We are at that time of the year again where we look back at how far we’ve come this year while a new year beckons.

 

2018 has been a busy year for us. Besides our usual festive gatherings and attendances at SAF parades and ceremonies, we supported the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry in the memorial service in commemoration of civilian victims of the Japanese Occupation, and Total Defence Day on 15 February 2018.

Our own regular memorial ceremony on 10 March  at the Konfrontasi Memorial  at Dhoby Ghaut Green on Orchard Road, continues to remind us of the day in 1965 when a most deadly attack took place at the MacDonald House nearby.
 
And over at the Kranji War Memorial on 11 November, after the Remembrance Day Ceremony there, our veterans led cadet students from various school uniformed groups to five battle sites around the island.  There they related to them how and why Singapore fell.
 
All this was done with only one objective: To remind our people, especially our younger generation, that we must never again allow something like the Japanese Occupation and Konfrontasi to happen to us.
 
Our Commitment-to-Defence (C2D) Programme continues to be a key activity for us. We have 72 appointed C2D Ambassadors as at November this year. They have conducted some 880 National Education engagement sessions and shared their personal experiences with more than 71,500 school students, Fulltime and Operationally-Ready National Servicemen.

We attended the Veterans Confederation of ASEAN Countries (VECONAC) 18th General Assembly in December hosted by Laos in Vientiane. Thirty-nine other SAFVL members, some with their spouses, also joined our official delegation of five as observers.

We chaired the committee that reviewed the VECONAC Constitution and By-Laws and helmed another to discuss a new subject, Social & Integration Activities.

After a very successful meeting in Vientiane including an Executive Board Meeting held earlier in June in Luang Prabang, Laos handed the VECONAC chairmanship to Cambodia for 2019.

Another overseas event in 2019 is the 29th General Assembly of the World Veterans Federation in Paris from 16 – 18 February. There may be opportunity for SAFVL members to also attend this meeting as observers. More on this from the Management Committee later.

Over two days in November, the SAFVL Management Committee (MC) held its first ever retreat in Batam. Besides bonding activities, the MC discussed new directions for the SAFVL including financial sustainability and membership renewal. We will brief members more on this at our next AGM.

Finally, my thanks to our hardworking MC members and all volunteers and members for their strong support throughout the year.
 
Here’s wishing everyone a Happy, Healthy and Successful 2019.
 
See you all at the next event.


BG (RET) WINSTON TOH
President SAF Veterans League 

December 2018