It was a regular Thursday morning on 18 August 2022. The skies were clear and the school was running about. But it was a significant milestone in RI’s calendar. It was RI’s Promethean Leadership Investiture (PLI), and the school was finally gathering to attend the event physically after two years of disruptions by COVID-19’s safety management measures.
The former head prefects stood at the front of the Albert Hong Hall in their magnificent dark blazers, symbolizing their status as leaders of the school prefectorial board. From my vantage point in the second-floor Gallery, I had the view of the Eagle Eye (pun intended).
We began with a speech by Chua Zern Hee, outgoing prefect of 2021/2022. He reflected on his days as Head Prefect, preparing for the Year 1 Orientation Camp. “We had to make sacrifices … forgoing Christmas dinners … to prepare for the Orientation Camp”, Zern Hee mentioned in his speech. And indeed, looking back, we often forget that the prefects put in so much effort running school events such as Orientation Camp.
We followed up with an address by Deputy Principal Edward Ng, who gave a brief history of the PLI. First established in 1993, the early PLIs would see Uniformed Groups holding parades outdoors while the rest of the CCAs held their handover ceremonies indoors. The Prefects Investiture was also held as a separate event until 2019, when the various ceremonies were combined into the present-day PLI in order to celebrate and acknowledge the role of all student leaders in RI.
To kickstart the PLI, the Board Brothers, senior mentors of the Prefectorial Board, helped the newly elected prefects to don the Prefect’s blazer. The donning of this blazer symbolizes the new responsibilities that the Prefects must uphold.
Next was the CCA handover ceremony. It involved the former CCA leaders handing over an “heirloom”, something that represented each CCA, to the incoming Year 3 CCALs. Some of these memorabilia included a replica of Washington’s pistol for the Shooting club, various sports equipment and balls for the different sports CCAs, and for our very own Raffles Publications, the Quill.
Eventually, we reached the solemn oath-taking by the student leaders, symbolizing the “Hope of A Better Age” and the 2022 PLI ended with the school rising to sing the Institution Anthem as one.
Former head prefect Chua Zern Hee said in his speech that “What will make the journey successful, is not each one finding the right path, but finding the right path as one.” In the same vein, incoming head prefect Raoul Abay Gunalan mentioned that “Together Everyone Achieves More”, a notion that can be summed up using the acronym “TEAM”.
And with these words in mind, Auspicium Melioris Aevi.