Current and former school leaders cut the anniversary cake on April 6 as Fr John Bosco looks on.

In place of the 5Cs that society advocates – namely cash, credit card, condominium, car and club – young people today should cultivate compassion, chastity and character, in order to be the cornerstone of their community.

Fr John Bosco, parish priest of the Church of St Teresa, gave this suggestion to students of CHIJ St Theresa’s Convent during their 85th anniversary Mass on April 6.

Infant Jesus Sisters, members of the IJ board of management, principals of affiliated schools, ex-principals and ex-staff, as well as parents, alumni, current staff and students attended the Mass.

The anniversary celebrations included a carnival the next day during which students welcomed parents and guests to 85 food and game stalls, the effort of months of planning and hard work.

The carnival raised funds for Caregiving Welfare Association, the Catholic Welfare Services and the Infant Jesus Homes & Children’s Centres.

Girls having fun at a game stall during the carnival.

Highlights of the event included a Ramly Burger stall run by alumni, a reverse bungee jumping station and a teachers’ concert amidst a constant stream of song dedications from students. In the course of the day, the school welcomed crowds numbering in the thousands and raised more than $90,000 for its three beeficiaries.

History

The Infant Jesus Sisters started CHIJ St Theresa’s Convent in 1933. They rented a lodge in Kampong Bahru and used it as a small primary school for about 100 students, mainly daughters of poor harbour, hospital and railway workers.

The school survived the Second World War and moved to its permanent home on Kampong Bahru Hill in 1953. Back then, Town Convent in Victoria Street helped to raise money for the construction of the school building.

There were no paved roads leading to the school until 1961. Staff and students had to trudge 58 steps up the slope before reaching the school gate each day.

In the 1950s and 1960s, the school building provided light to the Kampong Bahru villagers and it came to be known as the “Light on the Hill”. In 1956, the school started its secondary section; in 1986, it admitted its last Pri 1 cohort; and in 1992, it functioned as a secondary school.


St Theresa’s Convent in 1933.

The school underwent upgrading over the decades. The upgrading programme in 2010 and 2011 saw the addition of facilities such as an air-conditioned multi-purpose hall, an indoor sports hall and a hockey pitch.

The school offers a values-centred, mission-driven education for young ladies.

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