President Sheela Chandran organised a lovely fellowship and team building session for SIPJ members and several guests. We had several interesting games during the team building, which included character profiling, which was very interesting, humourous and insightful.
During a sumptuous lunch, inaugural awards for outstanding contributions were given to SIPJ members Puan Sri Siew Yong Gnanalingam and Sharon Saw. Thank you Premilla Mohanlall for writing the beautifully crafted citations (see below the photos)!
Thank you to President Sheela Chandran for organising it, to Puan Sri Siew Yong Gnanalingam for kindly hosting the fabulous lunch, especially for the famous laksa, and our members for bringing various dishes. It was also great to welcome the guests who joined us and all in all, it was an enjoyable day for all who attended and we especially missed those who couldn’t make it. Until next time!
Citation for Puan Sri Siew Yong Gnanalingam
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
We have amongst us a glamorous dowager of sorts, who has graciously taken a back seat
to let others take centre stage and extend a warm and friendly hand only when needed.
She is an SIPJ member who has gone places. First, as SIPJ President, next, as SIROM President and then, as SISWP President and is now the chair for SI Convention 2019 to be held in Malaysia.
And my, did she campaign hard for this – to put Malaysia on the SI global map and mindset.
She is a born leader, brimming with ideas, and flings her heart and soul to make them work, leveraging on her connections to arm twist corporate sponsors, engage with public officials and cajoling family, neighbours and club members into volunteering their time, energy and commitment to her pet projects – Over the years she has had many.
A lady of title, she is no kacang lupakan kulit. She hobnobs with the Who’s Who and the Who’s Not with charm, grace and warmth. She sings, dances and laughs out loud, with never a hair out of place, bringing smiles to unknown faces, laughter to friends, and her Bukit Tunku home hospitality and “secret recipe” curry laksa to the Soroptimist clan.
Recently, she made Walk the Talk something more than a figure of speech. It has become her war cry to combat human trafficking. Well, she has always been a woman with a cause because, more than anything, she is zealous – even overzealous – about wanting to make a difference among the unfortunate.
Travelling to needy communities as a roving ambassador of Soroptimist service and goodwill, I cannot imagine her calling it a day. I think she feels she has so much to give, and does so with affection, dignity and untiring commitment.
For all the above reasons, we think Puan Sri Siew Yong truly deserves to be honored with the SIPJ’s first ever Lifetime Achievement Award.
Citation for Sharon Saw
Every organization has a life cycle. Things tend to slow, and there is a cry for renewal. In the case of SIPJ, we were fortunate because along came Sharon Saw introduced by Kim in 2006.
Oxbridge-educated, Buddhist by choice… at least at that point in time! A voice of calm and face of confidence, we had a Dalai Lama in our midst!
Lucky… lucky us!
Sharon was a breath of fresh air. She represented the changing of the guard in SIPJ. A youthful 30-something (??) compared to the majority who were nudging 40, 50, 60.
In her own quiet way, she injected vigor, wisdom and a steely resolve to get things done.
She went through the rite of passage from an ordinary member, to executive committee member, and finally President in 2008-2009.
Consultative, engaging and clearly in the driver’s seat, she showed her flair to connect – old and new, conventional and unconventional, sound and silence.
We will always remember her kicking off the SIPJ’s Bachelor Auction that saw hulks become cattle on stage, for a good cause. We rocked with the musical Mama Mia that had the entire club on stage.
Behind the scenes, she led the SHINE reading project at a Cheras welfare home
She took the kids on outings and lantern fests etc.
All too soon, her term was over. By now, she was a hardcore Soroptimist. She became the editor of the SIROM magazine. She became a SISWP global ambassador to New Zealand, an exchange program to entice younger women join the SI movement, and from what I heard, she visited Soroptimists abroad during her travels, whenever she could.
(We all know Sharon loves to travel… just check out her Facebook posts)
Back in SIPJ, she became our record-keeper. Every bit of news was diligently posted on our website, something she continues to do this till this day.
And by so doing, she has kept the SIPJ name alive and kicking across the SI network.
Sharon has been ill for some time, but that has not dampened her Soroptimist spirit.
She is a loyalist, a proud member of SIPJ who steps forward to serve, when her health permits.
Indeed, from what we can see, she lives and breathes the ideals of Soroptimism!
It now gives me great pleasure to honor this special sister with our club’s first ever award.
Please be upstanding, as we do the honors.