I. LAS VEGAS, Nevada. USA
May 22 – 25, 1987
The reunion in Las Vegas was the first international reunion of former students and alumni of the THS, FT-UI, FIPIA and ITB. v It was chaired by Steve Kristedja (Thé Tjing Hoo) and Paul Tjandrasuwita (Tjan Soe Iet). Paul, who held the position of Vice-Chairman for the Las Vegas reunion, publicized the Reunion among friends and ex-colleagues in Indonesia. He even managed to raise some funds to help finance the Reunion.
In an email of September 29, 2009 Steve addressed to me, he emphasized that a reunion on such a grand scale could not be attributed to one or two persons only. The success of such an endeavour had to be credited to all Committee members who were essential in the organization and coordination of such a huge undertaking.
The first TFI Committee had 16 members, most of whom were TFI-ers, i.e. ex-students and alumni of THS, FT-UI, FIPIA and ITB. Committee members included: Djoko Soejoto (First Secretary); John B. Quan (Second Secretary), Johnny Tan Sing Oen (Treasurer), Simon Ong Thian Siem (Program and Planning), Dewi Tan (Accommodation and Planning), Frank Yap Tjong Hauw and Paul Nio Tjoe Djiet (Publication & Documentation). Lincoln Tan Lian Hian and Henry Tjioe Lian Siang were responsible for Recreation, Tan Lan Nio for First Aid, Marie Tjandrasuwita for Hospitality, and Mia Ong for Decoration. Jeanne Kristedja organized tennis tournaments, and Dick Liem Sien Tjwan golf.
In addition to the 16 Committee members, Steve was supported by six Area Coordinators who were responsible for support in various parts of the United States and abroad. Area Coordinators included Njo Sian Hwie (Western United States), Ong Tjing Ho (Eastern United States), Budi Santoso (Western Canada), Ko Tik Wie (Eastern Canada), Tan Siauw Yang (The Netherlands) and Teddy Karyadi (Indonesia).
TFI alumni Lin Adhipurna (Ong Bwee Nio), Richard A. Danyo (Nio Bie Seng), Benjamin Suriadjaya (Tjia Kian Joe), Paul Tjandrasuwita, Simon T. Ong Thian Siem, Rudy Tjipto Utomo, and Ciputra provided financial support.
In his welcome message Steve wrote that we have gathered here primarily to meet old friends, many of whom we have not met or seen for years or decades. I myself could not wait to see those old, familiar faces. That is what this Reunion is all about! I therefore urge you to make very good use of our short time with each other, to reminisce, to relive old memories, and to rekindle almost forgotten friendships. — For the moment, let us all forget our worries, whatever they may be, and have a jolly good time together –.
The TFI Las Vegas program included sightseeing trips, tennis and golf tournaments, a dinner show and a tour of the amazing, awe-inspiring Grand Canyon. In the evening, participants gathered in the hospitality room for a social evening of fun and games, song and dance, as they went down memory lane watching a slide show of pictures of their student years.
Based on the 1987 THS/FIPIA/ITB booklet, there were a total of 149 participants from Canada (12), Indonesia (12), the Netherlands (12), the United Kingdom (2) and the United States of America (111). The Committee is to be commended for including the Chinese names of friends who had adopted Indonesian-sounding names to make sure participants would be able to find and reconnect with old friends they only knew by their old names.
The overwhelming enthusiasm of the participants of the first TFI reunion set the stage for another reunion and prompted a vote to hold the next reunion within three years. Finding a person who was willing and able to become Chairman, however, was quite a challenge.
Steve, who lives in Southern California, had to travel to Northern California where he arranged a meeting to persuade friends in Northern California to pick up the baton. vii He finally convinced his brother, Thé Tjing Bie, to accept the position of Chairman for the following reunion.
Tjing Bie and his wife Lanny, as well as a number of prospective team members visited Reno, Nevada, as a possible location for the next reunion. Reno is another Casino city, and hotels are relatively inexpensive. viii Its proximity to beautiful Lake Tahoe and its surrounding scenery made it an easy choice, and a decision was made to hold the next TFI reunion in Reno.