Students and alumni of the Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus (CHIJ) family schools marked the religious order’s 165th anniversary in Singapore with a celebration at the National Stadium on Tuesday, May 28.
The celebration, which fell on CHIJ's Founder's Day, saw 18,000 students and staff from past and present attending with the Catholic order’s religious sisters, as well as clergy that included the Singapore Catholic Archbishop William Goh.
That's nearly half of the National Stadium's capacity, which is 55,000.
Ticket requests were apparently no longer accepted from as early as two months ago in March, due to overwhelming demand.At the event, students, staff, alumni, IJ sisters and even priests were singing hand-in-hand, belting out beloved songs such as Hold On To Our Dream, a song written in celebration of Founder’s Day in 2002. https://www.facebook.com/trevor.nerva/videos/10157165129277530/
Long historyCHIJ's long history in Singapore began 165 years ago on February 5, 1854, when four nuns led by the late Mother St Mathilde arrived on Singapore’s shores from the Congregation of the Holy Infant Jesus in France.
This was after Father Jean-Marie Beurel, a French Catholic missionary in Singapore, saw an urgent need for girls' education here.
The missionaries established the first CHIJ school within 10 days of their arrival, along with an orphanage and boarding house on Victoria Street.
CHIJ has now expanded to include 11 schools, including six primary schools, four secondary schools and one integrated school, which is CHIJ St. Nicholas Girls’ School.
Top image via CHIJ St. Nicholas Girls' School and Trevor Nerva's Facebook video
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