(Above) Sister Christine Santhou, accompanied by student carrying a flag, on her run around the grounds.

SINGAPORE – The compound at St. Joseph’s Church, Victoria Street; where St. Anthony’s Convent (SAC) was once situated, came alive with the running and enthusiastic cheers of students, past and present, on Saturday Jan 31, to inaugurate the SK Quah Run for Fund. The event was held in honour of their late PE teacher Quah Siew Kow; who passed away in 2004 after serving for over 25 years at the school.

“Back in those days, we didn’t have the luxury of running tracks and this was how Mr Quah would train us – have us run many rounds in the compound during PE lessons” said Susanna Ho, a former student who is now an outdoor education specialist with the Ministry of Education. Mr Quah was also the first male teacher the school had.

More than 300 former and current students, teachers and 14 Canossian Sisters in their habits, ran a total of almost 25 kilometres, in a three-hour long relay around the church compound.

Veronica Tan, an alumni and the chairperson of this initiative, said the Run is not only to pay tribute to a man who has given SAC her sporting honour and to collect funds to support the school’s sporting projects, but also to build the school spirit and, most of all, “to draw attention and bring life back to the old school building”.

Sister Elizabeth Tham accompanies Sister Norris, who was the oldest participant at 88 years of age, in the run around the grounds.Home to the Sisters of St. Anthony’s Convent since the Canossian Mission started in Singapore 114 years ago, 111 Middle Road served as a primary and secondary school until 1995 when it moved to Bedok North. The premises was used for a few years by Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and was then left vacant after NAFA moved out five years ago.

“Many of us grew up with so much learning, laughter and love within these walls – and it is really so sad to see it standing here, smack in the middle of town, but so worn out and neglected,” Ms Tan added. “It’s time we put life back to it.”

 

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