The Catholic High Alumni was established to provide a platform for all graduates of Catholic High School to interact through social, cultural, sports, career and academic activities, and to further strengthen our bond with our Alma Mater and to assist the School wherever necessary.
Although operating without a permanent office in the initial years, the executive committee enthusiastically pressed on, organizing various events, including seminars, cultural shows, walks, benefit performances amongst others. The Alumni has also spared no effort in raising funds for the new school building for the alma mater.
A bunch of graduates of Catholic High School students banded together to form a Pro-tem committee to set up the Catholic High School Old Boys’ Association (CHA). Their vision was to strengthen the relationship they had formed whilst in school, and to maintain their collective bond to the Alma Mata.
The registration of CHA was approved in July 1969. Immediately, Sub-committees were formed with a specific focus, including education, publishing, sports, the Arts, Charity and Recreational aspects.
The CHA’s inaugural activity was to organize a series of talks our secondary school students. Old boys who were lecturers of both the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University were invited to talk on topics such as ‘The importance of New Mathematics, ‘Bilingualism’ and ‘Solid-state physics’.
The inauguration of the first CHA Executive Committee was held on 4 January 1970 at the school hall, on the fourth level of the secondary building at the Queen Street. Catholic High School’s first principal and Principal Bro Joseph were present to witness this momentous event.
January to 27 February. CHA and then Adult Education Promotion Board organized a series of eight lectures on commercial and the legal topics, including Management Accounting, Budgeting, and Taxation, commercial and criminal law. The speakers of these lectures all contributed their lecture fees to the OBA’s fund.
25 – 28 February. The CHA and the Nanyang Shangbao Union sponsored a concert -“Night of the Stars” -, which was held at National Theater, to raise funds for the Alma Mater’s school extension fund and the Disabled Children’s welfare fund. A regional cast of celebrities from Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore helped to raise approximately $50, 000 of which, $24,542 went to the school building fund and the remaining $26,177 went towards Disabled Children’s welfare fund.
CHA established a scholarship fund. Three top students in GEC “O” examinations were awarded the scholarship.
CHA organized a concert by the “Taipei Children’s Choir” to raise funds for the CHA. Held at the Singapore Conference Hall over 2 nights in mid August, the concert raised net proceeds of $16,719.30.
The inaugural “Member’s Children Scholarship” was awarded to the sons of three of CHA members.
The CHA organised a concert at the Secondary School Hall. The concert was performed by the Taipei Housewives’ Voice Choir.
17 August. The CHA organised a memorial service for Catholic High School’s first Principal, Yao Kok Hwa. The memorial service was attended by a few hundred people. A Yao Kok Hwa Scholarship was also established to honour Mr Yao’s contributions to Catholic High School and his contributions to the education system in Singapore.
17 August. A concert was organized by CHA at the Yamaha Music Hall.
14 September. Eng Hwa Cinema held its first movie screening. The Cinema operator pledged its first day takings of approximately $6,000 to the to the Yao Kok Hwa scholarship fund. 19 outstanding students were the first beneficiaries of the scholarship.
25 July. CHA organized a concert performed by the Taipei Children’s Choir at the Hwa Chong Junior College.
27 Feb. CHA organised a Chinese New Year Cultural Night at the Victoria Theatre with 10 items. Response was overwhelming, and played to a full theatre.
30 Jan. CHA organised the Chinese New Year celebration in School.
20 June. CHA organised a fun fair at Dover Road Swimming Pool.
19 May. Inaugural Bro Subran Mathematics and Science book prize was awarded.
8 Sept. CHA organised a Computer Appreciation Talk.
8 March. A Chinese New Year Dinner was organized at the Furama Hotel.
The Alumni newsletter was revamped and renamed as “RAILS” （双轨）and published in color, marking a new chapter in our communication medium with alumni members.
25 Sept. CHA organised a Walkathon around Bishan.
Feb 18. A Talk on the ‘Value of a Bilingual Education, from the Catholic High School’s Perspective’ was held at the Plaza Hotel. Prof Ow Chin Hock was the moderator and speakers included late Professor Chao Tse Seng, Dr Yap Hock Seng, Chua Chin Kiat and Chen Hung. There were substantial media coverage on the event.
Oct 13. Organised a first ever grand dinner celebrating school and alumni anniversaries. It was held at The Mandarin on 13th October and filled 103 tables. Guest of Honor was Dr Seet Ai Mei, Minister of State for Education. At around 9.30pm, all participants received a copy of Lianhe ZaoBao for the following day with coverage of our annual dinner. This was specially arranged and known as ‘第一次版”.
In conjunction with the annual dinner, the alumni held a joint arts exhibition showing paintings of 2 alumni professional artists, Chua Ek Kay (蔡逸溪) and Ng Yak Whee (黄意会). Some of their paintings were sold.
30 August. A talk on “Handling Stress in Today’s Modern Lifestyle” was held The Pines Club. Speaker was Dr. Yeo Seem Huat.
Oct 13. The Catholic High School 56th and Catholic High Alumni 23rd Anniversary Double Celebration Dinner was held at the Mandarin Hotel.
CHA organised an Art Exhibition featuring works by old boys.
23 May. CHA organised a Lucky Draw in aid of the Catholic High School Building Fund at the Mandarin Hotel. A book entitled “100 Classical Poetry” was published, with the proceeds from the first 3000 copies pledged to the school building fund.
8 August. CHA organized a Homecoming high tea reception in honour of our Principal Bro Joseph.
27 June. CHA organized a Cross Country Walk and Jog at the MacRitchie Reservoir to raise funds.
July 18. The inaugural Catholic High Alumni and St Nicholas Girl’s Combined Golf Game was held at the SICC.
Oct 13. The Alumni celebrated its 25th anniversary with the annual dinner held at the new school compound with 138 tables, a record. Guest of Honor Dy Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong unveiled the Alumni new logo designed by old boy Ng Yak Whee.
The Alumni helped in establishing a multi-media archive in school premise on the occasion of official opening. The Archive was named “GALERIE EVERGREEN” (长青馆).It took more than 6 months from conceptualization to fruition, and won praises from the Guest of Honor.
At the annual dinner held at Neptune Theatre Restaurant, the Alumni launched “Bro Joseph Chang Scholarship Fund (张世典教育基金). The response was overwhelming and we collected $350,000. It was a great way the alumni showed their appreciation to a caring and accomplished educationist.
The Alumni responded to Bro Joseph’s request and started the yearly distribution of moon cakes to retired teachers on the occasion of mid-autumn festival. This is still practised as of now.
The Alumni also launched a “MENTORSHIP” scheming as a form of contribution towards enhancing quality of education to existing students. Selected students were paired with old boy volunteers.
The alumni did another fund raising exercise to increase the coffer in “Bro Joseph Chang Scholarship Fund” at the annual dinner. The amount pledged was $308,000.
The Alumni organized the first ever overseas trip for members along the “Silk Route” in China. A chartered bus was specially decorated and named “RAILS #1” (双轨一号) carried the group during the land journey within China.
At the annual dinner held on 13th October, the alumni working and living at Shanghai were hooked up with the main dinner venue at The Mandarin via video conferencing facilities. This was a highlight of the evening and was reported by Lianhe ZaoBao the following day.
On 3rd March, the Alumni announced that we would work closely with St Nicholas Alumnae Association in promoting and initiating projects with the objective of benefiting students of our respective schools.
March 29. The Alumni published a book entitled ‘我们的感情故乡—公教中学的故事’.The 270-page book details 5 decades of events and happenings at our beloved alma mater and was launched at 222 Queen Street. Dr Su Guan Ming graced the occassion as the Guest of honour. Special thanks must be given to old boy Ng Wai Choy, without whose dedication and perseverance, it would not have been printed.
The Alumni held jointly with Lianhe Zao Bao for the first time a public forum entiled “ The future and challenges of Tertiary Education in Singapore”. The speakers at the forum were old boys Dr Su Guaning, Dr Tan Chin Tiong, Prof Chong Chi Tat, the NTU President, SMU Provost and NUS Dy President/Provost respectively. The moderator of the forum was old boy Lim Jim Koon, Chief Editor of Lianhe ZaoBao. The forum was attended by 600, a record attendance in alumni history.
The Alumni organized a massive fund-raising exercise at the annual dinner in response to the call from the school for the funding needs of up-grading under “PRIME” .Old boys rise to the occasion with pledges amounting to $750,000 at the dinner. Lianhe ZaoBao gave us extensive corage the following day. There were additional pledges after the dinner. Total amount donated by old boys substantially exceeded $1 million.
The Alumni organized the first ever overseas gourmet trip to Malacca for old boys and thear family members.
Encouraged by the Alumni and the school, 6 old boys from 1940’s commissioned a half-body bronze statue of late Yao Kok Wah, the first principal of our alma mater in memory of his enormous contributions to the school. This statue is placed at a prominent spot at the school premise.
In June, the school agreed to open up facilities every Saturday morning for the old boys for sports and recreational activities. The Alumni would work hand in hand with the school in promoting “Catholic High Recreation Club” among old boys.
In keeping with our school vision and tradition, The Alumni held the first “Bi-cultural Competition” among students from sec 1 to Sec 3. In preliminary rounds, NTU lecturers and Toastmasters were invited as judges. The panel of judges in the grand final were Dr Su Guaning (Chief) , Prof Chong Chi Tat and Lim Jim Koon. MP Chan Soo Sen gave away the 3 top prizes.