October: Sculptor Chong Fah Cheong Awarded Cultural Medallion
SJI alumnus Chong Fah Cheong, widely acknowledged as one of the pioneer sculptors in Singapore, was conferred the Cultural Medallion for visual arts – the nation’s highest cultural award by President Dr Tony Tan.
An art teacher until 1978 when he became a professional artist, Fah Cheong began his career carving in wood and soon progressed to working with marble, granite and other stone as well as casting in bronze. Over the last 30 years, he has participated in numerous art exhibitions, symposiums and workshops locally and overseas, and received several national awards. Fah Cheong was also the pioneer batch of lecturers at the LaSalle College of the Arts when it was founded in the 1980s, and is also a founding member of the Singapore Sculpture Society.
Fah Cheong has a number of prominent commissioned public pieces around Singapore, one of which is “First Generation”, the iconic sculpture of five boys jumping into the Singapore River near The Fullerton Hotel Singapore. One of his bronze art pieces - Ora et Labora, a bronze plaque commissioned in 1988 graces a wall of the Administration Block in the SJI Malcolm Road campus.
Fah Cheong having a ride on "Good fun!" –
a bronze sculpture, for Interlace at Alexandra
Ora et Labora, a bronze plaque
commissioned for SJI in 1988
Past recipients of the Cultural Medallion include SJI alumni Dick Lee and Jeremy Monteiro.
View the news report by Channel NewsAsia - Cultural Medallion winners: A poet, a sculptor and a theatre director:
September: SJI Remembers Brother Kevin Byrne FSC (24 May 1931 - 26 September 2014)
Br. Kevin Byrne passed away in Castletown, Ireland, on 26 September, at the age of 83. Born in Ballyknocken, Co. Wicklow on 24 May 1931, Br. Kevin took his final vows and became a Brother of the Lasallian community on 27 August 1956. He was a member of the legacy District of Penang, Malaysia, and was part of the Lasallian community in Singapore that taught at SJI and steward it in the 1970s to the 1990s.
Br. Kevin taught English Literature in SJI in the 1970s. He is fondly remembered by old boys for his Literature lessons. Dr Euan Muragasu (Class of 1978), our Guest of Honour at SJI’s 162nd Speech and Graduation Day on 27 September, had fond memories of Br. Kevin teaching him Graham Greene’s Brighton Rock.
During his time as principal at SJI from 1979 – 1991, Br. Kevin was instrumental in the school’s transition from Bras Basah to Malcolm Road in the 1980s. Part of this work focused on SJI becoming an independent school.
Mrs Tan Eng Hong, teacher at SJI, in her tribute to Br. Kevin, said “ Brother was a Brother blessed with gentle manners. He was calm in the face of stormy seas. His reassuring ways would win him the support of friends and respect from his foes. He had a deep perception of people and was well-loved by all. He was ready to help everyone in anyway he could as a Principal. He was a Brother, a scholar and a gentleman .”
Many old boys remembered and cherished Br. Kevin for his gentle but firm care as our teacher and his quiet but good leadership as our principal. Some who had worked under him in the past or who have been his students will remember these aspects of a Brother who truly lived his Lasallian charism to the full.
Kelvin Monteiro, SJI Track and Field Captain (Class of 1980):
“One of the longest serving Principals at SJI and one of the most loved. He was soft spoken and gentle. One would have to lean in to hear him but his actions spoke volumes. He supported the sportsmen, the uniform groups and the athletes during our time… He was the one that ‘banned’ the cane at Bras Basah in the swinging 70s. … More importantly, he was a man that gave second chances when most would have given up… I saw Christ in him. ”
Keith Teo (Class of 1988):
“I remembered Bro Byrne sitting under the heat with the boys at the National Stadium during the 1987 Outdoor Band Presentation. He was not with the VIPs at the VIP stand where it was cooler and sheltered. A gentle giant with a giant heart. He was with the boys and for the boys.”
Click here to read the special feature about Brother Kevin Byrne, when he retired as principal in 1991. (Source: SJI Josephian Annual 1991)
September: SJI School showcase Musical Talents at Annual Concert at the Park
The St Joseph’s Institution Old Boys’ Association (SJIOBA) together with the SJI family of schools organized a fun-filled evening concert at the Singapore Botanical Gardens on 13 September 2014. The concert showcased dance groups, samba band, choir and orchestra performances by students from Lasallian Combined Primary Schools Band (SJI Junior, St Anthony’s Primary and St Stephens Primary), SJI and SJI International. Hundreds of students, staff and alumni came with their families for a picnic whilst enjoying the concert in the park. The free ice-cream sponsored by the SJIOBA provided a cool respite for the concert attendees on a warm Saturday evening.
September: SJI Celebrates The Arts with Inaugural ArtsFest
SJI Artsfest: Prelude brought out the artistic side of Josephians who lived and breathed art throughout the campus during the three-day festival. Artsfest was designed to expose Josephians to various art forms, and to help them better appreciate the arts. Students were given opportunities to participate in a whole range of exciting activities, from art exhibitions and workshops, to musical performances put up by the SJI Pipe Band.
The Artsfest concluded with a concert-cum-party dubbed ‘Spectrum’ that featured performances by multi-talented Josephians. Notable acts included Chowdhury Arya (LE301) who popped and locked his way into everyone’s hearts with his robotic dance, and a soothing acoustic performance of Coldplay’s “The Scientist”, by Ng Zhi Wei Eugene (FN403), Shawn Yeap Wei Zhi (MN401) and Tan Jian Hui (LE403). SJI Senior School’s very own band, Mutton Curry, also belted out several familiar rock anthems that left the crowd pumping their fists and stamping their feet towards the end of Spectrum. SJI Artsfest: Prelude was truly an amazing opportunity to present the arts scene in SJI in an exciting, fun-filled manner.
August: SJI Boys Topped YMCA Plain English Speaking Awards (PESA)
Sebastian Chan Wai Kin (Fintan 103) and Jonathan Soong Wei (Lawrence 304) were crowned the National Champions for the Lower and Upper Secondary Categories at the Plain English Speaking Competition organised by YMCA.
Sebastian and Jonathan (front row: 3rd and 4th from left)
This is the 28th year YMCA is running this competition, which is recognised as THE competition of the year to showcase excellent orators from schools in Singapore. The boys won the hearts and minds of the judges and audience with their convincing orations, living up to the profile of Josephians as effective thinkers and communicators.
Check out the videos of their orations via the links below. The videos with the most number of “LIKES” will win the “Most Liked Speech”! Contest ends on 18 September.
August: SJI Annual Cross Country Championships
By Brian Loh (FN302)
In conjunction with National Day celebrations, the annual SJI Cross Country Championships was held on 8 August at Bedok Reservoir, to build camaraderie within the SJI community. The SJI spirit shone brightly amongst the four fraternities, with students and teachers persevering throughout the challenging 3.6km or 4.3km run and supporting their fellow Josephians at every step of the race.
August: IDEAS 2014
By Mrs Elizabeth Scott
When the ArtScience programme for 2014 began in January with the theme “Energy of the Future”, it seemed like a serendipitous coincidence. Not only was SJI embarking on its third year in this programme in a brand new campus, this is also the first year where the pioneer batch of students from the Integrated Programme are taking part in this competition. Hence, to be working with ideas about “energy of the future” seemed not only apt but also a good sign of things to come for the ArtScience programme.
And so it proved to be. After six months of venturing into the unknown and unearthing of dormant talents, the efforts of the students and their dedicated mentors culminated in an unforgettable night on 7 August when IDEA 2014, the finals of the ArtScience competition, took place.
From the inspiring opening speech by Singapore Polytechnic’s Deputy Principal, Mr Hee Joh Liang, to the prototype exhibition and the group presentations, it was a night that was the living, breathing epitome of what ArtScience is all about. Although the participants hailed from many different schools including SJI, Guangyang Secondary, CHIJ, St Patrick’s School, Anderson Secondary and ACS (Barker), the programme has brought all the students together, united in the spirit of creativity and innovation. From the eleven presenting groups, two groups comprising students from SJI and Anderson Secondary emerged as winners, earning the privilege of taking part in the Global ArtScience workshop in Boston.
August: SJI Alumnus Receives Prestigious Singapore Police Force (SPF) Overseas Scholarship Award
SJI congratulates alumnus Azfer Ali Khan (Class of 2011), the sole recipient of this year’s Singapore Police Force (SPF) Overseas Scholarship (SPFOS) Award. The SPFOS is a prestigious scholarship awarded by the Public Service Commission to candidates who have outstanding academic performance and leadership qualities, and are keen to serve in the Singapore Police Force.
Born in Pakistan in 1995, Azfer moved to Singapore in 2007 where he studied at Woodlands Primary School, St Joseph’s Institution and Hwa Chong Institution. He will be reading Law at Cambridge University, UK, from September 2014.
Source: Singapore Police Force
More details on Channel NewsAsia, The Straits Times and Berita Harian.
Alumni Matthew Wong Zhi Liang and Abilash Sivalingam (Class of 2011) are also recipients of the Overseas Merit Scholarship (Foreign Service) and Singapore Government Scholarship (Open) respectively. Matthew will be reading Law at University of Cambridge.
August: Inter-Class Badminton Tournaments
The boys across Secondary 1 – 3 put up a close fight till the end for the Inter-Class Badminton tournament of their respective Levels. Sportsmanship rang throughout the games amongst the players and the supporters, and kudos to the all the players for being great sportsmen.
The results for the Secondary 1 classes:
10th: ML101 and MN103 (tie)
The results for the Secondary 2 classes:
LE202 clinched the championship from MN202 by a mere 2 points!
11th: ML202 and MN201 (tie)
The results for the Secondary 3 classes:
2nd: FN3023rd: LE302
12th: FN301 and MN303 (tie)
July: Josephians from All Walks of Life
By Gerard Chee, SJIOBA ExCo in charge of JAL
The SJI Old Boys Association (SJIOBA) organized the 4th Josephians At Large (JAL) career day for the graduating cohorts at SJI. The keynote this year was by alumnus Russell Wong (Class of 1999), founder and owner of Shok Industries, who shared his real world experience of starting up his company from scratch to what it is today where he has customers from all over the world.
Russell is a great example of how all SJI students have a unique proposition imbued by the spirit of the school: Ingenuity, Persistence, and a way with people from all walks of life. These characteristics equip Josephians to succeed in whichever career path they choose.
The participating alumni at JAL2014 from various industries and professions had great fun sharing their career journeys with the students from both Sec 4, as well as the pioneer batch of JC2 from the Senior School.
July: SJI celebrates Racial Harmony Day in style
Students marked Racial Harmony Day on 22 July, with three stunning performances by the various cultural societies, and members clad in ethnic clothing made for an informative viewing session for everyone. The Chinese Cultural Society put up a play, educating us on the Chinese Mooncake Festival. The Indian Cultural Society enlightened us with some facts of the Indian Culture, and ended with a novel tabla (Indian ethnic drum) performance. Finally, a student from the Malay Cultural society passionately narrated the Qur’an, or Muslim Holy Book, accompanied by a short skit. The Racial Harmony Day performance was capped with a refreshing poetry recital by a Vietnamese scholar who wore a traditional straw hat. Indeed, it was a rewarding experience for the Josephian community.
July: Josephians Raved at World Cup ‘live’ screening in SJI
For the first time in the school’s history, more than 200 Josephians camped in school since Sunday night to catch the faceoff between Argentina and Germany at the World Cup Finals 2014. Organised by the student council with the help of the Parent Support Group for Football, this is the first time a ‘live’ screening of one of the world’s most highly anticipated sporting event was held in the school campus, to cater to the football fans who would be staying up late for the match. The SJI Community of students, their family members and alumni bonded over food and drinks prepared by the PSG as they watched intensively on the giant screen for more than 113 minutes before Germany finally scored the winning goal to claim its title on the World Cup 2014.
SJI’s screening of the World Cup 2014 was also featured in TODAY.
July: Josephians March On at 162nd Anniversary Parade
By Wang Jae Chjen Gareth (MN301)
The green fields at SJI Bishan campus were packed on 12th July, as six Uniformed Groups (UGs) gathered to celebrate their respective achievements at the annual Anniversary Parade. Presided by our Guest of Honour, alumnus Mr Edwin Tong, Member of Parliament for Moulmein-Kallang GRC, and Partner at Allen & Gledhill LLP, sections of the UGs stood proudly at attention as the Long Service Awards and Best Cadet Awards for each UG were presented.
July: Ortega Cup 2014
By Matthias Lim, SJIOBA ExCo in charge of Sports
The 9th installment of the Ortega Cup was held at the UWC Dover Campus on 4 July 2014. Playing for the first time on the $2.9 million pitch, all the teams were well prepared in the lead-up to the event and were relishing the annual challenge between Josephians and their long-time rivals, the Rafflesians.
The U-16 boys played with heart and gusto, going a goal up in the first 10 minutes but alas, outclassed and out-maneuvered by their older opponents, Raffles hit back with two quick goals to lead by the mid of the second-half.
After 5 years of consecutively holding onto the Ortega Cup, SJI finally conceded the cup to the Rafflesians, vowing to win it back next year.
SJI 1 – RI 2
Experienced players with combined age of 1,400 years, the SJI O-40s came out firing, ensuring quick and accurate passing but they were met with an equally determined Raffles team, with quick defense and some strong will.
Both teams fought hard and the game finally resulted in a draw, with the Suhaimi Ali Cup going to Raffles as they were the away-team.
SJI (O-40) 0 – RI (O-40) 0
Determined to atone for the defeat last year, the U-40s started preparation much earlier on, having training sessions and many friendly games in the lead up to the game of the season for them. Starting out well, the lads were determined to put a few scores in but unfortunately, were met by a Raffles team who was just incredibly outstanding that day. The Rafflesians, having played together for the past 10 years, were fluid and executed swiftly, carving up the Josephians to net a total of 5 goals to 1.
SJI (U-40) 1 – RI (U-40) 5
Click here for more photos & video of the Ortega Cup 2014.
July: Josephians Charm at SYF Youth Got Talent Select Showcase 2014
Music student William Cartie Halim (FN 402) won the Audience Choice Award for the Solo Category 2014 with his solo piano piece, and Andree Hansen Wibowo (403/2013) was awarded the Certificate Of Recognition, Special Mention (top category) at the SYF Art Competition 2014.
Watch the performance by William.
June: Defending champion ML402 wins S4 Interclass Badminton competition
Entirely planned and run by the Badminton CCA boys, the Sec 4 students led a wonderfully organized badminton competition on 30 June for their fellow classmates from the graduating cohort. Congratulations to the Champion class ML402, the defending champions from 2013!
1st Runner-Up: FN402
June: SJI Robotics Club Triumphs Again At National Robopreneur Carnival
For the 3rd consecutive year, the boys from SJI Robotics Club brought home the Overall Championship at the 8th National Robopreneur Carnival. Competing against 12 other schools, Lee Tze Wei Alex Joel (LE302), Senthilkumar Magil (ML302) and Randy Golardi (FN302) also came in 2nd for Research Journal Award and 3rd in Robot Performance, in this annual competition organized by the Nanyang Polytechnic.
The boys spent almost a month to design and build a robot that can carry out several tasks in a hospital, such as dispensing drugs and moving the beds and patients around in the shortest time possible.
May: Josephians “bald” it all for Hair For Hope
April: Minister Shares Transport Roadmap with JC students
As part of the National Education programme for Junior College students, Minister of Transport (MOT) Mr Lui Tuck Yew addressed the JC2 students on the public transport strategic plan for the long term, and the policies that are being changed to meet the challenges and growing needs of the nation. This was followed by an interactive dialogue session with the students and teachers who posed several questions about environmental and communications issues that may arise as the Transport Ministry looks to pan out the new lines in the decade ahead.
April: SJI Celebrates Easter with Lenten and Holy Week reflections
Over the Lenten season, 14 life-sized crosses were installed around the school by students, teachers and parents, each bearing a thought-provoking message and reflection on the Passion of Jesus Christ.
The Catholic community of more than 100 teachers, Josephians, their families, friends, students from other schools came together on Friday 11 April for a Lenten reflection at these Stations of the Cross, in remembrance of the final walk Jesus made to Calvary. At each cross, Friar Michael D’Cruz shared the reflections written by Josephians, while some participants nailed their “sins” to the cross, others expressed the despair of the fallen, and some highlighted gratitude, love and hope.
At each cross, candles were left at its foot as a symbol of prayer and dedication. Said Fr Michael, “If you remember someone who has helped you, as Simon did, you may wish to leave your candle in prayer for the person”. Station after station, candles were left at the foot of the crosses, dedicated to the people who have touched their lives, people who were less fortunate, and people whom the participants prayed for. The evening closed with the final hymn’s refrain, “His sacrifice on Calvary has made the Mighty Cross, a Tree of life for me”. It was an evening shared in love and hope as we entered into Holy Week, with renewed excitement yet quiet anticipation of the Lord’s resurrection.
The school also commemorated the Triduum of the Lord’s Passion with the Washing of Feet on the morning of Maundy Thursday. Together with Brother President Paul Ho and SJI Principal Dr Koh, four school staff and students washed the feet of six cleaners, parents and teacher, to symbolize the example of Jesus who washed the feet of His disciples at the Last Supper.
On Easter Monday when they returned to school, students were greeted with a pleasant surprise – chocolate Easter eggs and showers of blessings of holy water by their teachers! These Easter eggs were given to signify a new beginning, just as Easter is a celebration of new life in the Risen Christ.
April: SJIMB Charms at Renaissance XIX
By Nicholas Ong (FN302)
Beats of the snares broke the silence while the SJI bandsmen smartly cladded in their green blazers proudly marched onto stage, as majestic fanfares displayed by the band resounded through the theatre. Following a thunderous note to put a full stop to the song “Fanfare and Flourishes”, a warm round of applause launched the concert to a brilliant start. A calm and peaceful setting immediately followed suit as the bandsmen gracefully readied their positions for the next song, ‘Hymn to the Infinite Sky’. Watching the conductor’s smooth movements and listening to the alluring sounds of the winds, the audience was mesmerised by the picture of sunrise painted by the band. Our student conductor Aidil Syukri then directed the band through “Forever Shining” before Mr Samuel Ng took over the baton to lead the SJI string ensemble. Accompanied by the harmonics of the winds, the string ensemble put up an excellent show with Serenade in C minor by Mozart before the intermission.
Post intermission, the percussion section using a unique combination of the mallets, drums and bass guitar performed a cover of the famous song, “Jet Lag by Simple Plan”. The pulsating drum set kept the audience clapping to the beat and the bright tone of the mallets left the audience humming the familiar tune in their heads. The brass ensemble with a solo from every section, performed a brilliant cover of “Viva La Vida” arranged by the band’s student conductor, Aidil Syukri, drawing the audience to tap their feet, clap their hands, and sing along.
Consisting of many experienced bandsmen from the past batches, the SJIMB Alumni band confidently set the stage for “Fly High” by Takashi Hoshide with a burst of drums, accompanied by a united brass. The second piece “Princess Mononoke” adapted from the critically acclaimed anime by Hayao Miyazaki, created an atmosphere of grandeur and serenity, leaving the audience enthralled by the performance of the alumni band.
The SJIMB played selections from the award winning musical by Claude Michel Shonberg, Les Miserables, with talented soloists from various sections executing their parts perfectly to impress the crowd throughout the song. A medley of songs from “Enchanted” by Walt Disney Animation Studios created a lively atmosphere and set the stage for the final work by the band and the alumni band, Japanese Graffiti XVIII. Under the baton of our other student conductor, Daniel Heng, the Sec 3s and 4s performed the soundtracks from the popular animes in unison with the Alumni band.
The concert ended with shouts of “encore” from the audience, which concluded with “St Joseph’s Call”, a piece familiar to Josephians both young and old. Josephians and alumni alike rose from their seats, standing shoulder to shoulder as they sung with zest to the tune. With the School Rally being played by the band to end off the concert on a high note, every Josephian heartily burst into song, an emotive moment for everyone.
April: Josephians Come HOME
By Ong Sim Yang Marc (FN402) and Valerie Lim (PSG)
The biggest social event of the year – SJI Carnival: HOME – was held on 5 April 2014, organised by the Student Council with assistance from the Parent Support Group (PSG). The Carnival is an integral part of the SJI’s ethos of “Men for Others”, offering Josephians the opportunity to serve the less fortunate and to do so creatively.
In spite of the rain, the Carnival pressed on in the usual SJI spirit of camaraderie and fun, with throngs of students from affiliated and non-affiliated schools, Old Boys and their families who came “HOME” to support the annual event. Students from 39 classes tapped onto their imagination and limited resources to organise various interesting games, activities, snack and drink stalls. The highlight was certainly the live music provided by a string of multi-talented student musicians and singers-wannabes.
The PSG and many parent volunteers stepped forward to offer their time, effort and money towards supporting not only the charities, but also the hard work put in by their sons. Many came with willing hearts and hands to serve and cook up a storm to feed the hungry crowds with popular staples like burgers, spaghetti and satay, contributing to the merriment and excitement on that day.
This year was especially special as there were many firsts achieved in the history of organizing the SJI Carnivals. All carnival tickets were sold out, which raised about $9,500 in cash. The organising committee also received generous sponsorships in kind from several companies – AMARA Hotel, BreadTalk, Cocoa Trees, F&N, Mamee Double-Decker, Nestle, NTUC, Texas Instruments and Yee Lee Oils – in support of this fundraising effort. The students no doubt learnt essential life-skills in putting together this Carnival, not least teamwork, strategic planning, logistics operations and softer skills like patience, respect and tolerance.
The people who attended the carnival definitely enjoyed themselves. From screaming in the haunted house, laughing away at the sight of teachers being dunked to busking in the bustling atmosphere at the canteen, it was a day to remember for all.
Through the concerted effort from the Student Council, the PSG, all the parent volunteers and sponsors, more than $30,000 was raised at the SJI carnival that will benefit the needy Lasallian students from our four affiliated Primary Schools: SJI Junior, St Stephen’s, St Anthony’s and De La Salle, as well as Assisi Home & Hospice and HopeHouse.
April: SJI Celebrates Founder’s Day
Guest of Honour Mr Foo Chee Hock graced the 162nd Founder’s Day celebration on 4 April. An Old Boy from the Class of 1976 and the Registrar of the Supreme Court, Mr Foo presented awards to those who have attained outstanding performance and progress in academics and sports in the last academic year.
April: SJI Micromouse club scores at Australian Informatics Competition
Matthew Wong Kai-En (LE403) has earned a High Distinction with a perfect score in the Australian Informatics Competition which puts him at the top 1% of those who took the competition. Five other boys – Jordan Thet (LE403), Fern Hui (ML401), Yuan Loong (MN401), Cedric Chin (ML302), Abel Low (MN301) have all earned distinctions.
The Australian Informatics Competition is an annual written competition organised by the Australian Mathematics Trust for Secondary and JC students. Papers are classified as Junior (Sec 1 and 2), Intermediate (Sec 3 and 4), and Senior (Yr11 and 12). Taken annually by more than 5,000 students from about 200 schools from New Zealand, Australia, India, Singapore and other countries, the competition aims to identify students who have an aptitude for computer programming.
This year there are 43 students who received High Distinctions, of which, Matthew Wong is one of the 10 who are from Singapore.
The AIC serves as a guide for students to gauge their abilities to solve problems logically which is a definite prerequisite for computer programming, and is meant as a precursor for the International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI). Top winners move onto IOI to represent Singapore.
The results of the Australian Informatics Competition are posted: http://www.amt.edu.au/aic2014.html
April: Josephians Defy All Limits at National Interschool Artistic and Trampoline Gymnastics Competitions
By Jeremiah Chan (LE403), Keefe Cheong (ML402), and Marc Koh (FN401)
Through months of perseverance both physically and mentally, the B division SJI Artistic Gymnasts finally clinched the gold medal for the first time in SJI history, beating long-time rival Hwa Chong Institution by 19 points in total at the national Inter-School Gymnastics Competition. The C division team with its outstanding performance also clinched individual medals for all events.
The SJI Trampoline gymnasts defied all limits to clinch the Silver medal for C Division and the Bronze medal for B Division. The C Division did amazingly well to earn the 2nd position, losing by a mere 0.3 points. Noah Lee (MN201) from the C Division also secured an individual Silver medal. The B Division was ranked 3rd position, 0.9 points away from a Silver medal.
The past year has been a sail through stormy seas for the gymnasts while they were preparing for the competition. The teams faced countless obstacles such as the new training ground at Bishan Sports Hall, where the trampolines were quite different from those used for the actual competition. Besides having to alternate between the Bishan Sports Hall and Orchid Country Club for the vigorous training before the competitions, the boys were disadvantaged due to shorter training hours and a lack of apparatus to train with. Despite the adversities and tough competition faced, the SJI Gymnastics teams embraced the Josephian spirit, pushing all boundaries and defying all odds to achieve great results after weeks of hard work.
Read more in The Straits Times .
March: Josephians splash it out at annual mass swim
By Lim Yang Jun Marc Elliot (LE303)
Hundreds of boys took the plunge to race against one another at the annual SJI Mass Swim. Eager to score more points for their fraternity, every boy put in their best effort in the spirit of teamwork and friendly competition, as their fellow classmates cheered them on enthusiastically. Though all the boys were tired after their swim, they were full of cheer knowing they gained vital points for their fraternity.
March: SJI Launches BOOK WEEK 2014
By Dylan Tan Jiaming (LE304)
SJI’s inaugural ‘Book Week’ held on 24 – 28 March seized a great deal of attention. What began as small talk during the English Language lessons become a massive school wide event.
A slew of activities lined up for the week ahead. At the library, students took part in Book Selection where they could select books to set up their class library. Through Book Election, students voted for their all-time favourite books at the library, while Readathon – a mass reading event at the Amphitheatre over two mornings saw the supportive participation of close to a hundred students and teachers. The week-long event ended on a high note with Speed Booking. The English Talent Development Team dressed up as book characters for the day to introduce their books to their ‘dates’ which certainly brought about much wild curiosity.
The SJI Book Week was an enrapturing start to a legacy that would stay for a long time, considering the positive response from many teachers as well as students. With that, we shall end with an insightful quote: “To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark.” – Victor Hugo
March: George Yeo appointed to new council to study Holy See practices
SJI alumnus George Yeo has been appointed to the Vatican’s new Council for the Economy together with eight cardinals and six other laypeople who are experts in the fields of business, management and finance. The new council was established on Feb 24 by Pope Francis to study the policies and practices of the Holy See and devise appropriate policies and best practices.
The council is an independent authority for policy decisions to the new Secretariat for the Economy, which will have authority over all economic and administrative activities within the Holy See and Vatican City State, while the Secretariat implements the policies determined by the council and answers directly to the pope.
Mr Yeo is among five of the seven lay members of the council who are also members of the Pontifical Commission for Reference on the Economic-Administrative Structure of the Holy See. This eight-person commission was established by Pope Francis in July 2013 to study accounting practices among all Vatican offices and devise strategies for greater fiscal responsibility and transparency. Read more in the Catholic News.
March: SJI Marks Shakespeare’s Anniversary with Short Play Festival
Schools from across Singapore put up a ten-minute performance based on any of Shakespeare’s works in celebration of his 450th birth-year. Organised by the St. Joseph’s Institution (SJI) Drama Club, “Short Shakes – The Shakespeare Short Play festival” held on 20 – 22 March was a festival to allow students to express their appreciation of Shakespeare’s work through drama.
“The most important lessons of our lives are learnt through stories. This year we mark an anniversary of the birth of one of the greatest storytellers the world has known. May his stories be told in our voices, that they may echo through time. Indeed, we must “tell sad stories of the death of kings” because they teach us how to live, for all men die but not all men truly live.” said Alan Johnson, Festival Director, and teacher for English Language and Drama Club at SJI.
About 1200 students and parents attended the three-day drama festival presented by 19 schools that took part enthusiastically at this event. In particular were several Catholic schools including St Patrick’s School, St Stephen’s Primary, Hai Sing Catholic School, CHIJ St Theresa’s Convent and both secondary and JC students from SJI and SJI Senior School.
St Patrick’s owned the audience choice award on Day 2 of the performances with a rendition of King Lear done in a Game Show style! King Lear tells the tragedy of King Lear who in his vanity and pride scorns the daughter who speaks truthfully. The boys from St Patrick’s did a marvellous job of transforming the play into a gameshow called “Who Wants to Be a King?” based on the popular gameshow – “Who wants to be a millionaire?”. St Joseph’s Institution performed a Shakespearean mash-up involving Richard III, King Lear, Macbeth, The Twelfth Night, and Romeo and Juliet. Their murder mystery musical also proved to be a smash hit with the audience. St Stephen’s School charmed the audience members with their confident and fluent performance of excerpts from Macbeth while the SJI Senior School performed a riotous Singlish version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Hai Sing performed an avant-garde interpretation of Macbeth, melding a fascinating combination of humour and pathos. CHIJ St Theresa’s Convent took a local slant on Romeo and Juliet with two families feuding over a pot of curry whose children just want to be friends.
SJI’s Drama Club - in “Shakespeare Mach Up” by Shaun Hue, 14 and John Ow, 14
St Stephen’s School – in “Macbeth”
St Patrick’s School – in “Who Wants to Be a King?”
March: SJI Fencing club collaborates with the Bishan Home for the Intellectually Disabled
Jean Luc Han Cheng Kang (MN 403) and James Ong Chee Heng (ML 401), coordinators for this Project Scubillion together with the support from their peers from the various levels helped the residents in the Home with the planting, harvesting and selling of the plants. The activities took place after school hours where the boys usually spend between 2 to 3 hours to complete each stage of the project.
The Bishan residents and SJI staff have been supporting the project by generously buying the vegetables and donating to this meaningful effort. The boys have helped to raise $605.90 for this project which started on 20 January 2014.
March: Sports Consultant visits SJI
L - R: Andy Rogers and Dr Ralph Pim
Andy Rogers, Director at Greater Auckland Coaching Unit (GACU) was on a one-week study trip to Singapore, where he visited the Singapore Sports Council, the Singapore Sports School and SJI. During his visit to SJI, Andy sat in to observe two PE classes, and shared ideas with Dr Ralph Pim and Mr Mohamed Tahir (HOD – Physical Education) on programmes relating to coach development pathways, athlete development and character development programmes.
He shared, “I was very interested in the character and values work that Dr Ralph Pim and Mr Mohamed Tahir are leading at SJI. Ralph is regarded as one of the world’s best when it comes to teaching character through a school curriculum and Tahir is a passionate leader of character. I was very impressed with the vision that Tahir has developed for Physical Education and CCA at SJI, and his ability to teach character, values and leadership to the students through this programme. I had the opportunity to watch two of Tahir’s PE classes and I was most impressed with the level of participation of the students, they were happy, engaged, relating well to their peers and displaying leadership and core values that the school should be extremely proud of.”
He added that New Zealand will be commencing a pilot student in 2014 with the support of Ralph Pim, and he looks forward to collaborate with SJI to share ideas, research and contribute to growing values-based programmes that contribute to build outstanding students and young people of character.
March: Josephian Spirit fills the air at SJI’s 106th Track And Field Championships
By Mohammad Shafiq Anshad (ML303)
How appropriate that every race on Sport’s Day began with a gunshot as the events surely went off with a bang! The SJI Pipe Band, paired with the House Procession, sparked the competitive spirits of all the Josephians as the House Captains led their respective fraternities in cheering their hearts out. Athletes took their pledge and prepared both mentally and physically as their races drew closer. One could literally feel the Josephian spirit in the air as every Josephian gave their all in everything, be it the races, cheering or even helping the PE teachers in running the event.
Despite being an annual event, this meet held a special significance as it was the first meet following the move from the SJI Malcolm Road campus. This event in itself is proof that the SJI spirit does not reside within the campus but in every Josephian.
March: SJI the Kings of Bishan at Rugby Championship! Content
by Nadiah Afiqah (JC1-TG02, SJI Senior School)
SJI bagged their second win in the National B Division Rugby Championship at the match held on 3 March. The team made us proud by beating RI with a score of 12-7.
Putting SJI on the scoreboard after just two minutes of play was Jayshan Singh. He then went on to score all 12 points with 4 converted penalties.
RI scored a try and converted it, bringing their total score to 7 points.
“It was a tough fight between the Greens of Bishan. In the end, it came down to who truly wanted it more,” said Timothy Lim, one of the players who represented SJI in the match.
This victory is especially sweet for the boys, who lost to the same team in a C Division match 2 years ago. This win, in addition to their win against Pioneer last week, more or less guarantees them a Top 4 position.
Congratulations to SJI B Division Rugby team for their spectacular win over RI!
February: SJI Table-tennis teams celebrate wins South Zone Competitions
by Wong Yu Cong (FN 402)
Two words to express the victory that the table-tennis teams are basking in: Hard fought. Both B and C-division teams gave it their all during the course of the competitions in February and their efforts finally paid off, with the B division as first runner-up and the C division as second runner-up. As hard as we may try, we would not achieve this feat without the help of our supportive coach and our teachers.
For the B Division boys, this year’s victory was special as they have finally beaten their long-standing rival, Catholic High School. The atmosphere was intense even before the start of the matches. Together with their experienced coach, the boys contemplated and devised a strategy for the line-up of the players. The first match was led by Daryl Chin (LE 402) as he gave it his all to an opponent who was better versed in table-tennis than he was. The duo, Chua Wei Yang (FN 404) and Marcus Soh (MN 302), poured out their best into the second match, however, it was to no avail. Although they did not win the first two matches, this did not dampen their spirits as they boys were determined to fight it out to the very end. Their determination was not in vain as the tables were turned from the third match. With years of stringent training up his sleeves, Yang Cheng Ye (MN 402) emerged victorious. The victory from the fourth match was brought about by Chua Seah Wei Jie (MN 303) and Wong Yu Cong (FN 402). As the score now stands at 2-2, winning the final match was critical. After a nail-biting match, the team’s captain, Lim Jin Jie (FN 404), defeated his opponent and led the team to victory.
For the C Division boys, this year’s competition was an eye-opener for them and they gained much experience that will ameliorate their skills to a higher level for future competitions. During the duration of the competition, they displayed commendable sportsmanship and teamwork. They did not give up when they were faced with tough opponents, and neither did they let down their guard against weaker opponents. The success that they earned was the fruition of many hours of rigorous training.
January: Josephians Together and By Association!
By Yong Zheng Yew (FN301)
Camp TABA saw the Secondary Threes grouped into Fraternities, each going for a different activity each day. These included kite-making/flying, dragon boating and even an obstacle course but undoubtedly the most interesting thing about the event was the unity formed between students only days earlier completely foreign to each other.
January: Chinese band “Sa” (仨) Thrills at SJI’s CNY celebrations
by Koh Wei Ming (ML301)
The Chinese New Year is an important traditional holiday for the Chinese community as it marks the beginning of another new year in the Lunar Calendar. The celebrations began with a mass in the Hall celebrated by Friar Mike, and there was a blessing of oranges which were distributed to the students and staff.
This was followed by a concert performance at the Amphitheatre by a local Chinese band “Sa” (仨) (which means ‘three of us’ in Northern Chinese dialect) using Chinese instruments such as the Guzheng, flutes, drums and percussion. The trio of Andy C. (Dizi), Natalie Alexandra (Guzheng), and Cheryl Ong (Drums and Percussion) thrilled the audiences with their original compositions such as “Night Pray”, “Sun” and “Wu Xia” as well as an improvisation version of “Rasa Sayang”.
January: Inaugural Assembly
By Jonathan Soong Wei (LE304)
The inaugural Mass, a tradition of SJI, marks the beginning of another new year for the students, teachers and staff. The celebrations began with the blessings for the New Year and a reflection by school chaplain Friar Michael D’Cruz about having faith, service and community at the heart of all things we do at SJI.
As this is also our first year at our new holding campus in Bishan, the priests blessed the sacraments – the Crucifixes, and portraits of SJI Founder St. John Baptist de LaSalle, before these were placed in the classrooms. The priests – Rev Fr Simon Tan, Fr Peter Wee and Fr Clement Lee (Novena Church), Fr Andrew Wong, Fr Paul Goh, Fr Benedict Chng and Fr Jude David (Church of Holy Spirit), Fr Edward Seah (St Anne’s Church), and Friar John Derrick Yap (Church of St Mary of the Angels) also toured the new campus to bless the classrooms, labs and every corner of the school.
The school community then congregated at the Amphitheatre to welcome the new members into the SJI family – the Secondary Ones and the new staff. With the prayers and blessings, this Inaugural Assembly reminded us that it is not the building or place that matters but rather the people in it.
January: SJI boys celebrate 2013 GCE ‘O’ Level results
SJI boys rejoiced when they received their 2013 GCE ‘O’ Levels examinations results on 13 January 2014.
All boys qualified for post-secondary education, with 97% of boys qualifying for Junior College and the others qualifying for Polytechnic. 45 boys scored six or more A1s and 99% obtained at least five GCE ‘O’ Level passes.
In terms of the boys’ performance in the subjects, strong distinction rates were achieved in many, in particular History-World Affairs (93%), Elementary Mathematics (87%), Geography (87%), Higher Art (86%), Combined Humanities (72%), Additional Mathematics (70%), and English Language (67%).