By Hudson Zhao (20J05), Lin Jiawen (20J19) & Ace Teo (20J20)
With Covid-19 being an omnipresent part of our lives for over a year now, there is no doubt that we have had to constantly adapt to doing everything differently. Of course, school events are no exception, with the recent RV65 celebration marking the very first time RV held a virtual celebration online.
Holding a school anniversary celebration is never easy, let alone holding one in the middle of a pandemic. While most RVians may remember the fond memories of school anniversaries while gathered together in the hall, watching the engaging performances put up by their fellow schoolmates, this year’s celebration was completely different.
We’re sure that all of you enjoyed the programmes and had lots of fun, but behind every event lies a group of very dedicated RVians. So, who exactly were the people behind RV65? How have they had to change the way school anniversaries are usually planned? What are some things they have learned along the way? Well, wonder no more, because we sat down with a few students and a teacher involved in the RV65 preparations to bring you some insights regarding this special school anniversary.
When asked what RV65 meant to him, Mr Tan Ching, one of the teachers-in-charge, remarked, “2021 is a milestone year and the 65th anniversary is commonly known as the Blue Sapphire Anniversary. So, in a sense, we hoped to build on RV60 and help to consolidate our growth as a school.” True to their goal, they eventually managed to pull off a commendable celebration, continuing the legacy of RV60.
Despite the success, restrictions placed due to the pandemic indeed presented many challenges. Even so, when asked about the challenges faced, Mr Tan responded that “Covid-19 had also presented the opportunity for [the organising committee] to exercise [their] creativity and reimagine how performances and celebrations could happen.”
As the bulk of the celebration took place in school, the pre-event livestream was certainly something that required a lot of prior planning. However smooth-sailing the event may have appeared to be for the viewers, the organising committee experienced many unforeseen difficulties along the way.
The pre-event livestream (Photo courtesy of RVPC)
The celebrations committee comprising Chung Yi Xin (20J03), Chang Han-Ying (20J03), Edmund Teo (20J04), Vanessa Tan (20J12) and Baey Shin Ee (20J14) recounted, “One memorable incident was when we were presenting our proposal for the pre-celebration livestream to our teachers-in-charge. Our team had dedicated much time to other aspects of the celebration at first, which caused us to neglect a crucial aspect of the pre-celebrations - the livestream.”
However, one thing that the organising committee is grateful for is the guidance and trust that the teachers had placed in them despite the challenges they faced. While their proposals were met with criticism, they took them as opportunities to improve on the areas that were previously overlooked. “In life, there are many things worthy of our attention - but we should also focus on other things which we might have neglected.”
Another part of RV65 that all RVians definitely remember is the cake that was collectively decorated by the entire school. When asked how they came up with the idea of using a preservable cake, the organising committee shared, “As the celebration was held online, we decided it would be much more practical to have a cake that could be preserved.” Additionally, each class had the opportunity to decorate one section of the cake, allowing RVians to all come together even in the midst of a pandemic.
The RV65 cake! (Photo courtesy of RVPC)
Nonetheless, executing this idea did not come without its struggles. “The process of planning, designing and creating such a huge cake with the other elements was long and tedious - we had to come back to school every week during the holidays to get it done. Thankfully, with the help of our teammates and a few volunteers, we managed to pull through and come up with a cake we were all pleased with! Our teachers-in-charge also provided us with lots of design ideas and feedback, and we’re very thankful for that as well!” they recalled.
After toiling for months, their hard work finally paid off. “Overall, because of commitment and strong support from many people, from students to staff to partners, it was quite an amazing feat and we’re glad that it touched the hearts of many,” Mr Tan mentioned.
The organising committee echoed his sentiments, “No words could describe the sense of satisfaction when we saw the entire cake being ‘lit up’ on the day of the class celebrations. Ultimately, all our hard work came to fruition!”
The RV65 pre-event ceremony was a success, thanks to the hard work of the organising committee! (Photo courtesy of RVPC)
The organising team weren’t the only people who had a positive experience! When asked about his expectations and how he felt about the livestream, alumnus Gerald Goh (Class of 2018) remarked that he was left in awe by the virtual cake and the smooth transition between different programmes, as he only “expected the event to be a simple ceremony with no performances”.
Another aspect that the alumni enjoyed was the heritage video. Dubbing it the most memorable part of RV65 to him, Mr Tan concluded, “The first time I watched it, it gave me goosebumps. As an alumnus with this privilege to come back to serve, to help the juniors and the school, I was moved and felt really proud to be from RV. Some of my RV classmates even teared up after watching the heritage video!”
Evidently, the organising committee’s efforts paid off - RVians, both past and present, clearly enjoyed the event thoroughly! We wish RV nothing but better years ahead!