Saints DYK?

Saints Do You Know? By Mr Yee Teck Peng, St. Andrew’s Alumni.

Do you know DYK?

The Saints “Do You Know?” newsletter was initiated by Mr Yee Teck Peng on 12th December 1998 by email and fax. The months of December 1998 and January 1999 would see him publish ten issues, circulated by email and fax. These are reproduced below for your reading pleasure.

Since then, Mr Yee has sent out 1,668 messages, featuring the school ‘s history, identifying Saints featured in the newspapers, promoting relevant events, sharing ongoings and circulating important news both happy and sad, about the Saints community.

Monday 12th December 2011 was the 13th anniversary of the newsletter.

And, to quote him from Saints DYK No. 7 (04 Jan 1999), “If you think this news will gladden the hearts of other Saints, do please pass this to them”

Happy 13th anniversary, Uncle Teck Peng. Thanks for keeping the flame burning brightly ever!

Saints “Do You Know” newsletter by Mr Yee Teck Peng

The first ten issues (Dec 1998 – Jan 1999)

DATE: 12 Dec 1998. DYK1


ST 12/12/98 page 74.


“The announcement that the new Singapore Management University will take over the site of the National Library caused some Singaporeans to lament that they will miss visiting the red brick building.

But at least one Straits Times reader is more worried about the fate of the hawker centre next to it. He called with this request: Is SMU going to try and keep the stalls there, maybe make it their students’ canteen?”

The hawker centre was the St Andrew’s School tuckshop when St Andrew’s was located along Stamford Road, the present National Library site, from 1875 to 1940.

If indeed the tuckshop becomes the SMU students’ canteen, then it will, in the tradition of the Saints, moved UP & ON from School tuckshop to University canteen!!!

21st Dec 1998. A FOLLOW-UP OF THE ABOVE.

In THE SUNDAY TIMES of 20th Dec 1998, page 37, under the “CHEST OF DRAWERS”, there is a cartoon on the “PROPOSED: SMU CAFÉ, etc.”

The different schools and associations may want to cut out the article and cartoon for the archives.

Yee Teck Peng

DATE: 15th Dec 1998 DYK2


The Principals of: FAX:

St Andrew’s Junior College, 2723586
St Andrew’s Secondary School, 3823779
St Andrew’s Junior School, 2895242

cc: Mr. Tan Soo Kiang, Supervisor SASS 5343313

Mr. Gerald Lim, Supervisor SAJS 5325201
SAOBA 3366925
Mr Richard Koh SAPTA 7474185

FROM: Yee Teck Peng

Just a thought which the school may want to implement to tell everyone the rich history of the school – A plaque at a conspicuous place to show the historical sites of the school.


1862 St Andrew’s Church Of England Mission School CHIN CHEW STREET

1863 St Andrew’s Church Of England Mission School UPPER HOKKIEN STREET

1872 St Andrew’s Church Of England Mission School VICTORIA STREET

1875 St Andrew’s School (Grant-in-Aid) STAMFORD ROAD

1940 St Andrew’s School (Grant-in-Aid) WOODSVILLE

1978 St Andrew’s Junior College MALAN ROAD

1986 St Andrew’s Secondary School POTONG PASIR

1996 St Andrew’s Junior School FRANCIS THOMAS DRIVE

Facts, etc need to be checked and planned before implementation.

cc To the Principals of the following CoE schools – you may want to implement the above in your school too if you do not already have it:


St Margaret’s Secondary School, 4723214

St Margaret’s Primary School, 3394264

St Hilda’s Secondary School, 7865011

St Hilda’s Primary School, 7830527

Christ Church Secondary School, 2990112

Anglican High School (first located at St Andrew’s Woodsville, functioning in the afternoon, under the Principalship of Rev Canon YY Huang) 4414690

Yee Teck Peng.

DATE: 21st December 1998. DYK3

Mr. Richard Koh Chairman, SAPTA Fax:7474185

Cc: Ms C.S. Poh SAJS 2895242
Mrs. P Krempl SASS 3823779
Mrs. B. Charles SAJC 2723586

Mr. Tan Soo Kiang Supervisor, SASS 5343313
Mr. Gerald Lim Supervisor, SAJS 5325201
Mr. Harry Elias Advisor, SAOBA 4380550
Mr. Tony Heng President, SAOBA 3366925

FROM: Yee Teck Peng,


At the St Andrew’s Junior School’s ORIEANTATION DAY for P1 on 14th Nov 1998, you proudly mentioned and very rightly so, that the SAPTA was the first PTA of a local school.

Here is another first of the SAPTA that it should really, really be proud of.

The SAPTA was the first organisation to introduce pupil insurance coverage to its school. Today, I believe, it is a “must” for all schools. Isn’t that wonderful!

Here is the historical background.

In 1960 (or there about), I was very concerned about rugby injuries to our players and pupils who play games. I introduced the idea of medical insurance to the SAPTA. Fortunately for us, the then Chairman, Mr. Quek Chin Choy, was a Senior Staff of a large insurance company. So there was no difficulty to introduce the insurance concept to the school.

To sell the insurance, the usual method of the school was to leave it to the form teachers, who would go to the class and announce – those who want to buy the insurance, please raise your hand (sounds familiar, doesn’t it?).

Well, we failed to get the minimum number. It was “sway” in those days to buy accident insurance. It could be aborted. Because I introduced the concept, I refused to let it ‘die’.

Mary Yee (J1), Maggie Vong (J2) and myself (all teacher reps to the PTA) did our hard selling to the pupils. I did mine during the school morning assemblies telling the pupils of superstitions such as swallowing fruits (a tree will grow on the head) and pointing the moon (the ear will be cut off). We achieved the quota, mainly from J1 and the Sec Sch. Today, all pupils are covered with insurance paid for from the EduSave Fund.

Here is a story. A pupil was killed in an accident along the new busy Jln Toa Payoh PIE. The ‘hawker’ parents wanted to donate some of the compensation to the school. Mr. F. Thomas refused to accept it. Their needs were greater than the school.

24th Dec 1998. DYK4


Raffles’ real ‘killer’ revealed.

“An historian and a neurosurgeon argue ………….”

You may or may not know that Dr. JAMES KHOO, the neurosurgeon, is an old boy of St. Andrew’ School and of St Andrew’s House. He was better known as Jimmy Khoo when he was in School/House. His wife (Pre-U) and son are also ex-pupils of our school.

Compliments of the Season and a not too stressful New Year.

Yee Teck Peng,

DATE: 29th Dec 1998 DYK5


To: Mrs. B. Charles, SAJC

Mrs. P. Krempl, SASS
Ms. C.S. Poh, SAJS
Mr. Tan Soo Kiang, Supervisor SASS
Mr. Gerald Lim, Supervisor SAJS
Mr. Richard Koh Chairman, SAPTA


FROM: Yee Teck Peng



Do you know that the late Capt. CHAN SOON KIN, who passed away on 25th Dec and was cremated yesterday, was an Old Boy of St Andrew’s School? (His son, Wai Kheong, is also an old Saint.)

The late SK was THE FIRST LOCAL PILOT (Singaporean/Malayan) in the then Malaysia Singapore Airline. (I think that was the name, MSA, before it became SIA and MAS). Something we can really be proud of.

The other Saints who were ‘first’ local pilots were Capt. ONG TONG BEE and my late brother Capt. THOMAS YEE TECK SOH. (My late brother’s son, my nephew, is HECTOR YEE, the famous “BOND BREAKER”).

PS1 Just a thought- perhaps the SAPTA may want to conduct a survey (it may already have the statistics) of how many father/son/grandson combinations there are in St Andrew’s and as a feedback, why some/many Old Saints are not sending their son/s to St Andrew’s.

PS2 If you can, join the SAJS Primary 6, in their traditional march across the SAINTS BRIDGE (nice name, isn’t it?) to the SASS on Jan 4th 1999.

NEXT DO YOU KNOW? (Will write it when I am in the mood)

Do you know when and who planted the famous WOODSVILLE BANYAN TREE?

Do you know when the school badge was introduced and the possible reason for the 2 keys?

PS3 If you think there are old Saints who are interested in this, please send me their fax number.

2nd Jan 1999 (DYK6)

Do You Know?

In today’s The Straits Times, Sat 2nd Jan 1999, sports page 37, the lead title is “DAVID OUT TO SLAY GOLIATH”.

This immediately brings to my mind the Saints participation in the SCC 7s in the early 50s. To those who are unfamiliar, 7s or 7-a-side, is a rugby competition with 7 players in the team. The play is 7 minutes x 1minute interval x 7 minutes. In the final, it is 10 x 3 x 10 minutes.

1951 SCC 7s

Extracts from one of the 1951 local newspapers:

SAINTS 11, ROYAL SIGNALS 0. (In those days, try = 3 points, goal = 5 points) “The diminutive Saints ‘A’ stole the show when they trounced the Royal Signals by 11 points (2 tries and a goal) to nil with superior speed that brought cheers for it was a ‘DAVID AND GOLIATH’ affair with the same result as in the Bible history. … B. Ross the Saints wing three was outstanding. He scored the second try with a magnificent 75 yards run. Teck Peng put the Saints in the lead two minutes from the start.”

SAINTS ‘A’: B. Ross, D. Adcock, Han Luk Juan, Ho Ee Bin, Yuen Chong, Yee Teck Peng and Tan Kah Wan. (I was the only Sec 3 pupil. The rest were from Sec 4 and some old boys.)

Another newspaper reported:

“When they walked into the field the small and lightly-built St Andrew’s side looked as if they would be no match for the burly Royal Signals but a few minutes of play soon changed the impression.”

I vividly recall that when we walked into the field, some of the spectators shouted “budak kechil balek kampong”.


From The Straits Times:

“This game got the loudest applause from the huge crowd for the best rugger of the evening. Saints can be proud of their performance in this tournament. They are probably the best ever teenage team Singapore rugger has produced.”

SAINTS ‘A’: D. Longpoetih, Leslie Eu, Ho Chin Bin, Ronald Tan (Capt.) Yee Teck Peng, Wee Soon Hock and Fong Yen Soh (All Sec 4 boys. We were the war-kids. Our average age was near 18 years. There were 5 prefects in the team. We lost but it was one of the greatest publicity for ST ANDREW’S “Fighting Saints”.)



(1) Saints were the FIRST Asian team to get into the SCC 7s semi-finals. Decades later, another local team managed to reach the semis.

(2) Ronald Tan was the FIRST Asian to captain both the University of Adelaide and also the SOUTH AUSTRALIA state team.

(3) In 1972, LEOW KIM LIAT was the FIRST local captain of the SINGAPORE CIVILIAN TEAM. Younger brother LEOW KIM SWUN captained the SINGAPORE under-23. 1972 was a great year. We scored a FIRST in more than one sense.

(4) Of the 1951/52 players, to the best of my knowledge, these have passed away: Han Luk Juan, Benjamin Ross and Donald Longpotih. Luk Juan and Longpotih were St Andrew’s House boys.

4th Jan 1999 (DYK7. WOW SO SOON!!!)



Do you know that SAMUEL SIM, our top St Andrew’s Junior School pupil, scored 282 points in the 1998 PSLE exams? That score is only a few points below that of the top pupil in Singapore (sorry I do not have the top score.)

Do you know that SAMUEL SIM joined St Andrew’s Secondary School instead of RI? RI was still approaching the family two weeks before the school reopens to try and get him to join it.

Do you know why his parents and grandparents want him to continue in St Andrew’s? I had a nice chit-chat with Samuel’s grandfather, Mr. Vun Kyn Hee, my Woodsville Court neighbour, at this morning’s Primary 6 pupils traditional march to the St Andrew’s Secondary School marching across the SAINTS BRIDGE. (We thank God for the wonderful weather this morning.)

May I suggest that the SAPTA/SAOBA interview Samuel’s Grandfather Mr.Vun -Tel (H) XXXXXXX or (O) XXXXXXX – and his father Sim Geok Siap, and publicize the reasons for their insistence on keeping Samuel in the SAINTS family.

Do You Know that our top 1997 PSLE pupil, MATHEW GRANT HARKNESS, joined SASS?

Coming soon: –

Do You Know who was the first SAINT with 9 As in the Cambridge ‘O’ level exams?

Do You Know who was the first ‘A’ level top student in Singapore from the ARTS stream?

Do You Know who scored A1s in all his ‘A’ level papers? (At this moment, the above is from memory.)


Do You Know who was Percy Gold in the annual school awards? Or is it Percy’s gold prize?

Our faithful kubuns – The Last of the Mohigans.

PS – If you think this news will gladden the hearts of other Saints, do please pass this to them.

13th January 1999(DYK8)


In my DYK7 of 4th Jan, I posed the following teasers. Here are the answers.

(1) Do You Know who was the first ST ANDREW’S student who scored 9 As?

He is JERRY TAN KENG WAH. He achieved this in 1948 in the Senior Cambridge School Certificate Examinations. He was the top student in Singapore. I am not sure of Malaya. Jerry Tan was the school captain and dux of the school in his year.

During his medical school days, a javelin thrown by someone in the Bukit Timah campus field seriously injured him. When contacted, Jerry told me that he is alive today because of the medical skills of the late Prof. Yeoh Ghim Seng and his medical team.

Many of you will recall how Mr. Robert Cheok constantly reminded you of the safety factor when you were training in the school field for the javelin event for the sports day.

(2) Do You Know who was the first top ‘A’ level ARTS student in Singapore?

He is SIM YONG CHAN of the SAS class of 1966. Top in science is a regular thing. Top in arts is really something. Singapore became an Independent Nation in 1965. Before Independence, we had the Queen’s Scholar. Now it is the President’s Scholar. Yong Chan has the honour of being the first St Andrew’s President’s Scholar.

I wonder whether there is any ancestral relationship between our 1998 top PSLE pupil Samuel SIM and SIM Yong Chan? Shall we ask the much-in-the-news DNA expert to do a DNA test?

(3) Do You Know who was Percy Gold in the annual school awards?

I think this must surely be the oldest award in our school. Sometime ago, at a School Board of Governors meeting, we were discussing about the origins of the various scholarships, etc. I gave the lead to the Principal of SASS that I saw a plaque in St Andrew’s Cathedral. It has the name Percy Gold on it.

About 2 weeks ago I went to SASS to check from the previous school magazines on our famous Woodsville Banyan tree. I peeked into the first school magazine (1928). There I read a report that in 1912, a PERCY GOLD was Hon. Treasurer of the school Management Committee. He returned (to UK) to fight in the war (World War 1.).

On 11th Jan 1999, I took a bus to the Cathedral to check out the plaque. It is on a pillar behind the pulpit. The inscription is “To The Glory Of God and In Memory of PERCY GOLD, 2nd Lt. Scots Guard, Who Fell in Action in Flanders on July 21, 1916. Aged 33 years. This Sounding Board was Erected by His Friends in Singapore.” QED. I wonder whether this is still used in today’s maths.

“In Flanders’ fields the poppies grow, ……………. ……………row by row”. That is all I can remember of a lovely poem on

Flanders. Remember Poppy Day? The big red paper poppies? Nowadays, Flag Day – stickers!

History made easy.

In which year was Singapore founded? Answer: 1819

In which year was the end of the First World War? 1918

21st Jan 1999 (DYK9)


Do You Know how the keys were incorporated into our school’s crest/badge?

Here’s a possible reason.

In 1875, when St Andrew’s (Church of England) Mission School moved from Victoria Street to Stamford Road, the first building on the new site was the ST PETER’S CHURCH. It was used as a centre of worship, school chapel and classrooms.

In 1928, Mr. H.A. Bassett produced the first school magazine. He named it “Up and On”.

In that magazine, it was reported that a competition was held for its cover design. Most submissions had the keys and the tiger face of the “school badge” incorporated into the design.

In 1929, the SCHOOL BADGE was adopted.

In the Good News Bible, in the Gospel According to Mathew, chapter 16 verse 19, it says “I (Jesus) will give you (Peter) the keys of the kingdom of heaven”.

In literature, art, etc., the works normally reflect the life and environment of that period. I think, it is reasonable to say that whoever designed the school crest/badge, must have been influenced by St Peter’s Church. Hence the keys. The white diagonal cross with navy blue background is the cross of St Andrew, the patron Saint of Scotland.

What about the gold (yellow) colour and the face of a tiger? Let’s discuss this over a glass of cold Gold Medal Tiger Beer.

To find out why the keys, please check into SASS website:

SAJC website is

BONUS (nice word in this present time.)

In 1956, when St Andrew’s House moved to its new premises (built on the original site of the school tuckshop – the famous char kway teow), Rev Oliver Foreshaw, the School Chaplain and Housemaster, designed the heavy metal grille of the Quiet Room. The design has a Bishop mitre (a tall ceremonial headdress) and the cross of St Andrew. Boustard & Co paid for the grille and its installation.

Around mid-1960s, the wooden doors in the dining room, etc. were replaced with metal grille doors. I added the Christian cross to the Foreshaw design. I asked an old boy to install them He was given enough time. He did a good job. His surname is Goodenough. No joke! Some of you may remember the Goodenoughs in our school.

Next time when you are at Woodsville, do visit St Andrew’s House and see the grilles.

Do You Know why Woodsville is called “Woodsville?”

I would prefer to send this through the email. If you have an email address, please email it to me.


27th Jan 1999. (DYK10)

St. Andrew’s School.


“More PSC Scholars Pick US for Studies”

‘The opening address at a PSC seminar to woo scholarship applicants was the PSC chairman Andrew Chew.’ (Sunday Times 17, Jan 1999). Mr. Eddie Teo, the Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office, gave the keynote address. In his address, he mentioned amongst others, Mr. Kishore Mahbubani, Singapore’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations.

The younger Saints may not know that the above 3 gentlemen are distinguish old boys of the school. Before his retirement and appointment as Chairman of PSC, Dr Andrew Chew was the Head of the Civil Service. He played rugger for the school and old boys. He was a reliable three-quarter defender and an aggressive attacker.

In 1963, EDDIE TEO and LAURENCE CHAN were promoted to Sec 3 science. Everyone wanted to be in the science stream. It was the in-thing. DO YOU KNOW these two youngsters, first it was Laurence and two weeks later Eddie, joined the ARTS stream? There was only one arts class. It was the Sec 3 Arts REMOVE, (Oxford Dict = division at school) the weakest academic class in that level. Today we call it ‘NORMAL’. What next?

It did not bother Laurence and Eddie that they were in the REMOVE class.


Today Eddie is the Permanent Secretary in the PMO and Laurence is Head of Audit and a senior partner in Price Waterhouse. Eddie is from Oxford and Laurence Cambridge. Laurence played rugby for Cambridge. He was one of the few who was Captain of the School and at the same time Captain of the School Rugby team.

The following “boys” also held double honours.

(A) School Captain and Dux (Top ‘O’ level boy in school).

1937/8 H.D.LEWIS


(B) School Captain and Rugby Captain.


1997 TAN BENG CHUAN Phew at last, after 30 years!!!

Looking down the “School Captain” honour roll board, it is interesting to note that between 1956 and 1973, there were about 15 School Captains who were rugby captains or rugby vice-captains or played rugby for the school.

(Source: For School Captain and Dux – the ‘Honour Roll’ in the Sec School Hall.)

DYK8 – Re: The Percy Gold Award. 2nd Lt. Gold died in Flanders in 1916.

Thanks a million Colin Yin, for sending me the full story and the 3 verses of “In Flanders Fields” by John McCrae. What a powerful war poem! Check for more details.

Here is the first verse.

In Flanders fields the poppies grow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

DYK9. From Maurice Chew.

“I thought the site of the school’s original tuck shop was the site where the current chapel is now. I remember distinctly climbing up that small hillock to a wooden dilapidated two storey building.”

Thanks Maurice. I will write one on the “school tuck-shop”. But first I must find a hawker stall that serves char kway teow like that of the Saints char kway teow.


Wed 3rd Feb Community Service. Part 1 – St Andrew’s Clinic Club

Wed 10th Feb Community Service. Part 2 – 1953 Potong Pasir Flood

Siva of class 82 will assist me to set up an ANNOUNCEMENT LIST. In the next DYK broadcast, you may receive your DYK but without the e-mail addresses of the others.

If you feel that other members of the ‘family’ will enjoy reading the DYKs, feel free to redirect to them. Please cc me so that I can add them in my e-mail list.

If you are on my list because of some well meaning Saint and want to be taken off, do please let me know.

Best regards,

Yee Teck Peng.


———- Forwarded message ———
From: N. Sivasothi a.k.a. Otterman
Date: Fri, Apr 6, 2012 at 2:29 PM
Subject: From the Saints DYK archives of Mr Yee Teck Peng: 8th April 1938 is the day we remember as WOODSVILLE DAY

Dear Saints,
as prepare to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of St. Andrew’s at the carnival tomorrow, a last word from the archives of the Saints Do You Know newsletter of Mr Yee Teck Peng. He reminded me of an issue in which he had transcribed Canon Adams’ narrative of how St. Andrew’s came to be at Woodsville. 
A search of the online archives revealed two of the three articles from the series. Yahoogroups did not keep the third and it can be unearthed with more effort. If you have all the Saints DYK articles, do let me know, thanks!
This article was first circulated in 1999, int eh first year of the newsletter. How apt it is that Mr Yee would remember and remind us about our origins!
“On April 8th [1938] we received a key to the old Woodsville House. On that morning we took the school up to the site, together with the Bishop (Roberts) and the Archdeacon (Graham White), and held a ceremony of thanksgiving. Mr. Parr acted as Bishop’s Chaplain.”  – Canon R. K. S.Adams.
In Saints DYK 08 April 2010, Mrs Belinda Charles wrote to inform us about the St. Andrew’s display gallery at the Potong Pasir MRT Station which was to be launched that day. She said, “The launch of The Village Gallery will coincide with Woodsville Day celebrating both our coming to Woodsville on 8 April 1938 as well as the return of all three St Andrew’s schools to the Potong Pasir community as St Andrew’s Village.”Read the speech by Guest of Honour Mr Georgie Lee:

— beg —
Saints DYK20, 20 August 1999
Part 1: The Story of Woodsville as told by Canon R.K.S.ADAMS.

(1) Plans to rebuild St. Andrew’s School at Stamford Road

“When I took over we began to draw plans for rebuilding the school. We were to demolish Hose House, which had been Mr. Lee’s residence, and had been condemned. The new line of buildings was to extend along the old tennis court, two storeys. The leaders in planning were Bishop Roberts, Archdeacon Graham White and Mr. Cheeseman. The chief mover was the Archdeacon, who was a great friend of Sir Andrew Caldecott, the Chief Secretary.”

(2) A proposal to build a new school on a new location.

“Sir Andrew proposed that the Government resume the property, granting adequate compensation, and allowing $150,000.00 against the cost of a fresh site. We readily fell in with the idea, as we had the opportunity of a new building and playing fields of our own. All through 1935 and 1936 we were busy with schemes. Government offered us the choice of two sites. One was along Tanjong Katong Road. The other, the favoured site, was on Serangoon Road, next to the Serangoon Post Office. This site was of 12 acres. We engaged Mr. R.V.Morris to bore the site to determine what foundation were necessary. The report showed that only one quarter of the site could sustain buildings with less than 25 feet of piling. Most of the area could under no circumstances sustain buildings, or at least without enormous expense. By the early months of 1937 we abandoned the scheme, despite the fact that Mr. F.W. Brewer, F.R.I.B.A., had drawn a full set of plans. In February 1937, I went for an overdue leave and Mr. Parr acted for me. I was 6 months in England and a few weeks in Australia, returning early in December.”


(1) Source of the above article – A Short History of St. Andrew’s School 1862-1962 By Daniel Kovilpillai

(2)St. Andrew’s School was in Stamford Road from 1875 to 1940. The site is now the National Library and its surrounding area. The ‘Seafood Restaurant’, in the National Library compound, behind the Stamford Road bus stop, is the original school tuckshop.

(3) Reginald Keith Sorby Adams, (2 August 1901 – 26th Nov. 1976) an Australian,joined the school as a geography teacher on 26th Sept 1927. He
succeeded Joseph Lee (An Englishman) as Principal of SAS in 1934 and retired in 1956.

(4) Do please let me know if you have problem with your ‘attachment’.

Best wishes,

Yee Teck Peng.

SaintsDYK21, 25 August 1999.
Part 2 of 3. The Story of Woodsville as told by Canon R.K.S.ADAMS

(1) The new site – The Woodsville Estate.

On my arrival I was greeted with the news that we had a new site. The Woodsville Estate had, during my absence been under discussion. We had even taken an option, which had lapsed. However, by private treaty, the site of 18 ½ acres was purchased, early in 1938. The cost was $60,000.00, less 2 ½ %. We noted at the time that Woodsville was a good geographical centre of the island! On April 8th we received a key to the old Woodsville House.(Note 1)  On that morning we took the school up to the site, together with the Bishop (Roberts) and the Archdeacon (Graham White), and held a ceremony of thanksgiving. Mr. Parr acted as Bishop’s Chaplain. 
We read the Lesson from Genesis Chapter 13, verses 14 to 17. (Note 2). The Bishop blessed the site and we walked around it to examine our new inheritance. The ceremony took place from the platform on the North side (note 3) of the old Woodsville House. Many of the trees which are still on the site were growing, but the slopes leading down to the Serangoon River (note 4) were covered with rubber trees. The site of the present main school building had very little growing on it. There was, however, one old lightning-stricken tree approximately where the granite St. Andrew’s Cross  now stands.

(2) The Planning

Mr. Brewer hastened with his plans, but they were studied, re-drafted and occupied us most of the rest of the year. Meantime the Pickthorn Commission on Education had come to Singapore. One of the things they stressed was the need for science in schools. A last minute change was made, to convert what had originally been planned as changing rooms into science laboratories. The tiling on the walls was retained. Mr. M.R. Holgate, then Inspector of Schools, was of great assistance. He supplied us with a copy of the English Ministry of Education Pamphlet on School
Buildings. One of the notes in that book stated “It is not possible to have too many ancillary rooms”. While the Education Department had no veto over our plans, as they were not subject to dollar-to-dollar grant, it was suggested that we had been prodigal with such rooms. Subsequent experience proved that we had under-supplied the building with ancillary space.


Notes by Yee Teck Peng.

Note 1
“The Old Woodsville House” was used as a boarding house from 1947 -56. After that it was used as a temporary tuckshop. The Church of the Ascension is now on this site. When St. Andrew’s Woodsville was built, the Principal’s Residence was given the name “Woodsville House”

Note 2.
Quote from New King James Version insertedv14 and the Lord said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him: “Lift your eyes now andlook from the place where you are – northward, southward, eastward and westward”v15 for all the land which you see “I give to you and your descendants forever”v16 “and I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth; so that if a man could numberthe dust of the earth, then your descendants also could be numbered”v17 Arise walk in the land through its length and its width, for I give it to you”
Note 3.
“North side” of the school is the side facing The Principal’s Residence or the present Woodsville House.


Note 4.
Serangoon River is now known as the Kallang River.


On Friday August 25th 1999, I will broadcast via internet two photos of the architect’s drawing of the proposed NEW ST. ANDREW’S
SCHOOL at WOODSVILLE. To those on the SaintsDYK fax list, my apology. However if you do have an email address and would like to be included in the email list, do please send me your email address.

Vincent Lim posted the photos to me by Internet. Thanks Vincent.

Part 3 of 3. The Story of Woodsville (missing attachment).The third and final part of
“The Story of Woodsville” as told by Canon R.K.S.Adams. (2 pages)


Yee Teck Peng
— end —

From Saints DYK, 26 Dec 2004″The St. Andrew’s School Foundation Stone was laid by Sir Shenton Thomas on 19 July 1939 at the foot of the then 2-storey St. Andrew’s School. The third storey and the Lim Teck Kin Tower were added in 1952. The rain tree was the centre of Roberts Court. On 8th April 1939, pupils of St. Andrew’s, Stamford Road, marched to Woodsville. It was there, later named as Roberts Court,  that a thanks giving ceremony was held for the new St. Andrew’s School site. 8th April was declared as ‘WOODSVILLE DAY’.”
From Saints DYK, 05 Sep 2005″Dr. Goh Chong Chia addressing the gathering at the Banyan Tree Re-planting Ceremony:”3 score and 7 years,  4 months and 23 days ago, the entire School assembled here atWoodsville for the first time to view the newly acquired site.It was 8 April 1938, and that day is remembered as WOODSVILLE DAY. On the 29 May 2003 The School and the Alumni gathered at Stamford. (road present site of SMU)
Bishop, you  took some cuttings from the Banyan tree.Today we are here to replant these cuttings and thus re-establishing alink between Stamford and Woodsville.
These saplings are witnesses to the continuing history of the School founded by Venn.3 cuttings will be planted in close proximity.As the trees grow over the years, they will intertwine, symbolizing the Diocese,the Schools and the Alumni  as “One family unbroken.””

As Mr Yee said then, “For now, The THREE little BANYAN TREES.”
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