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Principal’s Message: Mabel’s Table Garden

Mabel’s workstation always amazes me. Every        time, steady effort, knowledge of the
time I walk towards it, even before I see Mabel,   individual plants and sensitivity to the
I first see a tall shoot with deep green leaves    environment and its effects. In addition, a
jutting beyond the top of her office divider.      gardener must be both disciplined and
                                                   responsible to do what is necessary so that the
On walking closer, I then encounter a whole        plants will thrive.
assembly of little pots bursting with various      __________________
types of plants meticulously arranged around
her keyboard, computer screen and files.           For Mabel, her plants will merely wilt
There is the delicate pink and red frittonia, the     and wither without her nurturing
olive green aluminians, the long and elegantly        attention; but for families and for
stemmed frogjoy, creeping money plants,                Singapore, the consequences are
miniature ferns and many more1.                     indeed dire if we do not nurture the
                                                                    future now.
Mabel at her table.  The plants are a joy
                     to behold and I have          __________________
                     observed many
                     colleagues stopping           As we start the new academic year, it is useful
                     by Mabel’s                    for home and school, educators and parents to
                     workstation just to           reflect on our God-given role in nurturing our
                     take in the sight of          young generation to be responsible and
                     her table garden              contributing men and women with sound,
                     and her flourishing           Godly values. It is vital work which we, the
                     potted plants.                significant adults in the lives of our young,
                                                   must constantly tend to and not neglect if we
Mabel’s thriving garden is, no doubt, the result   want to ensure that the future will be one
of her devoted and consistent care for her         where the best is yet to be.
plants. At lunch time, she busies herself with
pruning off the dead leaves, re-potting new        For Mabel, her plants will merely wilt and
plants, watering and adding the necessary          wither without her nurturing attention; but
nutrients. The plants are also routinely rotated   for families and for Singapore, the
between her desk and a space outside the office    consequences are indeed dire if we do not
where they can enjoy a stint in the sun.           nurture the future now.

Mabel’s dutiful and loving tendering of her                                Winston Hodge
table garden has provided me (and my                                       Principal
colleagues) an object lesson on the work of a                              Anglo-Chinese School (Independent)
gardener in nurturing her plants. It requires
                                                                                                          3
1 Names provided by Mabel herself
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