By Anamika Ragu (23A01A) and Lim Yong Le (22S03M)
Founded in 1823, Raffles Institution was Sir Stamford Raffles’ last public act to help educate and civilise Singapore. Some nearly 200 years later, the Institution has arguably succeeded in its purpose, having stood the test of time to continue enlightening future generations.
On Monday, 23 May, 2022, selected students and teachers gathered in front of the RI200 Logo Sculpture, eagerly waiting for the ‘unveiling ceremony’ to begin. Even though the Guest-of-Honour, Senior Minister of State Zaqy Mohamad, was slightly delayed by a talk delivered on the Y1-4 Campus, his belated arrival was still met with a rousing round of applause.
Mr S. Magendiran opened the ceremony with a brief address stressing the significance of the Inauguration, with it acting as a rallying call to lead the school in celebrating its rich 200 years of history.
Following him was PRI Mr Fredrick Yeo, thanking everyone for their presence while introducing key figures such as Mr Mohamad, members of the Raffles Parents Association, and the President of the Old Raffles Association, among many others. He echoed Mr Mag’s sentiments, mentioning how this occasion was significant as it marked the start of our myriad of Bicentennial celebrations.
Finally, the time was passed over to Mr Zaqy Mohamad and a fellow Rafflesian alumnus. Having studied in all three recent Raffles campuses, Mr Mohamad was a true blue Rafflesian who held a strong love towards the school. Remarking on his time well-spent in the Institution, he held a wistful look in his eyes as he reminisced about his younger years.
Coming to the end of his speech, he wished us all the best in our future endeavours,, before finally cutting the intricate ribbon bundle veiling the symbolic sculpture.
The logo for RI’s Bicentennial is in the shape of the number ‘200’, created from the school colours— green, black, and white— such that it is instantly recognisable as an RI logo, as mentioned in the Ceremony Brief.
Moreover, the logo is designed to comprise a singular ribbon, symbolising the continuity and unbroken connection between Rafflesians past, present, and future. As the number angles upwards, it resembles a flag waving in the wind, meant to showcase the depth and dynamism of the school.
Mr Magendiran, who is part of the team organising the school’s efforts for the Bicentennial celebrations, mentioned that this logo was not the original plan. In fact, the school had begun work on designing a logo they hoped would capture RI’s spirit in tandem with the Bicentennial wall many months ago.
Hence, the school collaborated with an external professional to go through many preliminary drafts before settling on what we see before us today. As seen by Rafflesians’ thunderous applause when SMS Zaqy Mohamad cut the ribbon, it is safe to say that these efforts did not go to waste.
After the logo was officially inaugurated, marking one of the school’s larger milestones towards the Bicentennial, the administrative, teaching, and support staff in attendance engaged in photo-taking with the minister.
Next, once all the students present had their photos taken, the ceremony ended in true Rafflesian-style with a cheer— Unite. It was at once an acknowledgement of the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions that opened up such opportunities to wholeheartedly celebrate events that bring the school together, and a moment of reminiscence for the minister, who remarked on not having heard such a thing in a long time.
And so, as the school embarks on this journey to pay homage to our past successes as part of inspiring our current endeavours, it is only fitting that we partake in such celebrations in the most jubilant ways possible. Raffles Press wishes everyone a very pleasant Bicentennial ahead.