ORA ET LABORA in Latin meaning pray and work. The school’s motto that have been engraved in the hearts of many a Josephians who has walked through her portals. Founded by the De La Salle brothers in 1852 (33 years after Raffles landing in Singapore), these missionaries opened up education centres and orphanages to help the poor to have some basic education -education in life skills to see them through their journey.

Pupils from the CBS (Christian Brother’s Schools – Primary) are feedered to the secondary schools of SJI and St Patrick’s. Namely from the primary schools of St Michael’s (now known as SJI Junior), St Stephen’s, St Anthony’s Boys, De La Salle Primary. The missionary brothers of De La Salle taught Mathematics, Humanities, Sciences, Arts, Music. Bordered by Bras Basah Road, Waterloo Street, Queen’s Street, the school premises has now been relocated to Malcolm Road. Today, the building of SJI has been preserved by National Heritage Board and now becomes the Singapore Art Museum.

Just a stone’s throw away were (for those who can still remember)
– CHIJ (Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus)
– Cathedral of the Good Shepherd
– Church of Ss Peter & Paul
– Catholic High School
– SAC (St Anthony’s Convent)
– MPH Bookstore
– National Library
– National Museum
– Red House Bakery
– Second hand bookstores and sports shop along Bras Basah Road
– Cathay Cinema
– Nasi Padang at Rendevous
– Rojak stall at Waterloo Street coffeeshop
– Shanghai Bookstore
– Sarabat stalls along Waterloo Street

anderson.jpgAnderson wing of the school building alongside Waterloo Street. Arches, strong architectural columns still stands today.

field.jpgOpposite SJI was the school field where parades, sports days, track & field, invitation soccer competition were held. Today, the SMU (Singapore Management University) buildings dotted the landscape.

dome.jpgThe DOME (top left) and the foyer with the bronze statue of St John the Baptist De La Salle. Hands outstretch guiding the childen to `Go Forth’. Chess players often occupied the tables and benches of the foyer deep in concentration. The noise from the heavy traffic bordering the school can be quite defeaning at times during peak hours. The foyer was also a place where daydreaming was spent – making dreams come true.

mosaic.jpgMosaic tiles remained through history.

doors.jpgUnmistakable huge strong strong doors of the classrooms.

courtyard.jpgCourtyard where many school club activities and uniformed groups were conducted. Saturdays was a day of fun and laughter for many pupils to gather :-
– NCC (Sea, Air, Land)
– Scouts (Hippo and Pelandok)
– St John’s Ambulance Brigade
– Military Band
– and the occassional girl guides from nearby CHIJ Victoria Street

school-hall.jpgSchool hall where judo mats were laid on most Saturdays for the judokas. Located above the school hall was the Chapel – a quiet and serene place for prayer and reflection. Also a place for prayer of last resort before an exam paper.

courtyard2.jpgThe building at the background was formerly the brother’s quarters. Anyone caught going up to the quarters without authorisation would probably earned himself detention. This courtyard was the assembly area for the AM and PM sessions.

teachersroom.jpgThe first green door on the left in the picture was the teachers room.

strong-columns.jpgStrong columns that have weathered more than a century of history including World War II.

go-forth.jpgGo Forth……

church-of-sp.jpg sts-pp.jpg
Church of Sts Peter & Paul. Catholic pupils thronged the Church during various celebrations in the Catholic Liturgical Year. Statue of St Peter (left) holding the keys. St Paul holding the Epistles and sword.


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