GEORGE TOWN – True friendship aptly described the heart warming story of two
Penang Free School alumni, Datuk Dr Peter C. Vanniasingham, 91, and his best
friend, Dr Lee Chin Thuan, 91, that has lasted for more than seven decades
despite war and racial tension.
Their path had crossed back in 1939 when both were 14 years old in Penang
Free School as students.
“We met when we were in Standard six here in this school and until now, our
friendship still remain as close as before. It is not hard to maintain the
friendship as we have been together during ups and downs,” said Dr Lee and Dr
Peter when met during the PFS bicentennial celebration.
Being proud of their alma mater in celebrating its 200th year birthday, both
of the successful doctors had urged all students to maintain the good name of
“Back then, all of us are friends regardless of our background. All of us
strived to be successful and we are proud to be part of the history,” said Dr
The duo had entwined a friendship that has lasted for a lifetime, having
bonded and studied together until both became successful doctors ever since they
Dr Lee and Dr Peter had both finished school in PFS together and had
together pursued their studies in medicine in Singapore and became professionals
in their respective fields.
“He was my best friend before and now. We had shared so many sweet and sour
times together, it is impossible for me to just forget once we have our own
family,” said Dr Peter.
Despite living thousands of miles apart, Dr Lee who is now residing in
Australia with his family, is in constant communication with his dear friend Dr
Peter who lives in Penang.
“How can I forget a friend who has stood by me since I was a little boy to
medical college in Singapore and went to the working world together?,” said Dr
The two ‘grand old gentlemen’ are the oldest alumni, who were present during
the celebration and were seen entering and leaving the ceremony together in the
rarest sight, hand in hand as only best friends would do.