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(Old buildings at Bras Basah Road demolished and now occupied by Raffles City) Oldest government School founded in 1823 by Sir Stamford Raffles Foresight and concern for education of the 'natives' by a colonialist to set up a 'native college' which became the Singapore Institution and later Raffles Institution.

When one passes Raffles City which houses the tallest hotels in the world, the Westin and the Stamford, one is reminded of the old Raffles Institution which stood on that site. Later after the demolition of old Raffles Institution, the school moved to Grange Road which was in an equally distinguished neighbourhood. Today Raffles Institution is in Bishan, a new satellite town and in the midst of Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats. It was from such neighbourhood that many students of Raffles Institution in Bras Basah Road and Grange Road came; now Raffles Institution is in the midst of the homes where most of our students come. Students of Raffles Institution are constantly reminded that when they become leaders in the Institution are constantly reminded that when they become leaders in the professions they should not forget that they came largely from HDB flats.

'It is probably due to him (Raffles) more than to any other individual that education was begun in Singapore' (E.Wijeysingha). But before the Singapore Institution (Raffles Institution) was founded in 1823 there were a few Malay Schools, a small missionary school and three Chinese schools in Singapore.

Raffles' aim was to educate the local people by setting up a 'native college' and he himself chose the site close to the government buildings and Churches. He launched a subscription to build the school and he made a personal donation of $2,000. The first President of the Singapore Institution was the Resident Lieutenant Colonel Farquhar and Reverend Morrison was the Vice-President. It is significant to note that Rev. Morrison, a Presbyterian Missionary who founded the Anglo-Chinese School in Malacca was also responsible for establishing Raffles Institution.

The school building was completed in 1827 at the site chosen by Raffles.

In September 1823 a sad decision was made by the East India Company to divert the funds of Singapore Institution to build a monument for Stamford Raffles who died in 1826 - a Town Hall and a Reading Room. Fortunately this did not materialize and plans to complete the school buildings were agreed upon. In 1834 Singapore Institution began to function as a school and in 1836 the School Committee decided to complete the buildings of the school as a memorial to Stamford Raffles. In September 1839, the Singapore Free School moved from High Street to the Singapore Institution buildings. By 1841 both the wings of the Institution were completed.

The principal who contributed most to the Institution's growth and prominence was R.W.Hullet; he was the head for 36 years (1870-1906).

At the outbreak of the Pacific War in December 1941 Raffles Institution was requisitioned by the British forces. The Japanese used the Institution during their occupation of Singapore from 1942 to 1945. When the British Military Administration was set up, Raffles Institution functioned in St Joseph's Institution and Monk's Hill School. It returned to its own buildings in October 1946.

When the government decided to redevelop the City the old buildings at Bras Basah Road had to be demolished. Raffles Institution then moved to new buildings at Grange Road close to the residence of the American Ambassador in Singapore. Then Raffles Institution moved to its present site. It is still the premier school of Singapore that has produced both the Prime Ministers of Singapore; Mr Lee Kuan Yew and Mr Goh Chok Tong.

The motto of the school is 'Auspicium Melioris Aevi': the Hope for a Better Age-for the School and the nation.

Getting to Raffles Institution (Secondary), 1 Raffles Institution Lane

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