Sunday, 3 April 2011

The Day I Met The Prime Minister of Singapore

Any of my colleagues or people that know me (in real life, or in the social media space), are probably tired of me reminding them that today was the day that the Prime Minister of Singapore, Mr Lee Hsien Loong, was to pay a visit to our small but very close-knit community in Sengkang West.

After many weeks of planning and the tireless efforts of a small group of people from the Residents Committee (RC, Zones E & F) and the CCMC (Anchorvale Community Centre Management Committee), the 'Wellness Day' event was a ripping success!

Following on from our final organizing meeting yesterday morning, we all met at Blk 437 for a final briefing and breakfast this morning at 8:00am, before heading over to Fernvale Point to put the finishing touches on the location and to ensure all of the logistics were taken care of.

For anyone visiting our community for the first time, it would be quite understandable if you were to assume that this usually laid-back pocket of the heartlands had become the fashionable place to hang-out on a Sunday morning. With literally thousands of people out to enjoy the day and a shared excited anticipation at the upcoming treat of PM Lee's attendance, the entire area was literally 'abuzz'!

And nobody was disappointed!! The agenda and event went off like clock-work. I could start naming people responsible for the meticulous planning, but I fear if I did, I may miss one or more people in doing so. These wonderful givers to the community know who you are, but I do think a special shout-out needs to be given to Peter (not me) and Mickey.

Although PM Lee arrived a little earlier than planned, it was no concern or isssue for everyone involved. Upon being greeted by Grassroots leaders, the PM, accompanied with the very popular Dr Lam Pin Min were treated with a fabulous welcome and performance from around 325 children of the various local PCF (PAP Community Foundation) kindergartens.

Shortly thereafter, Mr Lee met with many of the residents, many of whom seized the opportunity for a photograph with the charismatic leader - 'yours truly included' - which was no simple task let me tell you, given that my 'official role' for the day was that of photographer for the CCMC and RC's... I managed to off-load the camera to my wife in a well-rehearsed play, swooped up my son, Jaime, in my arms, and managed to get to actually not just meet with the PM, but also had a very meaningful conversation with him. Dr Lam introduced us, and described my involvement in the Sengkang West Grassroots and CCMC. Then PM Lee proceeded to display genuine interest in my time here in Singapore... and my son, although overwhelmed at the time, has not stopped speaking about how we met the Prime Minister - I think he's got some serious 'showing off' and boasting ahead of him tomorrow at kindergarten (he asked me to print off a photo for his 'show and tell' already) :p


Following on from a walkthrough around the various establishments within Fernvale Point and meeting the shopkeepers and vendors, we had a simple but very delightful snack at Koufu - and managed to cool off a bit in the process... it was a very warm and humid morning.

Soon after, it was time to say farewell to PM Lee, and although I suspect that the organizing teams took a collective sigh of relief, it was definitely accompanied by a real sense of accomplishment... and very well deserved.

This event, my first as a member of the organizing committee of any community event in Sengkang West, was a roaring success - in our eyes, as well as that of the community. The smiles and genuine admiration and happiness shown by our local people will be etched in my memory - this is why I love getting involved in community activities and why I have decided to take an active role in our local community - our HOME - SENGKANG WEST!

To see the galleries of pictures I took on the day, just click the following links - with great effort, I managed to somehow reduce the number of pictures to less than 400 (so I could fit in two albums on Facebook):

Click for Wellness Day - Gallery 1

Click for Wellness Day - Gallery 2

Wellness Day at Fernvale Point - 3rd April, 2011 - a day to remember! The Day I Met The Prime Minister of Singapore.

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