Mission schools find ways to reconcile
TWO TOP RUGBY SCHOOLS, Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) and St Andrew’s Secondary School (SASS), have shown that their heritage as mission schools can make a difference in the process of reconciliation.
On April 12, 2010, ACS (I) and SASS teams met in the Schools “B” Division Rugby Final. It was a close and exciting match with ACS (Independent) prevailing at the end of the match by a score of 8 – 7. Unfortunately, the match was marred by a post-match incident which was prominently reported in the press.
As both schools are still closely related to their founding denominations, Archbishop John Chew and Bishop Dr Robert Solomon requested their respective school boards to meet and make plans for reconciliation in the spirit of the mission of Christian Schools. SASS was represented by Mr Tan Soo Kiang, Mr John Teo and principal Mrs Belinda Charles, while representatives from ACS (I) were Mr Richard Seow, Mr Low Wee Ping and principal Dr Ong Teck Chin. The Rev Dr Ngoei Foong Nghian was appointed moderator.
The representatives arrived at two decisions. The first was the meeting and reconciliation of the two boys who had made the headlines. They exchanged apologies and shook hands in the presence of their mothers, school principals and chaplains.
A joint statement was also released by both school boards to their respective constituencies on Aug 6 in consultation with the Ministry of Education. The statement said that while both ACS (Independent) and St Andrew’s Secondary School regret the incident, the two schools will work with their respective stakeholders to continue to cultivate the values of teamwork, fair play, perseverance, respect, humility and sportsmanship, and “uphold the very best that rugby brings out in all who associate with the game”.