ON MARCH 2, 2009, representatives of the ACS Board of Governors, The Methodist Church in Singapore and the Methodist Schools’ Foundation joined members of the Board of Management, staff, students and parents of ACS (International) for the ground-breaking ceremony for the new Sport Complex.
The Guest-of-Honour was Mr Peter Lim, who has had two children at the school and who has given a signifi cant donation to the building fund. The new Sports Hall will be named after his father, Lim Seng Guan.
Also present were the architect, Mr Theodore Chan (of CIAP), and Mr Frankie Cheah and Mr Lee Puay Seng (of Lim Keenly Pte Ltd, the contractors).
The new complex will include a sports hall, a gymnasium, a PE Department, changing rooms, a medical centre, classrooms and resources rooms and offices for the Preaching Point at ACS (International).
After a welcome address by the Principal, the Rev Dr John Barrett, and a speech by the Chairman of the Board of Management, Mr Tan Wah Thong, representatives of the various stakeholders dug the ground. They were Bishop Dr Robert Solomon (representing The Methodist Church in Singapore); Mr Richard Seow; (Chairman of the ACS Board of Governors); Mr Tan (Chairman, ACS (International) Board of Management); Mr Peter Lim; the Rev Dr Barrett; Miss Alison Lim, (Joint Senior
Prefect); the Rev David Wee (Pastor, ACS (International) Preaching Point); and Mrs Severin Goh (Joint Chairman, PSP – the Parent-Support-Partners).
In his speech, Mr Tan said the Government had just granted a 30-year lease for the school site. He said: “We recognise the facilities of ACS (International) are not up to par. By building an air-conditioned indoor sports hall that can hold about 1,000 students and together with the auxiliary facilities, we will improve and broaden the scope of meeting the school’s sports and physical education needs.”
He thanked the many generous people and organisations that have made the project possible. They included Mr Peter Lim, the estate of an ACS Old Boy, the late Mr Foo Hee Lim, Barker Road Methodist Church, parents of students and many wellwishers.
He also thanked Bishop Dr Solomon and The Methodist Church in Singapore for their “unstinting support” to the school.
Bishop Dr Solomon then prayed and gave the Blessing.
IN 1888, a missionary, Sophia Blackmore, started a school for Chinese girls in a Peranakan enclave known as Telok Ayer. She had arrived in Singapore the year before, with a mission to “gather in the children and help build up a church”.
The school grew steadily and during the Christmas holidays in 1912, moved into a new school building on Neil Road. The school, formerly known as the Telok Ayer Girls’ School, was renamed Fairfield Girls’ School in honour of Mr Fairfield, an American philanthropist and staunch Christian who had given $5,000 to the school in 1911.
For many years since, Fairfield functioned as a full school for girls. Then, in 1983, the school underwent several momentous changes. First of all, it moved from Neil Road to its present site on Dover Road. With the move, it ceased to be a full school and became two distinct co-educational schools – Fairfield Methodist Primary School (FMPS) and Fairfield Methodist Secondary School (FMSS).
The links between the two schools remain strong. Both come under the care of the Fairfield Methodist School Board of Management (FMSBOM) and with the affiliation policy, FMSS is the secondary school of choice for many pupils from FMPS so that they can undergo 10 years of education in Fairfield.
Finally, January 2009 saw the Fairfield schools, with the blessings of the alumni, teachers, pupils and parents, ready to take on the common prefix of Fairfield Methodist School. The revised school names – Fairfield Methodist School (Primary) and Fairfield Methodist School (Secondary) – better reflect the common founding, heritage and Methodist ethos of both schools.
Goh Hui Ling is the HOD for English and Literature, Fairfi eld Methodist School (Secondary).