By Yoon Shwe Yee (19S03B) and Kwee Qiao Ying (19S03K)
Photos courtesy of Andrew Yap (19S06Q) and Ku Cheng Yong (19S06G) from Raffles Photographic Society
How many of us know what the word “Promethean” really means? We mumble it every Wednesday morning during the Institution Anthem—“that cast Promethean flame”—, but its meaning remains elusive to most of us. For the uninitiated, Promethean means to be daringly creative or innovative, as its namesake Greek God Prometheus was, which perfectly encompasses the leadership journey of the Year 6s. The Promethean Ceremony, held on 1st August, was an event to acknowledge the unique contributions of each CCAL in bringing our school to greater levels of excellence, and marked the handing over of leadership from the Year 6s to the Year 5s.
The ceremony commenced with a wistful photo montage of the various CCAs in action, and showcased the highlights of the past CCA year. Set to the song I’m born to run, which was an apt descriptor of the Year 6s’ journey throughout the year, it evoked much nostalgia amongst the crowd.
Following this walk down memory lane, Deputy principal Mrs Reavley took to the stage to deliver her opening address, in which she quoted yet another line in our Institution Anthem—“come heed the call Rafflesians all”, emphasising the phrase “Rafflesians All” to urge all students to work together with their new leaders to make a positive change in their own roles, whether big or small. She ended her speech with a note of gratitude to the outgoing CCALs, thanking them for their year of service by presenting them with medals of appreciation, to heartwarming applause.
The handover of leadership is also signified by the handover of symbols unique to each CCA, one which encapsulates the vision and mission of each CCA in their different pursuits. A noteworthy moment was when Sailing brought out their token, a large model of a sailing ship that drew gasps from the crowd. The NPCC CCALs too drew exclamations from everyone when they unsheathed the ceremonial sword. The Clubs and Societies had a variety of items too, ranging from a box of insect specimens for Biological Society, to a test tube for Alchemy Club.
The Performing Arts CCAs presented unique items as well, such as a clapperboard for Film Society. Some of the new CCALs shared an emotional moment with their seniors as they took the stage, exchanging hugs and words of gratitude, whilst others confidently strode up on stage, perfectly poised and ready to take on their new role. Regardless, the importance of this handing over of leadership, and the weight of the responsibility they were taking on, was very much felt by all of the incoming CCALs.
Following which, head of the CCA department of the 38th Students’ Council, Chloe Teo (19S03A), gave a vote of thanks. In her speech, she cleverly used the metaphor of a flight on the Promethean Airlines to describe the long journey the newly inducted CCALs had ahead of them. She likened zones of turbulence to the difficulties the CCALs might experience in their time of leadership, and reminded them to fasten their seat belts, sit tight and not to panic, for she was confident that they were competent and more than capable enough to overcome those arduous times.
There was a collective gasp from the audience as the Promethean Flame was passed, many not expecting an actual fire to be used in the ceremony. The passing over of the Promethean Flame again marked the official transfer of leadership from the Year 6s to the Year 5s. Following which, the CCALs delivered the Rafflesian Leader’s Oath with gusto, pledging to be role models who pursue excellence with fortitude, integrity, respect and enterprise. Leading a CCA requires more than just leadership, and the taking of this pledge signifies their wholehearted devotion to their roles.
After the Institution Anthem was sung, the ceremony finally drew to a close with the school cheer, Unite, drawing us back to our Orientation days when we were all new to this foreign environment. It was a poignant reminder of how far we have come in our journey at Raffles and the long journey ahead of us, especially for the new leaders who will inevitably face tough challenges ahead. Although they definitely have some big shoes to fill, we are sure that they will be confident in their new roles and serve with all their heart. Raffles Press wishes all newly inducted CCALs all the best in their journey ahead!