Archive for the ‘Mount Sophia’ Category

100 steps to Sophia

January 15, 2009

Imagine having to trudge up 100 steps to reach your school and down again everyday. It sure builds up your stamina and leg muscles which many girls have experienced in the course of their studies at Mount Sophia. Not a mountain comparing to the likes of Mount Everest or Bukit Timah Hill. Rather, it was the 100 steps that one has to climb by way of the entrance at Handy Road that was once a building of an all-girls school known as Methodist Girls’ School.

^ Handy Road. A short stretch of road from Cathay Building to Plaza Singapura where the 100 steps is located.

^ Map location: Former Methodist Girls’ School located at No.11 Mount Sophia.

^ At the base of the 100 steps. In the past, it was just the rugged steps surrounded by shrubs. Now, a spanking new residential condominium is built alongside the 100 steps.

^ The steps have been improved with an overhead shelter and handrail to cater to the needs of residents and other users.

^ Imagine the elation you feel after having reached the top of the 100 steps. A building comes into view which was the former Methodist Girls’ School.

Methodist Girls’ School was founded by Miss Sophia Blackmore on 15th Aug 1887. She was a missionary from Australia who came to Singapore with a mission – to provide girls with an education. With support from the Women’s Foreign Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church in America, the school had its humble and modest orgins with a handful of students at Short Street. With rising enrolment, the school was relocated to Middle Road. It was only in 1925 that the school had its premises at No.11 Mount Sophia.

^ The buildng of the school at Mount Sophia still remains today but the girls of Methodist Girls’ School no longer need to trudge up and down the 100 steps. The school has been relocated to its present site at No.11 Blackmore Drive in 1992. The present address of the school was so named in commemoration of her founder Miss Sophia Blackmore. The building which was formerly Methodist Girls’ School is now known as Old School, a centre for the Arts.

^ A file photo showing Mrs H.B. Amstutz opening the the new Louise Mackee Wing of Methodist Girls’ School at Mount Sophia. (Photocredit: National Archives of Singapore, circa 1955)

^ A view of the Louise Mackee Wing at Methodist Girls’ School at Mount Sophia. (Photocredit: National Archives of Singapore, circa 1955)

^ Present-day photo of the Louise Mackee Wing at Mount Sophia.

^ The open courtyard seen in the photo would probably have been the courtyard where games such as netball, basketball etc were played amid much shouting, screaming and cheering.

^ You cannot miss sighting this bright red sculpture on the premises of Old School.

^ A centre for budding film directors wannabes at Sinema @ Old School.

^ Some prominent buildings nearby – MacDonald House and Plaza Singapura.

Read more about the history of Methodist Girls’ School. I’m sure these 100 steps to Mount Sophia brings back fond memories to the old girls of MGS who had studied there. For me. it’s another ardous 100 steps down memory lane for the descent.