Our Irish Heritage
The De La Salle Brothers first Christian brothers arrived here from Ireland on board the ship “La Julie” in 1852 at the request of Paris Foreign Missions Father Jean-Marie Beurel This can be seen around the school – the Celtic Crosses that sit atop many of the school buildings. The tune of our School Rally is that of an Irish marching song “O’Donnell Abu”.
The De La Salle Brothers of St Patrick’s had many Irish Brothers; like Br Remigious and Br Senan. Br Senan set up the Braille Centre on the 2nd Floor corner room above the armoury in 1976 to support the visually impaired who were in our Pre-U cohort.
Br Joseph McNally has been a major influence to many Patricians. His visible legacy in St Patrick’s is his very first art work done in Singapore… the restored hands of Our Lady of Katong; done at the request of Br Alban… This restored statue replaced the Japanese Victory Tree in front of the Portico of the old-school block (now the CCA block) after the war; and is now located in a grotto next to the current school canteen.
Br Joseph McNally’s other legacies to St Patrick’s were his formation of the School Council, Student Council, Student Parliment, and our Alumni Society. He also founded the St Patrick’s Arts Centre that has now become the LaSalle School of the Arts.
In 1982, our school band with alumus participated in New York’s St Patrick’s Day Parade – invited by New York’s St Patrick’s Day organising committee due to our strong links with the Irish community. It is said that our “I love St Pat’s” black T’s and car-decals were designed in New York and brought back to the school; courtesy of our school band .
The Inaugural St Patrick’s Day Parade Singapore was co-organised by us with the Irish Business Federation on 19 Mar 2006.
During the 1st Youth Olympics Games in 2010, St Patrick’s was host to the torch relay in the Eastern Part of Singapore; and we were the school rooting for the Irish Youth Olympians.
Do note how closely knit we are with the Irish… in the words of our Patron in 2003:
“Many (in Ireland) were pleasantly surprised that, as Patricians, we grew up wearing the Irish Shamrock on our school ties and school badges”
Why there is a St Patrick’s School?
This is due to the two Irish Brothers:
Br Gregory McGrath
the Brother who bought the land in 1898
Br Stephen Buckley
the Brother who founded St Patrick’s School in 1933