Happenings

One Love, Life, Legacy

Sep 2013    
Thecolourful ranks of students and teachers gathered on the field for our Founder’s Day Service.

Many have shared that they “found God in Chapel”. Even parents speak of the Christian culture they witness in the school as teachers see value in every pupil.

For many families, Fairfield Methodist School has formed the common core of their lives.

“Ah Boys to Men” actor Joshua Tan graduated from Fairfield about seven years ago. His mother and two sisters are also alumni.

The 1999 head prefect, Mr Goh Sheow En is now back in the school as a teacher with 19 other Fairfield alumni.

Mrs Tang Poh Kim’s grandmother was Principal, before she joined the school as a student, teacher and eventually became the Principal for 18 years from 1983 to 2001.

And so it was with great joy and thanksgiving to God that Fairfield Methodist School celebrated its 125th anniversary last month under the banner of our three-year theme, “One Fairfield” which culminated in our theme for the year, “One Legacy”.

From our humble beginnings in 1888, with an enrolment of just eight Chinese girls in a school started by Ms Sophia Blackmore, a missionary from Australia, the school now has a combined enrolment of 3,000 students. As we turn back the pages of our history, we marvel at the faithfulness of this one woman (one life) who was called by God (one love) to leave this legacy which today has grown and blossomed beyond her imagination.

We remember many of our distinguished former principals as well who “built” Fairfield to what it is today – in particular, Ms Mary Olsen, Mrs Lim Bock Kee and Miss Lim Geok Kheng. They placed their faith in a faithful God, which enabled them to be faithful in their calling. The book A Brave New World published in 2005 profiles many of these stories.

Many pupils have testified that “in Fairfield there is always God.” Many have shared that they “found God in Chapel”. Even parents speak of the Christian culture they witness in the school as teachers see value in every pupil.

Alumni President Mrs Diana Chee aptly sums it up: “The rich legacy of Faith, Hope and Love has been left by principals, teachers and staff. Fairfield has also provided so many with the legacy of Friendship.”
Mabel, class of 1995, shared: “Through Fairfield, God has blessed me with a lifetime of kingdom mentality. It was the primary and secondary teachers who taught me how.”

Eric, teacher and parent of three boys currently attending the school, said: “Through Fairfield, God has blessed me with a renewed purpose and passion in what I am as a teacher.”

As music and singing have long been an integral part of school life at Fairfield, a new performing arts studio will be built. This will build on a music legacy that goes back to as early as 1918 when a music teacher joined as staff. This led to many concerts and pageants, with one of these events reported in The Straits Times in 1931!

Since then, Fairfield choirs have gone on to win many awards at the Singapore Youth Festival. The Performing Arts Studio will seat 300 and will provide a custom-built venue to inspire future generations of musical talents.

Will you help us continue this legacy by buying a brick for $1,000 or giving a star for $10,000? Please call 6778-8431 for more information.

Pictures by Fairfield Photographic Society and Ashley Teo

A highlight of our Founder’s Daycelebrations on August 2 was the opening of the Millennium Time Capsule by our special guest, former principal Mrs Tang Poh Kim. The Capsule had been sealed 14 years ago, and contained many noteworthy items of interest including a school badge from the days when the school admitted only girls, a copy of the school’s 110th anniversary magazine and souvenir bears, as well as a photo of the 60-strong teaching staff from 1999. Mrs Tan is flanked by Mr Goh Sheow En (second from left), then Head Prefect and now Subject Head for Character and Citizenship Education at Fairfield Primary, and Mr Wee Tat Churn (right), then teacher at Fairfield and now Principal of Assumption Pathway School.

M I L E S T O N E S

1888 Ms Sophia Blackmore starts a class for eight Chinese girls in Cross Street which soon becomes a school known as Telok Ayer Girls’ School.

1899 Receives its first grant-in-aid of $124 from the government.

1912 Moves to 178 Neil Road with a 300-strong enrolment by year’s end

1913 School takes on new name, Fairfield Girls’ School after its main benefactor – a Mr Fairfield.

1926 School Song is sung for the first time

1932 Students don the distinctive yellow and blue uniform

1939 Fairfield Chapel starts services in the school hall

1945 First Asian Principal appointed: Mrs Lim Bock Kee

1948 Becomes a local conference

1951 Fairfield alumni registers the Fairfield Alumnae Association with the Registrar of Societies. Begins contributing towards the development of the school

1958 School re-named Fairfield Methodist Girls’ School

1961 Becomes one School with one Principal, and appoints the first School Management Committee and School Chaplain

1983 Moves to Dover Road premises as two schools – primary and secondary – each under a separate Principal, with one Board of Management. Boys admitted for the first time, with student enrolment at 2350 with 39 teachers.

1984 Clementi Methodist Church, the forerunner of Aldersgate Methodist Church, meets at the primary school hall for church services.

1995 Aldersgate Chapel is completed and dedicated

1996 Gains autonomous status

2006 Fairfield Secondary receives the School Distinction Award

2012 Fairfield Primary receives the School Distinction Award

2013 Celebrates 125 years of God’s faithfulness with an enrolment of 3000 students and more than 200 teachers and non-teaching staff

Hee Piang Chin is a member of the Fairfield Methodist School Board of Management.

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