One hundred songs to celebrate 100 years. That was how Paya Lebar Methodist Girls’ School (PLMGS or PL) kicked off its centenary celebrations this year, with a ‘Praise-a-thon’ where more than 3,000 students, staff, alumnae, parents and friends gathered to sing 100 songs of praise to thank the Lord for His faithfulness throughout the years.
Anchored on the theme ‘God’s Faithfulness through All Generations’, taken from Psalm 100:5 (“For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations”), the school has planned a year-long series of 10 events to celebrate PL100, its centennial year (see sidebar).
“…let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Alumni President Mrs QuaheLim Su-Lynn shared: “It is only fitting to have the Praise-a-thon as the cornerstone of our centennial celebrations. We place God first by kicking off our year of celebrations praising and worshipping Him. PL will continue to raise and educate godly women who will be a blessing to our community and society.”
PL is more than just a school. It is also a family where the staff members care for the students and the senior girls care for their juniors. Being deeply rooted in Christian values, teachers recognise the calling in educating girls with different strengths and talents. As the saying goes, “it takes a village to raise a child”, and the stakeholders of the school do their best to care for the girls as they grow up within the sheltering walls of PL.
Olive Lim, Vice-Head Prefect of PLMGS (Sec), reflected on the PL culture. “It definitely has a family atmosphere. When I first joined PL in Secondary 1, my seniors befriended me and my friends, and made sure that their ‘little sisters’ were adapting well. The girls who moved up from the primary school loved and cared for each other. I’ve also forged many precious friendships with PLLites from different walks of life. I love PL for its inclusivity and respect it has for everyone.”
The Praise-a-thon showcased this PL spirit: although it poured on the day at the PLMGS Track where the event was to be held, the culture of care was clearly evident as many teachers and administrative staff grabbed mops and worked hard to dry the seating area so that the girls could worship in a conducive environment. This synergy of working as one for the well-being of the girls is what PL is all about.
Hannah Quek, Head Prefect of PLMGS (Sec), said: “PL has enriched and encouraged me, in more ways than one. PL has given me my love for learning and has brought out the best in me. Good character is emphasised, and the school takes every opportunity to grow us into leaders and women of fine character. I really love the school’s culture of care.”
Over these decades, the sustained emphasis on characterbuilding anchored on strong values has created a remarkable impact on the lives of PL-Lites. This bore fruit in many PL alumnae being inspired to join the ranks of educators and seeking to contribute in moulding the future generations of our nation. Among this group of PL-Lites, several have returned to their alma mater to continue the tradition of educating and caring for future generations of girls.
From the school’s humble beginnings with just 24 students in the 1900s, PLMGS has been richly blessed over the years to become a school of choice, with the Primary and Secondary sections together offering 10 years of holistic education to more than 3,000 students.
The school has always opened its doors to girls of all social backgrounds. Families from surrounding communities send their daughters to the school because they believe in the valuesdriven education that PLMGS is synonymous with. The school does this through providing holistic education, so that when each girl leaves PL, she will shine and reflect the light of God as stated in Matthew 5:16 – “…let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Lee Hui Qi, Head Prefect of PLMGS (Pri), reflected: “I am proud to be a PL-Lite and will strive to live out the H.E.A.R.T values (Honour God, Excellence Mindset, Adaptable, Respect, Thankful) wherever I go. I love PL for its holistic development and nurturing environment. It is really a privilege to be celebrating PL100 right here as one big PL family this year, together with seniors from PLMGS (Sec), parents and alumnae.”
Our centennial celebrations also emphasise rededicating ourselves to blessing others in return for all the blessings that God has provided. Hence, several PL100 events focus on PL-Lites giving back to the community in various ways, such as the ‘PL Cares’ luncheon for charities, the ‘PL Makes Her Mark’ rope-skipping event, and the ‘PL Ebenezer Fair’. We welcome your support and prayers!
19 Feb 2016 (Fri)
|‘PL Cares’ is a Chinese New Year Luncheon that PLMGS organised for its four long-term partner charities. The Alumni targeted raising $100,000 for these charities.|
19 March 2016 (Sat)
2.30pm at PLMGS (Sec), Shaw Hall.
|Come home to the familiar PL Chapel Service that PL-Lites grew up with. ‘PL Testifies’ is a special service that all PL alumnae and former PL teachers are invited to attend for a time of praise and fellowship.|
|PL Sports Event
1 April 2016 (Fri)
|The ‘PL Sports Event’ will bring together PL-Lites from both primary and secondary schools and the Alumni. Participants will engage in various outdoor games and sports stations to accumulate points for their respective sports-houses. The cheers segment, a key feature in PL’s sports activities, will also be included.|
|PL Makes Her Mark
6 May 2016 (Fri)
|Every PL-Lite, staff member and invited stakeholder will take part in a skipping event to achieve a record in the Singapore Book of Records. Besides the record, PLMGS will work with the community so that all the participants can skip for a good cause.|
|PL Ebenezer Fair
28 May 2016 (Sat)
|‘Ebenezer’, which means “Rock of Help”, truly signifies God’s help for PL over these 100 years. PL-Lites, together with the Alumni and Parents-School Support Group, will be managing 100 food and games stalls at the PL Ebenezer Fair. Funds raised will be channelled towards charities identified by the students.|
1 & 2 July 2016 (Fri & Sat)
|The ‘PL Musical’ promises to be nothing short of spectacular. As is our tradition, staff and students both past and present will be coming together in this musical extravaganza to celebrate God’s goodness in our very own PL style! Come join in the celebration with dance, drama and music.
Visit the school website in May 2016 for details on purchasing tickets.
8 Aug 2016 (Mon)
|The PLMGS Alumni will publish a commemorative book; by collecting the memories and accounts of teachers, alumni and students, the book aims to demonstrate God’s faithfulness to generations of PL-Lites.
The school looks forward to submissions by PL Alumni across the years.
|PL Honours Our Teachers
1 Sept 2016 (Thur)
|The PLMGS Alumni will be hosting a Teachers’ Day thanksgiving luncheon on 1 Sept 2016. By bringing many generations of PL teachers together, we celebrate and honour God’s faithfulness through our dedicated educators.|
|PL Founder’s Day Thanksgiving and Reunion Dinner
14 Oct 2016 (Fri)
Orchard Hotel Ballroom
|Our 100th Founder’s Day Dinner will be a 100-table event with girls from every year represented at the dinner. It will be a time of thanksgiving to God for the past 100 years, and gratitude as PLMGS concludes a year of celebration.
Details will be released on the PL Alumni Facebook page as well as the PL website for both primary and secondary schools.
More information about PL100 events can be found at:
Ng Eng Kee is Head of Department (Aesthetics) at Paya Lebar Methodist Girls’ School (Secondary).