34 awards to be given to Red Cross pioneers and volunteers

SINGAPORE - The Singapore Red Cross said these individuals had selflessly given their time, expertise and resources to further the mission of the Society, which runs disaster relief efforts and other community activities such as first-aid training.

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Here is the statement from the Singapore Red Cross:

The Singapore Red Cross today announced the winners of the annual Singapore Red Cross (SRC) Awards, which recognises and honours the contributions of volunteers and partners who have given selflessly of their time, expertise and resources to further SRC’s mission. President Tony Tan Keng Yam, Guest-of-Honour and Patron of SRC, will present the awards to recipients during the launch of SRC 65th Anniversary on September 27.

Many winners of this year’s Awards are Pioneer Generation seniors whose contributions since the early days have unequivocally shaped today’s SRC. Dr W.R. Rasanayagam, 86, recipient of the SRC Humanitarian Award, served as SRC’s Chairman from 1967 to 1979, after Singapore’s independence in 1965.

Dr Rasanayagam lobbied for the Singapore Red Cross (Incorporation) Act, which was eventually passed by Parliament in 1973 and made SRC part of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. He had also pioneered regional cooperation in Red Cross work amongst Asian countries. To help the most vulnerable, he rallied volunteers and donors to run local humanitarian services. Dr Rasanayagam continues to contribute to SRC, serving as advisor to the Red Cross Home for the Disabled management committee.

One of three SRC Distinguished Service Awards recipient is Associate Professor Dr Goh Lee Gan, 68, who played a pivotal role in establishing the partnership between the Blood Donor Recruitment Programme and the Health Sciences Authority, resulting in Singapore Red Cross’ appointment as the National Blood Donor Recruiter.

He was one of the pioneers who established the National First Aid Council and clear training curriculum, setting the benchmark for first aid training conducted by the Singapore Red Cross Academy (formerly known as the Red Cross Training Centre).

Mr Law Gie Hoy and Mrs Mary Narayanan are recipients of the SRC Commendation Award this year. A Champion Blood Donor, Mr Law Gie Hoy, 67, started donating blood since the 1970s. The 237-time donor was the first Medal for Life recipient the top accolade for blood donors who have given over 200 units of blood. Today, Mr Law continues his lifesaving mission by volunteering with the Bloodbank@Woodlands twice a week since it opened two years ago.

Mrs Mary Narayanan, 67, started volunteering with the Singapore Red Cross after her retirement, and found meaning in helping with administrative tasks such as data entry and filing, as well as packing goodie bags, serving in call centres, counting money and manning registration at events. She is a dedicated volunteer and an effective fundraiser, who finds joy in sharing the work of the Red Cross with people around her.

“Many of our volunteers and supporters are pioneers who have selflessly given their youth, and now their wisdom, in serving the most vulnerable. They come from all walks of life but are united in their passion and support for the Singapore Red Cross’ lifesaving mission.

As we commemorate 65 years of humanity, it is important that we recognise them for their enduring spirit, and encourage them continue the good work they are doing,” said Mr Tee Tua Ba, Chairman of SRC.

A total of 34 Awards will be presented on Saturday, of which three would be given to outstanding youths (Singapore Red Cross President’s Youth Award) for their leadership qualities, global perspectives, excellence in academics and contributions to the Red Cross Youth (RCY), and five would be given to organisations (Friend of SRC Award), namely Comfort Transportation Pte Ltd (Comfort Delgro), Keppel FELS Limited, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, NTUC FairPrice Foundation Ltd and Portcullis TrustNet (Singapore) Pte Ltd.

“I would like to congratulate and thank all the award recipients. They have been an ardent and consistent supporter of our mission and the award is just a small token of appreciation for their generous contributions. We hope that it will motivate them and many others to continue or join us in our mission,” added Mr Tee Tua Ba.