Montfort Secondary School

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Coordinates: 1°22′25.16″N 103°53′19.63″E / 1.3736556°N 103.8887861°E / 1.3736556; 103.8887861

Montfort Secondary School
蒙福中学
St. Gabriel's Foundation Crest
Labor Omnia Vincit (Labour Conquers All Things)
Location
Hougang,
Information
Type Government-aided
Established 1916
Session Single
School code 7011
Principal Mr Andrew Tan
Colour(s) Blue, white
Website

Montfort Secondary School is a Catholic school in Singapore, founded in 1916. Originally named Holy Innocents' English School, it was renamed in 1959 in honour of the Founder of the Gabrielite Brothers, St Louis Marie Grignion De Montfort. Boys in the school call themselves "Montfortians" and sons of Montfort.

The School's motto is "Age Quod Agis", literally "Do what you are doing", but often rendered as "Do well whatever you do".

Montfort celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2006 with a 90 km run to its former location and a thanksgiving mass conducted by the Archbishop of Singapore, Nicholas Chia, who is an old boy of the school. The mass was held at the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary-, the church at the old location of the school.

The school has a high Catholic population and it has produced numerous Catholic priests, including archbishop of Singapore, Nicholas Chia.

The school has received a Badminton Niche Award and so Primary 6 students can now apply into the school directly through Direct School Admission.

School crest[edit]

The top-left quadrant has the letters A.M., an abbreviation for “Ave Maria”, and a lily. The bottom-right quadrant has the letters D+S with a cross. D.S. is the abbreviation for Dieu Seul, which is God Alone in French. On the top-right quadrant there is a sailboat at sea. On the bottom-left quadrant there is a star and a man in the boat. The Crest is adorned with green olive branches, derived from Ancient Greece, to symbolize peace and prosperity. The Crest carries the Latin motto “Labor Omnia Vincit”, “Labour conquers all things.”

History[edit]

Montfort School was set up as Holy Innocents’ English School in 1916 by the parish priest, Father H. Duvelle next to Nativity church at Upper Serangoon Road. At the request of the Inspector of Schools, he organized an English class on the top floor of the two-storey building between the church and the school canteen. The teacher was Mr Lee Ah Kow. The class lasted for three years.

In March 1920, Father E. Becheras, the parish priest restarted the school with a class of 30 pupils under the charge of Mr Monterio. In the following year another class was added.

From 1922 - 1936 Mr P A D’Costa was teacher and administrator.

A block of five classrooms along Upper Serangooon Road was completed in 1927. In 1929 three additional classrooms along Holy Innocents Lane were added. Inn 1932 another floor was added to the second block.

In 1936 the management of the school was placed in the hands of the Brothers of St Gabriel. Bro. Gerard Majella came from Bangkok to become the first Brother Director of the school.

Brothers Adolphus and John de Breboeuf came in December 1936. This was also the year the school produced its first School Certificate class.

Next came Bro. Gerard Majella, who was succeeded in 1938 by Bro. Louis Gonzaga.

The Japanese occupation of Singapore interrupted the work of the school. Immediately after the war, Bro. Louis Gonzaga reopened the school. He extended the block along Upper Serangoon Road by adding another floor. The new extension was opened by the Sultan of Johore.

In 1949 Bro. Louis Gonzaga started the afternoon school—the Holy Innocents’ Afternoon School—under the charge of Bro. Basil.

In 1955 Bro. Noel. became the Director of the Holy Innocents’. He set up a committee on 3 April 1955 to raise funds to further extend the school. Within three years the extension was completed.

In 1959 Holy Innocents’ English School was renamed Montfort School in honour of the Founder, St Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort, of the Gabrielite Brothers.

In the late 1980s, a decision was made to relocate Montfort Junior and Secondary Schools so as to make them comparable to the newer Government Schools. A Building Fund Committee was formed to raise the funds to finance the building project, the cost of which amounted to $24 million. Capital grant from the Government was 18.5 million, and the schools had to raise $5.5 million.

Piling began in August 1989 at the new site at Hougang Avenue 8, immediately after a ground-breaking ceremony on 12 August 1989 which was officiated by Mgr Gregory Yong D.D. The main building works of the two schools started in March 1990 and took about 21 months to complete. On 2 January 1992, the two schools, Montfort Junior and Montfort Secondary, started functioning at their new premises. In 1997, the school underwent repairs and redecoration.

Montfort Secondary School underwent major redevelopment works which under the Programme for Rebuilding and IMproving Existing Schools in 2010 - 2011. The school was opened on 2 January 2012 with the underground bus interchange being built on-site.

Notable alumni[edit]