CHIJ Secondary principal Karen Tay poses for a photo with students. The school is holding a series of celebrations to mark its 160th anniversary.CHIJ Secondary principal Karen Tay poses for a photo with students. The school is holding a series of celebrations to mark its 160th anniversary.
CHIJ Secondary (Toa Payoh) will mark its 160th anniversary with a thanksgiving Mass on Jan 30 to be celebrated by Archbishop William Goh.

The event launches a year-long celebration, themed ‘Celebrating Love, Changing Lives’, to commemorate the 160 years since the first Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus (CHIJ) school was established in Singapore.

Other activities include a launch of a book on the Infant Jesus (IJ) Sisters towards the end of the year, put together by teachers of the school. There will also be a bazaar and gala dinner in November, and this will be a joint celebration with CHIJ Primary, IJ Homes and Children’s Centres, as well as school alumnae.

“As a school community we’re excited,” said Mrs Mathews Shu Quo, vice-principal of the secondary school and advisor of the anniversary celebration planning committee.

“We, as laypeople, should give tribute to our Religious for the selfless sacrifices of our Sisters.”

She added that the aim of the celebrations is also to pass on the CHIJ “legacy to the students, as well as staff who are not from IJ”.

In 1854, four IJ Sisters set up the first CHIJ school at the corner of Bras Basah Road and Victoria Street, where CHIJMES stands today.
Banner outside the school.Banner outside the school.
In 1905, secondary education started when Senior Cambridge exams were introduced. In 1964, the school separated into primary and secondary sections. It then moved to Toa Payoh in 1983 and classes began the following year.

CHIJ Primary and CHIJ Secondary in Toa Payoh thus originate from the second oldest girls’ school in Singapore, after St Margaret’s primary and secondary schools which started in 1842.

By Clara Lai
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