A Walk Down Memory Lane – Katong Convent Secondary

CHIJ Katong Convent | Once a Kcian, Forever a Kcian!!

It makes me feel special being an IJ girl. Not just an ordinary IJ student, but with an identity termed as ‘Kcians’. I spent 10 enriching years of my school life in CHIJ Katong Convent (Primary & Secondary) which is a place that have nurtured me in my artistic and academic development.

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Today, I took a walk down CHIJ Katong Convent Secondary located at 346 Marine Terrace before they do a major revamp to the old building. It feels very special to be back at KC after 14 years of absence from this familiar ground. Everything feels like yesterday. It is even more special today because I have met many Kcians who have graduated from the “ancient era” to the “modern civilisation”.

First Stop | The Bookshop

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A very special couple, Mr & Mrs Lim who have been a part of my happy memories during my years in Katong Convent Primary & Secondary School. They own the bookshop at the Primary & Secondary School compound then. I remembered spending my recess money on those country erasers and guess what? When I graduated from Primary School, my mother found an entire box of the erasers nicely placed in a chocolate tin in one of the cupboard!! So you must be wondering what did I spend my recess money on in Secondary School?! Well, I found a whole lot of school badges after I graduated. So you can guess how forgetful I was to have misplaced my badges each time!! After so much decades being our familiar bookshop aunty & uncle, they are finally retiring to enjoy life with their children. I am happy to have reunite with them today and wishing them the best of their jubilee years!!

Second Stop | Canteen

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One of my favourite canteen food – Western. My affair with spaghetti begins here. It was fun observing the food vendors’ aunties and/ or uncles preparing the food freshly in front of you.

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Looking at all these food stores remind me of the fun I had with my friends here – Eating and Chatting over Recess and Lunch! Nostalgic.

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Now they have the Queue Up lines which we do not need back then. haha.. I guess we were more disciplined and orderly back then!! Or are these for the Fitness Club students???

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This is our Katong Convent Secondary Drink Store’ Aunty. She was here way before I was promoted to the Secondary School in the mid 1990’s and this year will also be the last year she will be with the school. It was nice catching up with her and she mentioned how reluctant she is to retire as KC is just like her family. It was mainly due to old age that she cannot stand for long hours and apparently, the principal had wanted her to stay. So I joked that she can return 2 years later in the revamp compound as I believe our principal will be more than happy to welcome her back!!

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The tables and benches are exactly how I remembered them to be back then. Also, the area nearest to the drink store used to be the Fitness Club training ground, handled by my favourite PE HOD, Cikgu Rathia who always like to “threaten” us with her famous phrase, “If you don’t behave, I’ll SIT on you!”

Third Stop | Track Field

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Fun PE (Physical Education) Lessons are always conducted in this big Track Field overlooking the main street of Marine Parade (St. Patrick School), Victoria Junior College & Ngee Ann Primary School.

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Forth Stop | Status of Peace and Love

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These status had been a part of my memory as you can see from the photograph below taken during our Sec 4 retreat (if I remember correctly) when our PE attire were still the translucent white (apology for the blur image – From Lt | Winnie, Debbie, Carrie & Me).

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Fifth Stop | Stairway to Sec 4 Classrooms

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This stairway used to be 2 of my good buddies’ favourite route to our classroom as they will always pass by their favourite senior’ classroom!! 😛 (That’s what happen when you are in an all-girls school!!) To me, it was definitely a shortcut to the classroom rather.

Sixth Stop | AVA Theatre

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Leaving my hand prints behind the AVA Theatre. Apparently it was locked so never had a chance to take a last peek. But luckily, my friends and I love taking photograph during our school days so below is one taken inside the AVA Theatre with the stiff wooden chairs (From Lt – Debbie, Maria, Me,Winnie & Carrie). Really wonder if they have changed it?!

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Seventh Stop | Classroom

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Now the students are using the whiteboard (above), whereas the batches in the 1990s’ were using the blackboard & chalks (below).

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Above ^ Teachers’ Day Celebration of Secondary 2/5 in 1998 with the Principal, Mrs Kee (Centre) and my Form Mistress, Ms Alina Wee (Rt).

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Many changes have probably been made after we graduated including the tables and chairs which used to be white (Below – Taken during Chinese New Year I assumed).

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Classrooms play a significant part in my school days as we ladies do everything there, including changing into PE attire since we are all girls, so nothing to be shy about!! Because each of the level have their own classroom and each pupil have their own table, we would tend to leave our books below which led to the small schoolbag trend in the 1990s.

Eighth Stop | Gateway to the Love Bridge

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Right outside the first Sec 4 classroom is this Enormous Black Gate which I remembered it being opened only during rainy days so that we ladies can enter the school premises (shortcut) quickly. Otherwise, it is normally locked as it is the gateway to the Love Bridge that separates CHIJ Katong Convent and St. Patrick School.

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Ninth Stop | Corridors

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This is the back corridor of the classrooms which give you a full view of the mid court between all the levels.

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This is the front corridor of the Sec 3 level overlooking the school carpark / morning assembly ground.

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These are the lockers which students can rent to keep their belongings as they are not supposed to leave anything under their tables. During my school years, we always used the teachers’ cupboard located at the back of the classroom as our shared locker, piled with our books and clothes to be changed after school.

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Looking below the corridor of the Sec 3 block is this mini outdoor theatre which we used to engage in performances for Book & Music Week and it is still an ongoing tradition in KC.

Tenth Stop | Library

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Being a Library Prefect in Upper Secondary meant I get to spend at least 1 day a week in the library performing a librarian’ duties. Interesting learning experience then!!

Eleventh Stop | Hall

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An escalated level to the viewing of the hall from the classroom stairways.

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The same hall I took my GCE ‘O’ level examination 14 years ago.

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The same stage I showcased and choreographed a revised adaption of the the Chinese Dance piece entitled “Prosperity” with my juniors (showcased in 1999, Chinese New Year) and that was the beginning of the Chinese Dance CCA with me, as their 1st Chairwoman.

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The main stairway to the hall. The atrium besides it is a favourite spot to take class photograph (Class 2/5).

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Twelfth Stop | Chapel

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Since they have moved the items in the chapel last week to the temporarily location, it is now locked. No Viewing!!

Thirteenth Stop | Mid Court

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This is the mid court which I mentioned earlier. On your left is the location of the Staff Room & General Office while on your right, it should be the labs. If you look above, you will be able to see the back corridors of all the classrooms.

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I had a photograph taken right in front of this bush with a group of Juniors (1999) dressed in 新疆 Xin Jiang Costumes for a performance. Then, the bush was probably around my knee height. Now it is way taller than me, meaning time passed by quickly!!

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Fourteenth Stop |  Music Room

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The Music Room  (located on my diagonal left) was locked so I did not managed to snap an interior photograph. It was a room which I spent 4 years of vocal training in the school choir and participated in other activities. I love the fact that the piano had always been outside the music room. It allows my talented school mates to play a piece or 2 while waiting for  their parents to pick them up.

Below is a photograph taken in the Music Room in 1997 when we were all doing a Chinese Fan Dance piece choreographed by my senior, Angeline Sim.

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 Fifteenth Stop | Foyer

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CHIJ Motto – Simple In Virtue, Steadfast In Duty

An overview of the IJ management, administrators and teachers. Unfortunately, majority of the teachers who have taught me are no longer with the school. And I haven’t been able to catch up with any of them who are still with the school today. Disappointing!!

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Love the fact that they imprinted the world map on the foyer ground. It is a creative way for students to learn.

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Now they have so many encouragement and/ or motivation quotes / board imprinted around the school.

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As IJ is a Catholic school, it is common to find the status of Virgin Mary around the vicinity. This status in the foyer definitely look different from the one (below) which I had taken with more than 14 years ago.

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Another Virgin Mary Fountain at the foot of the Hall Stairway.

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At the exact same spot more than 14 years ago, we have the X’mas Tree with the stone table.

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My After-Thoughts

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Specially making this trip back to CHIJ Katong Convent Secondary is indeed amazing. All the memories flooded back as I turn into every corner, especially my girlfriends who I have spent 10 years of our education moments together. Not forgetting the teachers who we had a love-hate relationship with. It is really amazing to be a part of KC which I cannot explain, simply because it is an experience which only a KCian truly understand. I am really Proud to be a KCian!!

I am glad I brought along my husband today as it allows him to see the place I blossomed into a teenager as well as the memories sharing of my secondary school years.

So I hope all of you have enjoyed reading into the insight of a KCian’ thoughts and views. Do leave any comments below and stay tune to more posts on:

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3 thoughts on “A Walk Down Memory Lane – Katong Convent Secondary

  1. Melissa! Hehe it’s been so long since we met – Yvonne’s wedding?! Haha!
    Nice nostalgic trip back to KC – I need to swing by soon!! All those memories.. definitely identify with all that you’ve mentioned. Close to our hearts for sure 🙂
    Take care and happy motherhood 😉

    -Cindy

    Liked by 1 person

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