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Aug 7, 2010

Community Volunteerism

Ms Jessica Tan Soon Neo, Member of Parliament for East Coast GRC, and Adviser to East Coast GRC Grassroots Organisations presented People's Association Community Long Service Awards 2010.

The Community Long Service 10-Years Award by People's Association.

An honour as a volunteer to serve the community in a modest contribution with low profile. For this personal blog, it appears that I am blowing my trumpet to have a ten minute fame and the chance once in awhile to show-off and taking an ego trip...just kidding ;)

At the Changi Simei National Day Dinner 2010 on Friday, 6 August, 2010 at 7:00 pm at the Changkat Changi Secondary School, the PA community long service is awarded annually during National Day Dinner and presented in multiple of 5-years for each PA community long service. There were several volunteers with 35 years service at this year's long service awardees and I salute them.

The purpose of community volunteerism according to the People's Association publicity banner is:

[PA volunteers are people who want to make a difference in the community and enrich the lives of others around them. When you join us as a volunteer, not only will you contribute to your community, but also become part of a strong network of friends and neighbours who help each other in times of need. Give yourself the satisfaction of being a respected and valued contributor to your community. Let us build a great home and caring community together.]

Visit your nearest Community Club or Residents" Committee Centre or sign up at People's Association as a volunteer.

It is heartening to note that more Singaporeans, regardless of young or old, all walks of life are coming forward to contribute their parts, big or small, to volunteer whatever their ways to help our community in Singapore.

When I was in secondary three in school, I was a Junior Red Cross member.

The motto of the Red Cross is "Serve One Another". (Translated as "益人益他" in Chinese).

Besides learning first-aid and march drill training, the Junior Red Cross activities include visits to Old Aged Home, Orphanage and Disabled Chidren's Homes to accompany the inmates to entertain and play games with them.

On every Tuesday afternoon after school, my three other member volunteers as a Library Service at the Singapore General Hospital at Outram Road, Singapore to distribute books and magazines in English, Chinese, Tamil on a trolley to the various patients at the hospital wards.

On each assignment at the voluntary Library Service, the Officers-in-Charge were rostered by two English ladies who were Red Cross HQ members, the wives of the British servicemen stationed in Singapore at that time.

"When the British announced its plans to withdraw its troops from Singapore by the mid-1970, the volunteer British housewives would also leave Singapore".

The British housewives once asked me why very few Singaporean housewives volunteer community service (e.g. Red Cross Library Service) at that time. "What would happen to the Singaporean volunteers when a vacuum was left after the British forces withdrew?"

Fortunately, the People's Association then launched an active campaign to recruit Singaporeans of all ages to volunteer our community, at all constituencies island-wide. This issue on community volunteerism in Singapore was addressed to the British lady's concern over forty years ago. At the back of their mind, community volunteerism expect our people to look after ourselves to be self-reliant as an independent nation. We are grateful to our British volunteers and appreciate their generous assistance while they were still in Singapore before the pullout of the forces.

In the 1980s when I joined community volunteerism as a member of the West Coast Zone 3 Residents Committee, to organise a
National Library Book Exhibition at the HDB void deck.

While my children were schooling, they have benefitted in the community centres and the residents' committees to learn, play, making friends in the neighbourhood and involved in the heartland community. Home is where we live and interact with the community neighbourhood, not just a house to stay.

Community volunteerism is evolving and need to adapt the needs of every generation, every Singaporean young and old to serve the community.

As Winston Churchill said: "You make a living by what you get, but you make a life by what you give".



Blogger Lam Chun See said...

Sir, I salute you.

August 7, 2010 at 9:16 PM  
Blogger Thimbuktu said...

Thank you for your encouragement, Sir. I've done just a small part to reciprocate so many people have helped us so much from the community. Regards.

August 8, 2010 at 9:14 AM  
Blogger PChew said...

Congratulations! You have set a good example for others to follw.

August 9, 2010 at 10:17 AM  
Blogger Thimbuktu said...

Thank you, Philip.

Actually I was inspired by those who showed me their community service to serve one another.

August 9, 2010 at 10:35 AM  
Blogger Sivasothi said...

Wow, well done!

August 24, 2010 at 8:58 AM  
Blogger Thimbuktu said...

Thank you for the kind encouragement, Siva.

August 26, 2010 at 2:43 PM  

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