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The Big 60

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in community, education, Social News

 


The anniversary cake done by Mr. Baker’s Shop
 


His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah ibni His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Her Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah binti Pengiran Haji Salleh Ab Rahaman receiving a token of appreciation from Stephen Ong, Chairman of St Andrew’s School Board of Governors and Jane Keasberry, Principal of St. Andrew’s School.
 

St. Andrew’s School (SAS) alumni from as far as London, Hong Kong, Melbourne and Singapore, flew into the country to attend the school’s Diamond Jubilee Alumni Gala Dinner yesterday night at the Plenary Hall of International Convention Centre (ICC) in Berakas.

His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah ibni His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Her Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah binti Pengiran Haji Salleh Ab Rahaman, who were also former students of the school, graced the dinner.

Their Royal Highnesses were greeted upon arrival by Chairman of St Andrew’s School Board of Governors, Stephen Ong and Principal Jane Keasberry.

The colourful evening started with the welcoming address by the principal followed with another speech by Ong after which Their Royal Highnesses were ushered to the cake cutting ceremony to mark the event.

Keasberry in her welcoming address among others noted that the gala dinner is a platform for meeting up and reconnecting with former classmates, teachers and staff of the school.

She pointed out that with the formal schooling (foundational-secondary years) provided at SAS, each one of the students can testify to the strong foundation received from their alma mater.

“Education at SAS has made us what we are now with many of us serving and holding key positions in the community and contributing strongly to the development of Brunei Darussalam.”

SAS began with 70 boys and girls 60 years ago in January 1957 and it was founded by the late Reverend Canon Paul Chong En Siong who together with his daughters Margaret, Kathleen and Grace, were the first teachers in the makeshift “school”, at the back of the St Andrew’s church vicarage.

 

 


The Crown Prince’s former classmates
 


Her Royal Highness Princess Sarah’s former classmates
 


Singing the national anthem
 

 


Sharing a light moment during dinner
 


Their Royal Highnesses with Jane Keasberry
 


Former SAS students with Stephen Ong
 


With Cikgu Chong
 


Our junior, junior huhu
 


The happening table among the lot
 


Still best friends after a long time
 

Over time, the first chairman of the Board of Governors, Dato Ong Kim Kee generously donated a piece of land and the first set of classrooms with wooden floors and walls were built on this site and later with generous funding from parents and other kind individuals, more classrooms were added.

St Andrew’s School, with the hard work of the former and current Board of Governors, principals and senior management team, has grown to 1,710 students in strength with 106 teachers and staff, Keasberry said adding that it will continue to grow from strength to strength with continued support from the community.

The dinner also saw a slide show presentation as well as several stage performances including a tribute by the alumnus.

Their Royal Highness also consented to a group photo session with the Board of Governors and School Management team as well as a tour of the exhibition booths displayed at the hallway. Text courtesy of Lyna Mohd of Borneo Bulletin.

 

 


With our former teacher Normah
 


Our batch
 


Another junior of ours
 

 

 


Back in the late 50s
 

 

 


The performers from St. Andrew’s School
 


Singing the school song
 


Hello Elva. Here was where we sign our memories
 

Rano’s take: Definitely I had a great time catching with my buddies from my class with Pg. Anak Ali and Rashid @ Rupert and not forgetting our former teachers from the school, Mrs. Ong (Maths), Mr. Chong (Malay and now Deputy Principal), Ms. Normah (Malay) and ever bubbly Mrs. Shafee (history). It was good to see familiar faces though our batch didn’t turn up that much and I was amazed that some of the people that I know used to be in SAS.

Of course, the most sought for teacher was Mrs. Shafee and it was funny to see her frowning when she tried to recall her former student names, tracking back to the 80s and the 90s. For sure, she still remembers me as we tend to bump to each other once in a while or so. She definitely has touched many lives of our students and shaped to where they are now. A big thank you to all the teachers who played parts in our lives too.

The only person that I really wanted to see or meet was Mr. Koshy, our Maths teacher and also the Principal of SAS back then. He had the biggest cheers when his picture popped up on the screen. I hope he’s in good health.

Thank you, Stephen Ong, for your hospitality and we all had a wonderful evening. The legacy continues in St. Andrew’s School and I’m already seeing better things happening in SAS. Keep up the great work!!

 

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A blogger since 2002, using platforms from blogspot, joomla and now currently wordpress. A readership that stands on average of 20,000 visits per month. Also on active on social media platform on IG, Facebook and Snapchat (@ranoadidas)

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