Remembering My Primary School (Part 1)

by Patrick Liew on September 17, 2011

I was pleasantly surprised that a Sean Lim had set up a facebook for alumni of Joo Avenue Integrated Primary School (JAS). This is the alma mater of my primary education from 1964-69.

I spent practically the whole night reading the postings. It brought back wonderful memories of my time in the school.

While reading the postings, I discovered the history of the school.

According to Sean Lim, JAS was started in 1964 when Rangoon Road School and Chung Kuo Hung Hsieh School were merged.

In order to establish a symbolic link with the past, the crest and motto of Rangoon Road School were retained.

I never fully understood the wisdom of the school motto until now, ‘Ready, Resolute and Staunch.’

That’s what education is about – to prepare us to resolve challenges and to capitalize on opportunities in life.

There are virtues in changes. However, there are core values that should remain with us.

I should continue to support and live by them. JAS’ motto is one of such values.

JAS was officially opened on Friday, 13 March 1964, by Mrs. Devan Nair.

She was elected to the First Legislative Assembly in 1963. She became a Member of Parliament for Moulmen in Singapore’s First Parliament from 1965 to 1968.

Mrs. Nair passed away on Monday, 18 April 2005, at the age of 80.

Her family would like people to remember her as a ‘simple and humble person who did her best under trying circumstances to be a good wife, good mother, and loyal friend.’

I was happy to find out that we have an amazing lady to ring the first bell for thousands of students to walk through the corridor of our school.

I pray we will never forget Mrs. Devan Nair and other pioneers of our country. Without their contributions, we will never enjoy whatever we have today.

There was a tinge of sadness within me when I read the following statement from the record of the school’s history.

‘The school was finally closed in 1987 due to declining enrolment.’

The school may be closed but the spirit of what it has taught us will continue to live in our hearts and minds.

I, for one, am grateful to my principal and teachers for their invaluable contributions in moulding and shaping my life.


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please go to ‘Notes’ found below my profile picture.

Visit my Inspiration blog at

Visit my Transformation blog at

Please read them and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!


Questions: How can we remember our alma mater and find new meaning and significance for our lives?



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