Late MP to be Honoured
Leong Wee Keat
BOTH were instrumental on and off the field in building up the history of Victoria School (VS) and Victoria Junior College (VJC). Now, the late Dr Ong Chit Chung and Mr Retnam Pierre will be honoured as the college celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.
VJC and the Old Victorians’ Association (OVA) will pay tribute to Dr Ong at the gala dinner on March 8. Dr Ong, a Member of Parliament for 20 years, chaired the Victoria executive and advisory committees before he died on July 14 last year.
A scholarship in memory of Dr Ong will also be launched on that night: The Dr Ong Chit Chung Memorial Fund Scholarship is focused on helping students at the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Arts and Social Sciences Faculty, in particular those studying military history.
Dr Ong, who was educated at VS from 1963 to 1968, was a lecturer in military history at NUS when he first stood for election in 1988. During his 20 years in politics, he served as Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs and Labour.
While the celebrations aim to renew and forge new bonds among the alumni, OVA vicechairman Kevin Lam said they also wanted to pay tribute to Dr Ong, who was instrumental in shaping today’s VJC. “His passing came as a shock,” Mr Lam said. “We want to use this occasion to reflect on his achievements within the Victoria family, and hopefully inspire other Victorians to follow in his footsteps.”
While Dr Ong was instrumental in forging both VJC and VS, former football coach Retnam Pierre moulded many players who represented both schools.
Mr Pierre, who taught at the school for over 20 years, was once the combined schools’ football team coach. A Retnam Pierre Cup will be kicked off during the celebrations, pitting the OVA against other alumni in a football tournament.
A concert to showcase the schools’ cultural excellence is on the cards as well. The celebrations will culminate on July 25 during VJC’s College Day and Homecoming Dinner at its Marine Parade campus.
The Old Victorians’ Association is calling for public feedback on the controversial proposal for an integrated programme for Victoria School (VS) and Victoria Junior College (VJC).
In a post on the association’s blog, president Vernon Teo noted: “The differences stem largely from the differing opinions on preserving the heritage of the 133-year history of the all-boys Victoria School, as opposed to the ongoing pressure to introduce the integrated programme into the school/JC. One key proposal is to expand the intake of Secondary Ones to include girls.”
The hope, Mr Teo said, is to establish “a consensus of views” among alumni, parents and stakeholders. More details are at www.ova.org.sg.