My friends and enemies in Victoria School know me as a sort of wuss. While they go into one of their cheering frenzies, I will be standing aside, shaking my head. While they proved their macho-ness by sitting in the pouring rain awaiting the Cross Country results, I was sitting happily in the shelter, chatting with my Literature teacher. I was the only one who glided along the corridors singing opera, the only one constantly selected for woman roles.
Yet the news of VS's proposal for co-ed hit me hard. Harder than I myself would have ever imagined possible. I don't know whether I was one of the first to know. Bertrand was yelling over MSN for me to get the New Paper. I thought it was something to do with ELDDS. And Bertrand snapped, 'Trust me. You WANT to read this.'
Fine. My parents weren't at home, and although I had just returned from buying snacks chocolates and a large Slurpee from 7-11 I returned to Econ Minimart to pick up a copy. And there it was.
And older picture from the 1996 school magazine, with boys painting the words. And a huge crude cross over 'sons'.
It was blasphemy to our heritage. It was vicious of the New Paper. It was heartbreaking.
If VS ever goes co-ed there will be another petition. To change the words thy sons are we. A co-ed Victoria is not worthy at all of those words. It is not worthy of the Victorian Anthem.
Many think we are idiots to hang on to tradition like this, like a toddler refusing to let go of his toy truck. Some may well think we are sexist to keep the school boys-only. But how can I begin to explain to you?
When I first stepped in, the only thing I was impressed with was the fact that the band played the National Anthem. It was more rousing, and certainly better than that terrible orchestral version blaring from the lousiest loudspeakers in existence. And oh when the same band played the Victorian Anthem, it was just like those scenes in the movies where the hero swings his sword and the wind causes the leaves to rustle and move. It was like an eagle taking flight, to the tune of what would become my inspiration for the next four years, and beyond. How I yearn right now to hear the Anthem played just once more. How I yearn to hear the voices rising with gusto.
Yes that had impressed me, which consequently led to my short three month stay in the band as a trumpeter. The trainer had marked that I had the lips of a trumpeter, and since percussion had enough people, I was relegated to trumpet. I never regretted my short stay there, apart from the military discipline and the the long practice hours. But I digress.
What did not impress me at first was the cheering, the camaraderie which was to bind me to protecting the school's heritage today. I could not understand why boys should waste their lives yelling and screaming and mashing and moshing like there is no tomorrow.
And yet I was in one of those last year. Lovely isn't it? It's nice to lose yourself sometimes. Time flies so fast, and in that time I have been unconsciously moulded into far more a Victorian than I would ever have thought I would be. I must say Bertrand takes the most priceless photos. Or at least he gets them somehow. The quintessential Victorian Spirit. Go check that up, blank-face.
On Wednesday afternoon the brilliant flame of the VS Spirit was reignited all over Singapore. Know this people. After this has been settled, we will all return to our lives. The flame may die down to a small glow. But it will never and can never be extinguished. So don't you try and play with us with ridiculous proposals.
orchestrated by Renhao at 11:44:00 am
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