The Christmas festive cheer was all around from the decorations, cookies and carols to the red, gold, green and white outfits worn by many staff attending the WOU Christmas Hi-Tea today.
The event kicked off with the playing of ukulele and singing by full-time student Ooi Jie Wen, who entertained with ‘Here Comes Santa Claus’ and ‘Jingle Bells’. She was joined by School of Humanities and Social Sciences (SHSS) lecturer Kevin Tan Pooi Soo.
Acting Vice Chancellor Prof Zoraini Wati Abas, in her informal address, drew everyone into the Christmas mood by asking them to imagine white snow outside and a burning fireplace inside the cafeteria. Acknowledging that Christmas in the tropics is a significant occasion for Christians, she shared her love of window-shopping during this time to admire the beautiful Christmas decorations.
She thanked event organising committee chairperson Jasmine Emmanuel for this festive celebration, adding, “Christmas is a season of joy and giving. Next year, perhaps all of us can bring a gift under RM10 and then exchange for fun.”
She said unlike Western countries with their turkey and cranberry sauce, Malaysians have customised the foods served for Christmas.
Prof Zoraini then cut the huge Christmas cake with the wordings ‘Blessed Christmas WOU’. Next was the presentation of a gift – a hanging ceramic frame inscribed with the words ‘God Bless Our Home’ – to Kevin Tan, who leaves WOU on December 21st.
The Christmas carolling segment saw a group of WOU staff singing ‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing’, ‘Joy to the World’, ‘Feliz Navidad’ and ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’. They were accompanied by guest, Michael Gregory, on guitar.
Santa Claus, in the person of Nick Nichols from a local church, made a bubbly entry to the happy amazement of everyone and went around distributing sweets to the staff.
The crowd feasted on spaghetti, cream cuffs, cup cakes, fried popiah, sausage rolls, and lots of cookies and a variety of cakes, along with Bru Coffee and tea.
Among those who attended were Deans Prof Santhiram Raman, Assoc Prof Dr Wendy Bong Chin Wei and Assoc Prof Dr S Nagarajan, Acting Dean Prakash Arumugam and the heads of departments.