The opening and re-sealing of a time capsule, and the re-opening of a museum – these were among the highlights of the Paya Lebar Methodist Girls’ School (PLMGS) Centennial Founder’s Day Celebrations on 14 Oct 2016. It marked the culmination of 10 months of celebratory events which commemorated the 100th year after the school’s founding (see MM Mar 2016 P12-13 for the calendar of events).
The day began with a Thanksgiving Service, where Bishop Dr Wee Boon Hup of The Methodist Church in Singapore, the Guest of Honour, shared about “our Unchanging God”. This was followed by the opening of the time capsule in the PL Well.
Alumni President Mrs Quahe-Lim Su-Lynn reflected: “In 1987, the first seed of our centennial celebrations was planted when we gathered as a school and sealed a time capsule to be opened in 2016 on the occasion of our 100th Founder’s Day. For all of us there that day, this milestone has since been at the back of our minds. On 14 Oct 2016, many of us returned to school to witness the opening of the well by Mrs Claudette Poulier (one of the school’s longest-serving teachers) and the retrieval of the time capsule from the well.
“The ceremony brought back many memories – the well itself was built using bricks from our old school in Boundary Road. The bell that adorns it used to hang in our old school canteen and was rung to signal the start of the school day and recess time. Among the items retrieved from the time capsule were our former principal Mrs Winnie Tan’s vision for our school, as well as our former Chaplain Pastor Leslie Quahe’s prayer for our school. For all of us witnessing this special event, it was a time of reflection and thanksgiving for God’s faithfulness to our school through all generations.”
After taking out the items in the time capsule, new items reflecting current wishes and memories were then sealed in it, to be opened in 30 years’ time in 2046.
Natalie Ng of 2Hu from PLMGS (Primary) said: “Witnessing the opening of the time capsule on Founder’s Day (through the live streaming) was very meaningful as I got to know what PLMGS was like in the past. I feel very proud and blessed to be a PL-Lite!”
The third part of the morning’s event was the official re-opening of the PLMGS Museum by nine generations of PL-Lites. Set up for visitors to explore and understand the rich culture and heritage of our school, the museum was renovated and updated to house our own collection of PLMGS artefacts, capturing the memories of generations of girls who have passed through our sheltering walls.
In the evening, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was the Guest of Honour at PLMGS’ Centennial Founder’s Day Thanksgiving and Reunion Dinner. PM Lee delivered a speech and launched the 100th Anniversary commemorative book titled In Praise and Gladness. This book captures the hearts and minds of current and former staff and students, and documents life-changing lessons gleaned from their time in school. Organised by the PLMGS Alumni Association and supported by PLMGS, the dinner was attended by 1,200 guests. A reporter from The Straits Times commented that the gathering was like recess time in school, where one could hear laughter and chatter filling up the entire ballroom.
PLMGS had just 24 students and three teachers when it first started. Today, that small village school has expanded into two all-girls schools, run by a strong committed family of nearly 300 staff and, together, educating over 3,000 students.
We praise God for His faithfulness to PLMGS across the generations. We thank Him for the strong support of our parents, alumni, Board of Management, Paya Lebar Methodist Church and Paya Lebar Chinese Methodist Church. We trust that God will continue to use PLMGS as His instrument of blessing to touch the lives of many who will be part of our PLMGS story, now and in the years to come. To God be the Glory!
To buy the commemorative book or visit its museum, please contact PLMGS (Secondary) at 6281-6606.
Ng Eng Kee –
is Head of Department (Aesthetics) at Paya Lebar Methodist Girls’ School (Secondary).
Photo sourced from The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.