Written by: Celine Yeap
Edited by: Png Ning
In the minds of every young page (that is, KEviian-to-be), the dawn of dusk on the 22nd of July meant only one thing: Orientation. Entering as “pages”, in the hopes of ascending to knighthood, King Edward VII’s Welcoming and Orientation 2011 encapsulated the theme, “Red Knight’s Legacy”, helmed by Sir Patrick Er and Lady Vic-ki Sia with the help of a dedicated team of KEWocers (members of the King Edward Welcoming and Orientation Committee). It was the promise of an unforgettable journey within the walls of Castle Keviia (King Edward VII Hall), a place we would eventually call, home.
As the saying goes, it is the start that is always difficult. What should I say? Will I meet nice people? What if I don’t fit in? These were some of the many questions on repeat at the back of my (and undoubtedly every pagers’) mind. The air was filled with a tangible buzz as fellowship leaders warmly welcomed and introduced each pager to their respective fellowship, belonging to one of three orders: Scarlethon, Eboneagle and Amberlion. Seated in my fellowship of Velox in the order of Eboneagle, I watched as countless unfamiliar faces crossed the threshold of the dining hall, mirroring my expressions of anticipation and worry. Nevertheless, the night proceeded with rounds of ice-breakers as questions such as “Which JC were you from?”, “What are you majoring in?” bounced back and forth as we mingled. With nightfall, we were ready to embark on our four-day long quest to become a Red Knight.
3 orders, 6 fellowships and 6 exquisitely crafted flags and symbols. Let the journey begin.
We were warned: it would not be easy. Would we successfully pass the tests of skills, courage and wisdom? Will we survive the trials of treachery, mystery and murder? The path to knighthood was indeed long and tiring. We awoke at the break of dawn everyday only to find ourselves faced with a list of never-ending activities – games of all sorts, challenging not only members of each fellowship to work (and play!) together but also the camaraderie and friendly competition between all fellowships in the process. Days 1 and 2, commencing with campus and hall station games set the standards of our training to first become a “squire”. Trudging throughout the Castle (hall) and beyond (NUS campus), each fellowship took part in completing tasks such as finding and guessing answers to riddles from the AB laundrette, relay racing and many more, with variable and often humorous outcomes. The renowned “Twilight Mystery” on the night of day two required a combination of teamwork, curiosity and intelligence of us, pagers, to successfully decode the mystery of the Sir Pedro’s (note: I forgot who exactly he was…) murder, upon which we were pronounced officially as “squires”.
It seemed to be the fun and games we were having that kept us energised, finding ourselves frequently heading out for 11pm suppers with our fellow squires and seniors. The Castle was alive with new friendships being formed as we slowly got over the stage of “awkward conversation”. Before we knew it, the days of training were quickly rushing past. Despite our sights set on becoming knights, our senior sirs and ladies never forgot to teach us the history, the values and the spirit of becoming a KEviian. Apart from many fun facts learnt about the happenings in hall (such as snake sightings in block E!) during the history game, we learnt about the history of Castle KEviia – the trials and tribulations it has gone through to exist where it stands today. What it truly means to be a KEviian reflected itself in the hall cheer and song sessions. Our voices grew tentatively as we attempted our best to speak the words and lyrics that have flowed through the lips of generations of KEviians a thousand times over. In retrospect, it is hard to believe that in a span of a few short days, from when it were my worries plaguing my thoughts, it was now the tune of “Good Old KE Hall” replaying in my head, coaxing me to sleep.
But alas, the journey must go on. The final tests in becoming a knight were dawning upon us. On the morning of day 4, one could almost taste the enthusiasm as we gathered and prepared for the battles and tests that lay ahead of us, such as the much-awaited “Knight’s Examination”. This colossal battle between fellowships was a highlight of the orientation, in which fellowships gain “elements” and battle strategically to win the others over. Similarly, the last day of orientation was a memorable culmination of some of orientation’s most exciting events. Which freshman could forget the sight of the remains of hundreds of used plastic bags strewn across the floor of the MPC after the “battleship” water-fight? Or the tantalising smell of cupcakes wafting out from the E-block kitchenette as fellow blockers got to know each other better? Tired but happy, we proceeded on to the day’s final event – what we have all been waiting for: the Knighting Ceremony, held in the mystic glow of a campfire.
Treated to a feast of performances and songs, our moment was close approaching; an inauguration to encapsulate our achievements, five gruelling yet fun-filled days, the memories and new friendships to last a KEviian’s lifetime. With the dubbing of the sword (conducted by Sir Sien Long), and we spoke the words “My name is so and so, a Red Knight from such and such block and I am proud to be a KEviian”, the little ball of pride deep inside each of our hearts shined more brightly than ever. As King Edward VII’s Freshman Orientation 2011, “Red Knights Legacy” came to an end, we the Red Knights, find ourselves now ready to venture into the uncertain world that is university life, with the courage and wisdom orientation has gifted us. No matter what obstacles we may face, we continue with the confidence that KE will always be there to welcome us back home. On the behalf of all freshmen, a sincere thank you, KEWocers, for proving to us (once again) that KE is the best, HOI!
Note: KE Press apologises for the lack of photos as they are not available as of presstime.