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Our Rich Heritage
The school was started in 1924 as Geylang Methodist Girls' School (GMGS) in the humble beginnings of a small, sparsely furnished but functional classroom converted from the extra space carved out from the premises of Geylang Chinese Methodist Church. The setting up of a school for girls was an initiative of the Methodist Episcopal Mission in pre-war Singapore, and it sought to provide education for girls in an impoverished Geylang area, and be a beacon of light for the students and community.
Site of school 1927
The early years were a struggle. There was no land nor funds to build the school. Undeterred, the school’s early founders continued to go house-to-house to canvass for students. From the very beginning, missionaries and pastors of the church provided supervision and strong support to the school.
Site of School 1927
With financial support of many well-wishers and the Methodist Churches, the school grew from strength to strength. To meet increasing enrolment, GMGS grew and expanded to form Geylang Methodist Primary School and Geylang Methodist Secondary School in 1984 along Geylang East Central, where both schools are now situated. It was also in this year that the schools became co-educational. The schools were later renamed Geylang Methodist Schools (Primary and Secondary) to reflect oneness in the family.
New school extension of hall and classroom
Many Helping Hands
Of the many helping hands that supported the building of the school, one missionary and one educator played pivotal roles in starting the school – Reverend Floyd Sullivan and Miss Emma Eaton Walker.
Reverend Floyd Sullivan
With Reverend Sullivan’s strong support and oversight, the setting up of GMGS was facilitated during his tenure as District Superintendant of the Methodist Church in Singapore. Reverend Sullivan also personally read the dedicatory service of the new building of the Geylang Methodist Church and Geylang Methodist Girls’ School in the founding.
Miss Emma Eaton Walker
Miss Emma Eaton Walker worked as a professional teacher and school principal in the USA before coming to Singapore. She was an established professional and was introduced to the Methodist missions work through the Methodist Missions Conference. Miss Walker taught at the Anglo-Chinese School and overseeing women’s work at Geylang Chinese Church, and was also made Superintendent of the Sunday School at Geylang Methodist Church and Principal of the Oldham Hall Day School, before becoming the first Principal of GMGS. Miss Walker was a member of GMGS’s building fund committee (also known as a subscription committee) for a new school building for GMGS in 1927.
Class of 1948 with Ms Mitchell
Over the years, the school has established a distinctive Christian culture based on an ethos founded on shared beliefs and values. This is reflected in the following ways:
- The school chaplains are pastors from the Methodist Churches.
- All members of the Board of Management (BOM) have connections with the Church.
- Sports houses are named after people from the Methodist Mission.
- Archer House (Red) is named after Mrs Raymond L Archer. Her husband, Rev Archer, was a Methodist Bishop in the 1950s.
- Means House (Yellow) is named after Mrs Paul B Means. Her husband, Rev Means, was the editor of the Malaysian Message, an official organ of the Singapore area of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the 1930s.
- Lau House (Green) is named after Mrs E S Lau. Mrs Lau was the first local Principal of GMGS from 1931 to 1941. Her husband, Rev Lau, was the pastor of the English section of the Geylang Chinese Methodist Church.
- Mitchell House (Blue) is named after Miss Mabel Mitchell, Principal of GMGS from 1949 - 1950.
Staff of 1957
Today, 97 years after our humble beginnings, Geylang Methodist School (Primary) now has more than 1600 students. We are deeply appreciative of the strong support given by our partners and well-wishers. With the new building extension and facilities, we are finally able to function as a single session school. We remain rooted to our founders' clarion call to provide new opportunities in a joyful learning environment and be that beacon of light in this Geylang community.
Our present school building
As a school, we treasure every milestone in our journey as a forward step in the legacy that many helping hands and hearts have bequeathed to us in their love, service and faithfulness to God. This legacy will and must continue to live on through our words and deeds, our actions and thoughts. As a GM family, we will continue to GROW, SERVE and LEAD with joy, through Friendship, Body and Mind!
To God be the Glory! 97 years today, and counting! Amen and Amen.
"A Christian school is like a family. It runs on the basic principles of love, tolerance and duty. It is the responsibility of everyone...that these are maintained..."
- Rev J V Ayaduray, Chairman of school's first Management Board, 1960.