The order of the night was to dance.
And dance they certainly did – the 350 ex-students, teachers, principals and Canossian nuns who attended Canossians Connect 2014 – Danza Queens, the Canossian Alumni Association’s annual party on May 31.
This year also marks 120 years of the Canossian Sisters’ presence in Singapore, and 135 years of mission education that they have been part of.
The evening event, held at Copthorne King’s Hotel, started with a dance off competition. The finale was the customary sing-a-long led by the school’s choir mistress for over four decades, Mrs Christine Kanagarajah, who also penned the school song back then.
“Our school song is still the best. I’m always proud to sing it! The Canossian spirit of love and music will bind us for years to come,” said Ms Honey Goh, from the class of 1981.
Attending the event for the first time was Ms Trudy Lee from the class of 1982. She told CatholicNews that she was “very touched by the love of God and closeness we share between the Sisters, teachers and graduates – and despite the years that have gone by, we reunited as though [we] never parted!”
The St Anthony’s Canossian primary and secondary schools had their origins in 1879 when the St Anna’s School was opened by Fr Jose Pedro Santa Anna de Cunha of St Joseph’s Church, Victoria St, with an enrolment of six students.
Fifteen years later, four Canossian nuns arrived and undertook to run it as an all girls’ school at 111 Middle Road, and renamed it St Anthony’s Convent.
The Canossian educational philosophy aims to grow the body, mind and soul of the students graduate through a holistic education. She is challenged as a thinker, disciplined as a doer, encouraged to create as an artist, coached as a team player and empowered to be a woman of grace and compassion.