Saturday, November 10, 2012

Primary School Diamond Jubilee

Fifty years ago in 1962, I enrolled into Princess Elizabeth Estate School as a Primary One pupil.
I was placed into Primary 1C under the care of Miss Tan Gek Eng. Six years later, I graduated from this school.

Since that time, I have not been back to the school except for a short period from 1994 to 1996, when I placed my son in my alma mater for his primary school education. Even then, I hardly visited the school except for the occasional parents-teacher meetings. I had never attended any of its anniversary celebrations, be it the 25th, 30th or 50th.
This year 2012, the school celebrates its 60th Diamond anniversary.

So what made it so different that I finally attended an anniversary dinner?
Well, for one, it may be because of this very blog that I maintain about Princess Elizabeth Estate.
The primary school is intrinsically connected with the old estate.
(Although the school had moved to Bukit Batok New Town). 

In fact, it is probably the only surviving entity from the old estate as with the old school building that still exists at Elizabeth Drive.
And since it's the only remaining survivor from our time I should at least see if some connections are still to be found.

Another reason was that I was persuaded by some of you who read my blog and I would be letting you all down by not turning up. Thanks especially to Shoen Kang who arm-wrestled me to attend by getting his brother Shoen Yih who was my old classmate at PEES to attend as well. I guess it was a good chance for an old reunion of sorts.

The celebrations were held last night, 9 Nov 2012, at the school premises at Bukit Batok.
The guest of honour was Dr Tony Tan, the President of Singapore.
The theme for their anniversary celebration was From Golden to Diamond which meant they focussed on the last 10 years of school development. Probably in line with the current principal's tenure?

As expected, I didn't recognise any of the people there, most being from the later generation.
But at least I got to meet people I already knew through facebook and through this blog like Wendy Ng, Hrh A Sean, Shoen Keng and his siblings. It was the first time we were meeting each other in person.

Here are some pictures I took of the event.

President Tony Tan about to cut the 60th birthday cake.

The school hall where the dinner was held.

Guests at my table,  Andrew, Wendy and Shoen Yih

All attendees were given a goodies bag - door gifts and souvenirs.

Included in each bag was a unique gift made by the students themselves. Mine was from Daniel of Pri 5E.

Everyone went home with a huge diamond! I am rich now.

Former teachers with former students.
Mrs Lim Choon Hui, Wendy Ng, Hrh A Sean (Andrew), Yum Shoen Keng, Mrs Kannan, Mrs Krishna.

Mrs Kannan chatting with Shoen Keng and Shoen Li.
Mrs Kannan came over specially to our table to say she reads this blog!

Andrew and Wendy,  former classmates!

Their new gallery showcases.

Memorabilia of past events at Princess Elizabeth primary school

The old school bell.

Hmm, wonder what the Swiss Cottage Sec Sch badge is doing in the showcase?
What is missing from the display is an old PEES school badge, the original one with the latin motto.


  1. Yum Shoen kengNovember 12, 2012

    I made contact with Mr Tirlok Singh this morning!!! Trying late last evening ..Googling and notice a familiar name Tirlok Singh Kler in Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha website.. Tried the contact number and Bingo!!

  2. Thank you James for the pics of the jubilee dinner. I really regretted for not attending. Memories...happy & sad.

  3. If Mrs Kannan is reading this blog, I want to take this opportunity to thank her for teaching me in 1979 and 1980. Even she was known to be 'very strict' and ' very very fierce' but she still remains to be one of my favourite teachers. Though she was not my form teacher, i felt she was more concern and caring than my form teacher Mrs Agnes Lim.

  4. Hi Anon. if Mrs Kannan does read this blog, as she says she does, it might be good if you leave a name? I am sure she'll be happy to remember you by name.

  5. I regret not knowing about the anniversary celebrations, otherwise I would have tried my best to be there. My three younger brothers and I spent all of our primary school education at PEES.

  6. It was an interesting night. All thanks my brother, Shoen Keng, highlighting this to me. Great to be meeting James after all these decades. There was actually 2 "generation" of PEES studnents at our table - the ones when the school badge has the latin motto "Patientia et Sapientia" and the ones after :)

    The book given out that night unfortunately contained a few mistakes - it still referred to the old school as Princess Elizabeth Estate Primary School when it should have been simply (and uniquely) Princess Elizabeth Estate School. Also, I think some of the pictures referred to visitors from Oman and not Othman.

    My wife was unable to attend so I had our 4 year old son, Nicholas, along for the evening, to have a look at "daddy's primary school." I swung by the old school site at Elizabeth Drive the other day and Nicholas was confused that "daddy's primary school" is here and not there!

  7. I remember Mrs Kannan :)

  8. I studied in Princess from 1988 to 1993. Wow I remember the very popular "One-leg" competitions in the mornings before assembly. It really helped me developed my burst of speed in later athletic contests in secondary school....