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A "recycled teenager" learning to blog.

Aug 5, 2012

People's Association Community Long Service Award

With Singapore's 47th National Day on 9th August, 2012 a few days away, I join every fellow Singaporean a Happy National Day.

Celebration is in the air and we are in a happy festive mood for once a year National Day to enjoy together as a nation.

Changi Simei National Day Dinner 2012 was held on Friday, 3rd August, 2012 at the Open Field beside Eastpoint Mall at 7.00 pm.

This year's celebration is personally special for me to receive the "People's Association Community 15-year Long Service Award" from Ms Jessica Tan Soon Neo, Grassroots Adviser for East Coast GRC Grassroots Organisations.

The Special Guests are Minister Lim Swee Say, Grassroots Adviser for East Coast GRC Grassroots Organisation; Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman, Mayor, South East District, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Defence and Ministry of National Development, Grassroots Adviser for East Coast GRC Grassroots Organisation; Mr Teo Chong Tee, JP, BBM, former Grassroots Adviser for Changi Constituency GROs.

Photo (Left to Right) Dr Mohamad Maliki, Minister Lim Swee Say, Mr Koh Tong Seng  (Chairman of Changi Simei CCMC), Mr Teo Chong Tee.
The traditional event at the National Day dinner for the"PA Community Long Service Awards" is held every year.  However, the community and Grass Roots Leaders (GRLs) are presented for 5-years, 10-years, 15-years and more, in multiple 5-years service.

Thanks to Ms Jessica Tan, Dr Mohamed Maliki, Minister Lim Swee Say, Mr Koh Tong Seng and Mr Teo Chong Tee and the guests and dignitaries to grace their presence on this occasion.

My congratulations to my fellow colleagues and all the award recipients. I am inspired and encouraged by GRLs and community volunteers for their teamwork, efforts and meaningful community activities to help myself and help others. We need many helping hands in a community to work together. Thanks to People's Association for the recognition and appreciation. I am humbled by the encouragements and help in so many ways by everyone to serve as a volunteer in the community.

I am not the longest service awardees though. I salute and congratulate the colleague with 30-years longest community service presented with this award.

As I blog to express and ramble on this blog topic to share with my friends, fond nostalgic memories is expressed with mixed feelings.

Several of the long service awardees are younger than me because they started to volunteer the community service at a younger age. The criteria for the award presentation is not based on age. It is "non-ageist".

There is no retirement age for community volunteers.

I am a member of the "Senior Citizens Executive Committee (SCEC)" whereas the youth volunteers at the community club's various special interest group (SIG) activities for young and old. Every age group is a special group. I cannot become young again, but I can move forward to join my contemporaries as senior citizens.

About 50 years ago when I first started worked in a company at age 23, I told the colleague who was due for retirement and received a 30 years long service award that I envied him.

He replied: "Your time will come, young man. Don't be in a hurry to grow old".

"I couldn't think that far, Uncle. 30 years is a long, long time and I cannot tell how long I can last to work at the same place for as long as you have served", I said. How long can I last to see so far into the future?

Where there is life, there is hope. It serves no purpose to keep waiting for the end of the world. What else can we do without a community, without friends to chit-chat with us and spend the days alone in the mountain, without people with similar hobbies.

Loneliness is an unpleasant feeling in which a person feels a strong sense of emptiness, yearning distress and solitude resulting from inadequate quantity or quality of social relationships. Loneliness is a natural phenomenon, since humans are social creatures by nature.

I now remember these words from the "wise old owl " who is now about 80 years old.

I could repeat these same words to my children and my young colleagues when I received my 25-years Long Service Award in the company and the National Day Long Service Award some years ago. Surreal...

When William James published a series of lectures on ‘Pragmatism: A New Name for an Old way of Thinking’ in 1907, he began by identifying ‘The Present Dilemma in Philosophy’ (1907: 9ff), a fundamental and apparently irresoluble clash between two ways of thinking about things. He promised that pragmatism would show us the way to overcome this dilemma and, having thus shown us its importance, he proceeded, in the second lecture, to explain ‘What Pragmatism Means’. To be positive with pragmatism; not negative with pessimism .

In every young generation, there must be hope, aspirations, opportunities, optimism and full of energy with fun in learning new things for the new world. The world doesn't grow old even as it aged after millions of years with every new generation for "human remaking" in a better world.

This blog is not an award presentation speech delivery to thank father, thank mother,thank everybody in the family, thank the employers. Some people said this kind of speech is boring. It is not true.

This is not to live the longest, last the longest with the most awards or certificates or longest service in everything in the "Guiness Book of World Records". Personally speaking, this kind of competition is stressful and not meaningful.

I like the SAF acronym "PRoductivity In Daily Endeavour" (PRIDE), a catchy "Work Improvement Team" (WIT) of Quality Control Circle. The aim of the National Productivity Movement was to improve the level of quality of goods and services of all industries in Singapore. With pride and confidence to improve me.

As Asians, we do not celebrate Thanksgiving Day. The origin of the first Thanksgiving in Canada goes back to the explorer Martin Frobisher who had been trying to find a northern passage to the Pacific Ocean. Frobisher's Thanksgiving celebration was not for harvest but was in thanks for surviving the long journey from England through the perils of storms and icebergs.

Through hardship and difficult times to survive, we have to be thankful to so many people, colleagues, friends, family with the help of everyone whom we encounter in our lifetime. Thank God (as each individual's belief and religion) for the blessings to be able for service in whatever ways in a borrowed time, borrowed world.

To people we meet daily, strangers or people whom we know, it is a courtesy to greet "Good Morning or Good Day".

How nice it is to meet happy people who rub on us their cheerfulness and joy with a friendly greeting with just a smile.  It makes our day with cheer!

We don't greet others "Bad Morning or Bad Day", do we?  To some of those who scorned and ask "what is so good about the day?", its depressing and would quickly walk away.

To my Facebook friends, both real persons and Facebook friends, real person friends  for your congratulation wishes, encouragement and goodwill, I thank you.



Blogger derek tait said...

James - you're still as young as ever!
Reading your wonderful blogs, I'm always amazed how polite and friendly everyone is in Singapore, we could learn a thing or two from you here in the UK!
Best wishes,

August 5, 2012 at 4:42 AM  
Blogger Thimbuktu said...

Thank you, Derek. I am a "youngonce", young at heart ;)

For several decades, the "Be courteous"campaigns starting from the schools may have helped to remind Singaporeans to be courteous with everyone.

I have many British friends and everyone in the streets who are also polite and friendly. It is a culture of the British which we have learned from the British tradition and civil society and nature. Cheers!

August 5, 2012 at 7:28 PM  
Blogger PChew said...

James, congratulations on the Long Service Award. It is good that you are being recognised.

August 6, 2012 at 9:37 AM  
Blogger Thimbuktu said...

Thank you for your greetings, Philip.

Best Wishes,

August 6, 2012 at 8:52 PM  
Blogger ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Congrats James,you're the man!

BTW, I read your comment about the "Good Morning" greeting.

In England when the weather is fine (unusual) every Englishman would jump for joy and call out to each other with this greeting.

In a bad morning, the phrase, "Good morning" prevails.

Check with Derek Tait. I cannot be far wrong.

August 9, 2012 at 4:44 PM  

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