Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Story of the year! The FIRST badge of SMI

Picture by Mr Harneak Singh.

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.
Harneak Singh.


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.
Brother Vincent.
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.


ethanpuah said...

Wow! I didn't know that our current badge was an upgraded design from the old. I am stunned to know that how come all these years nobody mention about the very first badge. Not even in our yearly schoolbook. This is truly a great finding. I thank you Mr Harneak Singh and Bro Vincent to enlighten us, Michaelians about our alma mater's first badge.

class of 2001

LX Manmathan said...

A very great discovery. I feel the time have come to set up a team which will search the past of SMI because if not Mr Harneak Singh, we would not have discovered this. I also hope Bro. Vincent could recall what are the changes that had occurred in SMI so that we could have a guideline for the search of the past. I also hope this will be included in the school magazine.

'Once A Michaelian, Forever Michaelian'

Henry Yew said...

Thank you Mr. Harneak and Bro. Vincent for enlightening us younger generation of Michaelians on this piece of heritage that could have been long gone and forgotten. This is indeed a piece of Michaelian heritage worth preserving. I didn't know that there was actually an older design of the school badge!

Personally, I think that our current badge is great, but the old badge looks just as imposing and grand, too.

Yew Guo Zheng
(Form 5Sc1 of 2005)
Civil Engineering Department
Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS

Shuuya-kun said...

What ?! There is a previous badge
of SMI . Indeed a very great discovery.

I've always thought the current badge is the first badge as I'm a Michaelian since standard 1.

Class of 2008 [5sc4]

palohchai 'n' littlecicak said...

I've been tyring to figure out what's the picture on the bottom right quadrant? Looks like a book but it's not a book. Do you have any idea what's that? Or is it SMI combined into one symbol, just like St. Xavier's Penang SXI?

By the way, I also noticed that the old SMI badge has coconut tree too, just like St. Xavier's Penang current badge. Do you have any idea what's the meaning of the coconut trees?

Wong Weng Yew
USS3 2001

+Shane+ said...

Indeed. I used to be one of the old Michaelians now (Graduated year 2009). Perhaps I should use words like: Now and Forever. To be honest i've never seen such beautiful old SMI badge. It's truly meaningful and signifies the meaning of the school motto. We're like a family! As I rolled down my 'mouse', I find that this is really a hidden history of SMI, & I love to see all these, well, basically one of the coolest artifacts in SMI. I thanked god, Michael the angel and those past La Sallian brothers for giving SMI a life and justice.
To all Michaelians (Current and pass). Do remember we're not just normal students, but "Michaelians"!
Thank You for posting this Mr Peter Khiew.
God Bless everyone!
Quis Ut Deus (Who can compared to god?)

Aimee johnson said...

Informing the present and past participles about ancient badges is very good idea. Keep updating us.

magnetic name badges

Kelvin Monteiro said...

This is a great site. I enjoyed reading the post about the old badge. .... Kelvin Monteiro, St Michael's School (Singapore) Class of 1976. Btw SMS is now know here as SJI Junior.

Kelvin Monteiro said...

The is a great site. I enjoyed reading the post regarding the old badge. .... Kelvin Monteiro, St Michael's School (Singapore) Class of 1976. Btw SMS is now know as SJI Junior here.