Features, Highlights

To Master, To Grow, To Serve’ – MGS’ continuing mission

Methodist Girls’ School celebrates 125th Founder’s Day

A FATHER-DAUGHTER DUET during the Methodist Girls’ School’s (MGS) 125th Founder’s Day Service and Graduation Ceremony became a serendipitous illustration on the importance of listening carefully. Dr Kevin Ong and his daughter, MGS student Nathania Ong, sang “ The Prayer” at the school’s celebrations at Sophia Blackmore Drive on July 23, 2012.

Their harmonious interaction demonstrated the importance of listening carefully and reacting appropriately to others, a topic which Bishop Dr Robert Solomon later brought up in his address to students, parents, guests and alumnae attending the event.

He said that apart from listening, understanding and application are also “important ingredients in the kind of education that MGS has come to be known for”, producing “intelligent and upright people who have a heart to serve compassionately”.

The Bishop noted that this model of holistic education is part of the “Methodist brand of education”, resulting in graduates with sharp intellect, deep wisdom and godly integrity. It is also modelled on Jesus’ teachings through the parables, which impart truths that point people to the necessary foundations and directions for life, as well as values and virtues that enable them to leave the world a better place than when they found it.

He noted that “the quality of the MGS education has been tested by time and its success is reflected in the lives of its former students who have served and continue to serve church, country and society”.

This element of service had also been noted by President Tony Tan Keng Yam, who was the Guest-of-Honour along with his wife Mrs Mary Tan at the ceremony. e President, who had previously been Guest-of-Honour at MGS’ 100th Anniversary Founder’s Day Dinner, had said then that “Singapore is all the better for having MGS pupils in our society”.

The MGS motto “To Master, To Grow, To Serve” was embodied throughout the celebrations as the girls demonstrated mastery in academic and extra-curricular pursuits, celebrated the major milestone of graduation, and showed their heart for serving others in love.

The celebrations began at 8.30 am with a parade and march-past in the quadrangle by the school’s Girls’ Brigade and Girl Guides contingents. Award-winning dance and cheer teams from the Primary and Secondary sections showcased their slick moves, following which ushers led guests to the M. E. Lau Hall, where the service was held. Attending the service were many proud parents of girls in the graduating Class of 2011, whipping out cameras and camera phones to snap photographs of their daughters processing in with dignity and later receiving their certificates with wide smiles.

Awards were also given out to outstanding students, whether for academic excellence, for their all-round growth and works of community service, or for resilience in the face of adversity. Many a heart was moved when Rachel Koh Ching Yuen, a Primary 6 student, received the Sophia Blackmore Award for her courageous persistence after being diagnosed with leukaemia.

A coffee-table book titled “Lift High Her Banner” was launched by the President and Mrs Mary Tan. The book features moments of MGS life captured by professional photographers (some of whom are alumnae of the school) and short articles written by students. Funds from the book sales will go to the Transplant Research, Unique care and Education (TRUE) Fund managed by SingHealth Foundation, providing short-term financial aid for transplant patients and furthering research and education efforts.

The book is sold at $80, but is available for sale to all MGS girls at a special price of $40 each. For more information, please contact MGS at 6469-4800.

Grace Toh, the Assistant Editor of Methodist Message, is an alumna of Methodist Girls’ School.