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Dear alumni, colleagues and friends of JJC,
I would like to thank everyone for joining us at our College Day and Homecoming on Saturday, 29 July 2017. It was a momentous day indeed on which we welcomed home more than 2000 members of our JJC Family. The overwhelming response and support we received from ex-students and staff, given the few short weeks of publicity, was truly heartening.
On Homecoming Day, we celebrated a time of alumni and staff reconnecting, sharing common memories and creating new ones. Particularly noteworthy was the 35th Graduation Anniversary Reunion Lunch initiated by Mr Tung Siew Hoong and a group of dedicated alumni. At the reunion lunch, I felt extremely proud bearing witness to the fruition of our college’s devotion to our motto – Plus Ultra. This first group of 600 students have passed through the gates of JJC and emerged from life’s challenges, stronger, better, more determined, more committed and more confident. In their chosen paths, they have gathered diverse experiences and tasted life’s varied flavours. They have made their mark and have continued to build on their accomplishments each day since graduation – 35 years ago. Most importantly, among everything in their wonderful lives, they remember and value the friendships and experiences formed while here in JJC. I was deeply moved as those who attended the reunion shared affectionately about the lasting impact that the college had on them. Kudos to the pioneering efforts of the Founding Principal, Mr Koh Beng Thiam, and the staff who helped to establish the college back in 1981.
Faithful to the spirit of the founding team, the staff of JJC have devoted their best to more than three decades of nurturing and inspiring success. In our humble way, we seek, each day, to make a difference to those who need someone to believe in them and to bolster their confidence. Our legacy is one that touts not just the academic outcomes, but the life-empowering experiences our students had while with us. What our alumni and the community in the West have come to value JJC for, is the hope that it gives to those who need an extra boost of confidence, those who need guidance and support. To that end, we have earned the recognition of those, among others, who were much humbled by their ‘O’ Level experience. JJC has served a vital function in ensuring that those who aspire to achieve have a chance to pursue their dreams.
Over the years, we have been increasingly reaching out to our alumni, inviting them to share their achievements so that we can celebrate together with them and inspire those still with us. Many of our alumni have also taken up various opportunities to contribute to this school they love by supporting our students in their co-curricular activities, by offering their expertise in college events and by sharing generously, their valuable insights at various college platforms. This year, we started a new “Breakfast with Alumni” series, in which notable ex-JJCians from many different fields were invited to share their career and life experiences with current students. Their presence and sharing help to motivate our students to strive for greater heights as they bear testimony to what our students could only imagine from their youthful perspective which is confounded by the daunting, and to some, seemingly insurmountable challenge of the A Levels.
Since the announcement of the school merger, we have had a flurry of suggestions from our alumni on how the college can go about our commemorative efforts. Many also expressed a desire to visit the college, take class photographs, and catch up with their old friends. We even had an alumnus who proposed to his girlfriend, a fellow ex-JJCian, at the school field, because of their fond memories as members of sports CCAs, who spent many hours training on the field. JJC is indeed a place that our alumni cherish and hold close to their hearts.
Through all our alumni from the 36 years of JJC’s history, we have access to a large vault of collective memory. It is this collective memory that will help keep the JJC spirit alive. Over the next year, we will strive to collate some of these precious memories, so that we will retain and continue to celebrate the JJC identity and culture. We want to share in the alumni’s reminiscence of the wonderful school experiences that they had while still with us and hear about the cherished friendships that were built through sweat in the fields and toil in the classrooms. We want to celebrate with the alumni as they recount the moments they spent with the wonderful people who contributed to their success in ways big and small.
We recognise that their school experiences are an integral part of our common identity and memories. Please rest assured that JJC and our teachers remain committed to our cherished ethos and valued education programmes. We will ensure that the history and heritage of JJC will be woven into the new identity of the merged college. This is not the end of the JJC story, but the beginning of the next phase of our contribution to education.
In this time of change, we urge all alumni to re-establish the bonds that were formed during their days of youthful exploration here in JJC and continue to live the spirit that binds us all. I trust that our alumni have been, and will continue to be beacons of our college’s motto, Plus Ultra: always seeking to go further beyond to achieve the best that one is capable of.
Alumni, colleagues and friends of JJC, stay connected with us as we break new ground. The JJ spirit lives on in each and every one of us. Together, we celebrate our JJC family!
Dr Hang Kim Hoo