It was unlike any other Saturday morning VJC has seen this year; students, normally clad in shorts and school-based t-shirts, now sported the trademark college uniform with the school tie. It was to no surprise. This day was College Day, a celebration of the college’s progress and achievements over the years. And to no surprise, this is one of the most important days in the calendar year for VJC.
The students and parents of prize-winners flocking into the school hall were greeted with the sight of a huge VJC banner at the back of the hall as well as red curtains covering the stage. The guest of honour for the day, Mrs Rosa Daniel, the CEO of the National Heritage Board, was treated to a standing ovation by the entire audience as well as a rousing melody being played by our very own VJC Symphonic Band. Almost immediately afterwards, as if on cue, 4 members of the String Ensemble, Estee Ng (16S49), Emmanuelle Koh (16S34), Pang Lu Woon (16S35) and Ashley Tey (16S41), who were assembled on stage, started playing Mozart’s Divertimento Presto K 136 in D Major, a piece which they, incredibly, only had 3 weeks to prepare. This time around, unlike many of the concerts we had this year, the students amongst the audience remained silent when the quartet made its way onto the stage as well as when they left. Perhaps Ms Ek’s stern warning email regarding proper concert etiquette has had its impact?
Speaking of Ms Ek, the principal of the college was the next figure in the spotlight, this time, to read out the college report for the year. The next few minutes involved the sharing of the school’s commendable achievements in CCAs as well as academics.The loud applause from the students amongst the crowd reflects the pride that the students feel in their school’s proud history. Said Taranya Ghandi (16S36), “It is a good platform to recognise the achievements of those who have done well in our school.” Truly enough, College Day is a cause for celebration as not just to celebrate another year of the school’s founding, but also to remember how far the school has come since its founding in 1984.
It was then time for our guest of honour, Mrs Daniel, to take the stage, to announce the VJC heritage trail, the VJC Heritage Trail is a walk down memory lane for most Victorians, as it showcases the many achievements that VJC has, during our more than 30 years as a school. In fact, you might find some of the items in the Concourse, which showcases some of the old items that bring back nostalgia for our alumni.
Soon it was the moment many have been waiting for; the presentation of the CCA and academic awards, for excellent performances and dedication to CCA and Academics respectively, for both the J1 and J2 batch of 2015. The awardees’ names were read out followed by supportive screams from the students, congratulating their classmates and seniors on their respectable achievements in their particular fields. The rewards continued with Mr Ng presenting many of the rewards to the staff of the school, with the uproar of the crowd. Finally, the prize presentation ended with the Valedictorian, Bharat S Punjabi, giving a speech after receiving a trophy the size of his upper body. He reminisced about VJC’s 30 year anniversary, where VJ folded 10,000 cranes, where each crane folded would mean one more bowl of rice donated to charity. He reminded us that success doesn’t come without failure, and that we must persevere and be hard-working to be truly successful. In his words, “The only time that success comes before work is in the dictionary.” Afterwards, he asked the batch of 2014 to give a standing ovation to their teachers and parents, and he ended his speech by receiving four different flowers, symbolising the vibrancy of VJC as a school.
Afterwards, we were also treated to the concert portion of College Day. First up, Wushu treated us to another one of their amazing performances. Beats of upbeat music, synchronised movements and individual talents left the crowd in awe in the performance, before all of them converged into a final pose on stage.
Not to be left out, the Victoria Junior College Choir also stepped in to perform. Their performance brought us back to the older ages of Singapore, with us reminiscing the good old days, where hawkers and street food was amok, and sung tunes to the memories of “Ha Gao” and “Siew Mai”. To our younger generation, this might not be entirely relevant, but it was a blast to the past for many.
Of course, everything has to come to an end. At the end of it all, we rose for the Victorian Anthem, much like how a wolf howls to the moon. Viva Victoria, Nil Sine Labore.
Jarod Zulkifly Yikai, 16A11
Paul Sim, 16A13
Chloe Tan, 16S63