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St. Anthony of Padua

St. Anthony of Padua

The school is named after St. Anthony of Padua.

St. Anthony was canonized (declared a saint) less than one year after his death.

There is perhaps no more loved and admired saint in the Catholic Church than St. Anthony of Padua, a Doctor of the Church. Though his work was in Italy, he was born in Portugal. He first joined the Augustinian Order and then left it to join the Franciscan Order in 1221, when he was 26 years old. The reason he became a Franciscan was because of the death of the five Franciscan protomartyrs -- St. Bernard, St. Peter, St. Otho, St. Accursius, and St. Adjutus -- who shed their blood for the Catholic Faith in the year 1220, in Morocco, North Africa. Their headless and mutilated bodies had been brought to St. Anthony’s monastery on the way for burial. St. Anthony became a Franciscan in the hope of shedding his own blood and becoming a martyr. He lived only ten years after joining the Franciscan Order.

So simple and resounding was his teaching of the Catholic Faith, with even the most unlettered and innocent able to understand it, that he was made a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius XII in 1946. Saint Anthony was only 36 years old when he died. He is called the “hammer of the Heretics.” His great protection against their lies and deceits in the matter of Christian doctrine was to utter, simply and innocently, the Holy Name of Mary. When St. Anthony of Padua found he was preaching to heretics who would not listen to him, he went out and preached to the fishes instead. This was not, as liberals and naturalists suggest, for the instruction of the fishes, but rather for the glory of God, the delight of the angels, and the easing of his own heart.

He is typically depicted with a book and the Infant Child Jesus, who famously appeared to St. Anthony in a mystical experience, and is commonly referred to today as the "finder of lost articles." Upon exhumation, some 336 years after his death, his body was found to be corrupted, yet his tongue was totally incorrupt, so perfect were the teachings that had been formed upon it.

History

SAPS Statue.jpg


THE BEGINNINGS

St. Anthony’s School was established on 1 August 1879 by the Catholic Portuguese Mission of Singapore. It was then called St. Anna’s School and had a mixture of boys and girls. Fr. Jose Pedro Sta. Anna de Cunha, a native of Goa, Assistant to Fr. Nicolau Inacio Pinto, had started the school to cater to the poor children who could not afford an education, even though the school fees then were very low. St. Anna’s School, which was located in a small rented house in Middle Road, did not charge any fees. The six pupils of the first enrolment thus enjoyed free tuition. C.M.E. Buccanam was the 1st principal of St. Anna’s School and was aided by two teachers, Margaret Dias and Mary Anna Ruggelly.

ST. ANTHONY'S BOYS' AND GIRLS' SCHOOL

On 23 February 1886, in conjunction with the shift to the new school building, and with the consent of the Archbishop Primate, Canon Pinto changed the name of the school to St. Anthony’s Boys' and Girls' School.

ST. ANTHONY'S BOYS' SCHOOL

The government did not consent to the existence of a mixed school, so Fr. Pinto, on December 1887, compromised by separating the boys and the girls in the school.

In November 1893, under the suggestion of the school inspector that the boys’ school be physically separated from the girls’ school, St. Anthony’s became St. Anthony’s Boys’ School and St. Anthony’s Girls’ School. The boys’ school was transferred to two old shophouses behind the Parochial House.

NEW BUILDING FOR ST. ANTHONY'S BOYS' SCHOOL

Fr. Antonio Abilio Sapage had petitioned for the erection of a modern and spacious new building for the school. On 21st October 1924, the Bishop of Macao, Dom Jose da Costa Nunes, agreed to build such a building. The Portuguese Mission and the government shared equally the cost of building the new school. The two old shophouses were demolished. By June 1926, there stood a reinforced concrete, three-storied building for the school in their places. A bronze statue of St. Anthony was placed on the top of it. This building is still standing today and is gazetted for conservation.

ST. ANTHONY'S UNDER THE DE LA SALLE CHRISTIAN BROTHERS

On 11th October 1938, an agreement was signed between the Vicar General of the Portuguese Mission and the Visitor of the Christian Brothers in Malaya for the school to be taken over by the Christian Brothers. In January 1939, the school was 
formally taken over and managed and controlled by the Christian Brothers of St. John Baptist de La Salle. The first Director of the school was Rev. Brother Canice. 

JAPANESE OCCUPATION

During the Japanese Occupation the school continued to function as part of the Japanese Educational System. As a result, the building was not taken over by the Japanese Army. When Liberation Day came, St. Anthony’s was able to resume at once. Brother Christopher took over from Brother Canice as the Director in November 1945.

AFTER THE WAR

In 1954, it was felt that the present location could not provide adequate laboratory and other specialist facilities. Thus, some of St. Anthony’s secondary classes were transferred to St. Joseph’s Institution. In 1961, all the secondary classes were transferred to St. Joseph’s Institution. St. Anthony’s Boys’ School then became purely a primary school.

THE SHIFT TO BUKIT BATOK

The School was relocated in May 1992 to Bukit Batok and became a co-ed school. It was thus renamed St. Anthony's Primary School.

GROWING AS WE ADVANCE

The School continued to undergo several upgrading programmes to improve, enhance and add-on to its infrastructure in order to provide Anthonians with more facilities to enhance their learning experiences.

In 2013, the school was temporarily relocated to Jurong East to enable the Bukit Batok campus to undergo extensive redevelopment works which included the building of an Indoor Sports Hall and the addition of two levels of classrooms at its existing blocks. This enabled us to operate as a single-session school from 2015 when we returned to our Bukit Batok campus.

The school celebrated its 135th Anniversary on 4 July 2015 at the redeveloped premises with a Re-dedication Mass, celebrated by Archbishop William Goh, who also officially opened the school building, and an Anniversary Dinner which brought together many cohorts of Anthonians and former staff members.

ADMINISTRATIVE SET-UP (1879 TO PRESENT)

ST. ANNA'S SCHOOL
Year Principal Assistants
1884 Miss J. McIntyre E. McIntyre, J. Derric
1885 Miss J. McIntyre E. McIntyre, J. Derric, P. McIntyre
1886 C.M.E. Buccannam F. Philip, J. Derric, M.Monis

ST. ANTHONY'S BOYS' AND GIRLS' SCHOOL
Year Principal Assistants
1888 Miss J. Tolley Mary Richards, A. Rodrigues, V. Eber
1889 Miss J. Tolley Mary Richards, A. Rodrigues, Miss Cazalas
1886 C.M.E. Buccannam F. Philip, J. Derric, M.Monis

DIRECTORS OF THE SCHOOL
1879 – 1881 Fr. Jose Pedro Sta. Anna e Cunha
1881 – 1891 Fr. Inacio Teofilo Pinto & Fr. J.J. Baptista
1891 – 1898 Fr. Cesar Augusto dos Santos Vital
1898 – 1906 Fr. Adroaldo Maria dos Santos, (Acting)
1906 – 1921 Fr. Francisco Bonito Braganca
1921 – 1927 Fr. Antonio Abilio Sapage
1927 – 1938 Fr. Artur Goncalves

DIRECTORS AND PRINCIPALS OF ST. ANTHONY'S BOYS’ AND GIRLS’ PRIMARY SCHOOL
1946 – 1948 Bro. Christopher
1948 – 1951 Bro. Philip
1952 Bro. Bernard
1953 – 1954 Bro. William
1955 – 1956 Bro. Thomas
1956 – 1957 Bro. Finan
1958 – 1960 Bro. Gabriel
1960 Bro. Sebastian
1960 – 1965 Mr. Teo Kim Song
1965 – 1968 Mr. Leong Hong Hee
1968 – 1976 Mr. Kenneth D’Rozario
1976 – 1992 Mr. Tan Hye San
1992 – 1999 Mr. Michael Yong Shao Chih
1999 – 2003 Ms. Bernadette Lim Bee Hiong
2003 – 2010 Mr. Thomas Koh
2010 - 2016 Ms. Christina Teo
2017 - 2021 Ms. Cecilia Lim 
2022Mrs. Esther Choo 

St. Anthony's Boys' School - Victoria Street (1920s)

Victoria Street Building - 1920s

St. Anthony's Boys' School - After adding a 4th level (1950s)

Victoria Street Building - 1950s


School Photo, with St Joseph's Church in the background (1960s)

School Photo - 1960s


St. Anthony's Boys' School - (until 1991)

Old School - Until 1991


St. Anthony's Primary School (SAPS) in Bukit Batok (1991 - 1999)

Old School - 1991 to 1999


SAPS after PRIME (2000-2012)

School Building - 2000 to 2012


SAPS@Jurong East (2013 - 2014)

School Building@Jurong East - 2013 to 2014


SAPS@Bukit Batok (2015 till today)


SAPS@Bukit Batok - 2015 to Present


Some staff members (past and present) of SABS/SAPS


Staff Members - Group Photo 01

Staff Members - Group Photo 02