St Gabriel's Primary is a government-aided Catholic school run by the Brothers of St Gabriel. It was originally part of St Gabriel's School that was established by the Gabrielite Brothers to cater to the educational needs of the fast-growing population in Paya Lebar and Upper Serangoon.
St Gabriel's School opened its doors on 3 June 1953 to its first intake of 212 pupils who attended classes ranging from Primary One to Standard Two under the supervision of Rev Bro Louis Gonzaga and seven pioneer teachers. The school was then located at the junction of Hillside Drive and Upper Serangoon Road. It was officially declared open on 13 December 1953 by the then Bishop of the Diocese of Singapore and Malacca, Mgr Michael Olcomendy.
When the enrolment of the school rose to over two thousand pupils in the 1960s, it became necessary to provide more space and facilities for the pupils. A project to build a separate primary school was launched.
On 2 January 1969, the whole of the primary section of St Gabriel's School comprising 31 classes with an enrolment of 1350 pupils moved into the new building at the junction of Highland Road and Yio Chu Kang Road. The first Principal of the primary school was Mr Paul Lee Poh Soon.
The primary school was blessed by Archbishop Michael Olcomendy and officially declared open by the Hon Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Member of Parliament for Upper Serangoon, Mr Sia Kah Hui on 12 July 1969.
On 2 January 1988, the 31 classes of 1350 pupils of the school moved to its present premises in Lorong Chuan. The official opening celebration of the school was held on 29 September 1989. The school was blessed by the Archbishop of Singapore, Rt Rev Gregory Yong, and declared open by Dr Lee Boon Yang, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of National Development and Home Affairs.
The next wave of development saw the young Gabrielites returning to their home ground after the completion of PRIME on 17th November 2005. Despite the heavy downpour, spirits were not dampened as Gabrielites from the different eras turned up to mark the joyous celebration. It was indeed heart-warming as the whole school cheered their lungs out when the school flag was once again brought into the hall by the walk leader and handed over to then Principal, Miss Antonia Teng who in turn passed it to the Head Prefect to symbolise the return of the Gabrielites. When the school song was played, it was an emotional affair for many as the boys were singing with so much gusto. There was simply so much pride in the air. It was indeed a homecoming ceremony befitting the importance of the event. The boys cheered even more loudly when Bro. Emmanuel (Supervisor), Bro. Gasper (Titular Superior), Mr. Henry Phang (Chairman, SMC) and Mr Yeo Ann Tai (Vice-Chairman, SMC) went on stage for the ribbon-cutting ceremony. The day ended with a mass in the hall for the Catholics while the rest of the school proceeded to explore the new home of the young Gabrielites.
For more information of the school’s history, please visit the school’s Heritage Gallery.
The centrepiece of the school crest is the Coat of Arm, which has four quadrants. The top-left quadrant has the letters A.M. with the lily flower that is an abbreviation for "Ave Maria". This was the greeting of the Angel Gabriel to Mary, the mother of Jesus. This is also the beginning of the "Hail Mary" prayer. According to St. Louis Marie de Montfort, Wisdom can be attained through living a life of gentleness and authenticity, modelled after Mary the mother of God.
The bottom-right quadrant has the letters D+S with a cross. D.S. is the abbreviation for Dieu Seul, which is God Alone in French. God Alone is the all-motivating force in the life of St. Louis Marie de Montfort. To him God is the centre of his life and in everything he does God is foremost for him. For St. Louis Marie de Montfort, all knowledge comes to nothing if one does not know God. Thus to know all things but not to know God is to know nothing at all.
On the top-right quadrant there is the sailboat at sea. It symbolizes that in life there will be struggle and mortification that we shall experience. Much like the ship at sea, we will come out the better if we are able to weather through the storms of life. No problem is too great to overcome and it is in perseverance and resilience that one shall be able to face all difficulties in life.
On the bottom-left quadrant there is the Star and the man in the boat. This symbolizes the Star of the sea, where seamen navigate to their destination in the vast ocean. If we are focused on the essential values of life, we shall reach our ultimate destiny in life. The Star of the sea shall be the guiding light that lights up the way in our life.
The Crest is adorned with green olive branches, which is derived from Ancient Greece, to symbolize peace and prosperity. It is thus the duty of each one to promote peace in the world, a peace that will last. Coupled with peace is that of prosperity which connotes not only the generation of wealth but also the integral development of human society. The Crest carries the Latin motto "Labor Omnia Vincit" which stands for "Labour conquers all things". Hard work embodied in diligence and perseverance leads one to achieve greater things in life. It can thus be said that in whatever you do, do your best.
St Gabriel’s boys, here on this day unite
With one true heart let us all sing and cheer
The stately home where our boyhood is guided
Learning to live and through right paths to steer
In cheering blue and spotless white apparel
A cheerful band, St Gabriel’s boys unite!
All white and blue, all bent to reap the laurel
Hold and defend Alma Mater’s Glory with heart and might
Saint Gabriel’s School dear
Here willing hearts behold
When duty’s call rings clear
Mid sorrows as through joys
For Singapore and God
For Justice to uphold
Let us live and thus prove
Saint Gabriel’s boys.