Heart and Soul: Reflections on Sister Enda – 8 precious memories

The writer (right) with Arati and Sr Enda. Photo: Chan Chui Fang

Heart & Soul
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The above is a photo taken with Sr Enda in 2016, with my Form 3 desk partner, Arati. I was asked by a friend to share my reflections, after Sr Enda had passed on, so here are some of my thoughts.

1. She lived a life fulfilling her destiny and purpose. This could be seen in the fruits of her labour.

2. Gave her all, and dedicated her whole life to the will of God for her. She never veered from her faith in God.

3. Never gave birth to any children yet had thousands who loved her and knew that she genuinely cared for them. When we went to the school for the final send-off, we met some old girls who are now in their 70s. What Sister had done for us is unforgettable. My sister, from the class of 1979, told me that Sister used to drive out looking for girls hanging out in PJ State, to make sure that they got home safely and were not endangering their lives by being in places they should not have been.

4. She didn’t change our culture but she embraced it without compromising on her belief and faith. How else could an Irish introduce a song in Bahasa Malaysia, which everyone could sing to the Almighty God?

5. She was relentless and unstoppable in what she wanted to do. We remember her feistiness. If it wasn’t for that, the school wouldn’t have stood where it is today.

6. Strict yet very encouraging. She made sure we followed the rules and, when we had to face our exams, she would say, “Do your best and God will do the rest”, which was such a reassuring statement.

7. She inspired us to think differently, to be free in expressing ourselves creatively. On the school grounds, we had the Thinking Pool – where we could go spend time meditating or even pose as The Thinker – and a road named Jalan Talent which students in the 1960s used as a catwalk to showcase their talents. And there were interesting names for the different areas, like the Woodlands where we used to loaf around during recess, and classrooms called the Cowsheds...

8. Our school was different because of her. How many schools had singing assemblies like ours? We used to sing – By The Light Of The Silvery Moon, Rasa Sayang, Danny Boy, When Irish Eyes Are Smiling... Oh, and after the dismissal bell, the PA would play I’m A Rhinestone Cowboy...

There are definitely many more things to add, but I will just end here. Truly, we were very blessed to have had her in our lives.

In her last Facebook post to the Assunta Alumni, she wrote: “... Make sure we do our best... to travel to Heaven in business class”, to which a friend responded very aptly, “Am sure she scored an upgrade to 1st class.”

She was the best mentor to us girls.

Goodbye for now, Sister...

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