The island nation of Singapore is home to many traditions since its founding in 1818. However, it is most interesting to note that nothing has quite made its mark, than an educational institution built to the glory of God.

On 1st March 1886, Bishop William F Oldham, a Methodist pastor and his wife started a small school, in a quaint shophouse along a quiet street in old Singapore. It was called the Anglo-Chinese School, because the English Language was taught in the morning, followed by lessons in Mandarin after lunch, it was attended only by 13 pupils, a humble beginning.

However, due to the surge of students that followed, Bishop Oldham moved the school to a building in Coleman Street in the city, where the first Methodist Chapel had already been established. The Methodist Chapel served the school while the missionaries and some students stayed in the school building itself.

Following that, the Methodist Mission subsequently purchased "Bellevue" - a building in the heart of the island's commercial district and moved the boarders there. This boarding house was later renamed "Oldham Hall" in 1896, after the school's founder, and it still exists today.

Despite being a relatively new school then, the Anglo-Chinese School was so successful in the Government-held Examinations that it qualified for a regular Government grant. The school began churning out exemplary students, several of whom won the coveted Queen's Scholarship.

In 1917, in the midst of the First World War, then principal Reverend J.S. Nagle set the precedent by formalising religious education within the school's curriculum. At the same time, he appointed the first Physical Director, who would lead the school to victory in many inter-school athletic competitions.

The 1920s was characterised by the founding of another school under the Anglo-Chinese School banner, which catered to the older teenaged students, but was still based on the philosophies and education system of the first school. It was also during this decade that a group of the school's alumni got together to form the Old Boys Association, an organisation that boasts of several of the nation's most influential men and women today.

In 1950, a third school was built, to meet the ever increasing demands of the fast paced Singapore society. This school also became the first educational institution on the island to have its own swimming pool, and to this day, the swimming tradition continues to be upheld, with the school's athletes representing Singapore at several Olympic Games.

Two decades later, the fourth school in the Anglo-Chinese family of schools was built. This was the Anglo-Chinese Junior College, which catered to students receiving tertiary education. With this move, the Junior College became the only school of the four which practiced co-education. The other three became schools solely for boys.

A fifth building was erected in 1992, a secondary school for boys, thus putting two primary schools, two secondary schools and one junior college under the banner of ACS, which is what the school was now known by.

Today, the Anglo-Chinese School is a household name in Singapore, and its students come from all walks of life and contribute in several different ways. It boasts a fine tradition of excellence in academics, sports, culture and fine arts and its alumni are proud to pledge their support and allegiance to the school.

Source: ACWeb - http://www.acs.sch.edu.sg/


The School Anthem
Sung to the tune of "The Maple Leaf Forever"

In days of yore from western shores
Oldham dauntless hero came
and planted a Beacon of Truth and Light
in this island of the Main.

Here may it stand from year to year
emblem of grand endeavour
The regions round echo the sound
of A.C.S. forever.

Sing A.C.S. forever more,
our A.C.S. forever.
God save our land and heaven bless
our A.C.S. forever.

Our students hail from China's plains
and the Land of Rising Sun.
We have many sons from India's strand
and the islands of the Main.

Our hearts our hopes our aims are one.
No discord e'er will sever.
We'll stand together for the cause
of A.C.S. forever.

Sing A.C.S. forever more,
our A.C.S. forever.
God save our land and heaven bless
our A.C.S. forever.

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