Hwa Chong marks 100th year by honouring those behind its success

Former Hwa Chong principals (from left) Hon Chiew Weng, Ang Wee Hiong, Tooh Fee San and Leong Fan Chin. The school launched a publication yesterday to recognise its past and present educators.
Former Hwa Chong principals (from left) Hon Chiew Weng, Ang Wee Hiong, Tooh Fee San and Leong Fan Chin. The school launched a publication yesterday to recognise its past and present educators.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

Hwa Chong Institution, one of Singapore's top schools, turns 100 years old this year.

The institution, set up by Chinese philanthropist Tan Kah Kee as The Chinese High School in 1919, is marking its centennial in a big way, with a heritage trail, a series of lectures and a musical.

Its gala dinner on March 21 - the school's Founder's Day - will be a homecoming for more than 12,000 alumni and members of the Hwa Chong family.

The school, which has played a key role in promoting bilingualism and biculturalism in Singapore, launched a publication yesterday to recognise its past and present educators. Hwa Chong Institution principal Pang Choon How, 42, said yesterday that the book aims to honour those who have made a huge impact on the school.

Addressing his own former principals - Mr Tooh Fee San and Madam Leong Fan Chin - who were in the audience, Mr Pang said he was influenced by them as a student at The Chinese High School and Hwa Chong Junior College.

"I, too, have been a beneficiary of Hwa Chong, and have been inspired by many excellent and dedicated teachers and school leaders, so much so that now I have followed their footsteps to touch lives and nurture the next generation," he said.

Dr Tommie Chen, 39, a teacher who worked on the book, said previous commemorative books celebrated the school's milestones and achievements.


Hwa Chong Institution was founded by businessman Tan Kah Kee as The Chinese High School in 1919. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

 
 
 

This time, the team wanted to honour the people behind the school's success.

The head of department for English, who attended Hwa Chong from 1993 to 1998, said: "I am very honoured to be a part of this 100th anniversary celebration and to be able to pay tribute to my own former teachers."

There are 1,500 copies of the not-for-sale publication, which will be given to Hwa Chong educators and others.

The school, located in Bukit Timah, has about 3,900 students across six levels now.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 16, 2019, with the headline 'Hwa Chong marks 100th year by honouring those behind its success'. Print Edition | Subscribe