Round-table ping pong, Xian Feng Hao, a Chinese comic as popular as Transformers, and five-cent pineapple water from hawker carts outside school.
Nearly 100 Catholic High School alumni - who were in Primary 1 in 1965 - relived school memories at a special reunion dinner yesterday.
Several of the old boys, who are in their late 50s, flew in from Hong Kong, Thailand and Australia. They hugged and caught up with their former teachers at the reunion at the school's former grounds in Queen Street.
"This is a special celebration to catch up, but, more importantly, to thank our teachers, the pioneers who gave us good foundations to become who we are now," said businessman David Kong, 57, the organiser.
Another former pupil, businessman Cheong Sing Fatt, 57, said: "Many of us are businessmen, civil servants and scientists now. Singapore has a good education system that opened doors for us, and now our kids - that is worth celebrating."
Brother Joseph Dufresse Chang, 88, who was principal from 1960 to 1974, said: "It's such a consolation to see so many of your students grown up and successful."
The Catholic High 1965 Primary 1 reunion is one of many school-related activities to celebrate SG50.
A group of St Anthony's Convent girls who are 50 this year will have gatherings throughout the year. They plan to go for mission trips, take cooking classes, and watch the National Day Parade together.
Said Dr Janelene Leong: "Fifty is a milestone both for us and Singapore. We want to get together, renew old ties and support each other - friendships forged when you are young are always the best."
Staff and students, as well as parents and alumni, from the six schools in the Anglo-Chinese School family will take part in 50 acts of service this year.
On Chinese New Year's Eve, some went around to show appreciation to about 5,000 "everyday heroes", such as health-care and transport workers, with Mandarin oranges and thank-you cards. Upcoming events include a bazaar for needy Dover residents, and a bone marrow donation drive.
Anglo-Chinese Junior College principal Beatrice Chong told The Straits Times these activities are "meant to encourage our students to continue to be ethical change-makers to make a positive difference to the community".
Besides schools, more than 100 individuals and groups have also tapped the SG50 celebration fund to mark Singapore's golden jubilee.
Civil servant Lee Li Theng, 36, will organise events for people to share home-cooked food. "Food brings people together, it is an invitation for residents of different backgrounds to know each other and forge the inclusive society that we want," she said.
This article was first published on Feb 24, 2015.
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