Raffles Girls' School alumni bid Adieu to Anderson Road campus

Left: Raffles Girls' School alumna Kit Chan performing in the school amphitheatre at its Anderson Road campus yesterday. Above: Mrs Ivy Kwa (left), 93, and Mrs Betty Chen, 92, both from the Class of 1941, at the homecoming event. ST PHOTOS: KELVIN CH
Raffles Girls' School alumna Kit Chan performing in the school amphitheatre at its Anderson Road campus yesterday. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG
Raffles Girls' School alumnae - graduates from the 1960s to the 2000s - with current school principal, Mrs Poh Mun See (centre, in stripes).
Mrs Ivy Kwa (left), 93, and Mrs Betty Chen, 92, both from the Class of 1941, at the homecoming event. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG
Left: Raffles Girls' School alumna Kit Chan performing in the school amphitheatre at its Anderson Road campus yesterday. Above: Mrs Ivy Kwa (left), 93, and Mrs Betty Chen, 92, both from the Class of 1941, at the homecoming event. ST PHOTOS: KELVIN CH
Raffles Girls' School alumnae - graduates from the 1960s to the 2000s - with current school principal, Mrs Poh Mun See (centre, in stripes).ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

Over 5,000 alumnae bid farewell to old RGS campus

More than 5,000 Raffles Girls' School (RGS) alumnae, ranging from recent graduates to those who attended the school in the 1940s, headed back to their alma mater for one last hurrah yesterday.

It was the last homecoming event at the Anderson Road campus ahead of the school's move to Braddell Road in October.

The school is also celebrating 140 years since it was officially established in 1879 with an enrolment of 77 students.

Mrs Betty Chen, 92, from the Class of 1941, was one of those who took a walk down memory lane.

The patron and former president of the Chinese Women's Association remembered her days as an RGS girl fondly, and chuckled at how she enrolled at the school.

Her mother took her to the school, then in Queens Street, but principal Dorothy Buckle told them there was no vacancy.

"My mother looked into one of the classrooms, saw an empty chair and asked if it was occupied," Mrs Chen said.

GETTING A PLACE IN THE SCHOOL

My mother looked into one of the classrooms, saw an empty chair and asked if it was occupied... When the teacher said it wasn't, she told me to sit there, and that's how I joined.

MRS BETTY CHEN, from the Class of 1941.

"When the teacher said it wasn't, she told me to sit there, and that's how I joined."

It was the friendships she forged during her schooldays that she has kept close to her heart.

Her batchmate, Mrs Ivy Kwa, 93, also attended the event. The two have kept in contact over many decades and still meet regularly, even as many of those from their cohort have died.

The former students were greeted by nostalgia, with exhibitions and activities representing various eras, including the Rock n Roll 70s and Swinging 80s, organised by alumnae from the respective years.

At the 80s booth, visitors were given small mementos in the form of an old report book design, and treated to kacang puteh, as disco lights flashed around them.

At the 2000s section, Instagrammable photo opportunities were aplenty. Life-size photo standees of the school principals from that period were also available for former students to take pictures with.

Famous RGS alumnae, such as singers Kit Chan and Joanna Dong as well as renowned violinist Tang Tee Khoon, also performed at the amphitheatre.

 
 
 

Also present was Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information and Culture, Community and Youth Sim Ann.

A huge birthday cake in the shape of the Anderson Road campus was cut after Ms Chan led everyone in a moving rendition of her well-loved National Day song Home, as well as some school cheers.

Ms Chua Yi Wen, 39, from the Class of 1996, said she was sad to see the school move.

She was one of the first batches of students after the school renovated in 1993 to its current state.

"We started here from the beginning with this building," said the bank executive.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 18, 2019, with the headline 'Adieu, Anderson'. Print Edition | Subscribe