On 14 March 2014, the SCWO (Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations) held a gala dinner at the Shangri-la Hotel to launch the ‘Singapore Women’s Hall of Fame’. The occasion was to honour 108 Singapore women who, in the words of SCWO, ‘have made, or are making an impact on our nation—the boundary breakers and record holders, the risk takers and change makers, the role models and the standard setters’.
And I was among the honorees!
It was a matter of immense pride and pleasure for me to be placed alongside women whom I’ve always admired—Teresa Hsu, dubbed ‘Singapore’s Mother Teresa’, who died aged 113 in 2011; Elizabeth Choy, war heroine (whom I had the honour of meeting, many years ago, when she was still teaching in St Andrew’s School): Anne Wee, pioneer in social work education, at age 88 as bubbly and quick-witted as ever; Goh Lay Kuan, dance pioneer and activist; Noeleen Heyzer, global champion of women’s rights; Halimah Yacob, first woman Speaker of Parliament; Olivia Lum, founder of one of the world’s leading water treatment companies; Laurentia Tan, Singapore’s most decorated Paralympian, and many, many more.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening for everyone, filled with the squeals and hugs of the women guests as they excitedly moved about in the vast hotel ballroom, to greet and chat with each other. The men, (not at all minding that their gender was conspicuously under-represented) were glad to be ‘honorary women’ for the evening, led by the ever affable Tommy Koh, Chairman of the Selection Board.
Here’s a picture of me proudly receiving the award!