Monday, November 24, 2008

St Patrick's School Chapel

St Patrick’s School is one of the older boys’ schools in this part of Singapore. It is a Roman Catholic mission school established by the de la Salle brothers. My mum’s and dad’s brothers, my brother and two of my male cousins are all Old Boys of the school (my father went to St Joseph’s, other cousins went to another Catholic primary school). And note that this excludes my grandfather (formerly principal of the primary section, now shifted over to St Stephen's) and my aunt (former teacher). So it is very much a family school.

My acquaintance with St Patrick’s School is obviously of a more distant nature. But I did at one point go there every week, when the Holy Family church was being rebuilt and the masses relocated to St Patrick’s School hall. I’d go there and look at the huge hall, and the huge school field (where my brother and cousins spent many happy hours kicking a ball to and fro), and think of the small relatively cramped grounds of Katong Convent. Then the church building was completed and I stopped going to St Pat's.

Indeed St Pat's is fortunate, for old Katong Convent building in Martia Road has been demolished and rebuilt twice. St Pat's on the other hand retains its old buildings, so old boys returning to the school still know every last nook and cranny.

Last Friday, I went back to the St Patrick’s School chapel for the 25th Wedding Anniversary celebration of my mother’s cousin and his wife. The chapel is a small, intimate room near the Brothers' Quarters (in front of which stands an Ng Eng Teng sculpture of Mother and Child). Stained glass windows line both sides of the chapel, leading up to St Patrick at the front the chapel. Of course, there is a shamrock on one of the windows. There used also to be a beautiful sculpture by Brother Joseph McNally in the chapel, but it seems to have been moved. It was the perfect small chapel for the renewal of the couple's wedding vows.

The ceremony itself was beautifully done. My uncle and aunt did their own readings, and renewed their vows in the presence of friends and family, some of whom had travelled from Australia for the occasion. The small 4-person choir filled the chapel with their voices. The priest (an old family friend) reminded the couple to remain in God's love. The concelebrating priest (another Old Boy) helped out with the mass and turned off the lights and closed up the chapel after.

What charmed me was that there were so many little elements from their wedding 25 years ago, which had been incorporated into their day. The cover of their programme booklet used as a motif the covers of the programmes they had had 25 years ago. That evening at dinner, they gave out a chocolate with their old wedding photo glazed on it, in black and white. The invitations for the event had been printed at the same time as their wedding, for use on this day. What confidence they had in their love for each other and God's love for them that they would be put to use. Sometimes it's useful to remember, in these days when one in three marriages end in divorce, that it's good to start with the end in mind for surely it helps you to get there.

May they be blessed for the next 25 years.


  1. Hi, I am an oldboy,
    senior class 1955. The class has a website:

    Go visit it.

  2. Dear KTK,
    Thanks for sharing. Impressed that your class has been in touch for so long - may you all have many more years ahead!

  3. KTK

    I am an old boy too - 1975. Impressed that the spirit of SPS is still alive.




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