Sandwiched as it is between four main roads, St. Anthony's Convent is indeed as noisy as it could be. But one quickly gets used to the din from the road, and everybody feels a sort of pride in boasting of high figures, even if figures when applied to people may mean less space. "The more the merrier" is a proverb that fits the Convent: 850 pupils and 750 in the Afternoon! This is really something to be proud of.
I was told that soon there will be a new extension to the school building, with spacious, covered playgrounds, bright classrooms, rooms for Domestic Science, Biology, Art, Music, a Library .. . It will be like heaven, too good to be true. And the pupils bravely face the present stiffness hoping for the best.
A Girls' School
St. Anthony's is definitely a girls' school. No compromise about it. Domestic Science with Needlework and Art play an important part in the curriculum. I am told that the girls like Cookery the most, especially after the practical lesson when they have to enjoy the dishes they have prepared. A mistake here and there, but the girls are not difficult to please. At the end of last term they were able to cook full dinner for their teachers and classmates. A success! Not a bad idea to develop sensible homemakers for the future of Singapore.
St. John's Ambulance
Mrs Gerrity of the St. John's Ambulance must be a splendid woman if she has succeeded in making a crowd of girls enthusiastic about First Aid and Home Nursing, There is a St. John's Ambulance Centre in the' School with more than 100 Cardets who have passed their first examination and are now preparing for a second course In Home Nursing. The crowd is so taken up with the interesting work that even the little ones from Std I have asked to join the Course, So, if the fervor is maintained we shall soon expect a whole regiment of nurses coming from the School. But, of course, Mrs. Gerrity is a wonderful woman. And she cracks jokes too!
The School Officers
They are five : a Head with four Captains and they are dignified persons, as they have four Houses to run. F our Prefects in each class. one for each House, see to endless sorts of duties. Discipline, punctuality order, cleanliness of the premises. diligence in studies, lessons and homework. sports and singing posters and the class library: these are some of the jobs entrusted to the Prefects under the supervision of the school Captains.
And the Head? Oh, she is the most important of all because she has to look after all these things and in addition she has to deliver addresse and represent the School on formal occasions. That's why she is so important.
Their Keynote- Charity Under the sponsorship of the Mother Superior of the St. Anthony's Convent, the Blessed Magdalene Canossa League came into existence on November 2nd, 1946, with the following aims:--
1) To love and assist one Another
2) To help the poor
It started with a small group of 32 girl from Standard VI.
With the approach of Christmas the girls felt that they must do something for the poor. Though not all were very good at painting, with sheer zest and eagernes they managed to produce cards of quite a high standard for sale. The proceeds-over one hundred dollars-were handed over to the orphans in the Convent to make their Christmas and New Year brighter. A good beginning!
JOINED THE LEAGUE
In the following year members from both Standards V and VI joined the League. Activities also expanded. Games such as Netball and Badminton were regularly played on Saturdays. A needlework class was also started. In 1948 all girls over 14 in the school were encouraged to join the League. With the inflow of members. the activities of the League were brought to full swing, Many girls, in their spare time, sewed uniforms for the poor children. Groups of girls were taken to pay visits to hospitals where they comforted patients in the free wards, distributed fruits and candy and even small financial help on exceptional occasions. The patients felt brighter after these visits, with more courage to endure patiently their sad lot.
Excursions to factories and places of interest were also organised by the League. Thus visits were paid to the Ho Ho Biscuit Factory, the Whay Hin Pineapple Factory, the Cold Storage Creameries, the Framroz Aerated Water Co., the Redemptorist Monastery, the Home for the Aged. the MacRitchie Reservoir, the Johore Zoo and Botanical Garden. The girls have to admit that they always met extremely kind people ever ready to assist them with explanations.
All the League's activities, have been enthusiastically carried out by the members and new activities are on the future programme. Picnics to the seaside have been organised once a term and a social was given to the Convent Girls last July.
Since 1951 the League has been divided into two sections: the Senior Section consisting of ''o1d girls;" and the Junior Seclion of girls who are still in school. The present membership is:
Senior Section - 78
Junior Section – 185
The Senior members. mostly working, meet at the Convent twice a month. On every first Saturday of the month there are games and cookery lessons for them. On every third Saturday there are games and handicraft class with dressmakmg and needlework as the main items. Such meetings not only serve as an opportunity for girl to get together and to exchange ideas. but also to learn things that are practical and useful.
So far the Blessed Magdalene Canossa's League has been true to its ideal, but it can still improve and do better work
by S. A. Reporter
1952, The Malayan Catholic News, page 6