METHODIST SCHOOLS’ STAFF GET-TOGETHER
SCHOOL teachers and staff they are, but when it came to acknowledging their colleagues for their years of long, dedicated service, they applauded loudly and sent forth roars of approval, just like schoolchildren.
The occasion: The Methodist Schools’ Staff Get-Together at Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) on Sept 28, 2002 at which teachers and other non-teaching staff received their long service and retirement awards from Bishop Dr Robert Solomon.
Heading the list of long service recipients was Mr Ying Yoke Kong, 70, of ACS (I), who gave 47 years of loyal service to ACS. He was followed by Madam Wong Bee Ho, of Fairfield Methodist Primary School, and Mr Saidee bin Amat, of Geylang Methodist Secondary School, each with 45 years of service (see stories on facing page).
About 1,200 school teachers and staff attended the annual get-together to recognise their work and contributions to their schools. This was the first time that the event had been open to the non-teaching staff as well.
This year’s theme was “Blest Be The Tie That Binds”, and this was also the title of Bishop Dr Solomon’s message. Touching on the importance of Christian togetherness, he told the audience that:
“Unity minus diversity equals uniformity; diversity minus unity equals crowd; and unity plus diversity equals community.”
He added that “we are all different parts of the Body of Christ, and like the different parts of a human body, each of us must live in unity with one another”.
His message was followed by a five-minute Powerpoint presentation on The Methodist Church in Singapore, highlighting the history, life and mission of the church. It was produced by the Church and Community Relations Department of the Bishop’s Office.
Bishop Dr Solomon then led the teachers in reading the Teachers’ Pledge before he presented the awards. Among other things, the teachers promised that “we will be true to the mission of our Methodist Schools and to bring out the best in our pupils”.
Two other items were presented — the ACS (I) Preaching Point put up a mime entitled “Hands”, which saw the surprise participation of Mrs Lennie Cho, the Vice-Principal (1) of ACS (I), and which had the audience clapping for quite a while, and the TRAC Youth Ministry, which had a presentation on its activities, with the Hope Centre incorporating a skit.
The tea reception that followed at the ACS (I) Boarding School’s dining hall was a joyous sight as school board members, principals, teachers and the other school staff from the various Methodist schools chatted animatedly.
Said a beaming Madam Wong, who has given 45 years of her life to her school and who was showered with good wishes from her colleagues and friends: “I am very happy today!”
Added Mr Saidee, who has also served his school for 45 years: “Yes, very, very happy.”
By PETER TEO