Archbishop William Goh and parish priest Fr Adrian Yeo blow out the candles on the anniversary cake as apostolic nuncio Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli (far left) and Archbishop Emeritus Nicholas Chia look on. Photo: RICHARD KOHArchbishop William Goh and parish priest Fr Adrian Yeo blow out the candles on the anniversary cake as apostolic nuncio Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli (far left) and Archbishop Emeritus Nicholas Chia look on. Photo: RICHARD KOH

Parishioners of the Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary gathered at the Orchid Country Club for a gala dinner to mark the culmination of the parish’s diamond jubilee celebrations.

Archbishop William Goh was the guest-of-honour for the Dec 8 event, which marked the end of the yearlong celebrations.

Aposto lic nuncio Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli and Archbishop Emeritus Nicholas were also among the 550 or so people who attended the event.

The evening celebration included musical entertainment by veteran Singapore band, Matthew & the Mandarins, and the cutting of the anniversary cake.

At the dinner, the church also launched its quarterly newsletter, Heart Beat, and its revamped website, http://www.ihm.sg.

According to information on the site, the church, located on Highland Road, started as a chapel in 1953 to serve the Catholics of Serangoon 5th and 6th mile, and the Paya Lebar areas.

In 1992, extensions were made to the building to cater to increasing parishioners. However, as the numbers grew over the decades to more than 6000, there was a pressing need for a new church building.

In 1999, the parish assembly approved plans to build a new church but insisted that the “kampong spirit” of the church be retained, i.e. no high buildings.

The current building (left) has only one tall structure, its belfry.

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