Mr Harneak Singh (Form Five 1980) possesses a tremendous desire for things Michaelian. Over the years, he has collected an array of relics and artifacts that hold dear to his heart. His search for items which bear the rich Lasallian and Michaelian tradition and heritage keeps him energised. We thank Mr Harneak for sharing another chapter of the Michaelian legacy with us all.
Received an e-mail yesterday.
Dear Mr Peter,
This morning I managed to chance upon our school's very first badge. Even though it is not in mint condition, I am happy that my long search for it has ended.
Bro Vincent, as we were discussing yesterday, can you please elaborate on the badge. What each of the signs signifies? When did we switch to the new design - "the Scale of St Michael" with our motto - "Quis Ut Deus". Attached a scanned copy of the badge.
THE REPLY FROM BROTHER VINCENT CORKERY
Dear Harneak & Peter,
I am not sure when the earlier badge was designed, It was certainly pre-war, and was beautiful in its way, colourful and diverse.
However in 1958 or so, Brother Joseph McNally came visiting and he had a passion for heraldry and coats of arms. He was horrified to see that our badge violated every heraldic law.
He strongly suggested we adopt a new motto. I asked him to suggest a design. Already he had designed the badge for St Patrick's School in Singapore, upgraded the badges of St Joseph's Institution in Singapore, St John's in KL and St Xavier's in Penang.
He felt SMI should focus on the name Michael. Michael was associated with justice and equity, and is often portrayed holding the scales of justice.
The former motto was "Ora et Labora" [Pray and Work]. Several schools already had this motto. He suggested we adopt the distinctive Latin meaning of the name Michael which is "QUIS UT DEUS" [Who is like God, or who can be compared to God].
The new badge and motto were adopted at once and when Brother Paul returned as Director three years later, he was very happy with the change.
Br Joseph donated two important sculptures to SMI: PATERFAMILIAS [Parent] in the foyer, and THE FALCON AND THE FALCONER in the library. Both are regarded as beautiful, but may need explaining.
I hope this will help clarify a little.
From Peter Khiew: Thank you Brother for shedding some light on this matter and I believe this discovery by Mr Harneak is sure to impact the whole Michaelian community. St Michael's has such rich history that it amazes me. I trust the same goes for every Michaelian, current and past.