AM ERICAN AS S O C I ATION O F S INGAP ORE
American Association..... 1-5 Member Discounts............. 3 CRCE & Business............... 4 Community News........... 6-8 Living in Singapore..... 10-11 Travel........................ 12-13 Architecture............... 14-18 Food & Dining................. 19 Environment.................... 21 President's Message........ 22 What’s Happening.......... 23
Community News 6-8
Living in Singapore 10-11
We find out what Martin Rudden is up to now
The story behind the Qing Ming festival
Adventuring sandy beaches the hard way
Dive into diversity of design in Singapore MCI (P) 071/03/2018
The American Journey in Singapore By Cath Forte
Photo by Katie Baines
n celebration of 100 years of the American Association of Singapore (AAS), we commissioned author and long-term American expat, Jim Baker, to write a very special book. With 35 years’ experience teaching at Singapore American School (SAS), and several published works to his name, Jim was the perfect author for this incredibly important book. Interspersing beautiful photography with engaging narrative, The American Journey in Singapore is testament to the relationship between Singapore and the United States, detailing how it has evolved over the last 100 years. The American Association of Malaya (later Singapore) was officially founded by a small group of Americans posted in Singapore on August 25, 1917. The constitution decreed that those eligible for membership should be “male
American citizens of full age who are a resident of Malaya and other such countries.” Its mission: “… to promote good feeling between Americans and persons living in Singapore, to promote friendship among ourselves, to provide educational facilities for children and for other purposes…” Little did those 30 original members know that, 100 years on, the association would continue to flourish and fulfil its purpose of bringing the community together; providing a little piece of home for those posted far away from the life they knew and the beloved family and friends they left behind. The American Journey in Singapore opens with a heartfelt foreword by Stephanie Syptak-Ramnath, Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. US Embassy Singapore, praising AAS for the impact it has had on the American community in Singapore. From chartering key organizations to bringing the
American Association of Singapore – Since 1917
community together through events and newssharing, AAS has “touched the lives of millions of people, whether American, Singaporean or from one of the many other countries represented on the island,” she writes. Through the chapters of the book, the story of the American experience in Singapore unfolds, from the clippers and steam ships of the early 1900s, through the war years and Singapore’s independence, and onward into the jet age and the technological advances of the 21st century. Since the early years of colonial rule, Americans have made important contributions to Singapore’s progress. The last 100 years have seen the relationship go from strength to strength. The American Journey in Singapore, traces the key role played by AAS in establishing and nurturing this special relationship between the two countries.
2 AMERICAN ASSOCIATION
Singapore American · April 2018
W hat ' s Tuesday
Sports Watchers: Men's NCAA Basketball Finals
Come on out to watch the Men's NCAA Basketball Finals! We're waiting for the teams to be confirmed, but save the date and we'll cheer our favorites on together. Timing for the game to be confirmed on our website. Boomarang, 60 Robertson Quay, #01-15 The Quayside, (S)238252 Free of charge, but registration required. This is an AAS members-only event.
Join us for morning coffee at Privé Orchard where you’ll have the opportunity to make new connexions and catch up with old ones, too. There’s no fee to join, but attendees are required to purchase at least one drink/coffee (minimum). 9:30 – 11am Privé Orchard, Wheelock Place, (S)238880 Free of charge, but registration required. This event is open to AAS members. Interested guests are welcome to attend one Coffee Connexions event as a non-member.
Gallop on down to Café Melba, grab a Mint Julep and help us celebrate all things spring, Kentucky Derby-style. There will be hobby horse races, fun crafts and lawn games, plus an opportunity to raise some money for a worthy cause. Break out your bow ties and big hats for an afternoon of family fun. 4 – 6pm Café Melba at Goodman Arts Centre 90 Goodman Road, Blk N #01-56, (S)439053 AAS/Sister Org: $25 Adult; $15 Child; $75 Family of Four
Non-Member: $30 Adult; $20 Child; $95 Family of Four Price includes a meal and your first drink.
Join us for a morning of fun at East Coast Park. 10 – 11am Marine Cove @ East Coast Park, (S)449876 Free of charge, but registration required. This is an AAS members-only event.
Bowling Night (Adults)
Join us at Kallang Bowl for a lively night of bowling and conversation. 7 – 9pm Kallang Bowl, Leisure Park Kallang, (S)397693 $15 per person This is an AAS members-only event.
AAS Morning Tea
Learn all about AAS, upcoming events and how you can make the most of your membership. Connect with other members and make new friends while enjoying morning tea. 10 – 11:30am AAS office @ Thong Teck Building Free of charge, but registration required. All AAS Members welcome!
Believe it or not, moving back home can be harder than moving away. Join AAS, event sponsor Allied Pickfords, and Dr. Suzanne Anderson, International Counselling & Psychology Centre, for an informative talk aimed at helping you understand the emotional and logistical impacts of moving back. Includes a glass of wine and snacks. 7 – 9pm The American Club, 3rd floor, 10 Claymore Hill, (S)229573 Free for AAS & The American Club Members ($10 no-show fee applies) $30 Non-Members
It’s All in the Planning
As the saying goes, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Expat life comes with its own unique set of challenges, join us for this essential talk presented by the experts at AAM Advisory to learn how to manage your lifestyle today, tomorrow and beyond. Covering topics such as wills, guardianship and managing your finances abroad. 7 – 9pm The American Club, 3rd floor, 10 Claymore Hill, (S)229573 Free for AAS Members, AAM Advisory Guests and The American Club Members ($10 no-show fee applies) $30 Non-Members
Family Activity at Willing Hearts
Bring the whole family and join volunteers to prepare, pack and distribute meals to those in need in Singapore. 8:30 – 11:30am Willing Hearts Soup Kitchen, (S)409074 This is an AAS members-only event.
We’re adding new events and activities all the time, so please keep an eye on our website and Facebook page for up-to-the-minute information, and to register for an event: www.aasingapore.com
3 AMERICAN ASSOCIATION
Singapore American · April 2018
we ' ve been up to
There’s been plenty going on at the American Association of Singapore! We had a lovely evening at the launch of The American Journey in Singapore, a wonderful book commemorating the first 100 years of the American Association, as author Jim Baker offered his fascinating insights, drawing on his first-hand experiences of life in Singapore.
AAS MEMBER DISCOUNTS AAS members enjoy discounts at a range of local businesses. Present your AAS membership card at time of purchase. www.aasingapore.com/member-discounts
Get a free Singapore Financial Advice Guide, which contains essential information on ensuring your loved ones and you have adequate insurance coverage, tax information and ways to invest (both on a lump sum and regular basis). The guide also includes a breakdown of fees for international universities, which is a common request from AAM’s clients looking at planning for their children’s future. Contact email@example.com or +65 6653 6652.
AAS members enjoy two hours free handyman service (valued at over $200) on their moving day when booking a move with Allied Pickfords.
Indulge in modern American gourmet burgers and premium craft beer. Enjoy 15% off when you dine at Brewerkz through December 31, 2018. Limit to one redemption per bill/table. Not valid on public holidays and eve of public holidays. Valid for a la carte menu. The management reserve the right to amend the terms & conditions without prior notice.
Taste authentic Mexican Food and blue agave tequila and receive 15% off when you dine at Café Iguana through December 31, 2018.
Our Coffee Connexions group of new members and seasoned islanders spent an enjoyable morning discussing anything and everything from getting your bearings in Singapore, exploring the great outdoors on a shoestring through to engaging with the job market. We had great fun at the bowling alley, the comedy night and Coffee en Español, too.
Not valid on public holidays and eve of public holidays. Valid for a la carte menu. The management reserve the right to amend the terms & conditions without prior notice.
Only for AAS members. Enjoy 20% off travel insurance all year round, and S$100 per couple when you book a holiday package* with Flight Centre *Package comprises of at least flight and accommodation. Discount cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Contact your dedicated travel team at 6692 9658 or visit bit.ly/FCxAAS2018 for more info.
BENEFITS Our Annual General Meeting combined AAS news with some fun trivia questions. Members voted in favor of five constitutional changes that will ensure the smooth running of the association moving forward (full details on the AAS website).
Complimentary admission to one networking event New and renewing members receive one free registration for a networking night.
Complimentary admission to Living in Singapore Talk A twice yearly speaker-led event offering tips on navigating life in the Lion City.
Complimentary admission to annual Repatriation Talk Repatriating members can attend this essential talk, covering both the emotional and physical aspects of moving home.
Hot-desking CRCE members can use our co-working space at the office – a great way to meet other members and share ideas. Members get five hours of hot-desk space per month, which can be booked as single hour sessions or a double hour session.
Freelancer Club Freelancer Club is for CRCE Members who freelance in our community to meet, collaborate, soundboard, problem solve and create discussion before getting on with the tasks in hand.
CAREER RESOURCE CENTER FOR EXCELLENCE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION
Singapore American · April 2018
PERSONAL & PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
“You have everything you need to build something far bigger than yourself.” SETH GODIN
SPOTLIGHT ON JOBS Business Manager (New Business) Our consultancy is looking to hire a Business Manager to lead in the development and execution of a strategic business plan for a new business in our learning space. We are open to full or part-time working arrangements. (job #3613)
Business Manager (Virtualised Learning Business)
A Conversation with Sara Watson Tell us about yourself My partner is an academic, so I knew the day would come when we’d have to move to wherever he found a job as a professor. We’d built our careers in parallel: his with more stability but geographic constraints, mine with more flexibility but some variability. Neither of us anticipated that Singapore would be our destination, but when the opportunity came up, we were ready to move and my freelance role made the transfer a lot easier.
How did you get yourself established as a freelancer here? I was lucky to connect with a few local tech industry conferences when we were planning the move. But after initial introductions were made, I worked to stay in touch with my connections across the globe. Traveling and connecting at conferences definitely helps with that. I continue to write for publications, mostly online and based in the States, but I've branched out as I build my network and expertise in the region. I’ve explored some of the co-working spaces here in Singapore as a way to network, go to events and find a community here.
What do you love most about being self-employed? Editorial independence is really important to me. I’m the kind of person who really identifies with her work, so I value having complete ownership over the projects I take on and the publications I write for. I love that I can evolve what my freelance portfolio looks like. I recently turned a photography hobby into a side business taking headshot portraits for academics, writers and start-ups. It exercises some visual creativity and uses a different part of my brain.
What is your typical day? I often start my day with phone calls or virtual meetings with collaborators or
friends in the States. I’ll scan for any urgent emails to respond to before the US heads to bed. I like to write in the mornings – that’s when I feel most fresh and energized. Afternoons are for editing, keeping up with the news and addressing the rest of my inbox. Sometimes the night ends with another Skype session. It’s hard not to feel like I am always a day behind when keeping up with tech news. I rely on Twitter lists to stay on top of a filtered timeline of must-reads and Nuzzel to summarize articles that make the rounds in my network while I’m asleep. I also use Buffer to queue social media posts during windows of time that match up throughout the globe.
What challenges do you face? It can be hard to gain access to people or institutions when I’m working on my own. Singaporeans, and business people in Asia generally, tend to want to know what box to put you in before they are willing to talk to you in depth. I don’t have an obvious mentor to look at their career path and know what comes next, so it takes a certain amount of confidence to be comfortable defining my own terms of success.
Your best advice? Network! Even friends of friends are a great starting point to find new clients or peers in your field. And one client might lead to the next. It depends on your industry and area of expertise, but there are so many platforms for finding remote work often geared toward specific types of work, like design or copywriting. Sara M. Watson is a writer, technology critic and speaker. She is an affiliate with the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University and a writer in residence at Digital Asia Hub. She tweets @smwat. saramwatson.com
CRCE WORKSHOPS Interview and Networking Skills Series – Part 1 Speaker: Suzanna Borst Tuesday, April 10 10am – 12pm Interview and Networking Skills Series – Part 2 Speaker: Suzanna Borst Tuesday, April 17 10am – 12pm Managing Your Inner Critic Speaker: Mary Barrett Thursday, April 19 8:30 – 9:30am Interview and Networking Skills Series – Part 3 Speaker: Suzanna Borst Tuesday, April 24 10am – 12pm
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.
NEED HELP WITH APPROACHING THE JOB MARKET? DOES YOUR RESUME NEED A FACELIFT? AAS OFFERS PERSONALIZED CAREER COUNSELING SERVICES. CONTACT US FOR A PRIVATE APPOINTMENT WITH A PROFESSIONAL CAREER ADVISOR: CRCE.INFO@AASINGAPORE.COM
Our learning and organizational development consulting company seeks to hire a Business Manager to lead in the development and execution of a strategic business plan for a new virtualized business. The business is targeted at helping client and partner organisations seeking to leverage learning technology in developing its employees. (job #3614)
Sales Consultant We are looking for a suitable candidate who has the relevant experience to join our Business Development Team as Sales Consultant. He or she will be able to effectively communicate our company’s product and benefits, and initiate efforts that can convert leads to sales. This is a key sales role which is most suitable for candidates who are flexible and driven to earn high commissions. (job #3615)
Key Account Manager We are looking for a qualified candidate who has the relevant experience to join our Business Development Team as Key Account Manager. He or she will be able to develop a solid and trusting relationship with the key clients that will best advance our company’s vision, mission and goals. (job #3616)
Clinical Sales Manager (Lead) We are looking for a qualified candidate who has the relevant experience to join our Business Development Team as Clinical Sales Manager. He or she will be able to develop a solid and trusting relationship with key accounts targeting physicians and clinic staff to ensure the realization of sales targets. (job #3617)
Corporate Sales Manager (Lead) We are looking for a suitable candidate who has the relevant experience to join our Business Development Team as Corporate Sales Manager. He or she will be responsible for executing sales actions targeting corporate companies to ensure profit maximization and realization of sales targets. (job #3618)
Executive Assistant/Personal Assistant Our centrally located dental practice is looking for a highly-motivated and experienced Executive/Personal Assistant to provide support to the Managing Director. This position requires excellence in primary administrative functions, responsibility for executive-level interfaces, contact with our customers, partners and staff. (job #3619)
Associate Executive Trainer We are a leading American Leadership and Communication skills training company, looking for Associate Executive Trainers for our senior- to mid-management clientele. Candidates would have had a successful senior- to mid-management career in MNCs or government and have some experience in executive training. (job #3620)
Associate Executive Coach We are a leading American Leadership and Communications skills training company, looking for Associate Executive Coaches for our senior management clientele. Candidates would have had a successful senior to top management career in MNCs or government and have some experience in executive coaching. (job #3621)
5 AMERICAN ASSOCIATION
Singapore American Âˇ April 2018
HOMETOWN Gibsonburg, Ohio, USA.
MEMBER SINCE September 2017.
Eagle Partners I ARRIVED IN SINGAPORE One year ago! We moved on February 10, 2017.
WE MOVED FROM Chicago, Illinois.
WHAT I LIKE MOST The public transportation. It's incredibly clean and efficient compared to Chicago and I am definitely spoiled now. And laksa! I can't get enough of the stuff.
THE BIGGEST CHANGE I think it's the combination of...everything. When we first arrived, Singapore was more "westernized" than I was expecting, so I thought it would be pretty easy to adjust. But then, slowly, the changes started becoming more apparent. The humidity has been tough, and the lack of seasons is still very strange to me.
Stars & Stripes
I AM MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO Having friends and family visit this year. They let us have a year here to get settled in and now they will be coming non-stop for several months! It's very refreshing to see Singapore through new sets of eyes, and I think it will give me a renewed appreciation for the Little Red Dot.
Would you like to be interviewed for our Meet a Member feature? Weâ€™d love to hear from you!
Get involved with Singapore American! We're always looking for contributors, so if you have an article to share or a story you'd love to see in print, please let us know.
Please contact Cath Forte, Editor-in-Chief, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Have fun, give back, be involved!
6 COMMUNITY NEWS
Singapore American · April 2018
Cultural Immersion and Community Work AN INDIAN EXPERIENCE By Rahini Takalkar, ninth grade, SAS
he Singapore American School Interim Semester was the result of students being increasingly isolated from “real life” in Singapore and Southeast Asia. Forty-five years ago, the first Interim Semester included 35 course options with trips to Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. Since 1973, the program has come a long way, spanning 58 courses in 19 countries dedicated to service learning, global studies and eco-adventures. As a freshman, I wanted my first interim experience to be incredible and I managed to grab a spot on my top choice – Me to We India. A group of 19 students and two faculty members traveled to Udaipur, Rajasthan, India to help construct a school in a rural village. We stayed on a beautiful campsite with local guides and trip facilitators, enjoying flavorful food and a serene lake view. Three building sessions resulted in flooring an entire classroom and the construction of a school wall. Carrying heavy buckets of cement and mixing gravel with Indian shovels were new experiences for us, and we learned by observing and immersing ourselves in the culture
of the local community. Women in this region spend a significant part of their day trekking to collect water and maintaining households in plightful conditions. To understand their lifestyle better, we engaged in a ‘Day in the Life’ activity – carrying water from wells to huts, making rotis, feeding goats and chatting with our host, a 55-year-old homemaker named Ramabai. With arms sore and muscles burning while goats tickled our palms as we fed them, we took in the impoverished conditions we had only read about. It was eye-opening to hear that the first time Ramabai met her husband was on her wedding day, that she had never been to school and did not aspire to much. Often, the girls we were building the school for were taken out because of lack of toilets. Sadly, parents didn’t see reason in educating girls whose lives would result in cooking, cleaning and raising children starting in their late teens. For many of us, witnessing the conditions of tribal Rajasthan was unsettling because it represented the opposite of everything in our world. After a day with Ramabai, we had the opportunity to
interact with school children. I met twelve-year-old Kailash who read his Hindi textbook to me and asked me to read stories from his English textbook. The juxtaposition between my city of heritage and the village I visited allowed me to understand more about the world. In our interactions with Ramabai and the school children, we learned that in this part of the world, going to school and having the freedom to make our own life choices are luxuries, not rights. Eight days in Udaipur planted seeds of change in each of our hearts, leaving us determined to bring what we had experienced and felt back to Singapore. I won’t need any pictures to remember my first Interim Semester experience, and I can’t wait for more similar opportunities in the years to come. Photos by Ameya Ghiya, ninth grade, SAS
7 COMMUNITY NEWS
Singapore American · April 2018
Be a Girl Scout!
irl Scouting is a leadership program and what training (and fun!) our girls have had with a head-spinning, jam-packed community calendar, kicking off with our annual Songfest. All 340 girls in 31 troops at 14 different international schools come together to start the year with traditional Girl Scouts songs.
be the older girls! It’s a wonderful example of how Girl Scouting builds such strong character. Daniella R, who was very involved with planning Overnight Camp, has been going to camp in Singapore for six years. “I can’t believe this is my last year. Camp has been such a part of my life for a long time. It’s a bit emotional that this was the last one,” she said.
Founder’s Day was celebrated with a Kite Fest in October. A few weeks later, the girls and their daddies donned their best 60s and 70s Flower Power outfits and rocked out at the Father Daughter Dance. While the girls looked super cute, the daddies stole the show in their tie-dye shirts and hippie wigs.
We also held two Journey-in-a-Day events: full-day, in-depth studies with girls of the same age across Singapore working together and ultimately completing a Take Action project.
The new year opened with The Singapore Scurry, (think The Amazing Race), designed to strengthen our older girls’ sense of independence. Seven teams raced all over the country, culminating in a well-deserved pizza party. We also held two girl-led camps: Day Camp for our youngest girls and Overnight Camp for our older girls. Junior Troop 34 earned their Bronze Award (the highest for their age group) by helping plan Day Camp with a Recycle and Reuse theme. Older girls trained and planned every bit of the Everyday Heroes-themed Overnight Camp. Wow! Running camp gives girls a sense of empowerment. And the little girls? They can’t wait to grow up to
These community events were on top of the things girls do with their own troops, such as tackling high ropes courses, touring animal rescue facilities, riding horses, visiting fire stations, holding bake sales for charities, visiting nursing homes and much more. But the girls can't do it on their own. We always need adults to help out. Volunteering isn’t as scary as it sounds. We provide lots of training and support – plus you and your daughter will both have the time of your life. If Girl Scouting sounds like something for you or your daughter, visit our website to learn more. Registration opens July 1. Photos courtesy of USA Girl Scouts Overseas - Singapore
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
8 COMMUNITY NEWS
Singapore American · April 2018
Martin Rudden: Life After The American Club How long did you work at The American Club (TAC)? I started in October 1999 as Head Tennis Pro. In 2001, I moved into the role of Director of Fitness and Leisure. There were various Senior Manager roles through to the role of Co-Assistant General Manager in 2007/2008 (with Patricia Au who is still doing amazing work at TAC). I was appointed General Manager (GM) in March 2012 after Kathleen Urquhart, the previous GM, resigned in late 2011. It was a very proud moment and the outpouring of support from the membership was amazing. So, when I walked out on my last day (December 18, 2017), it had been almost six years as GM and over 18 years of my (and my family’s) life committed to TAC and the broader American Club in Singapore.
What are your fondest memories? We often commented that my (our) experiences would make for an interesting book! It’s hard to pick only a handful but, in no particular order… • I loved, and was always very proud, to address the team at the Staff Dinner & Dance (D&D) and present the Employee Awards and Long Service Awards. There were many special moments over the years at our D&D including all staff (and General Committee Members) on the dance floor just ‘rocking the place’! • I loved the off-site leadership meetings/team building activities. While we had unique skills, personalities and styles, we created a wonderful, synergetic team. I really miss each and every one of the Senior Staff. • I thoroughly enjoyed our Club-wide parties. They were a massive amount of work but the team was extraordinary and the members (and their friends) loved them. I, and the Senior Managers wouldn’t leave the party till every person (sometimes around 1000 people were in attendance) had left and we’d head out for a celebratory drink to mark another huge but safe event. • I always looked forward to hosting the visiting US Military. We had some wonderful events at the old Poolside and to speak to the young men and women, who so proudly wear ‘The uniform’ and genuinely appreciate the staff and members’ hospitality at TAC, was uplifting indeed. • While we didn’t have many serious disciplinary issues, over many years there were some very colorful and challenging situations. A few stick out, but of course the details are private and confidential! • I have to admit to having a sweet tooth and in my daily rounds of the Club I loved visiting the Pastry Kitchen with Chef Yeni and her team. They would often say, “Boss, we have something we’d like you to try.” I was always happy to provide my opinion! • The membership and the staff provided an extraordinary community of diversity, stories, historical perspectives and ideas. Each day I was inspired to spend time in the clubhouse and foster those relationships. The New Member Orientation was also energizing as the influx
of new individuals provided that positive injection of excitement and freshness. • The vote of the approval to proceed with the $65m redevelopment was hugely satisfying. It ensured the community would stay at the leading edge of a Club experience in both Singapore and well beyond for many, many years to come.
What are your greatest achievements during your time as GM? Of course, I was blessed to have an amazing leadership team to help create the vision and support its implementation. But, with humility, I would suggest the following: • A leader sets the tone for a company. I was committed to developing an environment based on trust, one that was inspiring and respectful. I constantly reminded the team (of around 400 full time, part time and contract staff) that every single person contributes to the success of the organization (every role is important whether in the front or ‘heart’ of house). • The Club cannot operate in isolation. The commitment to nurturing relationships with our Union, Government and Community Partners was very important. The success of this focus was well documented in the Club Magazine and witnessed via industry leading awards/recognitions. These were not something we actively pursued but a result of best-in-class practices and strong relationships. Tan Lee Lee, the current Senior Director of People Development, was inspirational with this focus as well. • The commitment to the Redevelopment Project and drive to get support from both within the staff and membership communities was a huge undertaking. Of course, once the milestone vote of approval was achieved, it was many years of extra commitment by so many staff (and amazing volunteers). However, it’s a game-changer and will re-invent our offerings for many years ahead. Tang Teck Wah, the current Senior Director of Faculties and Security, has been extraordinary, both prior to the vote and throughout this project. • Our mantra of “Happy Staff = Happy Members” led to a strategic focus on staff training and staff welfare. The commitment to these deliverables was significant and witnessed by a recent period of the lowest staff attrition in the Club’s history. The end result was, even during this period of upheaval, member engagement and satisfaction remained high.
What do you miss the most about working at TAC? Actually, there are quite a few things that I miss that kept me fully engaged until the final day. • The business itself is wonderfully dynamic and extremely challenging. Those in the community may not realize that the Club’s operation is one of the most diverse and robust private social clubs in the world. At the same time, it was incumbent of the team to work ahead and be strategic in its planning process to
Martin and his wife Jane recently enjoying a bottle of champagne that a friend had saved from their wedding 14 years ago. He said it would be served only when they returned home to Melbourne!
ensure each business unit keeps evolving. Combined with staff issues (personal and professional) meant the work environment was always buzzing! • The people, both members and staff, were enlightening and super-special. The friendships, both professional and personal, were a daily joy and made the many hours every day, every week and every month at TAC possible. • Our committee volunteers have been outstanding. Over the years, the expertise and efforts of literally hundreds of members has been inspirational. It was my honor to work with so many committed people and, while we didn't always agree, you admire the desire to contribute to the betterment of our business and community.
What’s next for Mr. Rudden’s career in Australia? I’m currently taking some time to settle the family into life in Melbourne. The new schools, sports teams, house, etc., all need lots of attention (as all expats know). Reconnecting with old mates, as well as friends who moved to Melbourne from Singapore, is also part of the weekly program. Importantly, time with family has been a priority as my father is unwell. When things start to feel comfortable/normal then I have a few exciting ideas that I’ll start to pursue. Thankfully my wife is continuing with her regional role out of the Melbourne office so we’re appreciative of her company being open to the shift. As a finishing note, I wanted to congratulate Mr. Devin Kimble on his appointment as General Manager; I hope that he and the team are wildly successful as a new era for TAC begins.
We have an opportunity for you! AAS is looking for people to help us out with a family fun line dance at our 4th of July Celebration. Contact our Events Manager, Sarah Walston for full details: email@example.com
10 LIVING IN SINGAPORE
Singapore American Âˇ April 2018
Qing Ming Festival By Laura Schwartz
cross every culture, creed and continent, we human beings venerate and respect our dead. In our hyper-modern world, evidence of this is rarely on display amidst the mania for improving efficiency, the omnipresent internet that can fill every spare moment and the competition for top positions in schools and companies. But several times a year, local families do take breaks from this frenetic pace to celebrate traditions that honor their departed loved ones. The most well-known of these is the Hungry Ghost Festival, when the souls of the dead are believed to roam the earth, much like Halloween. But, also like Halloween, it has evolved from a somber memorializing ritual into a more lighthearted, commercialized event. The Qing Ming Festival, on the other hand, remains a low-key time for families to come together to pray at the graves of ancestors. These visits can occur during the ten days before or after the Qing Ming Festival, which occurs about two weeks after the spring equinox (April 5 this year). In order to avoid traffic jams, large crowds and high temperatures during the day, many Singaporeans opt to go after dark or in the early morning. In addition to cleaning the gravesite, families light incense and candles, make offerings of food and drinks, and burn joss paper gifts. Taoist and Buddhist institutions observe the occasion with prayers and rituals performed on behalf of the deceased. Known as Tomb Sweeping Day in English, Qing Mingâ€™s origin is commonly traced back to Jie Zhitui, a 7th century Chinese nobleman who was revered as a model of self-sacrificing loyalty. Jie followed his wrongly accused prince into exile and was by his side until the prince was installed as the duke of the state of Jin. The duke was generous to those who had helped him in adversity, but Jie was unfortunately overlooked and so withdrew to seclusion in the forests near Mount Mian. When Jie failed to reappear despite the dukeâ€™s attempts to lure him back, the duke ordered a forest fire to smoke Jie out of hiding, but Jie was instead burnt alive. In remorse, the duke inaugurated the Cold Food Festival to memorialize him. This festival accrued the elements of ancestral veneration during the Tang Dynasty, and the present importance of Qing Ming is attributed to Emperor Xuanzong, who wanted to curb the
11 Singapore American · April 2018
excessive, ostentatious ceremonies wealthy citizens were holding to honor their ancestors. In AD732, he declared that respects could be formally paid just once a year, on Qing Ming. As with most ancient traditions, Qing Ming has been adapted for the modern era. The variety of burnable paper offerings has expanded to include replicas of cars and Louis Vuitton handbags. Homage websites and online memorial halls have flourished in Mainland China. The biggest change in Singapore, however, is that a number of families now bring offerings to niches in columbariums where the ashes of their loved ones are stored. (In Chinese tradition, it’s terrible luck for the living and the dead to reside in the same space, so the ashes of the deceased are never stored in the home.) Due to scarcity of land and growth in population, by 1985 Singapore had reclaimed 21 cemeteries in order to repurpose the plots. Approximately 120,000 graves were exhumed and moved to columbariums. Today, the state-owned Choa Chu Kang cemetery is the only remaining place open for new burials, but with the caveat that the gravesite will be exhumed for cremation after 15 years. It is thus incredibly busy during Qing Ming. While there is no universally accepted theory on the origins of our honoring the dead, the earliest undisputed human burial dates back 100,000 years. And there is some evidence that even hundreds of thousands of years earlier, Neanderthals were burying their deceased with precious items. It’s not surprising then that Qing Ming shares much in common with so many other countries’ practices: Dia de los Muertos in Mexico, Pchum Ben in Cambodia, Obon in Japan, Famadihana in Madagascar, Galungan in Bali, All Saints’ Day in Christian culture, and the list goes on. These rituals not only allow us to celebrate those who have come before us, they also illuminate how connected we the living are to one other. Born in Ireland, Laura Jane Schwartz (née O’Gorman) grew up in Tokyo, Singapore and New Jersey before attending Bard College in upper New York, where she majored in Japanese Studies. Her fiction and non-fiction writing has appeared in a range of publications, including: The Shanghai Literary Review, Thoughtful Dog Magazine and The Wall Street Journal. She’s as voracious a traveler as she is a reader, and to date has been to over 30 countries. Photos courtesy of Jnzl
LIVING IN SINGAPORE
Singapore American Â· April 2018
By Cath Forte
Singapore American · April 2018
’ve always found it hard to resist a challenge, but I thought by the time I reached my (ahem!) middle years, I would’ve started to give a little more thought to what I was signing myself up for. Call it a mid-life crisis if you will but entering my 40s seemed like the best possible time to take up obstacle course racing (OCR). So, shortly after my special birthday, I joined a gung-ho group of enthusiasts for my first Spartan Race in Singapore. Flooded with endorphins and team spirit, bolstered by my achievement of completing more than 20 obstacles over 6km of rough terrain, it was only natural to sign up for the next event, which turned out to be an international affair! After much training (and much more procrastination!) our merry band got together once again, recruiting others along the way, and took the ferry to Bintan, Indonesia, for a true island adventure. Now, when I think about island escapes, I generally envisage lazing on white sandy beaches, drinking cocktails and indulging in spa treatments. Bliss. However, this trip saw us commando crawling under barbed wire on the pure white sand, chugging back hydration packs and the mud on my face was from the ground not a fancy salon! At the crack of dawn, we met at Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal to head to Bintan. The departure lounge was buzzing with the energy of hundreds of competitors, eagerly anticipating the race ahead. Our eclectic team of more than 20 competitors (plus some cheerleaders) spanned a 40-year age range and encompassed many nationalities, including Australian, Indian, New Zealand, Singaporean, British, French and Zimbabwean. Our common goal: to smash the Spartan Sprint. A cool hour later we disembarked in Indonesia, ready for adventure. We checked into Angsana Bintan, our resting place for the night, and headed to the beach to catch a glimpse of the course we would face the following morning. Saturday was the day of the Bintan Beast – a half-marathon with more than 30 obstacles – definitely not for the faint of heart (or the weak of body)! We arrived just in time to catch the best of the Elite Category runners finishing up their race. Bruised and battered as they were, we stood in awe as they ran through soft sand and into chest deep water to climb a high rope – a killer obstacle so late in the course, carrying a penalty of 30 energy-sapping burpees for a failed attempt. We were over the moon as our friend leaped over the fire and through the finish line as the third woman home (the first in her age-group) after more than three grueling hours of racing. We spent the afternoon hydrating by the pool, our water bottles supplemented with effervescent electrolytes and healthy snacks on hand. Despite having a race on our minds, we weren’t immune to Bintan’s charms and headed to the beach for a beautiful Indonesian sunset and a delicious barbecue dinner. (We were careful not to indulge too much before the big race, turning in early to get a good rest.) Sunday. Race day. The breakfast buffet buzzed with nervous energy. After stocking up on healthy fare and painting our faces with camouflage stripes, we boarded the bus to Lagoi Bay
for the promised mix of running, climbing, pushing, pulling, throwing and crawling through mud, hills and trees, over walls, under barbed wire and other “challenging but fun” obstacles (not to mention the penalty of 30 burpees for failed attempts). As I mentioned earlier, getting down and dirty isn’t my usual approach to a new destination, but the Spartan Sprint showed off some of Bintan’s highlights. Kicking off with some easy obstacles to warm up (low wall vault and an “Over, Under, Through” sequence), we hit the first test of nerve – a giant A-Frame cargo climb. Higher than I care to recall, we took it one step at a time to the summit and, after a few deep breaths at the top to gather ourselves, we made it back down to the ground triumphant. Running along the beach is a great way to take in the scenery, and Bintan’s Lagoi Bay didn’t disappoint. Knee-deep in the warm water of the South China Sea, our team of warriors pushed on bravely towards the jungle-like terrain beyond the beach. Carrying sandbags up and down hills, traversing monkey bars, hefting atlas stones and running with buckets full of gravel were just a few of the challenges ahead. We met them head-on with brave hearts and our secret weapon – teamwork! Unlike the competitive categories, the Open Sprint allowed for assistance from team mates (there’s even an award to the largest team in the competition) and we took full advantage of this. I am forever grateful to our amazing coach who went way above and beyond the call of duty to give us a leg up (and a strategic shove!) to get us over walls from six to ten feet high! After more running through some rough terrain, we found ourselves next to a rather nice golf course – the golfers looking on in amusement as our disheveled crew passed by, bruised and battered, and with some emergency shoe repairs, courtesy of the first aiders along the route. Heading back to the beach, the end was in sight. Channeling our inner warriors, we crawled our way under some barbed wire and into the sea again to attempt the rope. Sadly, this resulted in 30 burpees for me! Soaked from head to foot, covered in sand and jungle debris, we moved on to the final obstacles with the end firmly in sight. We were ecstatic to leap over the roaring flames of the Fire Jump – a hallmark of Spartan events. Donning our obligatory Finishers t-shirts with pride, we took our triumphant final photos and grabbed a well-earned beer. Back at the hotel, we had time for a celebratory champagne lunch on the beach before heading back to the ferry terminal to make our way home. We thoroughly enjoyed our active adventure in Bintan and I’d certainly love to go back. Maybe next time I’ll do the cocktails and spa thing, though! Photos courtesy of Cath Forte and Spartan Team
Architecture in Singapore
“An invitation to Walk and Discover” By Francisco Marin
s an architect, people frequently ask me what I like about the architecture of Singapore and which buildings or places are my favorites. I often find it difficult to give an answer to such a broad question. Naturally, I prefer certain styles or types. But I can say this: I lived for several years in Shanghai, which has many spectacular buildings, but sadly, that city also often destroys its heritage at the same time. But Singapore… Singapore is different. Singapore is not just a melting pot of culture and traditions with people and food. The architecture you find in Singapore also reflects the diversity of backgrounds and races that has made this place a paradise for visitors and lovers of arts. Old and new, traditional and modern, make an interesting kaleidoscope of architectural and cityscape compositions. You have Arabic designs thanks to the Malaysian and Indonesian infusion. You have Chinese and Peranakan design coming from the Chinese mainland and Malaysia. You find colorful temples in the style of India across the city. Neoclassical, Art Deco, Gothic and contemporary designs from the Western world are also here, and of course, you have modern styles, with hanging gardens or technologically advanced systems to make them “intelligent”. Regardless of where you are walking in the Lion City, you will find some genuine pieces of architectural art all the time. My favorite places to breathe in the various styles are: Tiong Bahru for Art Deco, Clarke Quay for Neoclassical, Little India for color, the Katong Area for the Peranakan, Chinatown to remind me of the nine and a half years I lived in China, the Black and White houses at Mountbatten, and of course, all over the Central Business District area and Marina Bay for modern and challenging constructions. Granted, you may not find all of these architectural styles appealing to you, but something of which I’m certain is that it will be worth your time to see them and understand them. After all, this place is now what you call home. Francisco Marin is an architectural and fine art photographer living in Singapore for almost five years and in Asia for 15. He is a Mexican but considers himself a citizen of the world. Francisco loves to travel, but hates the trouble (security queues). However, his passion and joy is to teach photography and share his experiences with his students and friends. Photos by Fancisco Marin Left, from top to bottom: Little India, modern Park Royal Hotel, Peranakan, Black and White houses Right, from top to bottom: Art Deco, Arabic, Chinatown, Neoclassical
16 ARCHITECTURE IN SINGAPORE
Singapore American · April 2018
A Wander Around Tiong Bahru By Katie Baines
iong Bahru has always been a little different. Juxtaposed next to its Peranakan neighbors at the advent of its construction in the 1930s, its Art Deco features were comparatively futuristic. However, it has since been embalmed by time as an iconic example of Singapore’s architecture, punctuating the island’s transition from an era of old-world shophouses to newworld skyscrapers. When Alfred G. Church was charged with planning Tiong Bahru in 1936, the third and largest of Singapore Improvement Trust’s (SIT) housing projects, his vision abandoned the grandiose features of earlier embodiments of Art Deco. Instead, he favored the sleek, languid and aerodynamic lines that the new architectural movement of Streamline Moderne portrayed, emulating automobiles, trains, ocean liners and airplanes. The horseshoe-shaped apartment blocks at Moh Guan Terrace and Guan Chuan Street are quintessential examples of this type of design. However, since the project’s primary purpose was to address the shortage of sanitary accommodation on
the island and to re-home some 6,000 residents after the clearance of the slums, Church’s challenge was to consider function as well as form. Apartments were compact, so to create a sense of space the blueprint planned for low-rise structures to nestle among small public spaces, intermingled with apartment blocks and pockets of greenery. This provided opportunities for people to meet and foster a sense of community. With WWII looming, the practicalities needed in an era of precarious international relations were also factored in; these were the first buildings in Singapore to include a purpose-built air raid shelter, which remains open and can be visited today. As a pioneering architectural concept Tiong Bahru was a success, but as a community housing project it ultimately failed. Monthly rental was set at a princely $25 and apartments were taken up by well-to-do families, or wealthy businessmen needing accommodation for their mistresses, as opposed to those in need of housing. Today, with an emergence in the trend of heritage-chic,
younger people have flocked to the district, accompanied by the expat community seeking a friendly alternative to anonymous high-rise condos. The knock-on effect has been the introduction of French boulangeries and Australian-style coffee shops intertwined with the traditional kopitiam stalls. While there were initial fears that this would dilute the historic charm of Tiong Bahru, the general feeling is that it has, in fact, enriched it. It exudes multiculturalism and has a relaxed, laidback vibe. Hipsters jostle past Aunties trundling their shopping trollies, chai-lattes in hand, trying to avoid dripping water from laundry hanging from bamboo poles above. Young families en route to the playground stroll by Uncles on benches slurping on kopi-o. Interactions and occurrences such as these give Tiong Bahru character, combining to give the area its unique appeal, something to be treasured. Photos by Katie Baines
17 ARCHITECTURE IN SINGAPORE
Singapore American · April 2018
Preserving the Past Differently – The US Ambassador’s Residence By Richard Hartung
ingapore’s approach to preserving the past often seems to be one of taking an old building and turning it into something new, a different approach than in many cities.
The nearly-200-year-old building that was Singapore’s first Parliament House was turned into The Arts House, for instance, and is now a venue for arts programs and festivals. The Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus (CHIJ) in the center of the city has been converted into an entertainment and dining hub. And the former military barracks on Beach Road is now part of the South Beach residential and commercial complex. One of the most poignant changes for the American community, though, is perhaps the transformation of the formerly elegant American ambassador’s residence at Spring Grove into the clubhouse for a condo. As recently as the late 1980s, guests visiting the American ambassador drove up a long stately driveway past frangipani and palm trees to his home at Spring Grove, on Grange Road. The Victorian colonial bungalow, surrounded by nearly six acres of lawns and gardens, was the site of glamorous dinners and many a fine party. The bungalow at Spring Grove was built in the late 1800s and first occupied by Hans Brecker, the managing director of German corporation Benh Meyer. It was sold to The Straits Trading Company in 1919, which leased it to the American Consul General in 1936. After a hiatus during the Second World War, the American Consul General moved back into the house in 1946. The American government finally purchased the property in 1950 for US$83,438. When Francis Galbraith came to Singapore as the first ambassador in 1966, shortly after Singapore became independent in 1965, he was determined to spruce up the rapidly deteriorating bungalow. Ambassador Galbraith and his wife commissioned an architect and interior designer from the US, and the American government spent about US$60,000 returning the bungalow to its former elegance. In the late 1980s the US government started disposing of its properties overseas, and Singapore wasn’t spared. Homes for US embassy staff that the US government owned in the Leedon Park area were sold off to bring money into US coffers, well before the dramatic rise in property price in the 1990s. Spring Grove, too, was put up for sale. Rather than being sold, though, Spring Grove was turned into a 99-year leasehold property in January 1991. The condominium that now stands on the property was completed in 1996. The residence was spared and was given conservation area status in February 1991 by the Urban Redevelopment Authority.
Today, the house at Spring Grove remains part of a 99-year-leasehold condominium. What was formerly the stately US ambassador’s residence, however, now holds function rooms, vending machines and a small restaurant. Regardless of the merits of turning a classic bungalow into a clubhouse or the nostalgia returning Americans may have for the former residence, the change fits with what has happened to other buildings here in Singapore. The good news, of course, is that the building has been preserved rather than being torn down entirely. The author attended events at the residence when he worked at the US Embassy. Spring Grove, The American Ambassador’s Residence – Singapore, produced by the US Embassy, is a source of historical information for this article.
Photo courtesy of Junia Baker
18 ARCHITECTURE IN SINGAPORE
Singapore American · April 2018
A Brief History of Housing in Singapore By Marc Servos
n 1822, Sir Stamford Raffles set out a detailed city plan for the town of Singapore, including specifics on housing size and materials, some of which are seen today. Locations of ethnic communities to suit immigrants were also included, much of which continued to exist well into the 20 th century until public housing integration. Styles of residences to this day have been designed to suit this tropical location and provide for the ever-growing populace.
Existing prior to Raffles’ historic 1819 arrival were the traditional Malay houses, common in Malay fishing villages and later other kampongs. Whether they were simple huts or multi-room homes, many were roofed with layers of palm frond thatch, also known as attap, and walls were often made of woven bamboo strips. Stilts were common to avoid flooding and wild animals with the benefit of added ventilation. Well into the 20th century, homes in these communities consisted of solid wooden walls and gable roofs for a modern appearance, but kampong life continued to involve communal facilities, even up into recent decades. 19 th century British colonials and other Westerners preferred the European-style architecture of brick or stucco homes in the city. Also in the urban setting were shophouses built according to Raffles’ regulations, which stated that they must not be more than three stories high (with business conducted in the first story) and required to have a “five-foot way” for pedestrians. Wealthy residents built mansions or bungalows, many of which incorporated Malay-style elevated platforms. Among the best-known type is the Victorian Black and White, also known as Tudorbethan style. Thousands of them were built from the late 19th century up to shortly before World War II. After the war, most were abandoned and fell into despair, the majority being demolished to make space for more efficient housing. Only around 500 remain today. Other styles common during the early decades of the 20 th century included terraced houses, such as those to accommodate junior officers or a growing group of educated middle class and affluent Asians. Many of these combined Chinese and Western styles. Among the earliest apartment buildings were built during this period; Crescent Flats in 1909 and the Meyer Apartments next door in 1928, both designed by Jewish landowner Manasseh Meyer and located on Meyer Road near where East Coast Park is today. The Singapore Improvement Trust (SIT) was established in 1927 by the British colonial government to address overcrowded housing conditions, which often resulted in poor
sanitation and high crime. SIT provided affordable housing to the common population and built its first public housing developments in Tiong Bahru, including some “horseshoe” shaped flats that still exist today. However, the SIT could not find an effective solution to Singapore’s growing population after World War II, which also involved squatting issues. SIT dwellings were not popular during the post-war period when housing shortages led to high rents for small flats; many people preferred to continue living in kampongs. The organization was discontinued in 1959 and the colony’s self-government replaced the SIT with the Housing and Development Board (HDB) in 1960, building their first developments in SIT establishments and Singapore’s first satellite town, Queenstown. In the following years, HDB projects expanded, especially after the fire at the Bukit Ho Swee squatter settlement in May 1961 that killed four people and left approximately 16,000 homeless. Other organizations also developed public housing after HDB’s founding: the Economic Development Board (EDB), Jurong Town Corporation (JTC), and the Housing and Urban Development Company (HUDC), which focused on middle class housing. HDB took them over in 1982. HDB also places quotas for those of different ethnic groups to promote harmony. Today, the Singapore housing landscape consists of highrise and high-density residential buildings. The majority of the local population lives in HDB flats, including executive condominiums under that program. Private condominiums and apartments, landed properties, among them large bungalows, also add to the setting. As the population and the price of housing continue to increase, some Singaporeans, as well as expats based locally, choose to move to nearby Johor Bahru or Batam and commute. One can only speculate what future trends may transpire. Marc Servos is a Hoosier in terms of his home state and Alma Mater. The Fort Wayne native is married to a Singaporean, Sherley, and has been living here for years. He has two children, ages 16 and 8. Photo courtesy of Singapore Tourism Board
19 FOOD & DINING
Singapore American · April 2018
Kopi Demystified By Jayson Moy
ven for those of us who’ve lived in the region for a number of years, the world of coffee in Southeast Asia is as different as apples and oranges from back home. If you go to your local coffee shops, do not expect to place an order as you would in a Starbucks. There are no such things as lattes and macchiatos or even “cream and sugar” in this setting and that makes it all the more difficult to get what you want when you hit the local kopitiam. Kopi (Malay for coffee) is a drink that fits every occasion during the day; breakfast, lunch, dinner, meetings, or just a break. It is found in every hawker center, coffee shop, mall, food court, etc. Whether you do business or just have a casual meet-up, you will likely find yourself having kopi. The challenge is finding the style that fits how you take your coffee or tea.
Gah Dai – Regular coffee, but with extra sugar (Gah means add in Chinese). Gao – Stronger coffee. Po – Weaker coffee. Peng – An iced version. To get the coffee that you want, you now need to put together a combination of these items using the format: Coffee – Style – Hot/Iced when ordering. For example: Kopi O – Black coffee with just sugar. Kopi O kosong – Black coffee with no sugar or milk (In some places you can just use kopi kosong).
Singaporean coffee is usually made from local beans, which are roasted locally, too. These beans are made into a concentrated powder and used in coffee shops around the island. Deciphering the terminology around kopi can be maddening, with all its various letters and designations. Here we help guide you through getting your kopi the way you want.
Kopi gao – Stronger coffee with condensed milk and sugar.
Kopi – Coffee. If ordered this way, you will get Singaporean coffee with condensed milk and sugar added to it. This is the starting point of all coffee orders.
It takes some getting used to and you’ll need to experiment a bit until you find what suits you best. It took me the longest time to figure out that coffee with just milk is kopi C kosong. Asking for “kopi with just milk” was not getting me what I wanted!
Kopi C – Replace condensed milk with evaporated milk. The difference? Evaporated milk is unsweetened whereas condensed is sweetened. Kopi O – Sugar only, no milk at all. Kosong – No sugar and no milk. Siew Dai – Regular coffee, but a smaller amount of sugar (Siew means less in Chinese).
Kopi siew dai peng – Iced coffee with condensed milk and less sugar. Kopi C kosong – Coffee with unsweetened condensed milk and no sugar.
The same lingo can be used for tea, or teh in local speak. So, if you want tea with just sugar, you would order Teh O. Have fun at the coffee shop and the next time you go for kopi, you’ll know exactly how to order! Jayson is an award-winning television/radio personality and writer, covering collegiate athletics for 20-plus years. His website jaymoylovesfood.com focuses on one of his passions – food. He aims to travel and eat himself around the world.
Singapore American · April 2018
By Frances Strong
ince its inception in 1970, April 22 has marked Earth Day – the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement. Back in 1970, Earth Day put environmental concerns on the front page. The passage of the landmark Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act and many other groundbreaking environmental laws quickly followed, exemplifying the strength of the movement. Twenty years later, Earth Day went global, with 200 million people across 141 countries ensuring environmental issues remained up front and center on the world stage.
As Earth Day approaches its 50th birthday, Earth Day Network (EDN) the organization that leads Earth Day worldwide aspires to several goals, through its “Countdown to 2020” initiative. Over each of the coming years, they intend to drive public policy and lead the conversation surrounding environmental activism, while reaching out to governments, businesses, faith leaders, and youth to garner support across the globe. According to its website, Earth Day’s focus for 2018 is “mobilizing the world to End Plastic Pollution, including creating support for a global effort to eliminate single use plastics along with uniform regulation for the disposal of plastics.” With overwhelming evidence that plastics are threatening our planet’s very survival, from its devastating impact on marine life to the disruption of human hormones due to the presence of plastics in our foods, the issue needs to be addressed. Would you perhaps like to find out more about how you can help? Maybe you would like to learn more about the damage plastics can cause or look at ways in which you could reduce your own consumption. Or you’re moved to organize your own event to raise awareness – whether you clean up a park, pick up plastic from the beach or mobilize your friends and family to do something on a larger scale, every little thing will help. You can find all the information and resources you need to get started on their website: www.earthday.org Originally from a tiny seaside town in the UK, Frances Strong has called Singapore home since 2011. Six 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 children, she likes to write about travel, motherhood, food, life... and anything in between.
22 AMERICAN ASSOCIATION
Singapore American · April 2018
A message from the President...
SINGAPORE AMERICAN NEWSPAPER
We’ve been having such a fun time lately, with plenty of events and activities for our members to get involved with, from bowling nights to kids’ outings, comedy nights to volunteering at Willing Hearts.
One of the most special events that we hosted was the launch of our 100th anniversary commemorative book – The American Journey in Singapore. As our cover story tells, the book follows the journey of Americans in Singapore since the humble beginnings of the Association in 1917.
DESIGN & LAYOUT
We were honored to have author Jim Baker join us to talk about the book and answer the many questions posed by our audience. It was fantastic to see so many American Association members and guests from the wider American community at the talk. The attendees were surprised and thrilled to take away signed copies of the book. If you weren’t able to attend the launch and would like to purchase a copy of the book, you can do so online or by contacting us at the office. Members can purchase at the special price of $40 (regular price $50). Books can be collected from the office in person or mailed (at extra cost). We also held our Annual General Meeting (AGM) in March. It was a fun evening with a good turnout from our community. It was great to summarize our achievements in 2017 and to present our vision for 2018 and beyond. Members voted to make some changes to our constitution which will make it possible for all members, regardless of nationality, to vote in the future. In addition, it is now possible for non-Americans to join the Executive Committee. Our thanks to everyone who took the time to come along. We’re excited to make these changes and feel that they reflect very much the values and mission of the Association today. The evening finished up with a couple of rounds of trivia, with chocolate treats flying around the room to the winners! Looking ahead, we are very excited to be bringing a new major event for members this month: Spring Fling! We’re celebrating all things spring with a Kentucky Derby twist, so you can expect crafts and games for children of all ages and some special “horse” races. As well as having lots of fun, we’re also planning to raise some money for a worthy cause, so check out the event details on our website and join us for an enjoyable afternoon for the whole family at Café Melba. As always, I wish a very warm welcome to all new members who have recently joined us. I look forward to seeing you soon at an AAS event. Best wishes,
Stephanie Follow us on Facebook or Twitter: @AmAssocSG, #AmAssocSG
Editor-in-Chief: Cath Forte, firstname.lastname@example.org Publishing Editor: Sarah Alden, email@example.com
Graphic Designer: Miia Koistinen, firstname.lastname@example.org
ADVERTISING Advertising Consultant: Valerie Tietjen, email@example.com
CONTRIBUTORS Richard Hartung, Francisco Marin, Jayson Moy, Laura Schwartz, Marc Servos, Frances Strong, Rahini Takalkar For AAS: Katie Baines, Cath Forte
AMERICAN ASSOCIATION BOARD MEMBERS President: Stephanie Nash • Vice President: Shawn Galey Treasurer: Michael Borchert • Secretary: Joseph Foggiato Directors: Sammie Cheston, Blair Hall, Bill Poorman, Brian Schwender, Jenn Wood Immediate Past President: Glenn van Zutphen • AmCham Chair: Ann Yom Steel The American Club President: Kristen Graff • AWA President: Rohita Rajkumar SACAC Chair: Greg Rutledge • SAS Chair: Dr. Chip Kimball Non-Voting Members: US Embassy: Tor Petersen 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. 15 Scotts Road, #03-02 Thong Teck Building, Singapore 228218 T: (+65) 6738 0371 • 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.
Wherever you are from, come celebrate American culture with us. www.aasingapore.com
Join AAS today!
American Association of Singapore · www.aasingapore.com
MEMBERSHIP MONTHLY SPECIAL
(Limited to 20 new AAS members)
You can also purchase a copy via AAS website: www.aasingapore.com
HAPPENING IN SINGAPORE Any responder should make any further enquiries with the organizer or should verify the information independently if necessary.
AAS EVENTS April 4 Coffee Connexions Privé Orchard 9:30 – 11am April 14 Spring Fling Café Melba, Goodman Arts Centre 4 – 6pm April 18 AAS Morning Tea AAS Office @ Thong Teck Building 10 – 11:30am
April 1 – 30 Witness to War: Remembering 1942 National Museum of Singapore www.nationalmuseum.sg
May 8 Stereophonics Live in Singapore Zepp@BigBox www.sistic.com.sg
April 1 – 30 Flowers and People – Dark by teamLab National Gallery Singapore www.nationalgallery.sg
May 10 – 27 Legally Blonde The Musical Mastercard Theatre at Marina Bay Sands www.sistic.com.sg
April 1 – 30 Art from the Streets ArtScience Museum www.marinabaysands.com/museum
April 18 Repatriation Talk The American Club 7 – 9pm
April 1 – April 8 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Esplanade Theatre www.esplanade.com
April 25 It’s All in the Planning The American Club 7 – 9pm
April 27 & 28 The Bund - Swing to Jazz SCO Concert Hall www.sistic.com.sg
For more events: www.aasingapore.com
April 28 Shadows by Daniel Fernandes Nexus Auditorium www.sistic.com.sg
MUSEUMS April 1 – 15 Anime Drawings Singapore Philatelic Museum www.spm.org.sg April 1 – 30 All About Dogs Singapore Philatelic Museum www.spm.org.sg
April 30 Fall Out Boy Mania Tour Zepp@BigBox www.sistic.com.sg May 4 Squeeze Live in Singapore University Cultural Centre, NUS www.sistic.com.sg
April 13 Early Years Open House Stamford American International School 9:30am www.sais.edu.sg April 20 Pre- and Elementary School Open House Singapore American School 9 – 11am www.sas.edu.sg April 21 Early Learning Village Stamford American International School www.sais.edu.sg/early-years May 25 Kindergarten Chinese Immersion Open House Singapore American School 9 – 11am www.sas.edu.sg April 25 Open Morning (Ducks) Dulwich College Singapore 9:30 – 11:30am www.dulwich-singapore.sg