AM ERICAN AS S O C IATION O F S INGAP ORE
American Association..... 1-6 Member Discounts............. 3 CRCE & Business............ 6-7 Community News......... 8-11 Living in Singapore..... 13-17 Travel........................ 14-15 Get Sorted................. 18-23 Sports............................. 24 Food & Dining................. 25 Health & Wellness........... 26 What’s Happening.......... 27
Living in Singapore 13-17
Food & Dining 25
Get Sorted 18-23
One Man’s Escape from Singapore Just Before the Occupation
Beyond Sydney: Family Adventures in the Blue Mountains
Time to Embrace Singapore’s Hawker Heritage
Sick of Clutter? Achieve Order from Chaos in Your Home
MCI (P) 116/04/2016
George Washington Centennial Ball! By Anne Morgan
Photo courtesy of Erick Lo Photography
he George Washington Centennial Ball, held in the verdant setting of the beautiful Capella Singapore, magically combined the glamour of days gone by with the thrill of future possibilities. With a nod to the past when West met East, this year’s theme, Red, White & Ritz, married the best of both cultures in a setting reminiscent of 1920s Singapore. Guests donned their flapper dresses, cheongsams and vested tuxes and were treated to fine wine and cocktails, courtesy of Fuji Trading, Brewerkz and Paper Lantern, along with a sumptuous four-course meal. Lucky Draw and Silent Auction prizes such as trips, home décor, jewelry and more raised funds for the American Association of Singapore (AAS) initiative 100 Acts of Charity. The proceeds will go towards AAS’ efforts to support charitable service in the community. AAS would like to sincerely thank
our Lucky Draw and Silent Auction prize donors, corporate sponsors and AAS partners (see pages 4 & 5) without whom the event would not have been possible. Master of Ceremonies and AAS President, Glenn van Zutphen, gave the welcome remarks and called on the US Navy Color Guard to open the ceremony, followed by a magnificent performance of the Singapore and US national anthems sung by Singapore American School A Cappella Choir, The Pitches. Chargé d’Affaires, a.i., US Embassy, Singapore, Stephanie Syptak-Ramnath, gave the evening a historical perspective as she eloquently described the American community over the past 100 years. Throughout the evening, Johnny James (aka “Dr. J”) and his band had the dance floor rocking. In an exciting highlight of the night, guests had the opportunity to purchase keys and try their luck
at opening an antique chest in the center of the ballroom. The lucky winning couple, Bart Millar and Vivian Colvin, whose chosen key unlocked the chest, received a special prize of two, roundtrip, Business Class tickets to the US, courtesy of Emirates. The event’s success is largely due to the work of this year’s GWCB committee co-chairs, Tere Aloma and Janet Maurillo, as well as the dedicated committee members. Special thanks to AAS Events Manager, Sarah Walston. This year the team reached new heights of creativity and sheer hard work, which made this event extra special and a treasured memory for all to enjoy. Guests departed the evening with a specially sourced 1917 US penny, beautiful fan, keepsake magnet photos sponsored by Allied Pickfords and pins and cufflinks sponsored by VanMedia Group. Let’s raise a glass to welcome the dawn of AAS’s next era.
American Association of Singapore’s Centennial Partners
2 AMERICAN ASSOCIATION
A message from the President...
Singapore American · April 2017
SINGAPORE AMERICAN NEWSPAPER EDITORIAL Editor-in-Chief: Cath Forte, firstname.lastname@example.org Publishing Editor: Toni Dudsak, email@example.com
DESIGN & LAYOUT Graphic Designer: Miia Koistinen, firstname.lastname@example.org
ADVERTISING Advertising Manager: Valerie Tietjen, email@example.com
CONTRIBUTORS Hazlyn Aidzil, Helena Auerswald, Virginia Brumby, Melindah Bush, Faith Chanda, Laura Coulter, Ed Cox, Richard Hartung, Dr. Reuben How, Richard Meyer, Bill Poorman, Lissy Puno, Laura Schwartz, Marc Servos, Kinjal Shah, Frances Strong, Laura Schwartz For AAS: Katie Baines, Cath Forte, Anne Morgan, Valerie Tietjen
t was great to see so many people enjoying themselves at our hotly anticipated George Washington Centennial Ball. As always the Ball Committee and AAS Staff outdid themselves (see Committee picture above). Thank you, Stephanie Syptak-Ramnath, Chargé d’Affaires, a.i., US Embassy, Singapore, for being our Guest of Honor. The Capella was a perfect venue, given its 19th century history and the beautiful layout of the ballroom and VIP party area. Aside from many dancing until long after midnight to Johnny James aka “Dr. J”, the fantastic news is that the whole evening raised funds to benefit our 100 Acts of Charity initiative. Thanks to those who joined us and made it a wonderful night and remember to check our website for all of the fantastic pictures. We were expecting to have our AGM on March 14. But due to a procedural question that needed Board resolution, we postponed it to April 20. Please watch for the electronic notices and please come to the AGM. While only American citizens can vote, all of our members are welcome and encouraged to come and enjoy the evening with a glass of wine, snacks and democracy in action. Our Repatriation Talk on March 16 provided practical strategies and useful tips for departing members; we wish them all the very best in their next chapter. We also enjoyed a fascinating evening with Richard Hale as we found out more about the first Americans to take up residence in Singapore, way back in the 1830s. We have plenty to look forward to in the coming months, including the Ambassador’s Cup Golf Tournament, teeing-off on April 30 at the Orchid Country Club, right here in Singapore (no passports required!). Our Texas scramble format this year will have a 1940s theme, in honor of the 1947 inaugural Ambassador’s Cup. So golfers, wear your knickers, short-sleeved knitted shirts, snap-brim, porkpie hats, waist-length Eisenhower jackets, checkered Bermuda shorts and alpaca cardigan sweaters! Follow us on Facebook or Twitter: @AmAssocSG, (hashtag #AmAssocSG for all social media). Best,
AMERICAN ASSOCIATION BOARD MEMBERS President: Glenn van Zutphen • Vice President: Steven Tucker Treasurer: Michael Borchert • Secretary: Shawn Galey Directors: James Arpin, Joseph Foggiato, Mary Beth McCrory, Ana Mims and Stephanie Nash Immediate Past President: David Boden • AmCham Chair: Dwight Hutchins The American Club President: Scott Weber • AWA President: Tara Eastep SACAC Chair: Greg Rutledge • SAS Chair: Anita Tan-Langlois Non-Voting Members: US Embassy: Chahrazed Sioud US Military: Rear Admiral Donald Gabrielson
PUBLISHER - AMERICAN ASSOCIATION The American Association of Singapore (AAS) is a professional, not-for-profit organization established to enhance the well-being and living experience of Americans residing in Singapore and to promote relationships, both business and social, between Americans and those from different cultures and nationalities. 10 Claymore Hill, Singapore 229573 T: (+65) 6738 0371 • F: (+65) 6738 3648 E: firstname.lastname@example.org • www.aasingapore.com The Singapore American newspaper, a monthly publication with readership of 10,000+, has been published by the American Association of Singapore since 1958, with the purpose of enhancing the expatriate experience in Singapore.
SUBSCRIPTION A subscription to the Singapore American is complimentary with an AAS or CRCE membership. AAS annual family membership is just $70. CRCE membership is $160. To join, visit www.aasingapore.com and have the Singapore American delivered to your home. Reproduction in any manner, in English or any other language, is prohibited without written permission. The Singapore American welcomes all contributions of volunteer time or written material. The Singapore American is printed by Procomp Printset Pte Ltd, 57 Loyang Drive, Level 3 Annex Building, Singapore 508968.
Glenn van Zutphen email@example.com twitter: @glennvanzutphen
3 AMERICAN ASSOCIATION
Singapore American · April 2017
Test Your Brain! There’s nothing better than beer and bragging nights! Come match wits against your friends and walk away a champ. Includes a beer or a glass of wine per person and a snack per table. 7-9pm Brewerkz Riverside Point 30 Merchant Road, #01-05/06 Riverside Point, (S)058282 $35 individual or $180 team of six
Annual General Meeting
Launch AAS into the next 100 years! Enjoy some wine and snacks, catch up on all the AAS news and help select our new officers. Members can cast their votes at the AGM, however if you are unable to attend, you may download a proxy form from our website. Please note: Everyone is welcome to attend, however only AAS members holding US citizenship will be permitted to vote. 6-8pm The American Club, 3rd floor, 10 Claymore Hill, (S)229573 Open only to AAS Members (free of charge; $10 no-show fee applies)
Want to be a part of 100 Acts of Charity? Volunteering opportunity for AAS Members to clean up the Mandai Mudflats to benefit the wildlife that thrives there! 2-5pm Mandai Mudflats For more info, please visit our events calendar: www.aasingapore.com
Ambassador’s Cup Golf Tournament
Join the American Association of Singapore and The American Club for the 2017 Ambassador’s Cup Golf Tournament. In honor of AAS’ centennial anniversary, this always-popular golf event will be held in Singapore with a 19-FORE-ties twist, complete with special holes, playoffs with vintage clubs and more. Come relive the days when the tournament was first launched in 1947. Enjoy fantastic tournament play, delicious food, drinks, prizes and an awards dinner. Texas Scramble format. All levels welcome. Orchid Country Club, 1 Orchid Club Road, (S)769162 $375 AAS & The American Club Members $450 Non-Members (includes one-year AAS membership) $1400 AAS & The American Club Members Teams of Four
For more info and to register for an event: www.aasingapore.com
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 19
Behind the Balestiers
A special thanks to Richard Hale for an insightful talk on March 29 on the Balestier family, the first Americans to take up residence in Singapore. Author of The Balestiers, The First American Residents of Singapore, Richard spoke about what life was like in Singapore in the 1800s and why the Balestiers made it their home.
100 Acts of Charity US Embassy
100 Acts of Charity
Moving back home can sometimes be harder than moving away. On March 16, AAS and The American Club members and friends learned how to navigate the emotional and logistical impacts of moving back in an informative talk led by experts from Allied Pickfords and Dr. Suzanne Anderson of International Counselling & Psychology Centre.
Ten US Embassy staff and family members spent time with 80 senior citizens playing bingo, sharing snacks and wishing them Happy Lunar New Year. The senior citizens live on $250 per month and have no families to care for them. As well as brightening up their day with a fun bingo game, the staff also gave out gift bags containing George Porter’s book Singapore 60s: An age of discovery, along with other Embassy swag. This act of charity was undertaken in conjunction with the Asian Women’s Welfare Association (AWWA). AWWA does amazing work, providing housing, meals and medical care for these senior citizens, as well as working with children and young people with special needs, low-income families and caregivers. Great work by Lisa, Hwee Lin, Conn, Joy, Nikolina, Thomas, Antonio, John, Gaya and Natasha and their families, working hard and having fun at the same time to benefit the community.
USA Girl Scouts Overseas (Singapore) Brownie Troop 82 spent a morning helping prepare food for 5,000 needy in Singapore at Kembangan-Chai Chee Community Hub. The girls ages 8-10 peeled a LOT of potatoes and learned all about how to pick out the best kai lan for prep. The girls also listened to a talk by the organization’s founder and worked on their Philanthropy Badge, learning how to give back in a variety of ways. Way to go girls!
Brewerkz Riverside Point For more info and to register: www.aasingapore.com
Submitted an Act of Charity but don’t see it on our map? Please try sending it again.
AAS MEMBER DISCOUNTS
AAS members enjoy discounts at a range of local businesses. Present your AAS membership card at time of purchase. Please see a full list of discounts at www.aasingapore.com/member-discounts.
AAS members enjoy 2 hours free handyman service (valued at over $200) on their moving day when booking a move with Allied Pickfords.
Present AAS membership card to receive 15% off total bill. Valid for dine in on a la carte menu at all Brewerkz and Cafe Iguana restaurants through December 30, 2017. Limit to one (1) redemption per bill, per table. Not valid on
concert days, eve of and on public holidays. Not valid with lunch menu, other set menus, discounts, vouchers, promotions or privileges. The management reserves the right to amend the terms & conditions without prior notice.
Book online using promo code SGAME17 and enjoy a 10% savings on regular fares or a 5% savings on promotional fares in Business Class and Economy Class to the United States, Europe and Colombo. www.emirates.com/sg
Get a six-month free membership to Expat Living magazine. Redeem: www.expatliving.sg/aas
Survival Chic Discovery Dining Program 30% off the table bill (including alcohol and guests) at 50+ top restaurants around the city. $25,000+ in savings, for less than $1/day. 10% off Survival Chic Membership for AAS members! www.survivalchic.com
Present your AAS membership card and receive $10 in vouchers when you sign up for a Warehouse Club membership. Valid till December 31, 2017.
GEoRGE WASHINGToN CENTENNIAL BALL
CORPORATE TABLE SPONSORS
Old Glory Blue:
C100 M87 Y37 K51
Old Glory Red:
C8 M100 Y77 K1
Photos courtesy of Erick Lo Photography and Tatyana Kildisheva
COMPANIES AND INDIVIDUALS FOR THEIR GENEROUS CONTRIBUTIONS! Ang Cheng Chye Anne Kuo (private donation) Bottega S.p.A. Bruno Gallery Singapore Bulgari Caffè Vergnano 1882 Singapore Casey Inc Hair & Beauty Clessidra David Kelly Studio DeRocks Eastern Carpets Emirates Fattoria Fibbiano Agriturismo and Boutique Winery
Framing Angie Fuji Trading Singapore Grand Vin Hedger’s Carpet Gallery Hilton Singapore Indian SpiceBox Ishka Janet Stride (private donation) La Source Spa Lamborghini Lao Airlines Linda Spitsen Mad About Hue
Mendis Aesthetics & Surgery Paper Lantern PBI @ The American Club PengWine Praveen Lingamneni Raffles Hotel Singapore Ruby Shang Sarawak Convention Bureau Sarawak Tourism Board Settha Palace Hotel Silverworks Singapore Chinese Orchestra Style Police by Moira Coops
Taylor B. Fine Design Group Teaspec The American Club The Vintage Club To Be Calm Valerie G. Brandt (private donation) VanMedia Group Villa Semana Resort & Spa W Singapore - Sentosa Cove WTA Singapore Yumi Sarrita (private donation) Zoom Park Asia
SPECIAL THANKS TO THE GWCB COMMITTEE CO-CHAIRS Tere Aloma and Janet Maurillo
COMMITTEE Paulina Bohm, Valerie Brandt, Willow Brest, Dana Cheong, Dawn De Pintor, Alexandra Dolibic, Sabine in de Braekt, Garima Lalwani, Chris Milliken, Michelle Scurfield, Janet Stride, Kaori Zage
6 AMERICAN ASSOCIATION
Singapore American · April 2017
Singapore in World War II By Marc Servos
n 1940, Japan officially joined Germany and Italy as part of the Axis. The United States had already implemented an oil embargo, due to Japan’s military expansion in China and Indochina; following attacks on bases on Oahu, most notably Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the countries were soon at war. Simultaneously, and across the International Date Line, Japan attacked other targets in East Asia and the Pacific on December 8, including the first aerial bombing of Singapore. In response, Royal Navy battleship HMS Prince of Wales and battle cruiser HMS Repulse sailed out of Singapore on December 8, but were sunk by Japanese aircraft on December 10 off the east coast of Malaya. Japanese forces swept through Malaya and crossed into Singapore on February 8, 1942. Many civilians evacuated by ship, despite the risk of being bombed. British Lieutenant General Arthur Percival surrendered to Japanese General Tomoyuki Yamashita at the Ford Factory on February 15. Singapore was renamed Syonan-to and the occupying forces imposed many new policies. People were to learn their language, which included the printing of Japanese-language textbooks for school children. Japanese films were shown in cinemas and only local news on the radio was allowed. Basic needs were scarce, leading to hyperinflation, the use of Japanese “banana money” and black markets. Approximately 3,000 civilians, including several Americans, were held at Changi Prison, built in 1936 to hold 600, while prisoners of war were interned at the British Army’s Selarang Barracks. Indian prisoners were recruited to form the pro-Japanese Indian National Army. Many fought in the Burma Campaign, but most were guards at Changi. Clandestine operations and Allied commando raids occurred. The most notable hero from Singapore was Lim Bo Seng who led operations in Malaya with Force 136, part of the British Special Operations Executive (SOE). Lim died in captivity in 1944 and was buried in Singapore shortly after the
war. In 1944 and 1945, British and American bombers attacked Japanese targets in Singapore. The American victory at the naval Battle of Midway, in June 1942, helped to turn the tide in Allied favor. The Americans subsequently pursued an island-hopping campaign, beginning with the Battle of Guadalcanal in August and including major campaigns such as the liberation of the Philippines and the Battle of Iwo Jima. Meanwhile, American forces along with the other Allies, primarily the British Commonwealth Nations and China, were involved on the Asian continent in what is known as the China-BurmaIndia Theater. Three months after Germany, Japan surrendered on August 14, 1945, shortly after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Douglas MacArthur administered the official surrender, signing on September 2 on the USS Missouri at Tokyo Bay. General Percival at this event stood prominently beside General Jonathan Wainwright, who had been in command in the Philippines when he surrendered in May 1942. Lord Louis Mountbatten administered the Japanese surrender in Singapore on September 12, 1945, at the Municipal Hall, ending three and a half years of occupation. Singapore’s destiny now led to a drive for self-government and eventually independence. Other signs of recovery included the reopening of the American Consulate General in the Union Building on Collyer Quay and the American Association restarting of meetings in 1946, paving the way to the first annual Ambassador’s Cup in 1947 and the founding of The American Club in 1948. Marc Servos is a Hoosier in terms of his home state and alma mater. The Fort Wayne native served in the Army in Germany during the mid-80s and later as an officer in the Indiana Army National Guard. Married to a Singaporean, Sherley, and living here for years, he has two children ages 15 and 7. He juggles family, real estate, English instruction and writing.
Evacuation of British prisoners of war at Kallang Airport.
Evacuation on Empire Star.
CAREER RESOURCE CENTER FOR EXCELLENCE PERSONAL & PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
SPOTLIGHT ON JOBS “When you’re able to convey a true sense of conviction and enthusiasm, you can break through skepticism.” CAROLYN KIM
In Conversation With Dr. Bidushi Bhattacharya How did you hear about CRCE? I first learned about CRCE through Munira Hyder-Adam, who is one of the CRCE members and a former volunteer.
Performance Mindset During a Job Search Speaker: Briana Palmer Wednesday, April 19 10:30am – 12pm
Have you attended any CRCE seminars? Yes, I attended the AAS CRCE Entrepreneurship Seminar in September 2015, which was moderated by Mouna Aouri Langendorf. It was great to talk to her after the presentation and she was kind enough to share her experiences. I’ve also attended a number of other seminars since then. Tell us more about your background and professional experiences… I am a rocket scientist and entrepreneur with experience in spacecraft development and operations, academic administration, scientific research, and technical writing; now the founder and CEO of Bhattacharya Space Enterprises (www.bse-space.com), a Singaporean startup dedicated to space technology incubation and training. My previous experience includes over two decades with NASA as a scientist and engineer. I used to analyze and synthesize technical information and played a key role in fostering communication between academic and industrial teams with varying priorities and work cultures, both within the US and overseas. NASA projects have included the Hubble Space Telescope, the Mars Rover Program, the Galileo Mission to Jupiter and the European Space Agency’s Herschel Space Observatory. I also have experience in higher education research development and established the Office of Sponsored Research for science programs at Claremont McKenna, Pitzer and Scripps Colleges, in Claremont, California. You have set up your own business in Singapore; can you share some of the resources that you used during that process? The CRCE was instrumental to the establishment of my company. I was curious about self-defined opportunities in Singapore
and considering setting up a space technology company but noticed that everyone else with a startup that I’d met to date had a business background. Mouna is trained as an engineer, so my conversation with her really was helpful. For other aspiring entrepreneurs, what are the top three insider secrets you’d like to share about LinkedIn? • Become a Premium member, the extra services allow you to send InMail and reach out to people who are not already part of your network • Check out who’s viewing your profile • Keep your LinkedIn profile updated! What tips do you have for individuals who might be looking for work or a career change? I think the networking culture in Singapore is quite strong, so don’t be shy about attending meetups (including mine, Singapore Astropreneurs!) to learn what people are working on. A number of my connections and contacts have been made through various networking events. University alumni groups’ events are especially helpful and the people you encounter are always willing to reach out and share their knowledge of various industries, opportunities in Singapore, etc.
Lunch & Learn: Giving Back to the Community: Kickstart Your Volunteering Career Today Speaker: Natasha Tulsi Wednesday, April 26 12 – 2pm
Are you an employer with an opening to fill? Did you know employers can list jobs for free on the CRCE job board? Log onto www.aasingapore.com to find out more.
LOOKING TO REINVENT YOURSELF? AAS OFFERS PERSONALIZED CAREER COUNSELING SERVICES. SIGN UP NOW FOR A PRIVATE APPOINTMENT WITH A PROFESSIONAL CAREER ADVISOR. PLEASE CONTACT CRCE.INFO@AASINGAPORE.COM
Membership Manager The Membership Manager is responsible for membership marketing and sales, member relations, as well as all membership administration matters. This position plays a critical role in developing the Membership budget and is responsible for directing the Membership team to deliver the budget, as well as developing and executing the annual Membership marketing plan to achieve new member targets. (job #3439) Consulting Manager, Assessment and Development As a manager, your main responsibilities are to deliver great work for clients. We are looking for someone with program management experience, coaching, development and leadership ability. You may work in other areas as well (talent management, OD), but expect most work to be in the area of leadership assessment and development. (job #3438) Academic Manager and International Student Relations High caliber and diligent candidates needed on our Singapore campus to provide academic support to group work/projects, help in developing course curriculum where needed; where possible, to help bring in new client business case studies from varied industries for student research projects. (job #3437) Orthodontic Treatment Coordinator Full time position available for a friendly, responsible person to join our dental team. The individual must be able to work independently and be comfortable dealing with patients of the practice. The position hours include two Saturday mornings per month. (job #3436) Front Desk Executive and Part-time Treatment Coordinator An exciting dual front desk receptionist and treatment coordinator position available to join our dental team. We have both part time and full time positions available. The position hours include Saturday mornings. (job #3435) Retail Business Development Manager The Retail Business Development Manager will be responsible for the participation in all business development initiatives in the retail space with the ability to build strategic relationships with retail clients, train, present and promote the company’s unique products while articulating the advantages of selling our items. (job #3434) Research Study Participants Participants needed for a research study on expatriates and work-family balance. The study aims to listen to our fellow expatriates on whether they’ve been achieving good work-life balance and how that can be improved. Looking for participants who are foreign nationals holding an employment pass, full-time employees and married or living with a partner/spouse. All information gathered during the interview will be made completely anonymous. (job #3433)
8 COMMUNITY NEWS
Singapore American ·April 2017
The What, Why and How of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in Singapore By Hazlyn Aidzil and Helena Auerswald
n conjunction with the 2017 American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) CARES recognition awards, AmCham Singapore was delighted to host a panel discussion on Corporate Citizenship: CSR Options in Singapore. The panel was moderated by Caroline McLaughlin, Director of Partnerships, Asian Venture Philanthropy Network (AVPN) and included panelists Melissa Kwee, CEO, National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre (NVPC); Kia Siang Wei, General Manager, South East Community Development Council (SE CDC); Gregory Lipper, Chief Happiness Officer, Happi Pte. Ltd. and Christy Davis, Executive Director, Asia P3 Hub, World Vision. The panel began with each speaker providing an overview about their company’s work with regards to corporate social responsibility in Singapore. The session was later joined by the illustrators from Ink Strategy where they visually documented insights and outcomes of the session. Throughout the event, each panelist offered a different angle and approach to CSR in Singapore. Happi focused on millennial engagement and mutually beneficial transactions between large corporations and smaller social enterprises; SE CDC works directly with addressing the needs and bonds of local communities; World Vision is committed to creating global long-term partnerships and networks to maximize on available resources and NVPC aims to create a platform for a culture of giving in Singapore. Despite these differences, the panelists’ comments
converged on a few central necessities for successful corporate social responsibility in Singapore: 1. WHAT: Directly working to both understand and address an existing need in the community 2. WHY: Clearly aligning the corporations’ mission and core competencies with a specific initiative 3. HOW: Creating a balance between short-term actionable transactions and commitment to long term transformation The panelists all agreed it is necessary to have a clear vision of what tangible need your corporation is addressing, why a specific initiative matters to your corporation, and how your corporation’s CSR project is going to have a long-term impact on the target issue. Focusing on these key points, the panelists argued, will help create more mutually beneficial partnerships in Singapore; corporations’ commitment to relevant issues will improve their public image and employee retention, while, at the same time, the community benefits from the dedicated and consistent support of the corporations. AmCham is committed to these principles of CSR and is delighted to recognize membercorporations that have done exceptionally well in CSR initiatives this year. The AmCham CARES awards will be presented by Guests of Honor Minister for Social and Family Development, Tan Chuan-Jin and US Embassy Chargé d’Affaires, a.i., Stephanie Syptak-Ramnath at AmCham’s 44th Annual General Meeting. Find out more: www.amcham.org.sg. Photos courtesy of Ink Strategy
10 COMMUNITY NEWS
Singapore American ·April 2017
Cub Scouts Pack 3010 By Melindah Bush
ub Scouts from the Lion, Tiger and Wolf Dens of Pack 3010 enjoyed their first official Hike Day of 2017 by exploring the jungle trails at the Dairy Farm Nature Park. These young Scouts, from grades KG2 to Grade 3, were taught both the Leave No Trace and Outdoor Ethics Code principles that guide our Scouts in their outdoor adventures to ensure we help preserve the environment. The Scouts also learned about the surprising history of this jungle reserve, which got its name from the fact that a small patch of the jungle was once used as a dairy farm populated with cows imported from Holland and Australia. Today the main entrance of the trail includes fun statues of cows to remind visitors of this unusual history. During our hike, our Scouts also learned more about famed English naturalist, Alfred Wallace, who lived in Singapore during the mid-1800s and who studied the abundant wildlife and flora found in our local jungles. Wallace was a friend of Charles Darwin and together they discovered the idea of
evolution and the process of natural selection. For this reason, many consider Wallace to be the “other” father of evolution, or the Singaporean Darwin. The Scouts enjoyed identifying the bugs, monkeys and birds at Dairy Farm Park, knowing that these same creatures were once studied by such a famous scientist. Now the Scouts of Pack 3010 are preparing for our annual Pinewood Derby model car race in April and our end of the year graduation ceremony at the Blue & Gold Banquet in May. We will also begin taking registrations and applications for the next school year, so if you and your son are interested in joining our US Cub Scout Pack 3010, at the Stamford American International School (SAIS), please contact us at: Sgcubscoutspack3010@gmail.com. Photos courtesy of Lisa Krause
A Camp with a Difference By Ed Cox
ebruary’s campout is the most popular campout of the year, but Scouts from older generations would not have recognized it. That’s because Troop 10’s February event was MECO (Mostly Electronic Campout). Held in an urban setting, the program consisted largely of video games and movies. It wasn’t all screen time though. Scouts also worked on rank advancement, conducted leader training and earned the CyberChip, an award which increases Scouts’ awareness of safe online practices. The weather was so nice that we eschewed tents and simply slept under the stars. Some of the aspects of camping don’t change, I guess. We also held our second Court of Honor of the school year in February. A Boy Scout Court of Honor is held every four months to recognize the rank advancements and merit badges earned by the Scouts. February’s Court of Honor was more significant than usual for two reasons. First, Troop 10 recognized eight new Scouts who were graduating from the Cub Scout program and joining the Boy Scouts. The new Scouts walked across a small bamboo bridge set on the stage to symbolize this transition. Second, we had the opportunity to recognize one of our Scouts for achieving the highest rank in Boy Scouts, Eagle Scout. Less than four percent of all Scouts will reach this goal. The combination
of new Scouts joining and a senior Scout earning his Eagle Scout rank created a poignant event. We’re halfway through the spring semester and Troop 10 has new energy from our new Scouts. We’re finishing the school year strong with campouts in March and April. This summer we will fly to Nepal and join Scouts from across Asia for a summer camp adventure. If your son is interested in having fun with Troop 10, please contact us for more information. Photos courtesy of Ed Cox
SCOUTING IN SINGAPORE Boy Scouts Troop 07: www.bsatroop07.org Boy Scouts Troop 10: www.facebook.com/BSATroopX Cub Scouts Pack 3010: www.sgpack3010.org Cub Scouts Pack 3017: SGPack3017@gmail.com Girl Scouts: www.singaporeusagirlscouts.org
Have you been to an AAS event, but forgotten to get your Passport stamped? Stop by the office and we’ll stamp it for you!
11 Singapore American · April 2017
If You Don’t Need It… We’ll Take It By Kinjal Shah
hat started off three years ago with a few tables, sheets of paper and some markers, as a way for kids to forge new friendships, has transformed into a creative haven that kids refuse to leave. With 150 students walking in on any given day, the Lunch Bunch Room at Singapore American School (SAS) is open to third, fourth, and fifth graders, who spend the bulk of their recess time recycling stuff. No competition. No judgement. No pressure. Just the children and their imagination. SAS’s Lunch Bunch Room is no ordinary maker space. Having already achieved ‘favorite’ status, the room receives a continuous supply of material from parents, teachers and even students. Plastic boxes, bottles and bottle caps, cardboard boxes including refrigerator boxes, toilet and kitchen roll tubes, fabric, Lego bricks, marbles and anything else that people don’t need, find their way to the Lunch Bunch Room. The kids use all of the seemingly useless stuff to create spaceships, dragons, robots, marble tracks and even bob sleds. Under the guidance of Charlotte Huston, Head Inventor and Crazy Idea Creator, the Lunch Bunch Room celebrates curiosity. It is a creative den where the little ones learn a lot of important life lessons. From social skills to problem solving, Lunch Bunch Room kids learn how to share elbow space, materials and ideas. They take turns helping each other, sometimes as the student and sometimes the teacher. They learn to allow for the creative process to guide them and enjoy the journey, not just the finished product. They learn to be brave, push boundaries and try new things. They realize adversity is not to be feared, but embraced and that there are very few failures... if you learn from them. They learn to think. And act! To keep an open mind and see new possibilities in both people and material. To be curious and to persevere. For more information about SAS, visit: www.sas.edu.sg. Photos courtesy of Tim Isaac
13 LIVING IN SINGAPORE
Singapore American · April 2017
The History of The American Club By The American Club First attempt at procuring a Clubhouse In 1939, the American Association made a bid for what nearly became its first Clubhouse, the German Club building at the junction of Adam and Dunearn Roads. Nearing completion at the outbreak of World War II, the property was confiscated by the Enemy Property Custodian, due to Singapore’s status as a British colony. It was not until 1948 when renewed interest in forming a club, aimed at organizing social activities and fostering closer ties among local Americans, surfaced again. Several members of the American community circulated questionnaires that garnered positive responses. This provided the impetus for Directors of the American Association to form The Club. First Clubhouse The Club’s first premises was at a rented area on the fifth floor of one of Singapore’s first skyscrapers, the Cathay Building along Sophia Road, consisting of two second-hand slot machines and a bar. It officially opened on September 14, 1948, with 146 members, of which 111 were Americans and 35 were other nationalities. Despite a limited budget, membership grew to 327 by the end of The Club’s first year. Entertainment at The Club Entertainment in the early days consisted of Saturday afternoon cartoon films for children, weekly bingo nights, bridge tournaments, and square dances. These regular events were supplemented by various annual parties, huge social events that enjoyed immense participation and sponsorship. The Need to Move In 1951, Cathay Organization wanted to repossess the space rented to The Club to develop it as part of the new Cathay Hotel. The Club was pressed to find an alternate site in the two years that followed. This presented some divisions among its Members, as some wanted the relocated club to be more family-oriented, while others preferred it to retain its present format. In 1954, The Club’s Members finally reached a consensus. This was aided in part by a donation of S$25,000 made by Loke Wan Tho, owner of Cathay, towards the acquisition of new premises. Together with Club surpluses of S$50,000 and financing from the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) of approximately S$150,000, The Club amassed the necessary funds to relocate. The Club secured the Cycle House at 21 Scotts Road for the new Clubhouse, which it still occupies today. The old building that stood on the property, which was previously the family home of Chua Cheng Liat, founder of the Cycle & Carriage motor dealership, was torn down and the land was mortgaged while construction of a 67,000 square-foot, California-styled Clubhouse began. Opening of Scotts Road Clubhouse The new Clubhouse officially opened in June 1955, it featured a bar, a dining room, an office, two toilets and Singapore’s first four-lane bowling alley. From then, The Club would expand its facilities gradually, adding the Manhattan Room (cocktail lounge) in 1958. The swimming pool in 1963 was a move towards making The Club more family-oriented, along with a new eight-lane bowling alley in 1966 and the addition of a Sports Complex in 1980. These facilities, together with others, allowed The Club to resume its previous activities and add new ones to attract a diverse crowd. Over the next years, The Club underwent numerous renovation, refurbishment, expansion and addition works, adding popular outlets like the Union Bar and the Eagle’s Nest restaurant, the Presidential Room, a banquet space, a new Library and Jackpot Room, as well as Youth and teen areas to cater to a fast-growing membership. By the early 1990s, The Club’s membership base quickly surpassed 3,400, a growth of close to 1,000 Members in just two years. Numbers peaked at 4,200, before the Asian financial crisis hit in the late 1990s. A Glimpse at the Last Decade In the last decade, The Club added a gamut of facilities such as Thyme Café, serving great coffee, breakfast items, sandwiches and salads; HOME, a home merchandise and wine retail outlet; The 2nd Floor, offering exquisite East meets West cuisine; Business Center, a convenient onestop work area for adults; sên Spa, featuring a comprehensive range of wellness treatments, and Essentials, a retail convenience store. In addition, The Club’s Fitness and Leisure department expanded its offerings with more fitness options, including more Aquatics, adult recreational and gym/fitness classes. It also organizes a wide range of social activities for its Members including the screening of the US and Canadian professional and college sports in the Union Bar. Visiting US military personnel are also welcomed via events and access privileges. The Club has now evolved to become a true home away from home for all members. Redevelopment To meet the growing needs of the membership and in planning for the future, The Club is currently embarking on a S$65 million redevelopment project. The project will replace the Scotts Road building and pool, and upgrade the Claymore Hill building and Sports Complex. It is slated to be completed by the end of 2018. Find out more: www.amclub.org.sg.
Photos courtesy of The American Club
The Blue Mountains By Cath Forte
any of us take the opportunity to visit Australia whilst living in Singapore. It’s a much more straightforward trip than it is from the US and the time difference is practically negligible. Sydney is one of the most popular destinations in Australia; who could resist the lure of the Opera House or the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge? However, if you feel the need to escape from the city bustle and beaches of Sydney for a couple of days, how about taking a trip to the Blue Mountains? About a 90-minute drive from the city lie the scenic Blue Mountains. It is possible to visit in a day, but we decided to spend three nights there to really soak up the atmosphere and to appreciate the peaceful setting. We picked up a hire car at Sydney airport and headed straight for the Blue Mountains. There are two possible routes from Sydney, the motorway is the most direct and we chose this on our arrival for the sake of time. On our return to Sydney we took the scenic route, following the strangely-named Bell’s Line of Road. This was a beautiful drive with so much to see. If you don’t fancy driving, there are plenty of air-conditioned, double decker trains that run out of Sydney’s Central Railway Station. The journey takes between one and two hours, depending on your preferred destination. It was amazing to leave the city behind and to see the Blue Mountains rising up all around us. The name, by the way, does not come from the color of the stone, rather it refers to the blue haze that hovers over them. Some attribute this to the high density of eucalyptus trees in the area, however other theories also exist. The Greater Blue Mountains was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2000 and was one of 15 World Heritage places included in the National Heritage List on May 21, 2007. It is easy to see why. Where to stay There are hotels available, however the majority of the accommodation in this area is found in bed and breakfasts and cottage rentals. Since we were travelling with our three daughters, we booked a cottage in the picturesque town of Katoomba. The town itself is well equipped, with two large supermarkets (Coles and Woolworths), a good-sized Target and plenty of smaller shops and eateries. Adora Cottage was, quite simply, adorable. We booked through www.stayz.com, which has an abundance of rental options. Adora Cottage was situated on a quiet road, away from the town center. We had a lovely garden, obviously someone’s passion, both front and back, with off-street parking for our rental car. The cottage itself was decorated in an art deco style, with a beautiful roll-top bath. The kitchen was much better equipped than mine in Singapore, leaving me with a bad case of kitchen envy when we left! From Katoomba, we were well placed to visit the local area. Our first stop was Scenic World, which was a great introduction to the Blue Mountains. Scenic World Scenic World covers a wide area of the national park and makes visiting incredibly easy with suggested itineraries on their website, perfect if you’re only able to visit for a short time. You can take the glass-floored Scenic Skyway at a height of 270m above an ancient ravine; the views really are quite breath-taking.
Our children particularly enjoyed the Scenic Railway, at a 52 degree incline, it is the steepest passenger railway in the world. They also loved the Scenic Cableway, a 545m journey into the Jamison Valley. A great spot for photography enthusiasts, we took some fantastic shots, including ones of the famous Three Sisters, Orphan Rock, Mt Solidarity and Katoomba Falls. For the more adventurous, there are plenty of walks to take within Scenic World, although I was slightly nervous about the number of venomous snakes and spiders that live in the forest, so preferred to stick to the pathways. One of the highlights of the trip for our kids was paddling in the many streams and waterfalls all around. I was surprised at their stamina, since the water was ‘mountain fresh’ (or ‘freezing cold’). Katoomba Falls are particularly lovely, with plenty of shallow water for the kids (and adults!) to play in. Leura The town of Leura is straight out of a picture postcard. With its pretty high street, full of specialist shops, delis, cafés and restaurants, Leura is renowned for being the best place in the Blue Mountains for a cream tea. Since this British girl was born and bred in the UK’s cream tea capital, I simply had to try them out. The verdict: it was very nice, but nothing can compare to a real Devon cream tea! Refueled, we headed to Leura Falls, another paddling opportunity. Cajoled by my three daughters, I took off my shoes and climbed on in… brrrr! “Come on, Mummy, let’s go down here…” These words were still ringing in my ears as I slipped on a slimy stone and landed with a rather heavy thump! Luckily, only my pride was wounded, however my pale blue shorts have never really recovered… The Three Sisters Named after an Aboriginal folk tale about three sisters who fell in love with three brothers from the wrong tribe, legend has it a tribal elder turned the three sisters to stone to prevent them from being harmed in the ensuing battle. He was killed in the conflict before he was able to reverse the spell and the women remained as magnificent stone monuments as a reminder of the battle. Beautiful at any time of day, the changing seasons and sunlight highlighting their colors, The Three Sisters are also floodlit in the evenings, adding even more drama. Stop at Echo Point for a great view of these rocks, the tallest of which stands at 922m, that’s more than 3,000 feet above sea level! Other activities There’s so much to do in the Blue Mountains, it’s a true haven for outdoor enthusiasts; from leisurely picnics to cycling, horseback riding to trekking, four-wheel drive adventure tours to simply enjoying the views from the Blue Mountains Trolley Tours replica trolley buses, there’s something for everyone.
Where to Stay Skip the hotels and choose a B&B or cottage to rent www.bluemts.com.au/accommodation/ has a comprehensive list, including some quirky and ecofriendly options; www.stayz.com is good for rentals. Getting There • There are plenty of direct flights from Singapore to Sydney, including budget airline, Scoot. It’s sometimes better value to fly via another Australian city, so look out for combinations (we flew back with a one-hour stop in Brisbane, which reduced the price of our Qantas flights considerably). • Major international car rentals can be booked from Sydney airport and it’s an easy drive down the M4 to Katoomba. • Double decker, air-conditioned trains run from Sydney’s Central Railway Station to destinations in the Blue Mountains. The picturesque journey takes approximately two hours to Katoomba. Useful Websites www.bluemts.com.au www.scenicworld.com.au www.visitbluemountains.com.au
Escape From Singapore: February 1942 By Richard Meyer, Father of a former AAS Member, Valerie Meyer Heidell
Occupying Japanese soldiers march into Singapore.
Women and children awaiting evacuation from Singapore.
Editor’s note: I am hugely grateful to Valerie Meyer Heidell for sharing this fascinating account of her father’s hasty departure from Singapore.
ith the closing of the office there was little reason for me to stay in Singapore, so I began to seek a means of exit, regardless of immediate destination. All plane services had stopped and ships were crammed to the rails with women and children. It didn’t look hopeful until a somewhat fortunate error in which the shipping controller’s tamby (young assistant) left a letter addressed to Malayan Rubber Trading Co. on my desk. This contained instructions for them to ship some rubber to Bombay on the Hermelin. I passed the message on by telephone, discovering that the Hermelin was a small Norwegian freighter of 20 tons, due to sail as soon as she had completed unloading her load of rice and taken aboard her cargo. Mansfield were acting as her agents and, on applying to them, I found that there was room for me; I should be ready to go at an hour’s notice. The Navy had requisitioned our house a few days previously and all my belongings were at the Singapore Club. Early the next morning, February 4, I took my small suitcase along to Mansfield’s. They told me to be at Clifford Pier at 10am. I went back to the office and sent a cable to my wife: “Bombay next.” Promptly at ten, coinciding with my arrival at Clifford Pier, the air raid sounded the arrival of two Japanese squadrons, which set two small ships afire. When the packet dropped, your worthy correspondent was stretched out on his stomach in an improvised sandbag shelter. After picking myself up, I helped carry some of the wounded to the waiting ambulances and buses. After the All Clear, my fellow passengers arrived and looked around optimistically for the launch to take us to the Hermelin. Naturally, no privately owned vessel was available; the disturbing thought in all our minds: what if this last raid on the harbor made the captain too restive to wait for us. Finally, the agent persuaded a naval friend of his to send around a service launch and we piled in, reaching the Hermelin without further trouble. We put our few belongings into the little cabins and took a look around. Upon remarking on the youthfulness of the captain who was just 34, we discovered that the original captain had been killed in Penang; this captain, previously the Chief Officer, had taken the ship up to Rangoon and back himself. Machine gun bullets had smashed the basin in my cabin, but it was a ship nonetheless and we thoroughly enjoyed our first meal in the bright little space that served as dining room, bar, lounge and casino. At about 1pm there was another raid and we watched from the deck as a string of horrible white puffs appeared over Singapore. It felt surreal, as if we were watching a newsreel and we began to ask ourselves whether the horrors of the previous two months had not really been a nightmare.
Despite there being no sign of the rubber and other cargo booked to Bombay, the captain felt it was time to move. We crawled through the squirming clear channel of the minefield and proceeded toward the Singapore Straits. We slowed down as we saw the remains of a bombed oil tanker and the patrol boat on guard signaled, “Keep close to me and await further orders.” We followed him in a small circle for two hours before he finally signaled, “Proceed and good luck.” On February 15, the captain woke us and we listened to Churchill announce the fall of Singapore. I’d never been so depressed, thinking of friends who had been killed in the early defense of Malaya, wondering if they were luckier than those who had evaded death only to be captured and interned. Many acts of real heroism took place during this harrowing retreat, but as the final result was defeat, these deeds will never be rewarded nor possibly even remembered. The Hermelin reached Bombay safely on February 18, as scheduled.
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Singapore American · April 2017
Charity Starts at Home By Katie Baines
t this time of year many of us take a long, hard look at our cupboards and closets and come to the conclusion it’s time for a change, but after ruthlessly purging the clothes rail and boxes of things we’d forgotten we needed we end up with a pile of paraphernalia that, although unwanted, would be a crime to throw away. So, what to do? For families with helpers the answer is straightforward; pre-loved items can be passed on or shipped to their homes. However, across Singapore there are also a host of charitable organizations that are crying out for good quality clothes and household items.
second hand stores
New2U Thrift Shop Singapore Council of Women’s Organizations (SCWO) 96 Waterloo Street, (S)187967 +65 6837 0611
Salvation Army Praisehaven, 500 Upper Bukit Timah Road, (S)678106 Family Hub, 356 Tanglin Road, (S)247674 The Salvation Army Hope Centre 7 Upper Changi Road North, (S)507706 The Salvation Army Headquarters 20 Bishan Street 22, (S)579768 The Haven, 350 Pasir Panjang Road, (S)118692 IMM Open Car Park (Beside security guard house, unloading bay) No. 2 Jurong East Street 21, (S)609601 For full details, including opening hours, visit: www.salvationarmy.org/singapore/dik_fts www.redshieldindustries.com donor@SMM.salvationarmy.org
Metta Welfare Metta Building, 32 Simei Street 1, (S)529950 +65 6580 4688
MINDS Shop MINDS Shop@Margaret, 800 Margaret Drive, (S)149310 MINDS Shop@Woodlands 30 Woodlands Ring Road, (S)737883 MINDS Shop@Rosyth, 29 Rosyth Road, (S)546190 MINDS Shop@Napiri, 7 Lorong Napiri, (S)547533 MINDS Shop Plus@NTUC Eldercare Silver Activity Centre, Blk 71 Redhill Road, #01-29, (S)150071 For full details, including opening hours, visit: www.minds.org.sg/Shop.html
Pass it On The Helping Hand 819 Upper Serangoon Road, (S)534678 +65 8511 9160 www.passiton.org.sg
New2U Thrift Shop Open since May 2000, New2U, run by the Singapore Council of Women’s Organizations (SCWO), has been supporting the Star Shelter which provides a temporary refuge for women and children who are victims of violence, as well as other SCWO projects. As a store that is often trawled for vintage frocks and smart blazers, New2U gladly welcomes clothes in good condition, although it is also grateful for books, toys, crockery and utensils. Mark your bag of items with “Donation for New2U” and drop it into the center on week days, 9am to 10pm. H&M and UNIQLO Up to an astonishing 95% of clothing thrown away could have been re-worn or recycled, according to fashion brand H&M. Thousands of tons of textiles end up in landfill each year and forward-thinking companies are taking action to counteract their environmental impact. Since their initiative began in 2013, H&M has collected over 32,000 tons of unwanted clothes of any brand that have been redistributed by recycling solutions company I:CO for ‘re-wear’ (sold as second hand clothes) ‘reuse’ (turned into other products, such as cleaning cloths) or ‘recycling’ (turned into textile fibers and used for things like insulation). UNIQLO has followed a similar responsible trend, collecting clothes for recycling in the textile industry and distribution to those in need (UNIQLO clothing only). Donate your washed items at their respective stores. Salvation Army The Salvation Army works to help the underprivileged, from children through to the elderly; it has been doing so in Singapore since 1935. It welcomes a wide variety of items to recycle, including clothing, furniture, household goods, electronics, toys and books. Book online to arrange collection for larger items, or drop off smaller things at any of their Donation in Kind Booths. Metta Welfare Metta, meaning ‘loving kindness’ in Pali, aims to provide welfare services for the community, irrespective of race or religion. Currently serving around 1,200 beneficiaries in its nine centers, it collects wearable and usable items such as clothing, home textiles and toys, as well as used IT equipment. Donations can be placed in plastic bags and dropped off at the recycling bins located in the Metta Building’s basement carpark. MINDS Shop The Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS) has four thrift shops which foster a variety of skills in its trainees with intellectual disabilities by employing them to sort and tag items and tend to customers. Adult and children’s clothes in good condition can be dropped off at any one of their shops during operational hours. Pass it On Initiated by Central Singapore Community Development Councils (CDC) and managed by The Helping Hand, unwanted but still useful home appliances, home furniture, medical aids, mobility aids and learning aids can be posted on the Pass it On listings page for donation to any of the registered Voluntary Welfare Organizations (VWOs). Either you can ‘Grant a Wish’ by directly fulfilling requests from VWOs or list an item up for offer. Simply fill in your details at www.passiton.org.sg so that the VWOs can arrange collection. Photo by Katie Baines
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Singapore American · April 2017
But That’s a Family Heirloom… By Frances Strong
rowing up, there were many times that my grandmother would scold my brother and me for not taking care of things properly; whether it was putting our feet up on the couch, or leaving a cold glass of water, dripping with perspiration on the table, she watched us like a hawk! Now, this might tell you a few things about my very English granny, but in fairness to her, she was simply trying to take care of things that she considered to be family heirlooms. In fact, it became a bit of an inside joke for us kids. We sniggered behind our hands as we helped out with polishing the silver and shining the brass ornaments that lined every available surface of her cluttered home, too young to consider the consequences of so much stuff when the time would inevitably come for her to downsize; from house to apartment, to a single room in a rest home; what to do with the possessions of a lifetime? Unfortunately, these days there is little value in my granny’s precious heirlooms. Unless they were antique aficionados or canny art collectors, whose pieces might still raise some money at auction, the furniture and decorative items that our grandparents (or even our parents) loved, are actually worth very little. Worse, the sturdy, mass-produced household items most of them accumulated are not generally wanted either. In years gone by, solid oak tables, fancy walnut chairs, brass bed frames and the like were passed from generation to generation, eagerly accepted by younger members of the family with little regard for the aesthetic and much more emphasis on their practical use. The sad truth is, there was nothing that I truly wanted from my grandparents’ house. Nowadays, we have a world of options available, many of which are designed with a minimalist bent, all smooth lines and wipe-clean surfaces with no requirement for beeswax or periodic coats of varnish. Furniture has become so much more affordable and, while it might not be sturdy enough to pass between generations, it is practical, functional and cheap enough to be replaceable. Furthermore, with property prices at a premium, people are constantly downsizing; smaller
homes with less space for display, the emphasis on light and airy, rather than warm and cozy. Money is spent on experiences, rather than things. With longer working hours and fewer instances of extended families sharing the same house, homes are seen as a place to rest between work and trips, constantly decluttered and cleared out to free up valuable space. House clearance firms continue to rise in popularity. As many of us now live at greater distances from our families, they are often a necessary resource to draw on. With perhaps a day or two to look through the possessions amassed during a lifetime, we can pick out a few items of sentimental value to remember the life lived in that once bustling family home, but the majority of people simply don’t have room in their homes to bring away more than just a few keepsakes. The house clearers come in and remove everything, for a fee. Some firms, like Junk to Clear here in Singapore, will recycle everything that they can and distribute useful items to needy families. As a mother of three, I am conscious of the amount of paraphernalia we are accumulating and I understand more my own mom’s waves of sentiment as she stuffs my old toys in the attic rather than the donation box, unable to let go of the emotions and memories they evoke. I will have to deal with it all myself someday; I don’t think it will be pretty. But for now, I will smile as she puts them away. They are family heirlooms, after all… Useful websites junktoclear.com.sg visit the website for an online quote www.karang-guni.com book your slot and they will collect your unwanted items at your convenience Originally from a tiny seaside town in the UK, Frances has called Singapore home since 2011. Five years later, she’s still exploring the Little Red Dot and loves to find new and quirky places to wow her visitors. When she’s not playing taxi driver for her three children, she likes to write about travel, motherhood, food, life…and anything in between.
Where Does Singapore’s Garbage Go? By Bill Poorman
magine this: You dump your garbage down your kitchen chute or into your rubbish cart. What sound do you hear? A crash? What if, instead, you heard a splash… a splash into the ocean? Because, in Singapore, that’s essentially what happens to any household waste you don’t recycle. Singapore is, of course, an island, which means it has always had limited space for garbage dumps. In fact, the last landfill, later developed into the Lorong Halus Wetland, closed in 1999. All of Singapore’s non-recycled waste now goes to high-tech incinerator plants, where it’s burned into ash, reducing the volume of the garbage by 90%. The heat from the burning is used to generate electricity, and the smokestack emissions get scrubbed of toxins. After metals are pulled out, the ash is then barged out to Semakau Island, not far offshore from Sentosa. Today’s Semakau Island was originally two islands that were inhabited by fishing families. Those families were relocated to Singapore proper, and the two islands were linked by artificial berms, isolating part of the ocean into a series of ponds. Semakau Landfill, as it’s known, began accepting solid waste the day after the dump at Lorong Halus closed. But it didn’t take long for those first ponds to fill up, so an expansion of one large pond was built. It opened two years ago. The ash from the incinerator plants is poured into that pond. Any water that is displaced is treated before being returned to the ocean. This is where your non-recyclable garbage finally comes to a rest. From your dustbin to the briny deep. Singapore estimates that Semakau Landfill should have enough capacity to last until at least 2035. But if the government and other groups are successful in their efforts, it should last a lot longer than that. Because Singapore is a modern, developed nation, the amount of garbage it produces has been growing dramatically. According to the National Environment Agency (NEA), Singapore used to produce 1,260 tons of waste per day back in 1970. As of 2015, it produced 8,402 tons per day. To counter this, the government launched the National Recycling Program in 2001,
which it has continued to expand. For example, since 2011, garbage companies have been required to have one recycling bin per HDB block. A civil society group, Zero Waste SG, is also working to educate people on reducing the amount of waste they produce to begin with. Private companies are even in on the act. To counter the amount of garbage coming from electronic devices (so-called e-waste), Starhub, Singtel and other corporations offer collection bins and services for consumers and businesses. The Singapore government is even working with hotels to reduce the amount of food waste. Altogether, the NEA reports these efforts added up to a 61% overall recycling rate for Singapore in 2015. Much of that is industrial in nature, though, like construction debris, metal and wood. Only about half of paper was recycled. Only about a fifth of glass was recycled. Recycling of plastic was in the single digits. According to the NEA, Singapore households only recycle 19% of their waste. That’s actually down a couple of points from 2010 and well below the government’s target of 30% by 2030. Back on Semakau Island, Singapore is making the best of the garbage situation. The filled portions of the island have been converted into nature areas. You can even schedule a visit if you are part of a group for bird watching and other sports activities. Now that’s some recycling.
Replanted mangroves at Semakau Landfill
For further information www.nea.gov.sg/energy-waste www.zerowastesg.com Bill Poorman is a part-time writer who, for the last several years, has been a full-time member of the unpaid economy – that is, he’s been a stay-athome dad, raising two boys. The family moved to Singapore just over a year ago for his wife’s job. Prior to all of that, Bill was a radio journalist and media producer. Photos courtesy of National Environment Agency
Aerial view of Semakau Landfill Phase II
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Singapore American · April 2017
Purging the Unwanted By Lissy Puno, MA
here is a regular need to do some sort of cleanse to lift one’s spirit, clear space and replenish energy. A cleanse is usually accompanied by a purge or a letting go of blocks that will allow us to feel a joyful wholeness in becoming the person that we want to be and living the life we want to live. A lot of times, we cling on to things that hold us back, not knowing how to get rid of them. People who have experienced this purging and letting go experience a wonderful sense of freedom. Mari Kondo’s bestselling book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, provided an answer to millions seeking a guide on how to purge their things and only hold on to what brings joy. The strong desire to purge is there, but as the author says, the attachment to the past and the anxiety about the future may stop you from pursuing this purge. The ability to get rid of the unwanted, to purge, can be so challenging because of the meaning that we have given whatever it is we are holding on to. It may lead to an enormous gratification and transformation in your life. It might be worth exploring. What are the areas of life that may need to be purged? • There is a cleansing of our physical space that requires a purging of things. • There is a cleansing of our emotional world that requires a purging of feelings that hold us back. • There is a cleansing of our social world that requires a letting go of people, relationships or activities that don’t bring positivity to our lives. • There is a cleansing of our physical bodies that requires a letting go of toxins that block the flow of healthy nutrients. Steps to Purging/Letting Go 1. Look at what blocks you from experiencing wholeness and peace (things, feelings, people, and activities). Identify it and write it down. 2. Be certain and determined that you want to get rid of the blocks. Take the steps to let them go. Purge. Commit to the acts of purging daily. 3. Respond to the letting go with sincerity in being whole once again. The united, peaceful and calm mind you are longing for will emerge. Resist accessing the busy, conflicting and disarrayed mind that holds on to the unwanted. Let go of chaos. The Four Cs that result from letting go • Change: Brings about the change that you need in your life • Create: Creates space in your home environment • Conserve: Conserves and saves money, energy and time • Confidence: Builds confidence in one’s self to make things happen Free yourself from physical, emotional, social, mental litter and cobwebs. Try it and feel good. Let go.
Lissy Puno is in practice at the International Counselling & Psychology Centre that offers services that will promote and maintain well-being in mental health. Learn more: www.intlcounselling.com.
How Safe are Online Storage Services? By Laura Schwartz
xternal hard drives are so 2013. These days, just about everyone has heard of “the cloud” and its near-infinite storage capabilities. Anyone with a Gmail or Hotmail account can access 15GB and 5GB respectively of free online storage space. Portable Apple devices automatically back up your data by sending it to the iCloud daily, allowing you to restore music, photos, emails and downloads at the touch of a button should your device break. Even if you prefer to manually back-up selected files to an online cloud storage service, such as IDrive or Dropbox, it’s as easy as copy-and-paste. But unlike its namesake, the cloud isn’t floating high in the air above us; it’s actually a term used to describe the act of storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet instead of your computer’s hard drive. And, as with all online services, there are concerns about weak points. PC Magazine sums up the security of these services as such: “Your data is usually encrypted before making the journey over the Internet to the providers’ servers, and, while they live on those servers, they’re also encrypted.” Though data can potentially be captured on this journey, most storage services encrypt data while it’s en route, making it impossible to read even if someone does snag your files. In addition, Systems and Software Inc. notes on their blog: “Your cloud-stored data is generally safer than your locally-stored data. Cloud services utilize more complex security methods than the average computer owner is able to devise.” On top of that, all online storage services require a password, which in the case of Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive is the same as your email. Although ransomware and similar viruses can be inadvertently synced and uploaded to your online storage, it’s your password that is likely the weakest link. For example, the infamous nude celebrity photo leak of 2014 was not, as many presumed, due to a failure of iCloud security, but to cracked passwords.
To prevent such breaches of your private data, avoid saving passwords and usernames to a browser’s auto-fill function and be sure to log out of your online storage service when you’re finished. Never use a password that is in any way related to your personal life. It doesn’t take a determined hacker long to learn your address, the birthdays of your immediate family members, the type of car you drive and your pet’s name. Beef up your password by making it unique and by incorporating symbols, numbers, and words chosen at random (the longer the better). Harder to remember? Yes. More arduous to type? Yes. But to paraphrase my husband, a Senior Information Security Specialist: the more convenient it is for you to access your data, the easier it is for malicious parties to access it as well. When locked behind a robust and secret password, your online storage service should be fairly secure. But if you want to be extra safe, dust off that external hard drive and create a second back-up, which can then be unplugged from your PC and stored out of the Internet’s reach. Laura Schwartz was born in Ireland and grew up in Japan, Singapore and New Jersey, finally becoming an American citizen at age 18. She graduated Bard College in 2010 with a BA in Japanese Language & Culture. When she’s not traveling or devouring a new book, she juggles her nine-to-five as an Admissions and Career Consultant with freelance writing.
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Singapore American · April 2017
Don’t Need It? Then Swap It! By Laura Coulter
our Clothes Friend is a chance to stretch your budget, meet friendly fashionable women, donate to charity, update your wardrobe, and clean out your closets! It involves bringing the items of clothing that you no longer want to wear, adding them to the growing pile of treasures others bring along and then digging in to find something for yourself. You can take as much as you want and any remaining clothing is donated to charities such as the Salvation Army and New2U. The swaps happen three to four times a year, and it’s a good chance to clean out the closet each time. If you are new to the city and don’t have much to wear, it’s a good time to build on your wardrobe. The atmosphere is very fun and friendly. Why did you start this event? We love everything we buy and yet only wear 20% of our closet. Keep these items out of the landfills and extend their wearing life by passing them on to someone who can use them. When I was living in Tokyo, I had quite a large stockpile of clothing in my closet that I felt guilty about not wearing, but couldn’t bring myself to throw out. Western women living abroad are often challenged to find the correct size and style for our tastes and I was tired of shopping exclusively at the Gap and Zara. While swapping with your friends is fun, not all your circle of friends may share the same size or style, and this is a good chance to meet other women and find clothing for yourself outside of your regular circle. If you have changed careers, it’s ideal for building on your business/casual wardrobe and the fact that the remaining clothing goes to charity makes everyone’s heart feel good. By paying a flat fee at the door (which goes to my volunteer builds with Habitat for Humanity), you don’t waste time or money haggling over the price and can just dive into the pile. What types of clothing are abundant and what is highly sought after at the event? As long as the items are in good condition, everything is fair game. There are a high number of good quality clothes that can be found at the swap. I’ve seen leather jackets, two-piece suits, party dresses with the tags still on, skirts, jeans, designer bags and a memorable black faux fur jacket with purple polka dots. I think it’s a great opportunity to try out a new style – if you don’t end up wearing it often, you didn’t pay a lot for it. Popular items include accessories, handbags and all season clothing. You never know who will be going skiing! Any points to remember? Shoes can be too difficult to swap and are harder to donate; if you’ve been wearing them for a year, they aren’t suitable for swapping. Wear practical clothing, so you can easily slip something over to try things on. It’s a women’s only event with a closed door, so you can relax and try on different things. You have to be a bit aggressive. The clothes aren’t steamed, hanging on hangers or on display like at a mall, you have to hunt for the treasure, which makes it much more satisfying when you find your prize.
Do you hunt for the clothes too? You bet! I’m getting better at closet management, but there’s a reason that the swaps are still held four times a year! In Singapore’s one season of weather, if you haven’t worn an item in a year, or two years, when will you? I heard you collect bras too? Yes, we’ve collected more than 1,000 bras for a girls’ school in Ethiopia. Many of us have several that we aren’t wearing or don’t fit properly, so they are collected directly at the door for donation. Tell us about Habitat for Humanity. Why do you need to raise funds? I try to go on one Habitat for Humanity Global Village build a year, raising a large portion of my trip fee through fundraising; this is one of the ongoing events that I host to generate funds for the build. The next Your Clothes Friend Swap will be Thursday April 20 at Carry On Café, 348 Tanjong Katong Road from 7-9pm. $25 door entry. Remaining clothing will be donated to New2U. Follow the Facebook page Your Clothes Friend Swap for more details. Laura Coulter is a globe-trotting journalist, event planner, teacher and fundraiser. She enjoys hosting fabulous events that give back to her community and the causes in which she believes. Coulter created and hosts the longrunning “Your Clothes Friend Swap,” held four times a year. She also volunteers her time to build homes with Habitat for Humanity. As contributor to the Living in Singapore nightlife section, Laura continues to search for the perfect martini. Photo courtesy of Laura Coulter
Go Digital to Declutter By Richard Hartung
hether it’s clothes in the closet, shelves of books, boxes of gadgets or more sitting around at home, many of us have unused items we hesitate to get rid of in case we might need them “someday”. Whether you’re leaving Singapore or simply want to declutter, it’s easy to get rid of these things and make money at the same time. Deciding What to Sell The first step is to decide to empty out the closet and sell items you no longer use. If you can’t bear to part with those unused items, perhaps it’s time to read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by best-selling author Marie Kondo. Kondo’s book, the go-to manual for people who want to declutter but can’t, has turned hoarders’ dilemmas into an art. Selling Online or in Person Once you do decide to get rid of things, there are a multitude of online sites where you can sell everything from clothes or furniture to mobile phones or books. Some sites enable you to sell virtually anything in one place and can even help you price your items so they sell. One of the most popular is Carousell, which has an app you can use to take a photo and list anything in less than a minute. Gumtree similarly allows you to list almost anything and is one of the biggest websites for local classified ads. Other sites focus on a particular niche and may attract buyers who specifically want clothes, handbags or other items. While Refash started by focusing on women’s clothes, for instance, it has expanded into designer bags and other fashion items. Similarly, Deluxemall began with designer handbags and then expanded into other fashion items such as shoes, from designers ranging from Kate Spade and Prada to Chanel and Gucci. Reebonz Closets also has an app you can use to upload photos of the designer bags, shoes, clothes or watches you want to sell. If posting your items online seems too difficult, you can contact Karang-guni.com, a one-stop shop for recycling. It allows you to book an appointment online for them to pick up anything from furniture and fabrics to books and appliances. Flea markets can also be an alternative if you decide not to go digital. China Square organizes a flea market on Sundays, for example, and Fleawhere organizes flea markets across the island. If money isn’t so important and you still want a clean closet, you can donate things instead. The Salvation Army accepts both new and “pre-loved” items for their social enterprise arm at its collection centers, for instance, and the New2U Thrift Shop run by the Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations similarly accepts donations of clothes and household items. Turning Clutter into Cash While posting items on community or supermarket bulletin boards has long been a traditional way of getting rid of unwanted items, digital alternatives make decluttering simpler. Apps make it easier than ever to sell your goods, help the environment, and pocket some extra cash too.
Useful resources Books The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
Apps (available on Apple and Android platforms) Carousell Reebonz Closets
Websites www.gumtree.sg buy and sell almost anything www.refash.sg buy and sell new and used fashion items www.deluxemall.com buy and sell new and pre-loved branded handbags closets.reebonz.com/sg-en buy and sell pre-owned luxury and designer fashion items www.karang-guni.com book your slot and they will collect your unwanted items at your convenience www.salvationarmy.org/singapore www.scwo.org.sg Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations Richard Hartung, the Managing Director of Transcarta, is a freelance writer for Today, gtnews, Challenge, OOSSKAnews, The Asian Banker and other media as well as the author of Changing Lanes, Changing Lives. He is also a consultant in retail banking, focusing on payments strategy and efficiency, with more than 20 years of experience in Asia.
23 Singapore American · April 2017
A Parent’s Quandary: Endless Creativity, Limited Storage Space By Faith Chanda
nce you have kids who are old enough to start making their very own artwork, most parents lovingly agree with Pablo Picasso’s famous statement that “Every child is an artist…” But eventually, papers and projects pile up and what seemed cute and sweet not so long ago begins to feel like chaos. Here are a few fun ways to tame the clutter beast known as children’s art: One great place to start? Take digital photos of your kids’ artwork. From there, any of these projects become a snap: • Create an online portfolio through websites like Artsonia.com. Try the Keepy app, which allows you to store and organize images of all your child’s work. You can even share with friends and family who want to check out what your little Picasso is up to. • Upload to a digital frame to make instant framed artwork for your home! • Log on to any of the numerous photobook websites. You can make an annual photobook of all the artwork your budding artists created that year (even the three-dimensional ones) and add photos and funny quotes or stories to round it out as a special memory book. • Most online photobook sites, as well as online resources like Etsy, offer a plethora of ways to turn photos into useable or gift-able items such as magnets, mugs, t-shirts, keychains, notecards, pillows, jewelry, puzzles, or playing cards just to name a few. Repurpose the originals with these ideas: • Divide and conquer by using only the best bits to create collage pieces that look elegant and modern when framed on the wall. • Upcycle it as wrapping paper, laminated placemats, cards, gift tags, etc. • If you’re crafty, decoupage it to jazz up photo frames, coasters, pencil cups, letters for wall art (maybe your kid’s name for his or her bedroom wall), keepsake boxes or anything else you can think of. • Recycle as a base for a new piece of art: check out the Pinterest website for instructions to create tape, glue or crayon resist artwork, scratch art or other re-use ideas. If you are concerned about damaging the original artwork, consider these options: • Gift it to family, babysitters, special friends, teachers, doctors, especially if the subject is something related to them. Your kid draws a picture of the park she visited with grandpa? Send it to him with a note about what great memories they made that day. • Frame it! (resize easily with color copier or scanner/printer) • Make a kid-friendly gallery wall And if you simply cannot bear to part ways with these priceless mementos, at least do yourself the favor of storing properly to avoid damage. Laminate what you can, keep away from sun or moisture and don’t let it pile up. Binders for small works and inexpensive artist portfolios for larger ones will give you the best shot at staying on top of the mess. Eventually, you’ll be ready to have a good sort through and decide which pieces aren’t as meaningful once time has gone by and which of your little ones’ masterpieces are too priceless to let go. Faith Chanda relocated to Singapore in January 2015 with her husband and two young children. She is a freelance writer and marketing consultant as the sole proprietor of F. Chanda Communications & Events. Faith enjoys exploring food, culture, nature and design through her travel adventures and looks forward to many new discoveries throughout Asia. Photos by Cath Forte
Apps Keepy (free) Artkive (paid)
Websites www.etsy.com www.pinterest.com www.photobooksingapore.com
Supplies Art Friend Daiso Spotlight
Singapore American ·April 2017
Learning to be The Best from The Best By Stamford American International School
eal Madrid Foundation and Stamford American International School have organized an exclusive event for Stamford American students featuring football clinics with Roberto Carlos Da Silva, Real Madrid legend and Club Ambassador, celebrating the strong partnership in promoting athleticism and sportsmanship through the love of soccer. Through camps and co-curricular activities, the Real Madrid Foundation has provided elite coaching to students at Stamford American over the past three years. In addition, the Real Madrid Foundation also offers camps and clinics at the School, open to the general public through Camp Asia, not just for students, but also parents who can attend information sessions hosted by the experts. Summer camps for boys and girls are scheduled June through August and will combine on-field coaching with classroom sessions. Students will develop their technical football skills while taking part in character building activities, reflecting Real Madrid C.F.’s values of leadership, teamwork, respect, humility and fellowship. Professional coaches will travel from Real Madrid Sport City to work with the students, sharing their expert knowledge on the tactics of the game and the values that contribute to the development of outstanding individuals on and off the playing field.
Clinics in Singapore Hosted at Stamford American at 1 Woodleigh Lane and organized in partnership with Camp Asia, the week-long Singapore Clinics will take place on the following dates: • June 19 to 23 • July 10 to 14 • July 17 to 21 • July 24 to 28 • July 31 to Aug 4 For more information on Stamford American International School, visit sais.edu.sg or call +65 6653 7907.
“We have seen our students improve in their love for football, technical skills and sportsmanship through the world-class coaching and leadership of Real Madrid Foundation’s coaches. We are excited to work with Real Madrid Foundation to bring to our School football legend Roberto Carlos to inspire our students and share with them, first-hand, football techniques they have only seen previously on the professional playing field,” Dr. Eric Sands, Stamford American, Superintendent.
“The Real Madrid Foundation is pleased to be able to provide its training and Clinics at Stamford American International School. Its modern learning and sporting facilities provide a conducive training and learning environment for young footballers eager to train like the greats of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, James Rodriguez, Toni Kroos and Sergio Ramos,” said Mr. Andrés Muntaner, Real Madrid Foundation, Global Head for Clinics and Campus.
25 Singapore American ·April 2017
Hawker Heritage By Virginia Brumby
awker food is part of the very fabric of Singapore, its rich history dating way back to the street food peddlers of the 1800s. The demand for tasty, yet affordable dining options has seen hawkers move from the streets into purpose-built, regulated centers, solving issues of poor food hygiene caused by a shortage of water and refrigeration facilities. The modern hawker is not only a great choice for cheap eats, but also something of a tourist destination. While I can play ‘posh’ as well as the rest of the city when decorum demands it, the traditional hawker experience, namely the diverse, drool-worthy, and sometimes mystifying smorgasbord on offer, is one of my favorite things about our little red dot. First and foremost: Old Airport. This lively food center is pure paradise, with an enormous range of stalls and a totally local crowd. The fun, friendly atmosphere (on a recent visit, three BYOB whisky bottles were spotted, surrounded by joking, multigenerational families) has extended to the stall owners, who miraculously remember customers’ quirky preferences, believe in the value of a smile, and genuinely make you feel at home. The spring chicken is worth the wait, the tasty eel comes with several scrumptious sauces, and the appropriately named Yummy Thai stall is a gem… tasty, well-portioned plates, served up by an absolutely lovely family. Second, while on the subject, it would be unthinkable not to mention Golden Mile, that tantalizing temple of all things Thai, from shops to karaoke bars to an array of casual, scrumptious eats. The mood here is convivial and commercial; if you aren’t drinking beer, your waitress will ask why at least seven times (given the atmosphere and the level of spice, it’s a valid question...) Third, for reasons too embarrassing to divulge in print (hint: it starts with L.A.Z.Y.), Newton Food Centre is one of my go-to spots. Yes, you may get solicited (to purchase fish balls, rather than ‘more exciting’ services). Yes, you can get gouged on price if you wear your fanny pack and forget to ask the price of the tiger prawns ‘special.’ But it’s recently refurbished, and squeaky clean, making it an ideal intro for squeamish guests. Adding to the user-friendly element, brightly colored wall guides help decode the more mysterious menus. And location is unbeatable, just steps from the MRT. Last but not least, for a slightly offbeat experience, check out Two Pigs Fly. At this funky minihawker in Goldhill Plaza, Indian and Japanese options sidle up to Burger Office, a pizza stall and more. The kicker? They serve wine. Because now that hawkers are racking up Michelin stars, lime juice just doesn’t cut it. Cheers! Virginia Brumby is an unabashed food, wine, art and travel junkie, who grew up below the Georgia “gnat” line. She has lived, worked and traipsed across six continents (she’s waiting for Antarctica’s F&B scene to heat up before heading there...). Before coming to Singapore for an MBA at INSEAD and to set up Survival Chic, she was a regular columnist for Delhi’s top newspaper, the Hindustan Times, as well as a guest columnist for the Indian business daily MINT. Photos by Virginia Brumby
Brunch with the Bunny By Valerie Tietjen
ingapore is well known as a great place for a weekend brunch, with many hotels and restaurants offering a set price for a buffet, including options for free-flowing beverages. Catering to couples, families and even large groups, there are plenty of choices for brunch over Easter. No need to worry about the children, as many venues are providing special Easter-themed activities for the young ones, including egg hunts, face painting, bouncy castles and more; there’ll be plenty to keep them amused. Here are just a few of our favorites: Grand Hyatt mezza9 Easter Brunch from 11:30.am to 3pm. Featuring a farmer’s-market theme for the day, the ever-stylish mezza9 will toast the artisan producers, environmentally responsible farmers and sustainable fisheries that allow the restaurant to serve its exquisite international fare with a clear conscience. Highlighting the spring season, indulgent dishes will include slowcooked Dorper leg of lamb, an expanded selection of authentic Thai street dishes, organic vegetables from the Cameron Highlands and hot cross buns, all catering to merry-makers of all ages looking for their Easter fill. Hotel Fort Canning, Captain Bunny’s Easter in the Park A great choice for families, the brunch includes Davy Jones’ Sunday buffet lunch, Captain Bunny’s Easter Egg Dash, Treasure Island Pinata Bonanza, bouncy castles, toys and slides from 12 to 4pm. The American Club Easter buffet brunches at The 2nd Floor and the Eagles Nest from 10am (two seatings). Only members may book the brunch, but they may bring along guests. Kids activities are scheduled from 11am – 1pm. W Singapore Celebrating Easter with a Hop, Skip & Sip, W Singapore has an Easter Remix menu at the kitchen table from 12pm (two seatings) with fun-filled Easter-themed activities for the young, including an Easter egg hunt.
Capella Singapore, Grand Ballroom 12:30pm Lunch with champagne, boutique wines, international beers, specialty cocktails, mocktails and juices. Easter egg hunt, magic shows, face painting and other fun activities for the children. Photos courtesy of Grand Hyatt Singapore and W Singapore
FOOD & DINING
26 HEALTH & WELLNESS
Singapore American · April 2017
Never Too Old For Braces By Dr. Reuben How, BDS (Otago), M Clin Dent (Orthodontics)(Edinburgh)
mile, please! Living in the age of Instagram and Facebook, it feels like someone is always snapping a photograph. Many of us shy away from the camera, wishing our smiles were just a little straighter. We adults often think that we missed the opportunity to straighten our teeth as teenagers and that our crooked smiles are something we just have to live with; carefully avoiding flashing our pearly whites for the camera. However, it’s not too late to get things straight! An orthodontist can work wonders, not only with straightening teeth, but also in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities to correctly align the teeth and jaws. Aside from the aesthetic benefits of a straight smile, a good bite will also contribute towards your oral health by improving the way you bite and chew. Look good, feel good! Orthodontics has come a long way over the last 100 years and treatments are much more refined. In fact, recent surveys by the American Association of Orthodontists show that almost twenty percent of patients accessing orthodontic care are adults. Traditionally, “train track” braces were the only style available to adult patients, but nowadays we have more aesthetic and comfortable alternatives that suit a variety of budgets and treatment aims, in a plethora of shapes, materials and sizes. In general, no brace is superior to another in terms of treatment efficiency, but each category has its own pros and cons. Metal (self-ligating braces) are the most common in use today; they are economical and have been traditionally used to correct a wide variety of issues. Contemporary self-ligating appliances securely position the wire in place during treatment. Ceramic (clear brackets) are more discreet than metal appliances. Lingual braces are traditional “train track” like braces placed behind the teeth, virtually concealing the appliance from view. Combination type braces consist primarily of one appliance type in the upper teeth and another in the lower teeth; they provide a good compromise between comfort, price and aesthetics. Removable clear aligners, such as Invisalign®, are clear plastic trays, individually made for the teeth. You are given a set of trays every few weeks to gradually align your teeth. If you have lived with crooked teeth for most of your life you might have other, related problems such as wear caused by badly positioned teeth. This can easily be treated in collaboration with other specialists to achieve an optimal result. Recently great strides have been made in techniques focusing on fast results, but with limited treatment objectives. The intention is to improve the smile only without giving emphasis to the bite and function. Before your treatment starts you should ensure you are completely clear about
what can and cannot be achieved. It’s important to understand how your bite may be affected if the treatment concentrates on your smile only. Patients should be wary of quick solutions to potentially complex problems and risks should be explained. It’s always prudent to choose an orthodontic professional for treatment, who will work with other practitioners to provide a range of choices for treatment. So don’t hide, there are treatment options available to put a great smile on everyone’s face! Find out more at www.smilefocus.com.sg. Dr. How has treated more than 1,500 orthodontic cases over the past decade. He has taught under- and postgraduate students at the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and has ongoing research projects investigating the limits of non-surgical orthodontics.
Any responder should make any further enquiries with the organizer or should verify the information independently if necessary.
MUSEUMS 1 April – ongoing Glass Rotunda: Story of the Forest and Singapore, Very Old Tree National Museum of Singapore 93 Stamford Road, Singapore 178897 www.nationalmuseum.sg 1 April – 18 June Nyonya Needlework: Embroidery and Beadwork in the Peranakan World The Peranakan Museum 39 Armenian Street, Singapore 179941 www.peranakanmuseum.org.sg 1 April –18 June Collecting Magic: Harry Potter stamps Singapore Philatelic Museum 23-B Coleman Street, Singapore 179807 www.spm.org.sg 1 April – 31 August South Asia and the Islamic World: Highlights from the Collection Asian Civilisations Museum 1 Empress Place, Singapore 179555 www.acm.org.sg 1 April – 4 December Rediscovering Treasures: Ink Art from The Xiu Hai Lou Collection Strokes of Life: The Art of Chen Chong Swee National Gallery of Singapore 1 St. Andrew’s Road, Singapore 178957 www.nationalgallery.sg 1 April – 30 December Reviving Myanmar Celadon Ceramics NUS Museum 50 Kent Ridge Crescent Singapore 119279 www.nus.edu.sg/museum
ENTERTAINMENT 1 – 14 April Peter Rabbit Tale KC Arts Centre – Home of SRT www.sistic.com.sg 23 April SSO Chamber Series: Four Seasons Victoria Concert Hall www.sistic.com.sg 26 – 29 April GISELLE Grand Theatre Mastercard Theatres at Marina Bay Sands www.sistic.com.sg 28 April SSO Gala: Masaaki Suzuki Conducts Mozart Esplanade Concert Hall www.sistic.com.sg 29 April – 14 May Poultry Tales Drama Theatre Centre www.sistic.com.sg 12 – 13 May A Night at The Musicals with Three Phantoms MES Theatre at MediaCorp AAS Promo Code AAS3P www.sistic.com.sg 19 – 22 May Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’amore Esplanade Theatre www.sistic.com.sg 26 – 28 May Geronimo Stilton Live in The Kingdom of Fantasy MES Theatre at MediaCorp AAS Promo Code: AASGS www.sistic.com.sg
LIFESTYLE 8 April & 6 May Carpet Auction Hedger’s Carpet Gallery 15 Dempsey Road #01-09 Viewing: 5:30 – 7:30pm Auction: 7:45pm firstname.lastname@example.org
EDUCATION From 1 April UWCSEA Applications for Admission to UWCSEA in 2017/2018 open Dover or East Campus www.uwcsea.edu.sg, email@example.com 22 April Stamford American International School Open House 279 Upper Serangoon Road 9am www.sais.edu.sg 5 – 16 June Summer Semester – Session One Singapore American School 40 Woodlands Street 41 www.sas.edu.sg 19 – 30 June Summer Semester – Session Two Singapore American School 40 Woodlands Street 41 www.sas.edu.sg 24 July – 4 August Summer Semester – Jump Start Singapore American School 40 Woodlands Street 41 www.sas.edu.sg