IGAS Heritage Project

The Irish Graduates Association of Singapore (IGAS) conducted a series of oral history interviews among its members with a view to publishing the book, Irish Graduates of Singapore: Four Decades of The Irish Graduates Association of Singapore.

The interviews provide unique perspectives of the social, cultural, economic and historical landscapes of Singapore and Ireland as seen through the personal lenses of IGAS members from the 1950s to the present day.

The book contains stories and photographs of people and places linking Ireland and Singapore through the graduates of Irish universities and colleges. It focuses on the strong educational links between the island of Ireland and the island of Singapore, the Emerald Isle and the Little Red Dot.

This project was made possible by a grant from The Ireland Funds Singapore (TIFS). It is available through donation to TIFS. Please email for more information.

History

                             
Irish Graduates of Singapore Front Cover

Dr Joshua Janwar, MB, BCh, BAO, Trinity College Dublin, 2022. Back Cover of Irish Graduates of Singapore.

      

The Irish Graduates Association of Singapore can trace its history back to the 1930s in an unbroken link to the Trinity College Dublin Association of Singapore. Our most senior graduate is Dr David Yeo (TCD BA 1955, MB BCH BAO 1958), who features on the front cover of our heritage book beside his brother Mr Michael Yeo (TCD BA Mod. 1959). The latest graduate is Dr Joshua Janwar (left), who graduate in 2022, 67 years after David Yeo's first graduation in 1955

In June 1931 the Trinity graduates in Singapore held their first Trinity Dinner. Until 1935 they came under the umbrella of the Trinity College Dublin Association Malaya Branch, and subsequently created the Singapore Branch. In the years that followed, TCD alumni continued to meet once a year. Even when alumni were interned during the Japanese Occupation, the men managed to hold one last meeting in Changi Prison in 1942. For almost 40 more years after this the Trinity Association continued to be the only Irish alumni group in Singapore with graduates from other Irish universities joining in with the association's activities.

In early In the late 1970s the Trinity Association's Honorary Secretary, Mr Fergus Healy (TCD 1949), organised an evening event for Irish graduates. Fergus and Dr Harry Ho (UCD 1958), one of the earliest Singapore graduates of the National University of Ireland, suggested that a more meaningful Irish alumni association would include graduates from all tertiary institutes in the North and South of Ireland. A pro-tem committee was headed by Fergus to take the matter further.

     

The Irish Graduates Association of Singapore was officially established in 1980 upon receiving authorisation from the Singapore Registrar of Societies. The 27 founder members of IGAS who met on 22 May 1980 at the Singapore Alumni Centre included the late Mr Fergus Healy, Drs Harry Ho, Khoo Chong Yew, Jimmy Lim Aik Foo, Lawrence Leong, the late Raymond Perera, Stanley Quek, Chin Mun Kui, Martin Ng, Lim Hwee Leng, Associate Prof Raja Sinniah, the late Mrs Ellen Khoo, Messrs Theng Chye Yam, Hacharan Singh, Michael Yeo, Hilary Pereira, the late Brother Joe McNally and Father F. A. Bata. The first President of the Association was Dr Harry Ho and the Vice President was the late Mr Fergus Healy.

In March 1995 the IGAS Constitution was changed to admit Associate Members, anyone who has connections with or an interest in Ireland. Next year we hope to change our constitution again to introduce Honorary Life Membership in recognition of members' achievements and Founder Member for those early Trinity Association members who began IGAS.

IGAS is a member of the Alumni International Singapore.