Social media is a powerful tool. Put that together with passionate ex-students who appreciate things close to their hearts = KABOOM = an avalanche of throwbacks for our secondary school, CHIJ Katong Convent.
I first learned about the retirement of my alma mater’s bookshop uncle and aunty, and the drink stall uncle and aunty via Facebook and Shiok.sg. Within hours, news spread like fire on Instagram and fellow classmates and schoolmates were discussing about it, along with the closure of our school as it was due for an upgrade. The next few days saw several “old girls” (that’s what graduands are termed as) returning to school for a visit. On the Facebook group, updates were aplenty with photos of girls and their teachers, special corners of our school that held memories in our hearts, nostalgic photos from the past, class photos, CCA photos etc.
Finally found time to make a trip down to the place where I spent my formative teenage years at. 12 Nov was the last day for public to visit as the place will be pulled down and movers were helping to get stuff to the holding school.
Allow me to walk you down my memory lane together:
My legs brought me right to the back of the premises, walking past the staff room, foyer, general office and into the canteen. Both couples from the drink stall and bookshop were there and suddenly, I felt like I wasn’t ready to walk the grounds or to converse with any familiar face. Vivid memories swarmed my mind and hit me like a hurricane without warnings. I could even hear conversations in my head and flashbacks started transmitting through my neurons, riding up a wave of emotions. I was certainly unprepared. So, I walked towards the open field behind the tuckshop and tried to regain my composure lest anyone saw Rudolph.
I took the steps up to the then-gym equipment area and was pleasantly surprised to see that there were still a few of them around!
At this level, it was also where some of our teachers used to sneak up on us by gaining a bird’s eye view of the tuckshop.
And a short corridor brings us to the classrooms where our Malay students have their lessons at. I remember using one of them for our Girl Guide activities too.
Walking up the stairs just before the tuckshop brings me to the classrooms at this block. When I visited, the O levels were almost coming to an end.
Walking to the next block where my then secondary 2/2 and 4/5 classes were at.
As I trod those grounds with a heavy heart, I know I’ve come full circle. These memories are precious and the friendships (and sisterhood) we built over the years will always be held dear till our last breaths. Yes, we made teachers angry, some of them cried (even the tough ones) and some of them seemed nonchalant back then. But each person whom we connected with during those years; whether a teacher, student or those folks who fed us our meals at tuckshop, these are the people who seemed insignificant at that point but only to realize that the impact (no matter how big or small) in our lives, minds and heart have already been sealed.
Forward, Katong Convent. Thank you for making me who I am today. This article is specially dedicated to my friends of Sec 1/2 ’96, 2/2 ’97, 3/5 ’98 and 4/5 ’99, fellow Girl Guides and Library Prefects during those years, and of course, the pillars of our school; the teachers. Once a KCian, always a KCian. Girls will always be girls.
Fueled by a secret obsession in being a writer. Love discovering new things & learning new stuff. Decidedly inquisitive. Interests: Writing. Beauty. Fashion. Photography. The Beautiful Things in Life & More.
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