Former CJC principal, 83, dies of cancer
THE first Catholic nun to lead a junior college here has died.
Sister Deirdre O'Loan, a former Catholic Junior College (CJC) principal and supervisor of the Convent of Holy Infant Jesus (CHIJ) schools in Singapore, died last Saturday morning of pancreatic cancer at the CHIJ Convent in Chestnut Drive.
She was 83.
The Irish nun had received the Public Service Star in 2014 for her contributions to education.
Vivienne Lim, chairman of the CHIJ board of management, said Sister Deirdre was a well-loved educator who worked tirelessly right till the very end, demonstrating the CHIJ motto of being "Simple in Virtue, Steadfast in Duty".
"When she passes by a child, she would stoop down to talk to him or her. She recognised the unique qualities each of them had, and really cared deeply for them."
Affectionately known as "Sister D", the nun taught in Malaysia before coming to Singapore in 1974.
She had been with CJC since its founding in 1975 as a General Paper teacher.
She later headed its English department, and was responsible for setting up the school's library. In 1986, she was appointed vice-principal before she served as principal from 1988 to 1994.
Medical doctor Lawrence Ng, 53, who graduated from CJC in 1981, said Sister Deirdre was committed to the character formation of students.
"She had an austere veneer and would pull you aside if your uniform was out of place. But if you interact with her personally, she was warm and would greet the students that she knew by name."
In late 1994, she became the supervisor of the CHIJ schools, overseeing the management of the 11 primary and secondary schools in Singapore.