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Former RI Headmaster & Temasek JC Principal Eugene Wijeysingha dies aged 90

Ex-RI headmaster & TJC principal Eugene Wijeysingha passes away on 2 Mar

Eugene Wijeysingha, former headmaster of Raffles Institution (RI) and former principal of Temasek Junior College (TJC), has died.

The retired educator passed away on Saturday (2 Mar). He was 90 years old.

RI broke the news of Mr Wijeysingha’s passing on the same day via a Facebook post.

Subsequently, TJC confirmed his passing in its own Facebook tribute on Sunday (3 Mar).

Ex-RI headmaster & Temasek JC principal Eugene Wijeysingha passes away

In a Facebook post on 2 Mar, RI wrote: “It is with deep sorrow that we share the news of the passing of former teacher, headmaster and visionary, Mr Eugene Wijeysingha.”

Mr Wijeysingha, affectionately known as Mr Wijey, began his teaching career with RI as a history teacher at its Bras Basah campus in 1959.

Later, he served as the institution’s Senior Master.

Mr Wijey then joined TJC and served as principal from 1980 to 1985.

Played a pivotal role in RI’s independence

He returned to RI the following year, this time as Headmaster of the prestigious institution.

 

“Upon his return in 1986, he assumed the role as Headmaster of RI, where he fostered discipline, academic excellence and a vibrant school spirit,” the school shared.

The educator was “pivotal” in RI’s road to independence, leading the relocation of the school to its current premises in Bishan in 1990. He then established RI’s boarding programme in 1994.

He also published a book on RI’s history and helped open the Raffles Archives and Museum before he retired at the end of 1994.

RI concluded its tribute with a dedication to Mr Wijey’s memory:

He will be fondly remembered as a man for the people, and his legacy will continue to live on in the students and staff who were touched by his leadership, and those who were privileged to have crossed paths with him. Our deepest, most sincere condolences to his family and loved ones.

Was a role model & father-figure to many students over the years

On Sunday (3 Mar), TJC posted its own tribute to the late Mr Wijey, extending collective condolences to his family.

Dr Bernard Thong, chairman of TJC’s College Advisory Committee, said that Mr Wijey was a “special, fatherly figure”.

He was firm yet endearing in his ways, said Dr Thong, who added that the late principal always had his office door open for students to seek guidance or a simple chat.

He respected the students as young adults, and entrusted the student leaders to organise and run the many projects and activities that added to the vibrant College Life at our Bedok campus. In return, we worked hard, played hard and gave our best to help make TJC what it is today.

Dr Thong ended his post by conveying the alumni and the committee’s “sincerest and deepest condolences” to Mr Wijey’s family.

“Many of us who are now leaders in our own fields in the public and private sector have much to thank him for — for being the role model and father figure during our formative and impressionable JC years.”

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Featured image adapted from Raffles Institution on Facebook and Temasek Junior College on Facebook

Valerie Yuam

This journalist is working really hard and couldn't write a description, but if they aren't, what have you been reading?

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