Founder’s Day is an annual celebration held in RI to mark the founding of our school. This year as RI turns 200, this celebration is even more special, with all six levels of students gathering for this milestone event. With adrenaline coursing through our veins, we headed to the Singapore Expo on the morning of 28 May 2023. Needless to say, all of us were exhilarated and looking forward to this fun-filled day.
Exhibition and House Packs
By Gambhir Luvya and Gregory Ng
Guests could enter the venue by showing their QR codes at the entrance. We were then immediately greeted by the House mascot statues made of recycled cardboard and beautifully decorated by the House EXCOs and teachers who have worked tirelessly to prepare them for the event.
Hand-decorated mascot statues (Credit: RPAC)
Each student was also gifted a house pack.
The house pack is RI’s version of the NDP Fun Pack, consisting a well-designed tote bag customised with the House’s name as well as the house’s mascot. This bag will come in handy, especially on the last day of each term as it is large enough to store all the books and files that we will bring home when we clear our lockers. The house pack also contained a kaya or red bean-flavoured bun, water in environmentally-friendly Tetra Pak as well as an LED bracelet colour-coded by house. During the performance, students were invited to turn on the LED bracelets (three modes were available! A normal mode, a slow-blinking mode and a flashing mode) and as we waved them about during the pre-celebration performances, the Rafflesian Spirit was going strong.
The Hall was indeed chock-a-block with invited alumni, guests from other overseas schools and students, who were seated according to their houses. And soon, the Pre-Celebration Segment began with our House EXCOs as our most entertaining and charismatic emcees.
By Gambhir Luvya
The code word marked the beginning of the pre-celebration segment, which featured a series of songs such as Just The Way You Are, Better in Stereo and many more.
It was then followed by a series of charming and bedazzling dances by Year 5 students, followed by the resounding Inter-House Cheer contest, where everyone shouted their hearts out, hoping to do their House proud.
Pre-Celebration Performances (Credit: RPAC)
To add a twist, the emcees engaged the students in a fun game of Simon Says. One particularly funny moment was when the emcee said, “Simon says jump” but when we landed, he said, “Simon didn’t say land!”
We finished with the Raffles Wave, our version of the Kallang Wave and the scene was so amazing with the flashing LED bracelets that many guests recorded the moment.
We then concluded with a loud and boisterous “Unite” Cheer. And with that, we were ready to start the celebration!
RI200 – A historic moment in a historic school
By Pranav Krishnan and Brayden See
Founder’s Day 2023 was filled with iconic and momentous performances and events. Here are some of the most memorable ones.
During the celebration, a heartwarming video showcased Rafflesians, past and present, many of whom have been recognised as founding fathers of Singapore and trailblazers in their various industries. Among those shown were the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew and Mr Yusof Ishak, distinguished Rafflesians who helped mould Singapore into what it is today. Other alumni, who have made significant contributions to Singapore’s society, were also shown in the video. Some of them include Dr Goh Wei Leong, who is a co-founder of Healthserve, an NGO that serves marginalised communities like migrant workers by providing them with affordable healthcare, and Mr M. Ibnur Rashad, who rejected a job offer from Google and went on to design several innovative new technologies to tackle the problem of food security and land scarcity in Singapore. It was truly inspiring to hear the stories of these alumni, as they demonstrated how they overcame the odds in order to find solutions to major problems in today’s society. Many of them had little in the way of start-up funds but they displayed grit and perseverance in order to achieve their goals.
Further building on this inspirational spirit was the prize presentation for exemplary Rafflesians, including Sportsboy of the Year, and the prestigious Stamford Raffles Award. It was awe-inspiring to see the contributions these individuals made to both the school and Singapore. Even more inspiring was how previous recipients of these awards had been invited to the ceremony to hand over the prizes and the ‘baton’ to the new generation.
Topping off the celebratory atmosphere was the vibrant and lively performance by Raffles Players, Raffles Street Dance and Raffles Chamber Ensemble. The performances comprised students from both Y1-4 as well as Y5-6, and even alumni. It was truly amazing to see the hard work and dedication the students put in to perform at their absolute best. The mesmerizing dance performed by the talented team of dancers from RIJC and alumni had every pair of eyes glued to them as they moved gracefully and with an air of suspense, perfectly synchronised with the dramatic yet uplifting music. It was evident that their countless hours of practice had truly paid off, resulting in a flawless and captivating performance.
Performances (Credit: RPAC)
Following this remarkable dance, the event transitioned into an insightful segment where individuals from four different generations of Rafflesians shared their unique experiences in the different campuses. The stage was graced by esteemed guests, including Emeritus Professor Lee Soo An (class of 1956), Ms. Laina Raveendran Greene (class of 1981), Ms. Sarah Pang (class of 2003), and Muhammed Irfan Bin Sanuse (class of 2026). Each speaker eloquently conveyed their personal journey through their six years at Raffles Institution and Raffles Junior College, along with the invaluable lessons they had learned and applied to their professional lives.
Alumni speeches (Credit: RPAC)
Professor Lee emphasized the significance of character, highlighting that it should be placed above all else. Mr. Muhammed Irfan Bin Sanuse shared his own experiences, providing valuable insights into the importance of holistic and well-rounded learning. He further emphasized that obstacles are an inevitable part of our journeys and encouraged everyone to persevere while seeking help from the caring teachers available.
The event concluded on a high note, leaving the audience inspired by the captivating performances and enriched by the thought-provoking anecdotes and words of wisdom shared by distinguished Rafflesians. It served as a reminder of the enduring legacy and transformative impact of Raffles Institution and Raffles Junior College on the lives of its students, both past and present.