“!(imgcenter)http://static.flickr.com/99/282393190_a0992afbc7_m.jpg!(This one’s for you, Miss Heng!)”:http://www.flickr.com/photos/jimmyliew/282393190/
Nine years ago, I stepped out of my sky blue uniform and hung it in my closet for good, never to put it on again.
I might have left SCGS but it never left me. Throughout the years, I was kept updated of any major events in the school and everybody around me knew of my fervent loyalty to it.
It may not the best school in Singapore and yet it is the best to me.
My experiences during those four short years were shaped largely by the wonderful steering of Miss Rosalind Heng, our principal. She was one of those who were larger than life but never failed to reach down to her students as if they were one of her own.
In truth, all her students were probably her own given how she has never married and devoted most of her time to building the school. It never failed to light my heart to see her beat-up little Toyota parked in the allocated spot in front of the school’s lobby. There was something heartwarming in that sight, and it also spoke a lot about the woman that she is.
She was kind yet firm, understanding yet impartial. She never looked down on anybody and was always offering the generous branch of education to any girl who wanted to be schooled in the ways of the kim geks.
I should know for I was one of the beneficiaries, one of those whose growth in life is due mainly to the chances I received there.
And now, after 27 wonderful years of helming the school, Miss Heng has decided to retire and in a spirited move, the girls decided to dedicate their October 29 Great Eastern Women 10K run to her, two days after her official last day as our principal.
It was really touching to see the girls clad in the tee shirt they had specially designed for the event running alongside me with their ponytails held up by cheery green and yellow ribbons.
And at the end of it, I spoke to Miss Heng and she smiled, turned to the boyfriend and said, “When are you getting married? You better treat this girl right or you will have to answer to me.”
And then this morning, I got woken up by a text message by the best friend telling me of the sad news that the mee pok uncle who dominated over the school canteen had passed away.
He was an SCGS icon – old girls went back to the school just to buy his mee pok tah. His version is still the best I have ever tasted and I used to willingly queue for it. He was always impassive, dishing out bowls and bowls of delicious noodles perked by the copious amounts of tangy vinegar and fragrant sambal chili added.
My favourite moment of him has to be when Denise asked for “mee pok tah without the mee pok, just the ingredients”. His expression did not change one bit as he handed over a bowl with a just a small pile of fish cake and slices of meat to her.
So farewell, Miss Heng and the mee pok uncle. SCGS will not be the same without you both.
Photos taken by the boyfriend. More can be found here.