Champion of the World.

And these are just a bunch of 13 to 18 year old kids.

I am proud of them.

Malaysia Boleh!

Always go for gold

Always go for gold

(All the dates and facts came from memory. Please correct me if any of the above is wrong. Thank you)

24 thoughts on “Those who made me proud…

  1. Hi

    I think Tun’s birthday is in December, 22nd if I m not mistaken

    JMD : December 20th is his official birthday (according to his birth certificate – his father registered him late). His real birthday is on July 10th 1925. Thank you for the comment.


  2. Dear JMD

    I like to wish happy 84th birhday to Tun Mahathir too. May Allah blesses him always.

    I like to congratulate VICC band for winning the compition held in Modena, Italy. They look very smart in the picture. Almost perfect.

    I believe the tradition in their appreach is very British. I joined Military services for a couple of tears. I believe our tradition were british too.It was a valuable experience.



  3. dear jmd,

    i have been an admirer of your blog for quite some time now. a silent one that is, however. i guess some ‘fans’ just take the pleasure in agreeing, privately. my only suggestion is for you to write more frequently if possible.

    this piece in particular caught my attention, enough to convince me to break my silence. i read the news on thestar online yesterday, and may i say the news alone made my day. did you go to VI as well jmd? if you did, no wonder the jmd blog is so highly regarded 🙂

    JMD : Thank you for reading this blog 🙂


  4. Is this real? Did they really win the International Band Competition?! Hip Hip Hurray!


    It’s something that all Malaysians should be proud of. For me though, I have to admit that my heart is now all puffed up! My dad is a VI Old Boy, and I grew up listening to stories of his good ol’ days at VI, I even learnt the VI cheers by heart!

    This is a piece of good news I’m definitely going to pass on to my dad tonight! He’s going to be so proud.

    JMD : Yes they did Michelle 🙂


  5. Selamat harijadi Tun Mahathir.

    Congratulations VI.

    Congratulations JMD. Selamat menyambut hits ke-600,000 !!! 🙂

    JMD : Thanks Joe. 🙂


  6. Sumbangan, jasa dan dedikasi Tun akan kekal dalam hati dan ingatan kami di Barisan Nasional. Semoga usia Tun dipanjangkan demi negara kami yang tercinta.

    Selamat hari jadi Tun M. Perjuangan Tun tidak keseorangan dan wawasan Tun akan terus dipikul dan direalisasikan oleh anak-anak Malaysia.

    Hidup Tun !

    Tahniah juga diucapkan kepada kejayaan anak-anak Malaysia pancaragam VI.

    Semoga anak muda yang berwawasan terus mengibarkan Jalur Gemilang dan semangat Malaysia Boleh.


  7. Yes…many happy returns to Tun Dr Mahathir. He’s da man.

    JMD…..my brothers, most of my male cousins and a string of ex boyfriends (hehe) all went to VI. A few years more or less than your batch. Some of them were in the band and i used to cheer them on in their competitions. It was a wonderful feeling when they won inter school or state competitions. They were a class act and they still are.

    This post of yours brings back wonderful memories of my teenage years 🙂

    Oh yes…..do write more often.


  8. congrats to the V’s.
    I was in the school band too during the early 90’s, playing the clarinet in the team. Nearly every year we would march on Dataran Merdeka on the 31st August in front of the King and PM, hoping to get sighted on TV, but usually it would be the front line drummers who get to steal the limelight. I envy the Victorians, but feel proud for you as a Malaysian. Now that my ex-school has moved from Cheras to Putrajaya, I wonder if they would still participate if Independence Day is celebrated in KL.

    Happy birthday Tun.


  9. JMD

    Thanks for highlighting the news about the VI band and cadet corps. I am from the alma mater too!

    Kudos to the VI band. I think this is the 3rd occasion they have won this prestigious event with a No.1 world ranking.

    Like you said the band boys and cadet corps guys in VI had to work hard for their success and have truly earned it. They had to practice for endless hours, very often under the burning skies!

    In my blog posting of 1st July 2009 on the VI years 1966-72 ‘Let US Now With Thankfulness’ at http://lunwt.blogspot.com/ I have mentioned some of the achievements of the VI school band then. Now they have exceeded those achivements.

    It shows that with the right leaderships and traditions, Malaysians can be over-achievers!

    JMD : Thank you for the comment DPP.


  10. Tun Mahathir, even though you are of a different citizenship with me but that doesnt stop me from loving you always.

    May Allah bless you with good health and keep those constructive criticisms coming.

    Take care Tun..

    Best regards


  11. not forgetting the supporting bodies that make the trip happened..thanks a lot esp. to FT Minister for his contribution…
    band boy family member..


  12. My nephew is one of the VICCB member. The Sports Minister was at the airport to send them off (well..actually he just went there to greet the boys, take photos, take more photos and went away). Yep, the boys and their supportive parents really put their blood and sweat into making sure they become the champ. At the airport, I overheard a father say this while bidding good bye to his Form 1 son “make sure be champion ah!” Actually the words sounded more like a warning! All the same, I felt that our newspaper should give a large enough coverage of their feat but it only appear (without photo) in a some rather obsure column.

    JMD : Thank you for the comment NAI. I am sure the parents of the VI bandboys are the most understanding and sporting parents these boys could ever have.


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