The ACS Story continues

The ACS Story continuesThe ACS Story continues is the sequel to two earlier editions of The ACS Story by Mr Earnest Lau and Mr Peter Teo in 2003 and 2007. Commissioned by the ACS Board of Governors (ACSBOG) to commemorate 135 years of God’s blessings upon the school, the publication chronicles the milestones and progress of the ACS family of schools since 2007.

The official launch of The ACS Story continues was held at the ACS (Barker Road) Music Room on September 1, 2021. In attendance with the Editor of The ACS Story continues, were ACSBOG Chairman, Mr Richard Seow, ACS (International) Chairman, Mr Tan Wah Thong, The ACS Foundation Chairman, Mr Cheo Chai Hong, ACSOBA President, Mr Lock Wai Han and Principals of the ACS schools.

The ACS Story continuesMr Richard Seow thanked all the schools and entities in the ACS family for their collective effort in publishing The ACS Story continues. He stressed that it is important to record the history of ACS for posterity and was glad that the book was fittingly launched on Teachers’ Day to honour past and present educators and staff for the role they played in making ACS an important academic institution in Singapore and the region. “All thanks and praise go to our Lord and Saviour. Through the hands of His angels and His workers, ACS has been built brick by brick, student by student, and generation by generation for 135 years. We are thankful to Him for the generations of educators He has brought into our classrooms. To Him be the Glory. The Best Is Yet To Be”, Mr Seow added.

The ACS Story continuesIn appreciation of the schools’ collaboration in the publication, Mr Seow presented each of the principals with a copy of The ACS Story continues.

The ACS Story continuesThe book has received positive feedback since its launch. From western shores, Rev Dr John Barrett, the pioneer principal of ACS (International), was quick to share this with Rev Malcolm Tan, the editor of the book: “What a wonderful production. I have enjoyed reading the continuing story greatly. I am not sure who to thank for The ACS Story continuessending it, but I note that you are the editor, so it seemed right to start with you. Congratulations on an excellent piece of work. And thank you for stirring up many happy memories.”

Mr Tan Wah Thong, the driving force behind The ACS Story series and the progenitor of the ACS Echo, gave full marks to Rev Malcolm Tan and his editorial team for the production of The ACS Story continues. Mr Tan said, “The informative contents are presented in a way that is friendly and entertaining. I particularly like how the key milestones in the history of ACS were summarised and presented with ACJC alumna, Ms Anita Fam’s delightful watercolour paintings of the school’s historic and current buildings”.


The ACS Story continuesThe watercolour paintings are indeed delightful”, echoed Rev Malcolm Tan.

The editorial team, which included ACS Echo editors Jerry Choo and Choo Teck Long, was deliberating on how best to kick-start the book with a brief history of ACS without repeating too much of what has already been written in the two earlier editions of The ACS Story when we chanced upon Ms Fam’s watercolour paintings. We were in total agreement that the paintings are perfect for a pictorial history of ACS and that got us started immediately with the first chapter of the book. The paintings have since been a much-talked-about highlight of the book and we are thankful to Ms Anita Fam for her permission to use them”, Rev Tan said.

The ACS Story continues is an archive of factual ACS history compiled and written by a team of individuals from the ACS family whose hearts, hopes and aims are one for the love of their beloved alma mater. As expected for a project which requires the collaboration of many parties and meetings, some minor hitches and glitches like meeting deadlines and resolving unexpected issues were encountered along the way. However, for many involved in the project, it has been a most rewarding learning experience.

The ACS Story continuesFor ACS (Independent) history teacher, Mr Jarett Kan, it was an opportunity for him to rectify a popular misquotation. Whilst updating the history of ACS (Independent), he discovered that the popular reference to what was believed to be the words of ACS Principal, T.W. Hinch at the 1958 Founder’s Day Dinner – “… the past we inherit, the present we create; but for those who Hope, Work and Play, the Best is Yet to Be” – was not accurate. Mr Hinch’s actual words were in fact: “The past we inherit, the present we create; but to those who will Hope, Believe and Work, the Best is Yet to Be!” as recorded in the souvenir booklet commemorating the opening of the ACS Barker Road Lee Hall Building in 1960.

If you were to read Mr Hinch’s past speeches, he first used the phrase “Hope, Believe and Work, the Best is Yet to Be” in a 1936 speech celebrating the Jubilee year of ACS. I The ACS Story continuesbelieve Mr Hinch was referring to the book of James, chapter 2 verse 17 which states that “faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead”, and was sending the message to ACSians to hope for the best, believe and trust in God, and also act on our belief through hard work", Mr Kan elaborated.

We are thankful to Mr Kan for highlighting this and are glad that in our 135th year, the ACS family can reflect on Mr Hinch’s words to gain a deeper appreciation of our rich heritage and identity.

The ACS Story continues also avoided repeating another mistaken popular ascription. The lines on page 6 have often been attributed to John Wesley, the Founder of Methodism. “Indeed, those words in verse form have been part of the Methodist tradition for more than a hundred years and have appeared in various ACS publications in the past. However, although the ideas can be rightly said to have come from Wesley, the very words of the stanza are not from him.

Hence, instead of ‘John Wesley’s Rule’ as it was previously known, we have entitled it as The Wesleyan Rule for Doing Good in Life”, Rev Malcolm Tan explained.

The ACS Story continuesThe ACSBOG has requested The ACS Foundation to oversee the promotion and sale of The ACS Story continues. Established a decade ago on the 125th ACS Founder’s Day, the Foundation seeks to be an additional source of funding for the ACS family of schools and is committed to promoting unity in the ACS family by supporting the school’s tradition of well-rounded education guided by Christian values.

The ACS Foundation Chairman, Mr Cheo Chai Hong, was pleased that the Foundation can play a role in the logistics and the other financial aspects of The ACS Story continues to project, and even more so in the continuation of The ACS Story. He said, “The ACS Story continues completes a useful trilogy of The ACS Story at this point in time and it is now incumbent on all of us who are still around to continue with the story as it stands to tell and retell as we proceed on to the many years of ACS ahead.”

The ACS Story continuesJust as our motto The Best Is Yet To Be inspires ACSians to continue striving for Godly excellence in all that we do, Ms Joy-marie Toh, 2nd Vice President of the ACSOBA, reckons that The ACS Story continues reminds us how we as ACSians are responsible for shaping and refining our unique ACS history. She said, “It is so much more than historical facts; it is a recollection of memories, a depository of milestones, but most importantly, a celebration of the indelible ACSpirit and the fruit of God’s plan for Methodist education in Singapore. It is an indispensable tribute to ACS for every ACSian to treasure and share with those who come after us”.

The ACS Story continuesThe ACS Story continues is indeed an indispensable book for those who believe that the ACS story deserves to be told, retold, preserved, and updated as we go along. This edition focuses on the ACS Story from 2007 to 2020/2021. Softcover copies priced at $20 each may be purchased from the ACS Store (, The ACS Foundation, and all ACS schools, where current students of ACS may purchase a copy for only $10.

135 limited edition hardcover copies marked with their unique number were specially produced to commemorate 135 years of ACS. Each comes with its own hardcover slipcase and metal plate and donors to The ACS Foundation (Endowment) Fund will receive a copy of it (Terms apply).

Two limited edition copies containing the signatures of the Bishop Dr Gordon Wong of the Methodist Church in Singapore, Mr Richard Seow, Chairman of the ACS Board of Governors and Rev Dr Malcolm Tan, Editor of The ACS Story continues will also be kept in the ACS Heritage & Alumni Centre at ACS (Independent) and the ONE ACS Heritage Gallery at ACS (Barker Road). These copies are the personal contribution of ACSian, Mr Tye Yew Meng of Oxford Graphic Printers Pte Ltd, who printed the books..

The ACS Story continues  The ACS Story continues  The ACS Story continues
 From left, Bishop Dr Gordon Wong, Mr Richard Seow and Rev Dr Malcolm Tan
signing the copies of The ACS Story continues

The ACS Story continues

The Editorial Team's final meeting with Mr Tye Yew Meng of
Oxford Graphic Printers Pte Ltd

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