In just over a week I will be off again on a trip with a mission. It was unplanned until late March when I realized I had to make this trip because my friend needs me, and others from the class of 65, to foster our friendship and to give him our encouragement following his brain surgery. What else do we look forward to in our old age but true companionship from family and friends on earth and God above.
On June 2 my classmate TCS will fly with me on Emirates to Auckland via Melbourne where we will change flight. On arrival the following day we plan to call on our dear friend AL and his beloved wife. Since AL and I parted school in 1965 I've met him only twice. In 1973 he was best man at my wedding. In 1984 he and his family, including 3 boys around the age of my own children, had dinner with us in Singapore. Thereafter we lost touch until two years ago when AL reappeared with pictures of him bearded and silver haired. Almost none of us of the class of 65 could recognized him but AL was a gentleman and a bard, someone whom we held in high regard because of his flair of fine words.
It won't be just the two of us who will visit AL. Another classmate, my room mate during 1966 and 1967 when I was in the ACS Ipoh, DCH, will also fly in from Melbourne where he will be on official business, to join us to see AL on June 7. On that same day two other class mates residing in NZ decided to come along to make it five. AL would be overwhelmed by such kindness. And recently one other friend PL asked if he can join in. Although he wasn't our classmate the online friendship he developed with AL was sufficient a reason to make the trip. So if all goes well it will be a party, a reunion party that was never in my mind, to remember.
As I never really toured North Island in our 2006 holiday I thought this time I should visit the Bay of Islands north of Auckland. My family reminded me it will be winter in NZ now so to dress appropriately. Temperature wise it will be colder than Duluth, Georgia and TCS and I will be exposed to the outdoors on June 4-6 so we shall bring along warm clothings to protect from the wind, and rain if it comes.
In all my previous oversea travels, they were with family or sightseeing and visiting family. This trip will be different. It is with friends for friends whom we meet more in our memory than in reality. May God bless us all.