Saturday, 07 March 2009
Saturday 7 March was no ordinary Saturday in the school calendar. It marked a milestone in the history of RGS as it was the first time that so many former RGS girls returned for one single school event after having graduated in the last 60 years.
A call had gone out weeks earlier to all RGS alumnae far and wide to come home to celebrate the 130th anniversary of her founding – and come home they did! Over 1000 alumnae from as far back as the 1950’s heeded the call and arrived as early as 2.30p.m (Secondary 209/1985) when Homecoming was only scheduled to start at 6p.m.
Squeals of delight and excited chatter filled the foyer and cafeteria as busy career women, multitasking mothers and even grandmothers became ‘RGS girls’ once again – rekindling old memories, rediscovering friends from long ago and reconnecting with their alma mater. Alumnae were seen pointing in the direction of the old Domestic Science block or their former classrooms and speaking in nostalgic tones of days gone by.
And then they proceeded to the Evelyn Norris Hall where the ‘party’ began! The Special Guest that evening was Miss Evelyn Norris, an RGS icon in her own right. She was a pupil, teacher and then Principal of RGS (1961 to 1976), highly regarded and respected when she was at the helm of RGS, and it was only fitting that her arrival was met with thunderous applause. Also joining us in the celebrations were former principals Miss Tan Leng Neo (1977 – 1979), Mrs Chee Keng Soon (1980 – 1988), Mrs Carmee Lim (1988 to 1999) and Mrs Deborah Tan (1999 – 2007).
Mrs Julie Hoo, Principal, was heartened by the turn-out and spoke of the school spirit and every RGS girl’s mission to serve. Dr Jean Ong (Class of 1973), Chairperson of the RGS Chapter, had the alumnae standing up according to their respective Houses (another distinctive feature of the RGS girl’s identity) and spoke of her own RGS experience. Miss Norris was invited to cut the birthday cake with Mrs Carmee Lim (Class of 1957) leading in the birthday song, accompanied on the piano by Ms Susan Leong (Class of 1978). Ms Lim Suet Fern then presented Miss Norris with a special card on behalf of her Class of 1974.
The current RGS girls from the ELDS, Indian and Malay Dance groups, Chinese Orchestra and Raffles Strings put up a concert for the evening and dazzled the audience with music, dance, drama and blacklight theatre as they brought everyone back in time to when RGS began.
And then the ‘old girls’ took the stage with their performances; most notably, Mrs Carmee Lim leading the girls in Abba’s “Dancing Queen” and Diana Ross’ If We Hold On Together”. Ms Rani Singham (Class of 1987) completed the evening of songs with an all-time RGS favourite “Dedication”- familiar with girls from the 1980’s till today! No RGS event would be complete without the school cheers and almost everyone took home with them snapshots to fill their personal albums.