Hua Yi Secondary celebrates 60th anniversary

School is built on traditional Chinese values but adapted to the times, says PM Lee at dinner

PM Lee adding a final touch to a calligraphy piece while on tour of Hua Yi Secondary School yesterday.
PM Lee adding a final touch to a calligraphy piece while on tour of Hua Yi Secondary School yesterday.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

Hua Yi Secondary School started out as a Chinese middle school and is one of the first Chinese government schools to be set up in Singapore.

It has built on the strong foundation of Chinese traditional values, but has also adapted to the times and attracts students of other races, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said at its 60th anniversary celebration dinner last night.

"Together the students learn to put the school values of benevolence, justice, wisdom and togetherness into practice," he said.

Pointing to how even students who had left the school continued to have strong connections with it, PM Lee said that students who "grow up in a positive environment naturally develop an attachment to their alma mater and fellow students".

"After they graduate, they still remember what the school has done for them and they give back," he added.

He cited Mr Sim Cher Kheng, who was instrumental in mobilising former students to form the Hua Yi Alumni Society in 2011.

There are also those who continued to participate in alumni activities years after graduation, like Mr Osman Abdullah, the only master teacher - a teacher who is an expert in his subject and mentors other teachers - in Citizenship and Character Education at the Academy of Singapore Teachers.

Another such person was the late Xinyao singer-songwriter Liew Boh Guan, a well-respected student leader who loved the school so much that he was dressed in the Hua Yi Alumni T-shirt when he died.

A more recent Hua Yi graduate, Mr John Sathguru, helps out as a relief teacher at his alma mater while pursuing a diploma at the Singapore Polytechnic, PM Lee noted.

He said he hoped the school's alumni and its supporters would continue to work together to forge ahead "not just for the future of our students but also for Singapore".

"I hope Hua Yi will continue to nurture the generation of our future leaders," he said.

PM Lee toured the school's heritage gallery, which highlights the contributions of its alumni.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 03, 2016, with the headline 'Hua Yi Secondary celebrates 60th anniversary'. Print Edition | Subscribe