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Legacy in Action: Celebrating Hwa Chong’s 105th Founders’ Day

Written by: Tan Wen Li, Glenda (24S6K), Pang Tjin Wen, Katelyn (23S7A), Chua Jia Xuan, Keris

(23A11), Ng Xiang Ting (23S77) and Dexter Ang

Edited by: Tay Jil-Lene (23S6T)

Our Guest of Honour, Mr Chee Hong Tat, Minister for Transport and Second Minister for Finance, delivering his address at the 105th Anniversary Dinner

On March 21, 2024, Hwa Chong Institution celebrated its 105th Founders' Day — this day is dedicated to honouring the vision, dedication, and contributions of our founders. It serves as a reminder of our school's rich heritage and enduring commitment to excellence and service. 

Over at the High School, lower secondary students engaged in insightful panel discussions with graduates from the Classes of 2021 and 2022. This platform allowed current students to acquire wisdom and guidance from their seniors, fostering a sense of continuity and connection within the Hwa Chong family. Meanwhile, upper secondary students demonstrated the spirit of service through volunteering with various beneficiaries, including Reduce@NW and several other elderly homes. 

At the College, Mr Chew Sutat, chairman of Community Chest and an alumnus of Hwa Chong, kicked off the day with an inspiring talk on his experiences with communities around the world. He shared how receiving help from others motivated him to leave a finance career for Community Chest and highlighted the vital role of the social sector. C1 students also listened to presentations from their seniors about the latter’s VIA projects, gaining greater insights into the journey of community work.

C2 student presenting on her VIA project

Of course, no Founders’ Day would be complete without the annual Food Donation Drive. Started in 2015, the Food Donation Drive honours our founder Mr Tan Kah Kee’s spirit of giving and contributing back to society by providing food to those in need. Embodying the spirit of philanthropy, the college students packed food for a donation drive in partnership with the Chinese Development Assistance Council (CDAC), aimed at supporting 700 families identified by the organization. 

To conclude the day, the 105th anniversary dinner was held that evening at Kah Kee Hall, gathering more than 800 alumni, faculty, and students from the Hwa Chong family. Mr Chee Hong Tat, our Guest of Honour, who is both the Minister for Transport and Second Minister for Finance, and an alumnus of The Chinese High School, delivered an illuminating address during the event. He deeply emphasized the significance of fostering bilingualism among students and preserving one’s cultural heritage, values intertwined with the enduring ethos of Hwa Chong. Mr. Chee also paid homage to the late principal of The Chinese High School, Mr Tooh Fee San, who dedicated 21 years (1978-1999) to Hwa Chong, and acknowledged Mr Tooh's unwavering commitment to student excellence with profound gratitude.

As we celebrate Founders' Day, we honour the memory of our founders, commemorate the past, celebrate the values instilled in our school community and reaffirm our commitment to upholding the values that lie at the heart of Hwa Chong Institution. To all Hwa Chongians, past and present, a very happy Founders’ Day!

Students participating in the Food Donation Drive

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