Mr Lock Wai Han2020 has been an extraordinary year of challenges with the Covid-19 pandemic bringing the world to a standstill. Unprecedented hardships prevailed as lockdowns and safe distancing measures took a toll on businesses and disrupted the lives of millions of people around the world. Singapore was not spared but considering that we have progressed to phase 3 of the pandemic, I reckon we have weathered the storm reasonably well. And now with vaccines universally available, I am optimistic that the situation will soon be under control if we continue to be on our guard to prevent the virus from spreading further. Life is not likely to be the same as pre Covid-19 days as new norms may emerge but what I am certain is that we, the ACS family, will emerge stronger and better than ever before as The Best Is Yet To Be!

It is amazing how the ACS community has rallied together to cope with the pandemic. I feel so proud each time I read in the media and the ACS Echo about the noble deeds, selfless sacrifices and pioneering initiatives of my fellow ACSians in making a difference for those whose lives have been severely disrupted by the pandemic.

With the cancellation of the ACSOBA’s planned events and activities like the annual Founder’s Day Dinner, Past vs Present Games and the ACS Retired Teachers’ Dinner, one would expect there is nothing much to review for 2020. On the contrary, full marks to our proactive Management Committee (MC) who were on their toes and quick to devise alternative activities to engage our members and the community at large.

ACS 134th Founder's Day DinnerHere is a summary of the initiatives taken by our MC:

ACS 134th Founder’s Day Dinner 2020

The cancellation of the 134th Founder’s Day Dinner for the well-being of alumni, staff, students and stakeholders did not deter ACSians from gathering in smaller groups to remember the founding of our beloved ACS. The ACSOBA MC hosted principals, board members and governors of the BOG, BOMs and the ACS Foundation to a thanksgiving buffet dinner on March 1, 2020 to acknowledge God’s enduring faithfulness.

Virtual AGMVirtual AGM

The ACSOBA AGM scheduled for 27 March was also cancelled due to safe distancing requirements. Given the ongoing uncertainties about the situation, the MC made the decision to convene the ACSOBA’s first ever online AGM on May 29, 2020. After careful planning, familiarisation with the technology and even dry runs to ensure the meeting ran smoothly without hitches, the e-AGM was successfully executed. The unexpected bonus of the online platform was the unique opportunity for members residing overseas to participate. Dr Suresh John (ACS Class of 1978) from Melbourne said, “It was great because for once, those of us overseas could join in the meeting...I think this is the closest I have to serving in the OBA proper.”


The ONE ACS Business Directory

Initiatives for Retired TeachersIn support of ACSian-owned businesses and to promote networking and access to ACS purveyors of goods and services, the ACSOBA launched the inaugural ONE ACS Business Directory in early May 2020. In merely 8 days, over 200 responses poured in. The directory has since expanded to about 500 businesses in over 60 industries and is posted on the ACSOBA website. The list will be updated regularly. 

Initiatives for Retired Teachers

An important part of the MC’s work has always been acts of gratitude to the educators who shaped ACS and ACSians. During the Circuit Breaker in April, the MC launched an initiative to reach out to the retired teachers through phone calls, emails and text messages to convey the ACSOBA’s support and concern, and to offer assistance if required. The MC was able to reach out to around 250 teachers, who were delighted to hear from the ACSOBA. Many sent heart-warming messages reflecting with joy on their years of teaching at ACS, and their connectedness to the ACS family. In September, the community rallied together to demonstrate respect for the retired staff with a timely gift of reusable ACS masks that were produced by ACS (Junior) as part of the school’s fundraising efforts for the PERI upgrading project (2019-2021). These were packed with the latest issue of the ACS Echo magazine. Alumni volunteers joined the effort to help deliver the gift pack as a personal gesture of care.Foreign Worker Care Package

 Foreign Worker Care Package Delivery

Beyond the immediate ACSian family, the ACSOBA also reached out to the foreign workers who had been significantly affected by the pandemic. In collaboration with ACS (Barker Road), care packages were delivered to around 800 workers residing temporarily at 60 Dunearn Road. These included treats from their home countries to lift their spirits amid trying circumstances.


Career ForumONE ACS Career Forum Webinar

The annual ONE ACS Career Forum was held for the first time as a webinar, a format that enabled the participation of panellists beyond Singapore, and proved to be popular with students and parents, as over 1500 participants registered for the webinar. In his opening address, ACSOBA President, Mr Lock Wai Han, highlighted the importance of adaptation to the ‘new normal’. With that very much in mind, the first panel was entitled “Adjusting your career to a Covid-19 World; Is The Best Still Yet To Be?”. Jonathan Yuen engaged our distinguished alumni, Sandra Chua, Dr Wong Tien Hua, Kelly Koh and Jeremy Nguee in a lively discussion on career experiences and the impact that Covid-19 has had on the workforce and how their ACSOBA E-Shopindustries have had to innovate in response. The second panel on university admissions was moderated by Geetha Creffield and featured alumni from all 7 ACS schools: Dr Abigail Nyam, Kathleen Teo, Tavis Tan, Patrick Tjandra and Kevin Ong, another first for the Career Forum.

ACSOBA e-store

Launched in December 2020, the ACSOBA e-store brings together merchandise from the ACSOBA and the schools on a convenient platform for alumni to purchase ACS-themed items and support their alma mater. The store received an overwhelming response from the moment it went live. Commemorative ACS135 merchandise is also available for purchase from the store.


ONE ACS Speaker Series

ONE ACS Speaker SeriesAnother exciting initiative launched this year was the ONE ACS Speaker Series. The first session featured Serene Chen (ACJC ‘92), Jacqueline Chow (ACJC ‘97) and Colin Goh (ACS ‘86; ACJC ‘88) discussing virtual presentation skills. The ACSOBA plans to make the series a regular item on the calendar for the benefit of members and alumni.

Despite being a difficult year, 2020 has nonetheless been fruitful for the ACSOBA. For one, the Covid-19 constraints provided us the impetus to develop a digital version of the ACS Echo which is targeted to arrive on your notebooks and handphones by the middle of this year. In fact, I expect 2021 to be another exciting year of events as we celebrate the 135th anniversary of the founding of ACS. We have several new initiatives lined up for you, among them are the ACSOBA Alumni Mentorship Programme, the Exclusive 135 Marketplace promotions from ACSian business owners, ACS135 Gustatory Journey, the ACSpirit Collection and further editions of the ONE ACS Speaker Series. Check these out at our commemorative ACS135 website (https:// and stay tuned for more updates.

The Best Is Yet To Be!

Mr Lock Wai Han
ACSOBA President

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