IV. WASHINGTON, DC, USA
September 6 – 9, 1996
Washington DC was the location for the fourth TFI reunion, three years after the reunion in Veldhoven. It was held at the Double Tree Hotel in Rockville, Maryland, approximately 35 minutes by car from the nation’s capital.
Chaired by David Liem Sing Sioe, this was the first time the Chairman used the term “Chairperson”, a welcome sign indicating gender equality. David was supported by two Vice-Chairpersons, Souw Eng Kie and Arie W. Hartman, three team members, as well as six volunteers and nine area coordinators covering Northern and Southern California, Northeastern United States, Southeastern United States, Indonesia, Canada, and the Netherlands.
As David so aptly wrote in his welcome message, the objective of the fourth TFI reunion was not only to see Washington, the capital of the United States of America, but, first and foremost, to see old friends, to reminisce about our good old days together, rekindle old and forgotten friendships and, of course, to meet new friends and, most importantly, to enjoy each other’s company and have fun together like in the good old days in Bandung!
The program included a sightseeing tour of Washington D.C. featuring its most famous buildings: the Capitol Building, Supreme Court and White House. The Jefferson and Iwo Jima Memorials, Vietnam War and Lincoln Memorials were also on the itinerary as reminders of the nation’s sacrifice in its quest for freedom and democracy. A visit to Washington is not complete without a visit to the National Mall, the heart of the Nation’s Capital and the entire United States of America. This is where the nation celebrates, honours, and demonstrates its commitment to democracy. xiii A visit to the Smithsonian Museum and National Holocaust Museum were also on the itinerary.
On the second day of the reunion participants enjoyed a picnic lunch at the Mall, a national park in the heart of Washington D.C. This was followed by a sightseeing tour of the Kennedy Center, also known as the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. It is a living memorial to the late President John F. Kennedy. Other places of interest on the itinerary were Georgetown, a historic commercial and entertainment centre in Washington D.C., and Massachusetts Avenue – a Washington landmark and home to Embassy Row. The tour included a stop at the Washington National Cathedral, the second largest cathedral in the United States.
Dinner that evening was at the Rockville Restaurant. The evening concluded with a get-together in the Hospitality Room of the hotel, where people socialized, sang and danced to their hearts’ content. There were no planned activities for the third day of the Reunion. The Gala Reception, music and dance that were planned for the evening took place in the Double Tree Ballroom.
On the last day of the Reunion, participants gathered for a Farewell Brunch in the Ballroom of the Double Tree Hotel. This was followed by an optional PRT (post-reunion tour) that took participants to Atlantic City, Niagara Falls and Toronto, Canada. During their visit to Toronto, participants were treated to a sightseeing tour of Toronto and dinner by Toronto TFI-ers, before the group proceeded to New York City, where they visited the Statue of Liberty, the Twin Towers in Manhattan, the New York Stock Exchange, United Nations Building, Empire State building, Rockefeller Center, and Radio City Music Hall. The next day, participants visited other New York landmarks such as Haarlem, the Bronx, Lincoln Center and China Town.
Based on the Reunion booklet, there were 132 participants from five different countries: Canada (7), Germany (2), Indonesia (13), The Netherlands (10) and the United States of America (100). It was interesting to observe that a number of participants were accompanied by sons and daughters, who were able to see how their parents could still whoop it up, as they celebrated the good old days.
The Washington Reunion was made possible with financial support from Ciputra, Loretta Maswita Mamesah (Lotje Oey), Richard Sada (Oh Ek Liong), Paul and Marie Tjandrasuwita.