THE ACS ECHO - 20 Years On


The ACS Echo celebrates 20 years of publishing this year and it gives me great pleasure to write this issue’s foreword.

Since it was launched in 2000, the ACS Echo has played an important role in keeping its readers in the loop of activities and developments within the ACS family of schools. From regular school updates, staff movements and accolades to alumni news and interesting interviews and editorials, the quarterly publication has grown in stature to be a trove of recent ACS history. Today, the Echo is widely read and regarded as a key resource of the schools, the ACS boards and the ACS OBA. Copies of the publication are archived in the Methodist Church Archives and History Library for posterity and digital copies are also available for viewing at the ACSOBA Heritage Gallery.

On behalf of the Editorial Board, I wish to thank the school principals, teachers, parent volunteers, alumni contributors, advertisers and especially the team of Echo Co-ordinators for their valuable support and help in sustaining the Echo as an informative and entertaining publication to engage the interest of readers. Above all, we give thanks to God for His many blessings and guidance. The Best Is Yet To Be



1st Issue CoverThe publication of the ACS Echo was first mooted in 1998 when the Principals of the then five ACS schools voiced their concerns to Mr Tan Wah Thong (Chairman of the ACS Board of Governors) that there was insufficient publicity given to the schools and the ACS brand of education.

After deliberations, it was decided that a magazine would be the best platform to publicise the ACS family of schools and also serve as a means to unify the growing number of ACS schools as One ACS.

According to Mr Tan, it took some time before the magazine was finally launched as careful consideration was given to issues such as who is going to produce the magazine and how to ensure that the publication is produced timely to meet its objectives. “There were also some doubts whether such an ambitious publication could be sustained in the long term, but with typical ACS resolve and positivity, we went ahead to appoint BridgeWorks Pte Ltd, headed by former ACSOBA President, Mr Victor Chia, to launch the ACS Echo. Mr Chia, together with former Straits Times journalist, Mr Ng Wei Joo, as editor, worked tirelessly on the project and the first issue of the ACS Echo rolled out in May/June 2000”, Mr Tan said.

Subsequently, in October 2002, Blue Skies Communications, whose partners Mr Jerry Choo and the late Mr Lim Chin Lock are passionate true-blue ACSians, took over the publication with Mr Choo Teck Long, another true-blue ACSian, as editor.


May-Jun 2003 CoverThe Echo has had the privilege of interviewing distinguished ACSians and role models. Among them were senior ministers, Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Dr Ng Eng Hen and Dr Vivian Balakrishnan; outstanding sportsmen, Singapore’s first Olympic Gold Medallist, Mr Joseph Schooling, former Olympian and fastest man in Asia, Dato Tan Dr M Jegathesan and Mr Thum Ping Tjin, the first Singaporean to swim the May-Jun 2003 CoverEnglish Channel; leading personalities in the corporate world, EDB pioneer and former Chairman, Mr Chan Chin Bock and the late Tan Sri Tan Chin Tuan who was one of the most prominent bankers in Singapore; and legendary teachers, the late Mr Chan Siew Jang and the late Mr Lee Hah Ing.

“Echo has come a long way – keeping the ACS community connected and abreast of the significant happenings among the family of schools and ACSOBA year after year. Here’s to many more years of camaraderie and excellence!” reflected Mr Tan who has seen the Echo grow from a fledgling newsletter to its current quarterly 44-page full colour magazine format.


May-Jun 2003 Cover  Earnest Lau Montage  Clock Tower at night 

Reports in each issue of the Echo range from important school announcements, staff movements and policy changes to student activities, achievements, accolades and inspiring stories and testimonies from students, teachers and parent volunteers. Lessons that showcase the inimitable ACS spirit and how the ACS brand of education stands out in the crowd are shared.

In addition, informative editorials on the early pioneers and leading personalities of ACS take readers back in time to days of yore. A good example of editorials that are worth their salt in the annals of ACS history is the 4-part “In Days of Yore” series contributed by the late Mr Earnest Lau, a true-blue ACSian, teacher and former ACS principal. Affectionately known as the Mr Chips of ACS, Mr Lau reminisced his student days in ACS in Part 1 of the series and his term as a teacher in Part 2; in Part 3, he shared his experiences as a Principal and finally in Part 4, his spell as an Archivist of the Methodist Church in Singapore after retiring from ACS.

Mr Lau had planned to write a series of articles on the early pioneers and dauntless heroes of ACS for the Echo. Sadly, he passed on shortly after his first piece on the Rev Goh Hood Keng was published in the February-March 2011 issue.

Reports such as the schools’ contribution of medals to the nation’s tally at international sporting events, the historic moment when ACS (Independent) chartered 5 MRT trains to transport 3,000 staff and students to watch the Schools C Division Rugby Finals, keep readers entertained and in the loop of what is happening in the schools. And accounts like how the iconic night photograph of the Clock Tower was captured by two intrepid students in 1957 further demonstrate the ACSian ingenuity and determination of getting things done.

“These Echo’s articles are must-reads for all ACSians. They are also especially useful in familiarising and orientating new intake of students and their parents of the ACS ethos”, Mr Tan stressed.”


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