The school began in 1924 as Geylang Methodist Girls’ School when it was founded by Rev Lloyd Sullivan, together with Mrs Chia Han Kiat and Miss Walker, who were members of the Methodist Church. With a pupil enrolment of 27 girls, lessons were conducted in the sanctuary of Geylang Chinese Methodist Church.
With God’s grace, we continued to expand, becoming a full school and in 1951 our first batch of pupils took the Cambridge Examination (equivalent of the GCE ‘O’ level Exam) three years later.
The school song was composed in 1975 by Ms MJ Gruber, with music arranged by Ms Susheela E Daniel, daughter of Mrs SA Daniel, the Principal then.
As pupil enrolment increased, with the support and financial assistance from the Methodist churches, we built our own premises, and split into two schools – primary and secondary. In 1984, boys were admitted for the first time in the secondary school, giving rise to Geylang Methodist Secondary School. The school was then officially opened by Bishop Ho Chee Sin on 29 Aug.
The school was upgraded in 1998 and God continued to pour out His blessings. In February the following year, the school went single session with 38 classes (1,500 pupils) and a staff strength of 69.
2007 marked another important milestone for our school. Besides the change of name to reflect the oneness of the GM family of schools, it also marked the completion of our re-development project.
We celebrate our 95th anniversary in 2019. We are grateful for the past 95 years of blessings and believe that God will continue to watch over His students for many more years to come as we welcome future generations of students.
Information has been distilled from different write-ups, yearbooks, websites and interviews.
GCMC Church fronted the premises, and school facilities were added to the back of the Church. This image depicts the Parsonage after its rebuilding in 1973.
Girls perform in the open area behind the Church. The classroom in the background is adjoined to GCMC Church. A simple shelter can be seen on the left for the girls to play in the shade or when it rained.
Our school was initially formed as an all-girls school in 1924, named Geylang Methodist Girls School (GMGS). It became co-ed in 1984 and renamed as the Geylang Methodist School (Secondary) (GMSS) that we are familiar with today.
The genesis of the school is synchronically linked with Geylang Chinese Methodist Church (GCMC), a pioneering church that was initially established as a Gospel House in Geylang in 1905. After a short stint in a shophouse, GCMC managed to acquire land and move into its new Sanctuary and Parsonage at the junction of Aljunied and Geylang Road in 1914. Resources were scarce, and the Church relied on the goodwill of its members and the community for funding.
At the time, children in the impoverished Geylang area lacked access to education, and those children who could go to school had to travel a great distance to schools in the city. As such, GCMC established an ad-hoc English School for girls and boys, which utilised the Parsonage as a school on weekdays, when it was not used for service on weekends. However, in 1916, the boys were taken in by the newly built Geylang Boys School at Lorong 23. Concurrently the Methodist Mission had become more organised, and a drive to realise a Methodist school in Geylang arose then.
Hence, the goal to start a Methodist School was set in motion. The District Superintendent, Rev. Lloyd Sullivan enlisted the help of Mrs Chai Han Kiat and Emma Walker, a Christian Missionary, to take charge of the school’s operation at its infancy.
These driven and big-hearted women went door to door to entreat girls to enrol in the school. Thus, in 1924, the first official class of GMGS girls was humbly formed – composed of 27 girls who attended school in their own clothes. Mrs Chai was the only teacher then.
As the school had little funds and no land nor infrastructure, the missionaries and pastors of GCMC provided supervision and support. In fact, the Parsonage was used as the first classroom, so at its inception, GMGS kicked off its first school year right in the church.
The British government bought GCMC premises to build a post office, and GCMC – and effectively the school – then moved to where the Aljunied MRT is currently located. It was then that 4 new classrooms were built behind the Parsonage building, and the school could stop operating from inside the Church. By then, enrolment had increased, with 135 pupils in 1927 and over 200 pupils by 1930.
- 1931 – 1938
Our Church was situated on an important site. In 1926, the Municipality of Singapore proposed to build a post office and widen the road at the spot where our Church stood. The officials offered thirty-three thousand dollars to the Official board of our Church to acquire the Church premises.
Our Church accepted the Government’s offer. The Official Board believed that by accepting it the people living in the area would benefit. On the other hand, the Church Official Board applied to the Municipality for another piece of land situated at the junction of Aljunied Road and Sims Avenue, i.e. our existing Church site. The land area was over forty thousand square feet. It was only about two hundred meters away from the old site. It cost thirteen thousand dollars. To mount such a huge project, a Church Building Committee was formed. The members of the Committee included Rev. Swee, Messrs. Ng Tian Poh, Koh Kim Hong, Seah Poh Tee, Song Chin Eng, Chan Hai Seng, Lim Soon Bee and Ho Koon Chor. The District Superintendent, Pastor, Officials of the Building Committee and all members of the Church worked with one accord to achieve the common target. The baby plant which was richly blessed by the grace of God grew into a big and strong tree. By 1927, on the new site, a church was built at a cost of $16,000, the Parsonage for $4,500 and the Girls’ School for $17,000. It is understood that the latter was built at the expense of the bell tower originally included in the Church plan. Thus, the entire project of construction of the Church was completed. Since then, the Church grew and the number of members gradually increased. By 1930, the Church was in a position to be financially independent and self-supporting. The Body of Jesus Christ grew in Geylang as the days passed by.
In Singapore and Malaysia, our Church could claim to be the first to conduct services in three different languages for three different groups of congregation within a church.
In 1934, the school built a sheltered playground and the school servant’s quarters with wire fencing all around the area. Due to the increase in students, the School was found to be short of classrooms. Mr. Peh Hua Kok and a few others raised some funds and eventually, three extra classrooms were added. The Chinese Primary School was started in the afternoon and Miss Ruth Lim Soh Lian was appointed the first Principal. Miss Lim dedicated her life to the Lord and devoted herself to the cause of education throughout the long period of over thirty years. The administration of both the School and the Sunday School improved. In 1939, she purchased a piece of land with a bungalow on it, adjoining the school and Lorong 25. By then a Chinese kindergarten was also set up.
In 1930 the school enrolment increased to 300 girls. For many years it remained a primary school and pupils wanting an education beyond primary level had to go to Methodist Girls’ School at Mt. Sophia.
- World War II
The school and Church ceased operations immediately as the Japanese commandeered the school and Church premises. The school was repurposed as military barracks for the soldiers, and the Church used as an ammunition depot.
One day, sometime in 1943, there was an explosion. The roof of the Church, the school and the parsonage were badly damaged. Subsequently, the Japanese soldiers abandoned the premises, and the grounds remained disused until the war ended.
1940 - 1950 HARD TIMES
- 1946 School Reopened by Mrs Thio
Upon emancipation, swift actions were made to expedite the school’s reopening. Rev. Fang Han Keng, the District Superintendent, and Rev. Wo Chao Chee actively applied to the War Compensation Council for funds to repair the exploded roof of the school and Church. The interruption by the war meant there was a backlog of students clamouring for education. As such, in January 1946, Mrs Thio Suan Cheok, Headmistress, re-opened the school as a two-stream school to accommodate the large influx of girls seeking education. As it served a populous area, the school was filled to capacity.
In 1949, we became a Government-aided school.
Our enrolment increased, and the Standard V was introduced.
There were eight classes with a total enrolment of 320 pupils.
In 1949, the School became Grant-in-Aid, and Miss Mabel Mitchell became Principal. A Chinese School began in the Afternoon, with Miss. Ruth Lim as Principal.
In view of the growing need for accommodation and other administrative requirements, the school became grant-in-aid, in 1949, with Miss Mable Mitchell as principal. We owe our thanks to Mrs. E.S. Lau and Mrs. Thio Suan Cheok for achieving a sufficient standard to qualify for grant-in-aid.
A building campaign was initiated by Miss Mitchell with the object of having a Full School with classes from Primary 1 to Secondary 4.
The burden of building the new Extension and the drive for funds was no mean task but our ambitions were realised through the hard work of the staff and pupils and the generosity of the government and well-wishers [sic].
GMGS continued to expand. It had secondary classes and became a full school.
In May, 1953, Bishop R. L. Archer dedicated the Extension which was officially opened by Mr. R. E. Ince, Director of Education.
In 1954, girls sat for the Cambridge examination for the first time, and out of twenty girls, seventeen passed.
In 1959, 36 girls sat for the Cambridge examination, and 33 passed. In 1960, the School’s enrolment was 420.
Another milestone in the history of the school was reached when re received good results in the Cambridge School Certificate Examinations of 1954. This was the first time that the school presented a class for this examination. The success has inspired us to look forward into the future with greater confidence.
The school enrolment grew to 420 pupils. In 1960, the school welcomed Rev J V Ayaduray as the Chairman of her first Board of Management.
Since the last issue of this magazine, there have been many events which have marked the progress of our school, but probably the most gratifying feature was the graduation from the University of Malaya, of the first few of our former students who had passed from the Cambridge School Certificate Class instituted in 1955. Many of our former students have also gone abroad for higher studies and many have joined the teaching profession.
The School Curriculum has been enlarged in accordance with current educational requirements and provision has been made for the teaching of Mandarin and Malay, the National Language. In this issue, articles in Mandarin and Malay have been included. The standard of work may not be of the highest, but the teachers who are learning the National language and at the same time teaching this subject are to be congratulated for their efforts.
A Committee of Management was set up in 1960 under the Chairmanship of the District Superintendent, Rev. J. V. Avaduray, to help in the administration of the school. A school Chaplain, Rev. Chew Hock Hin was also appointed to help and advise on the spiritual needs of the school.
The moral and ethical aspects of things must not be overlooked in our educational system, as mere text book knowledge does not make good citizens of any country. It is important that the Christian Spirit must prevail throughout and by its evidence in our daily lives mark us as members of an institution dedicated to the highest ideals. Towards this end the school strives to give its pupils not only the fundamentals of learning but also the precepts of righteous living. Furthermore, a sense of dedication is especially important in newly independent countries and greater efforts will be called for from those able to contribute to the well-being of our state. I am confident that our girls will play their part in the right spirit.
In conclusion, I wish to congratulate the Editorial Board, the staff and the contributors who have worked hard to bring out this issue of the School Magazine.
Mrs. S. A. Daniel
Numbers increased so that the School expanded, in phases. And reached saturation pointed in 1973 when their latest classroom block was completed, bringing the enrolment to 580.
The school expanded with an extension block housing eight new classrooms, the School Hall, Science Laboratory and Home Economics Room. This was made possible by the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries, other Methodist missionaries and local benefactors, who gave donations amounting to $300,000. The extension block was officially opened by the director of Education, Mr Chan Kai Yau.
A significant milestone was reached when Miss Mariam Jean Gruber, a composer from the World Division of the Board of Missions of the Methodist Church, together with Miss Susheela Daniel, the daughter of the school’s Principal, Mrs S A Daniel, composed the school song.
Mrs Doreen Chan was appointed Principal when Mrs S A Daniel retired.
‘In 1981 approaches were made to the Ministry of Education expressing our interest to relocate and upgrade. This gained momentum in 1982 with the Government’s announcement of raised subsidy from 50% to 80% to selected Government-Aided Schools with good examination records. It was timely then that the Government, through their wisdom and foresight, had already embarked on their multi-million dollar School Building Programme. We negotiated with the Ministry of Education and secured a 30-year lease on these two Schools at a cost of approximately S$4 million, payab.e in three years. The conditions we accepted were an exchange of land on a quid-pro-quo basis and going co-ed. The Secondary School was handed over to us on 20 November 1983 and the Primary School on 30 March 1984, between which time the Methodist Chinese School, which had been sharing the premises of Geylang Methodist Girls’ School for 48 years, merged with us adding 900 to the student population.
The future of the School is exciting and challenging. Almost “overnight” we multiplied from one School with 580 students and a staff of 32 to two Schools (the GMPS – single session pilot project; GMSS – 2 sessions) with a total student population of 2700 and staff of 126. We are indeed fortunate to have a dedicated team of Principals, administrators and teachers, but this sudden and enormous expansion must tax their resources to the limit. Over and above this, they are carrying more than their share of the burden in our fundraising drive. We must give them all the encouragement and support that they deserve.
We have been given three years to pay for the School. Our time is almost up and we have raised only 50% of the amount. We have asked the Ministry of Education to grant us an extension of time to raise the balance of S$2 million. We cannot afford to be default due to non-payment. May I call upon you to rally round and give us your support, as generously as you can.
We serve a student population who come from Geylang District – 54% of whom live in 1-3 room HDB flats and more than 48% of whom have parents who are semi-skilled and unskilled workers with very little or no education. What an opportunity and challenge these present to us as a Christian Mission School where our aim is not only to provide quality education to our youth but to mould Christian character and to help them “Grow in Friendship, Body and Mind”.’
- 1983 – 1984
The school could only take in a total enrolment of 530 pupils for both the primary and secondary levels. Although enrolment was increasing rapidly, there was no space for further expansion.
With the support and financial assistant from the Methodist churches, the school moved to our present site at 2, Geylang East Central.
With the relocation, the school split into 2 schools – the Primary School and the Secondary School. With the expansion came the boys and the school were subsequently renamed Geylang Methodist Secondary School.
The old school site was so small that it had no playing field and there was just no space to expand. The maximum number of pupils it could take in was 530 which was the enrolment of both primary and secondary pupils in 1983. We had no choice but to move to the present site. With relocation, the school was split into two schools – one primary and the other secondary.
The school has had close church support right from the beginning including financial assistance towards the school building for its extension programme in the 1970’s. Since 1960 the school has had a Methodist pastor as its chaplain. The Board of Management comprises old girls of the school as well as church members.
Excerpts from the address of our Principal, Mrs. D. Chan, on the occasion of our Thanksgiving/Graduation Service, 6 Aug. 1984:
‘For 5 years, the administrators prayed for a bigger school, with better facilities. Our hopes were realised with the new academic year 1984.
Now we have 2 new standard-type schools – a primary school with 30 classrooms, and a secondary school with 28. From this year, our pupils need not be transported to Chung Cheng High School for their weekly PE lessons, nor do they need to go to Woodsville Secondary School and Macpherson Secondary School for their technical lessons. We now have our own field and technical workshops.
In reviewing the past 12 months, we wish to congratulate all Primary 6 and Secondary 4 girls who were successful in our last PSLE and GCE ‘O’ level examinations. 97.5% of our Primary 6 girls passed and 81% of our Secondary 4 pupils passed with 3 or more credits. Our thanks go to the teachers who have worked hard to help them. We hope that our present pupils will strive to produce even better results for 1984.
In the area of sports and games, our emphasis has always been on mass participation. We encourage our pupils to take up swimming. We were glas [sic]
In the area of sports and games, our emphasis has always been on mass participation. We encourage our pupils to take up swimming. We were glad to see that at the end of last year, 90% of our secondary girls could swim and enjoy it.
On 7 July this year, we organised a walkathon to raise funds for our new buildings. We were happy that our old girls came to our help. Together, we managed to raise more than $72,000/-.
We sincerely hope that past and present pupils will continue to do their best in whatever they undertake to uphold the good name of the school. We hope that they will remain loyal, and will come forward willingly to help us raise $4.5 million in the next 3 years to pay for our 2 new schools.’
On 29 August, Bishop Ho Chee Sin of the Methodist Church officiated at the official opening of the Primary and Secondary Schools.
To date we have 77 teachers, 17 supporting staff, 1932 pupils and 49 classes.
The emphasis in extra curricular activities is still mass participation. However, this year we participated in the following competitions at Zone level: Netball, Softball and Badminton. In Netball, the C division girls emerged Champion, while in Softball, the B division girls also emerged Champion. For Badminton, the B boys came in 3rd at Zonal level and 8th at National level.
The school bade farewell to Mrs Doreen Chan who retired after serving 18 years as Principal.
We welcomed Mrs Marion Tan.
In February, after upgrading works of the school were completed, the school went single-session with 38 classes, a pupil enrolment of 1,500 annual staff strength of 69. The Dedication of the new extension block was officiated by Bishop Wong Kiam Thau on 31 July. The school celebrated its 75th Anniversary with Mrs Thio Suan Cheok as the Guest of Honour.
The school achieved the Value-Added Award (Normal Course) for our good academic performance at the 2000 GCE ‘O’ Level Examinations.
We bade farewell to Mrs Marion Tan.
GMSS welcomed its 11th and first male Principal, Mr Lim Yan Hock.
We celebrated our 80th anniversary with a Thanksgiving service for the whole school at Kallang Theatre with Bishop Dr Robert Solomon as the Guest of Honour. As part of the commemoration of our 80 years of history, the school staged for the first time, our own original musical, “Rice Matters”. It traced the history of the school and together with it, the history of Singapore.
We obtained our very first Sustained Achievement Award for Uniformed Groups.
The tsunami tragedy on Boxing Day 2004 claimed more than 200,000 lives in our neighbouring countries. Our Girl Guides rallied the school in raising funds for the families of the victims in the tragedy.
At the Singapore Youth Festival competitions, the Chinese Dance group achieved a Gold award, the Band and Choir achieved Silver awards and the Drama group, a Bronze award. The Girls’ Brigade and Boys’ Brigade also continued to achieve the Gold Awards for their respective groups. Our Girls’ Brigade (2nd Singapore Company) received the Sustained Gold Company Award for attaining the Gold Company for 5 consecutive years. We were one of two companies in Singapore to receive this honour.
The school underwent PRIME in June 2005 and functioned at 3, Geylang Bahru Lane from 15 June.
The ground-breaking ceremony for the upgrading works, held on 28 October, was officiated by Bishop Dr Robert Solomon.
The school was renamed Geylang Methodist School (Secondary) with effect from 1 January to reflect the oneness of the Geylang Methodist family of schools. In keeping with the change in the school’s name, the school also re-designed a new school crest as part of school re-branding. The School Crest is the embodiment of our aims and aspirations for the Geylang Methodist Schools. The school moved back to 2, Geylang East Central in June.
The Dedication of the new campus and 83rd Thanksgiving Day was held on 25 August. This was officiated by Bishop Dr Robert Solomon.
GCMC sponsored about $300 000 to install air conditioning for the school hall. In appreciation of this, the School honoured the Church to name the school hall as ‘Friendship Hall’.
Celebrating our 90th Anniversary by completing 90 Blessing projects as a school ( staff, students and parents). Projects include bringing the elderly from our community to Gardens by the Bay; English Teachers reading to sick children at KKH etc…teaching English to children in Batam and Cambodia.
From as early as the 50s, students and teachers in our School were assigned to four Houses. Annually, these Houses compete in activities and sports to win the House trophy. Our Houses are named after leaders from the Methodist Mission, whose presence was significant in the early days of the School.
Archer House is named after Mrs Edna Priscilla Caye Archer and her husband, Rev Dr Raymond Leroy Archer, who was the Bishop of the Methodist Church in Southeast Asia from 1950 to 1956. Mrs Archer assisted in Methodist school events.
Lau House is named after Mrs E S Lau. Her husband, Rev Edward Sing Lau, was a well-known pastor of a few churches, including the English section of GCMC from 1930 to 1951.
Means House is named after Mrs Nathalie Means and her husband Rev Paul Means. The couple touched many lives in Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and India as missionaries and educators. They were linguists who translated scriptures into Asian languages. This indirectly aided the preservation of indigenous languages in rural Malaysia.
Mitchell House is named after Miss Mabel Mitchell. She was posted as principal of GMGS from 1949 to 1950. Miss Mitchell helped the School attain grant-in-aid status and initiated a building campaign with the objective of making GMGS a full school with classes from Primary 1 to Secondary 4.
Activities of the School
Beside [sic] the usual routine of school work there are activities which are of interest to the girls. The school believes in the wise saying: “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” and has provided many forms of recreation such as games, excursions and functions like our annual bazaar and the annual concert. We have a Literary Society and Bible classes as well.
Games such as netball, badminton and table-tennis are great favourites among the girls. On Friday evenings girls usually come for games. At the present we are prevented from playing before five o’clock as there is the afternoon school in session. There are matches between the girls of various houses and the winning team carries the shield. This year there were matches for netball and table-tennis but not for badminton. We hope there will be a challenge shield for badminton too.
Sports Day this year was on Friday 22nd. It was a great success and the weather was fine. Mrs Archer gave away the prizes. Mitchell House won the Challenge Cup. Sports day is an annual occurrence and all the girls look forward to it.
To raise the school Building Fund a Bazaar is held every year. The Bazaar is usually held after the third term examination. On this day the handwork of the girls are displayed for sale. Food stalls are set up and there are games for children. Parents, relatives and friends are invited and everyone including the girls enjoy themselves and forget for a moment their Trigonometry and Precis-writing.
The annual concert is very welcome to us girls. Before that day there would be practices and costume-making, painting of posters and selling of tickets. On that day the girls would show their acting abilities to their friends and parents. Last year we had a three-day concert and it was a great success.
Excursions are planned towards the end of the term. On 19th May the senior girls with five girls from Form IV paid a visit to the National Carbon factory at Bukit Timah. We returned happy with the knowledge that we had learnt something new. On 25th July, the girls of Form III and V made a trip to the dairy farm. We ended the day with a picnic at Telok Mata Ikan. Form IV and Form II had the same excursion on the 26th. Whenever there is time to spare, teachers try to plan excursions of educational interest.
The Literary Society is only two years old. Mrs. Abraham, our former Geography teacher laid its foundation. Once a week a meeting is held in the school hall on Friday. There is a general election at the beginning of each term when the various officers were elected. During the second term of 1955 we had an energetic President in Miss P. Ranjii. There were speeches, spelling contest and debates. There was also an Elocution Contest.
The Bible Class is a newly-formed group. It is held every Wednesday and attended by the girls of the school. Mrs. Berckman is the leader of this group. The girls have bible reading and discussions.
Interview with Prof. Lionel Lee Kim Hock
- As the former Chair of the BOM, what was your aspiration for the direction of GM?
To provide a holistic education, nurturing our pupils not only in the acquisition of knowledge but more importantly to learn life lessons that are steeped in values. These children will grow up to become useful and responsible citizens and take their place as valuable members of society. They will develop a wholesome respect for God, friends and community.
- You were involved in the rebuilding of the school under PRIME, both in the infrastructure work as well as the fundraising. Were there any challenges that the school faced? If so, how were they overcome?
I never saw fundraising for the school’s infrastructure as any problem at all. God owns the cattle on a thousand hills, the wealth in every mine. He always provides abundantly. The challenges were to push the boundaries of possibility in the classrooms and other facilities for the enrichment of the students. It was also important to pay attention to the functionality as well as the aesthetics of our school buildings.
- What were the significant milestones that occurred in the school during your time as Chair?
The special upgrading of facilities for both schools, especially the provision of the two chapels; and the realisation that so many of our pupils were inspired to take up the teaching profession in order to give back to the future generations.
Interview with Tan Wee Pin. 2018.
- When were you in the GM School Management Committee? What were the significant milestones that occurred in the school during your time in it?
I was in the GM School Management Committee since 2006. And as I was also in the GCM Church Steward Committee since 1959, I would like to highlight some significant early milestones of the school for the benefit of GMS.
When the Geylang Methodist Schools were rebuilding in early 2000, the School Management Committee intended to let a church to fund and build a chapel in the secondary school. The then Deputy Chairman of the Committee, Dr Lee, urged that priority should be given to Geylang Chinese Methodist Church, because the relationship between the church and the school had been so close and long.
When the proposal was made to the Church in 2005, the Steward Committee of the Church unanimously accepted it. By God’s grace the Church was ce;lebrating its centenary then, and donated $2 million to the school to build the chapel to be presented to the almighty God.
In the following year, for the first time, Bishop Robert Solomon appointed the Pastor in Charge of the Church, then Rev Goh Nai Lek, to be the Chaplain of the Secondary School, and myself to be a member of the School Management Committee.
- What are your thoughts on the partnership between GCMC and the School?
The partnership between GCMC and the School began to flourish since 2003. Yearly, the Church would support one or two Christian Ministry staff to the school, to assist in the guiding and training field. In addition, the Church also assisted the School to build up the School Family Education, working with at-risk students, interest groups, assisting with needy students, providing free remedial classes etc. All in all, the Church subsidized about $100 000 annually for the School projects. In addition, in 2010 the Church sponsored about $300 000 to install air conditions for the school hall. In appreciation to this, the School honoured the Church to name the school hall as “Friendship Hall”. All glory be to God.
- Was God leading you in any particular way as you served the church and the school?
I should say yes. During my 11 years serving the GMS School Management Committee, I was also the Chairman of the Church Steward Committee. Thus, I was able to bring the needs of the School to the Church, and liaised what the Church could help to the School.
- Do you have any significant memories of the school?
Yes, I noticed that the school’s GCE O-Level Examination results had improved year after year. This shows that both the teachers and the students were working very hard.
- If around in 1984, what was your experience when the school transitioned to co-ed?
Initially the School intended to ask me this question. I told them that I was not in the school then. But later I thought I must take this opportunity to enlighten the school briefly, by quoting an early history from the 1960 Malaysia Methodist 75 Year Anniversary magazine. It stated that when the Church built its first Sanctuary in 1914, at the corner of Geylang Road and Aljunied Road, it was used as a church during the weekend, and, as a girls and boys school during the weekdays. In 1916, the Government established the Geylang Boys School at Lorong 23. The GM School then changed to admite girls only, and named it as Geylang Methodist Girls School.
For me I frame it as ‘Great Memories of GM’, using the acronym of GM. I list three aspects of it: people, process and product. For ‘people’, in schools, students are key. So even though I’ve left GM for ten years, I still meet former students for coffee. The most recent one was in August this year. I was at NIE for the MLS graduation, and then there was this PE teacher who was staring at me, a trainee, so I asked her, ‘Which school are you from?’ She said, ‘Oh you were my principal when I was a student.’ I asked her which school, and she said Geylang Methodist.
Of course, as principal, you don’t remember them but they remember us. And then a few years ago, for my daughter’s birthday, we were going to Fullerton Hotel for her birthday. We were queuing up for the buffet, then there was this guy who called me from the Western section. ‘Mr Lim!’ He said, ‘Remember me?’ I remembered him. I think he used to be one of the quite naughty boys, and he was caned in the office, but now he’s a chef in charge of the Western section. He was so proud, he told everybody I was his principal, and he told me, ‘You sit down Mr Lim, you must try my buffet. I cook for you, you sit down’, and he gave me 50% discount and some vouchers.
I think though we may not remember the students, they still have a sense of gratitude for people. It could be for any principal or teacher who had taught them before, there is this sense of gratitude. I still receive cards from students and once I received a card from a student who had graduated from GM and went to a JC. He wrote and said that he missed the devotion at GM. He said he missed all the stories and all the values taught. Again, we see this sense of gratitude.
In general, I think what I remember most are the students. The sense of gratitude and they know we had made a difference and I feel the satisfaction of being an educator and a principal. We don’t have direct contact with them so much, but I think they see us in action, they hear our morning devotion and they see what we do. This morning I was reading – I keep all my cards and photographs – and I was looking at this photograph from this girl from 2007 from Faith 4-2. After the graduation service, we gave a CD containing their photographs from Sec 1 to Sec 4. Afterwards, she sent me something that was typed out nicely, in fact, I framed it, and she talked about the experience she had from Sec 1 to Sec 4, and of course, she also thanked the principal.
I’ve left GM for 10 years, and I think in the past few years I’ve been invited to 3 weddings of 3 GM students. Their parents invited me, and again there’s this sense of connection. I think the staff in a mission school and a government school are also different. I think in a mission school the staff are very clear, they know what the school is about, and they will chip in anything. Even though I’ve left GM for 10 years, even now I still receive a text from a former teacher. There is this sense of gratitude that I was here and part of the journey.
Then there are the other stakeholders of the school. I remember there was once, an officer, a brave boy of the Boys’ Brigade and they were going to Sentosa. I remember asking why this officer would want to bring the students to Sentosa. He’s not being paid, but he does it because of passion and the people. Again, this feeling of gratitude and paying back, and to do it on a Saturday and bringing the children along is part of a sense of community. Of course, most of those who help out at the Boys’ Brigade and the Girls’ Brigade are old boys and old girls. NPCC as well. There is a sense of connection.
Of course, there were also parents. In my time, the PSG (Parents Support Group) was fairly new. We worked closely together. They helped out with concerts, and the concert was a big draw. The loudest applause went to the performers, the line dancing they did. There was certainly a lot of engagement with the parents. Until today, they are still very involved. There are parents whose children have already graduated, but they continue to stay involved. I met them at all our school functions. There is again, a sense of connectedness to people. They are still contributing to the school. There is a sense of mission, partly due to the fact that we are a mission school, and there is a sense of purpose.
Of course, all the various Methodist institutions helped along the way. People are always a critical thing and form part of my great memories of GM.
The other one is ‘process’. One of the things that I did here in GM is what I call ‘behaviour modification through the arts. When we had PRIME, I told the architect that I wanted big pillars so that we could put up paintings, as our students’ artworks were very good. Mrs Tan Hui Leng was in charge, and the Sec 4s made big installations. So putting up the paintings that students can feel and touch was important. Or there was this one year in the new building when we did pebbles. All the students' decorated pebbles, even the staff contributed as well, and we put them along the corridor. The school Heritage Wall as well as in the open. We didn’t want it in a special room. We wanted it in a place where you can feel it and touch it. There’s no need to cover it as you can trust the students that they will not dirty the thing. There is a sense of ownership as it is part of their history. And because of our belief in them, the students do not draw on the wall. They do not draw moustaches on the principals’ faces, and even now I believe the wall is still clean. The paintings as well. There was one I liked about the four seasons, I’m not sure if it’s still up. When students can appreciate beauty, when they know what beauty means, they will behave in a beautiful way. That’s how the arts can help with behaviour modification.
Even the concerts that they put up, the students are so proud to put up performances. During our 80th Anniversary, we put up a school musical called ‘Rice Matters’. The title has two meanings – ‘matters’ as a verb to show that rice matters and ‘matters’ as a noun to say that it is actually a basic essential. That musical really brought people together, with NA students doing the lead roles. There was a common belief, and the people coming and seeing our students put up a full musical – original and all that - gave them a lot of confidence. I think after that the Drama Club has since done a lot of cool things.
I think a part of ‘process’ is also the fact that GM is a mission school – we had a songbook that students had to buy and use. We believe in the process of looking to Jesus in everything, during devotions that we have daily – in Church you only hear it on Sundays but in this school you hear it 5 times a week. And the songs form part of the memories, for the students and the staff. In the Easter that just passed, I received a text from one of the teachers saying that she missed the special Thursday morning when I sang with them. That year, we unpacked the value of ‘Fear of God’, and how ‘fear’ does not mean ‘scared’, but it means to ‘honour’ God.
In the process of looking to Jesus, God blessed us in many ways, for example, there was no lack of resources. Of course, we prayed very hard and we saved more money than we needed because Mr Sam Chin Hwa (?) – the director then – said that he wanted to build an indoor sports hall. So it was a gamble, as we needed approval from MOE to fund part of it, otherwise, the school would have to pay for all of it. The board said, ‘We’ll go for it, we’ll trust God’, and it came much later that MOE made it a standard and paid 85% of it. We saved money in the end. So I think when you look unto Jesus, through the process God had shown that he had been faithful to us as we had been faithful to him.
I used to give devotion every Monday. At the beginning, it was a chore for a new principal who had never gone to a mission school before as a student or staff. So every Sunday I would listen hard to the message that the Pastor was saying. Afterwards, I got the hang of it, and I would reframe the message so that I could use the school values for my topic during devotion, drawing from the values we have, whether it is prudence or whatever, and take it from the Bible, or fruits of the spirit. So after 1 year, I came up with a theme of what I wanted to do, so that it was more structured. For me, that process, well I guess it is a product for me having the devotion book – a product that I am proud to have. I compiled and chose the best 31 devotions and compiled them into a book of devotions.
The product is a result of all the people and all the processes that we have gone through. The musical, ‘Rice Matters’, was a product of all these blessings and work that the people had put in. Even the cookbook, which is for the 80th Anniversary – we managed to get 80 recipes – in fact, we received more than 80 recipes, and we selected from them. It’s a collection from the people, from Board members to parents to teachers – anyone related to us can submit their best family recipes. It’s a book that one of the parents said she is proud to have. A book that is hardcover and very friendly for anyone who cooks. It’s something that we are proud of as a product.
I think PRIME is a product of trusting God. I think the Church – a stand alone chapel block and yet we do not compromise facilities – again because we look to Jesus that we can have a stand alone Chapel that is connected to the school. Especially for the Geylang community, that gave the confidence that students can come back, that students who had left GM can come back to for the service because they are believers. This product is important because it serves people beyond their years in GM. Even if they are not believers, I’m sure if they have queries the first thing they will think of is here. And many of the students live in this area, so they may want to come and see.
The Heritage Wall showcases the hard work over the years to when GM becomes what it is now.
- What about challenges in the six years? What was the most challenging?
One of them was the PRIME project. Then, I was given the choice to go to the former Rangoon Secondary School. I was told that if I didn’t take the opportunity, PRIME would be delayed. I said ‘I myself must like the place before the students can like the place’. For me, I’d rather wait because to me the place is important. The student must love coming to school. The staff must love coming to school. So any PRIME, even if we are moving away for just 2 years, for me I would rather wait for a place that we can call home, that we would look forward to attending. This decision caused some delay and it was a challenge looking for a place. To me, making that decision not to go, I needed to give good reasons for not taking the offer, and would rather wait.
The other big challenge, I think, is getting support from the other institutions. Before you can get support people must see that you are doing things to benefit the school. Balancing how much to do, versus not compromising your core business. That is a challenge to manoeuvre.
- You shared a few significant events. What was the most significant?
The musical, to me, is an accumulation of all the hard work. I remember Kim Siah came down and he was so proud that GM could put up a full performance. I think it showed the people that we trusted that they could make it. There were many people who came who followed GM through the years, and to see the transformation and progress of GM made them proud. Not just the musical, I think. The people who were involved in the musical gave me great memories.
- What about in the area of teaching and learning? Where there specific things that you were trying to nurture or introduce?
I think teachers are key. I made the teachers write reflections of commitment to the school. It could be about how they want to do, or after one term of school, what is one thing they have done that has a positive impact on their work. So using the teacher as a key to engage the students. The teachers must stay motivated. The teacher must be reflective to be an engaged teacher. In 2005, we made them talk about their commitment, and how they could engage the students. I’m so glad the teachers were so willing to write their commitments and give them to me to compile. They didn’t feel coerced, and they wrote truthfully. That is in 2005, and in 2007 December, they wrote their commitment for 2008, which was my last year. They wrote what they wanted to do. I photocopied their commitments and I returned them their originals so they had something to refer to, to see what they had wanted to do. Whatever programmes you want to have, if the teacher doesn’t commit and reflect, it won’t go through.
Finally, as we are about to celebrate our 95th anniversary, are there any words you would like to share with current and future students and staff?
I remember when we celebrated the 80th Anniversary, I told the students I would be around for the 100th anniversary of the school. 95th is a milestone check and GM is a grand old lady. I think everyone should feel proud of the people, of the process and of the product. I think as we remember this milestone of the 95th year, we must remember the people, not just now but in the past. And the people to come – how can we ensure that GM will survive into the 100th year. Remember the process that helped GM reached the 95th. It’s not easy. Being proud of the products – whether the students or staff or just looking around the school you can see the products. I remember one year I made the teachers come down to the Heritage Gallery during a staff meeting and made them see it. Then the staff realised there’s a lot of product. So for the 95th Anniversary, I would like to reflect on the people who have come and gone and the people to come, and then the process, and finally to be proud of the product.
- Mrs Chan, you were the principal of GMGS for 4 years, from 1979-1983, and then continued as principal when the school went co-ed from 1984 to 1997.
What was the school like when it was a girls-only school? This is a question that we all ask ourselves daily.
When I first came to school, I found that it was very small. The building was a little bit shabby, and in the auditorium, some glass in the windowpanes were missing. The tuckshop was just a wooden shed, and the benches were benches and not chairs. Long benches, long tables. Very few food stalls were at the tuck shop.
I must mention one thing – when there was a sandstorm, the tuckshop got it. Because it was open air and on the ground floor. Next to the tuckshop was Ameen, the caretaker, and his family lived there. And the canteen was actually quite susceptible to wind and rain.
It was quite open in that sense, no sides. It was quite basic.
- What was the school like, as a girls school? What were the girls like? That is something we have no sense of, as we have always known it as a co-ed school.
The girls had a different work attitude from the boys. They were hardworking and serious and they were very creative in their own way. When you give an assignment, they come up with a lot of ideas. I think Mrs Diana Ng’s artwork helped a lot. Because when they presented worksheets or anything, they were very colourful. The colours combined very well. Then I knew it was Diana’s work. She had drilled them. Even the lettering was nice. The last few weeks I’d been looking at the old albums and the farewell cards that the children did for me individually, I can see those painstaking, careful details. Unlike the boys. Boys, you can use the word ‘chin chai’ to describe them. [laughs] As long as they can go, finish and go and play, you know? That is the difference.
- That was their priority, get it done and then they can go.
We were very small. We were so small, we only had one class, per level. One class each of sec 1, 2, 3, and 4s. But we knew every single child so well.
We knew them by name.
Yes, it was like, one big family. And every recess, Mrs Chan would get some kids over to her office, to drink Milo… drink milk. Some were a bit undernourished. The fact that the school was not so big meant that a lot of individual attention was given to kids. We sort of knew them very well.
The school servant used to make a big tub of milk. We got the milk powder from UCs, an American charity organisation. They sent big bags of milk to schools. So we took some and we made them for the children. And we bought Milo and we made it for the children. So they came in the morning, queued up to drink. Those who didn’t want to drink, Sagit would bring them to the principal’s office where they would have to stand and drink it. Her relationship with them was that between a mother and child.
- So the duty of care was very very emphasised.
Yes, I think that was very evident in a smaller school. We had one home ec room, we didn’t have an art room, so the classroom was used. We had a science lab. But the girls… to this day I still keep in touch with many of them, and many of them are in their fifties. Some are grandmothers… There was Zarena Shah – I taught her daughter, and then her daughter is married and has a little boy. So I’m on Facebook with her. It’s so fascinating you know when you go back and… Last week one girl called me up and said – I want to meet up with you, she said. I’m now a lecturer, an art lecturer at the Polytechnic, and I want to come and catch up with you as it’s been a long time, she says. You don’t know it but you inspired me. Phylia Poh Li Lian is another one, doing art big time. She is running her own company and doing the art for Little India with her sister. Besides Little India, I think they are involved in quite a number of productions, and Chingay, and she is married to a Chinese professional dancer. She’s a very good costume designer, Poh Li Lian… a very good art student at the time. So was Jeff Cheong, who came last month? He was an unusual boy who did art and D&T at the same time. He is doing exceptionally well. He was one of the earlier batches of boys. Maybe 86 or 87. But the girls were so nice.
They were very thoughtful.
- How different was it after the transition? Any interesting stories to share about the transition and perhaps the first few batches of boys that you had?
Yes, the first batch, remember? Very good batch.
It was a difficult time. They were good and no good. Those who came from certain families with strict and disciplined parents behaved very well. Then there were some who were in charge of their own lives. They joined gangs, in the void decks, and they were made use of by big brothers – as they are called in Chinese. They were made to steal, provide this and that. So we had a bit of trouble… there was this boy who was sent over by a police car one or two times. But he turned out okay.
Yes, he turned out good. You see, at the end of the day, Mrs Chan spent so much time with the naughty ones… I mean, we threatened them, we had police cars coming in, and of course, all this was unrecorded, but that frightened them a bit. But they all turned out well! They all came back and said thank you to her!
- What made them turn around?
Constant care and strict discipline since day one. They wanted strict discipline. They appreciated Wilfred Chia very much because Wilfred came from ACS. He was the discipline master. I took him in because he had been dealing with boys for years, so he would know what to do with our first two batches because we were all used to girls. I was from Paya Lebar Girls’ School, and I was there for thirteen years. I was 3 years in Melaka, my hometown, also girls, Methodist Girls School. So when I came here, I was a little apprehensive because of the name ‘Geylang’. Geylang was famous for a certain thing, and gangsterism, and we were frightened they would come in. And truly they came in, even some girls came in with tattoos with red flowers, they sat in the canteen, and we knew their gang. So we watched. We walked up and down, walked up and down, alerted the police. We would ask them to drive into the school, no need to stop, just drive through. The presence of them frightened these students a bit. I know there was this one group – what was the name of the boy? – 396 gang. A very small boy, sec 1. He was badly made use of. We wanted to expel him. But he was very sorry, so we didn’t expel him. We befriended him, so in the end, it was ok.
The boys were quite a fresh change for us. It was very exciting. In 1984, we had 6 classes of sec 1s, and so many were boys! More than half! But I tell you we were very encouraged. That batch – some are in the Ministry working now, like Adrian Tan, who is a high flyer already. The first batch made a big impression on us, and we felt that we did the right thing in moving and taking in the boys.
- I think it is inspiring, to know a little bit about these stories. Despite the fact that they were challenging, there were definitely gems in the cohort as well. We always say that it is God’s school, and there is a reason why they are in our school. Any ideas about that? Any remarks about the fact that this is indeed God’s school, and we are a chosen school to be in Geylang, and we are a school with a purpose? What do you think about that?
You remember they asked us to move to Bishan, and you said no?
We didn’t want to go. It was around 82 or 83.
She say you cannot call it Geylang any more! Right? We didn’t want to change the name. We were determined to remain as Geylang Methodist School. That’s where the mission is, the core group that started it, all from that church. We absorbed the Chinese staff.
In the morning it was Geylang MGS and in the afternoon it was Geylang Methodist Chinese Primary.
So all of us came over, and then we broke up into two schools, you know? Many of the staff at the Chinese school came to join us.
We absorbed all of them because they were asked to close.
We were so small, you cannot imagine how small we were. We used to sit by the roadside, literally almost at the roadside, marking books. If you look through some of the old photographs, you’ll see us, you know, marking books. The staff, 4 or 5 of us, marking. We were that small.
- So in your time here, you oversaw one major school renovation. Can you tell us about that? How was it different? How was the façade of the school different? The size, the number of rooms perhaps? Before and after? Tell us about the basement.
Terry Chan, the architect and his wife, did the basement for us. It was the rifle range. Actually, we didn’t have any major renovation, the basement was the only thing we did, the major renovation was during Lim Yan Hock’s time.
The additional block was during Marion Tan’s time. The basement was an air rifle range, for the uninformed groups. We found that for a long time, it wasn’t used. They didn’t go in there, they went to the headquarters for shooting. So, Susan Tan’s time – she came as a teacher trainee, and I asked her to write to the Ministry saying that we would like to use this place as an assembly hall, because there were not enough spaces on the second floor for the whole school, so they wrote to us and gave us permission. But we must keep those stands, under lock and key. The rifles and targets must be kept in lock and key. Back then we had NPCC, we had BB. NPCC wanted to go to headquarters where there were better facilities. Here, every time they wanted to take the rifle, they must see the principal, and I must open the safe… There were 2 keys to the safe, and then they had to sign out, and when they returned it they must sign in as well. So, it was cumbersome, and they would rather go there. And it was an experience for the children to ride the bus to go there. It was more like an outing for them.
- So where the renovation is concerned – it was only the basement.
We moved to the old site of Victoria school. We really had to move as the staff room was too small. That was during Mr Lim’s time and was a big renovation.
We went to see the school with Eric Chan because he was also in Geylang.
Actually, how I came to know this school, it was one engineer lady who did the MRT work. One day she visited me in my room and said, “Do you know that the MRT is coming nearby, and we are building a school for you?” And I said no, what for I move? I’m already so comfortable. After raising funds for Paya Lebar and GM, it was very tiring you know? I was not from Paya Lebar, neither was I from Geylang, I was from Melaka. So it was very tiring to get money. Not a hundred thousand – millions! It was very difficult to get money. We didn’t know many people then. Of course, we knew all the market people, but how much can the market people give you?
Fundraising was a big, big chore, a real headache.
So we went to them, the market people, and they gave their best, every year. Because we appreciated them, God blessed us and increased our exposure to others. Every year I would do a big write up with photographs of development and all this, I painted a picture – saying that Geylang people live in 1, 2-room flats and all that. And with Mr Chee, who was the ACJC principal, who was the Education Secretary for Methodist schools, we made an appointment to see Wee Shaw Meng, of the Shaw Foundation, and we’d go there and beg for money. But I was glad that I went the first time, and God blessed us with one million dollars. He told me ‘I will help you’. Then, at the end of the year, when Shaw foundation gave out money, I saw in the papers, over the news, Geylang Methodist Schools received one million dollars.
- Was that why our hall was called Shaw hall?
I remember that.
It’s also important that the principal keeps a good rein over the financial situation of the school and makes sure that funds don’t just run away. So Mrs Chan did very well in that area, and she started the Mrs Chan gold medal. The gold medal for best O level student – we named it the Mrs E. S. Lau medal. It was during Mrs Chan’s time that she mooted the idea of rewarding the children.
- Were there any significant events that happened nationally that affected schools?
Once we were in the National Day Parade. The GB was in the National Day parade.
Diana Ng :
We had a swimmer, a national swimmer with us.
You know the old school had quite a number of Miss Universe Singapore? [laughs] In the all girls school. Our girls made headlines.
It was during Mrs Daniel’s time.
- Were there any notable initiatives in your time in the school? For example, in sports, learning or educational technology?
The thinking programme by Jenny Yong and Yan Hock was the new education officer in the Ministry of Education, working on this thinking programme with Ms Jenny Yong. We started with the sec 2s. Wilfred Chia was one of the ones in charge.
- Let’s talk about IT for a little bit. When you were principal at the time, I think that was the start of IT initiatives in schools in Singapore. Can you remember anything about that?
Doreen Chan :
We set up a lab with 40 computers, and we got someone from outside to come and teach those who want to learn about the usage, and using emails. He came to teach students on Mondays and Thursdays – mornings for the PM students and afternoons for the AM students. So he charged $20 per head. He taught for a few years. Later on, Rahim went for a course, to teach this, and later he taught the sec 1s during school hours. We gave them computer knowledge. We managed to get 40 computers.
- What about the teachers?
Nothing. The teachers were not given laptops.
It started with OHPs – the maintenance can kill you. I went for a course on how to design good transparencies. I struggled in the course, and after that, we bought OHPs and assigned one for each classroom, and then we had an AV club, where every class had kids who could help out to set up, to do simple repairs like changing of bulbs. I had to look into the maintenance, and we had to coordinate workshops where they came in during the school holidays to do repairs.
The computer lab was just a room with computers. Before I left, in early 2000, then the teachers were already given laptops. We had screens, you could conduct lessons with the laptops.
- How about the exam papers? How did the teachers set the exam papers?
You ever heard of the typewriter? First, you write the questions, and then you typed it in the typewriter using that special paper that was a carbon paper, and you typed on it, and you could eradicate with an eradicator, and then you tear out one sheet and it goes through the copying machine.
You had to do all this after vetting the paper.
That was handwritten! Do you know how long it took?
It was very tedious and time-consuming. Those were the days. Where got photocopier?
- Can you tell us about any memorable students?
Our students were very resourceful. Many of them become entrepreneurs. They may not take the academic route. I had one ex-student from the girls' school, who is now a lecturer at a university in the States. She came from a broken family, as did many of our students, but they picked themselves up with support and with their faith.
The first batch of boys was very memorable. We had many boys who excelled and did very well, and we also had a whole bunch of naughty boys. We had extremes. Some of them carried knives. They used to fight in the canteen, even punched the prefects!
We used to punish the students when they created trouble. If you punched the prefect in the canteen, you would be punished there. If you carried a weapon, you would be punished when found. If you fought in the quadrangle, you would be caned there. Once you were caned, the matter was settled. You then start on a clean slate.
- Can you tell us a little bit about the staff culture?
Very good, we were like a big family. We cooked, we ate together.
When we expanded, we had to take in teachers. There were many who came in for interviews. It took time for us to figure out how they could contribute to the school and our needs. All of a sudden from a small school, to a big, so the staff increase was big. So I had to manage the pupils as well as the staff. So there was a lot of work, of thinking. Some came from different kinds of schools, different cultures, so they expected different things than from what we expected. There was a lot of work required to get to know them. That was important because once you got to know the teacher, they would work for you. So the rest is history. It’s the beginning that was very tough. Of course, some teachers had certain kinds of temperament, they clashed, and the principal had to be in between to resolve it, but in the end, all things worked out well. With much prayer, all things worked out well.
- We’ve come to our last question, what achievements in GM in your time are you most proud of?
Number one, that we were able to raise the funds that were needed, which was really important for a small school, to be able to raise 7 million. That was really an achievement. Everybody contributed. The kids did their best during Chinese New Year, and they brought back an ang bao to the school. Parents added money into it. That was really something you know and encouraged you to go on because you had support. Because fear was gripping you. In the end, we started many schemes – the Singathon, the Walkathon, funfairs… Every class would contribute a stall.
We had a takeover of the canteen for the day. Parents would bring food, and takings for the day would go into the school fund.
That was the encouragement that we got, that there was no need to fear, as ‘I will provide’ as God said. God said, ‘If you work hard, I will provide you with the tools. I will provide.’ So we trusted God, and we worked, and we came up with a lot of schemes. The children made soft toys, the children made all kinds of balloons, painted pictures, and then they sold them during the one-day funfairs.
- Thank you so much, that is the end of the interview. Just one last thing that we want to ask of you, and that is to say a few words of blessings or greetings or words of encouragement for our 95th Anniversary next year. So we will film Mrs Chan first, followed by Mrs Ng.
On that day, I will wish that the school will continue to grow in friendship, in body and in mind. That the students who go through the portals of GMSS will always remember to bring along with them the motto, to live as they have lived in school, defending wherever they are, in wherever they are, and whatever job they are doing, that they will continue to grow in friendship with others around them, and they will continue to grow physically, slim sturdy, not fat, and that they will continue to grow in their mind, not only concentrate in the computer, but also concentrate on the prints, reading, to enlarge your minds, your thoughts and your feelings. And I wish the school all the very best, for the next 95 years. Those who come into the school will come out remembering that this is the place where they can be themselves. They can play, they can cry, they can laugh and they can study together. Thank you.
On your 95th Anniversary, I want to wish GM all the best, and hopefully, the staff and the pupils will bring with them the love they have enjoyed in the school environment, and go out and embrace their work and form new families and be successful in whatever they do. Thank you.