Bulletin 48 43

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Bulletin 48 43

  1. 1. 25th May 2012CROSSROADSRotary Club of Singapore Vol. 48 / 43 “Rail Public Transport in Singapore” Speaker : Mr. Bruno Wildermuth Lunch meeting of the 23rd May 2012 Find your bulletin on the Facebook page of “Rotary Club of Singapore” Joke of the week ! “It’s true money cannotbuy happiness, but happiness cannot buy groceries” From the book of Humour compiled by Rewa Mirpuri HAVE MANY LAUGHS AND HELP THE NEEDY http://www.rotary.org.sg/bookofhumour.html 1
  2. 2. Introductory remarks ToastPresident Tapan Rao opened the meeting andextended a warm welcome to Guest Speaker, Mr. Toastmaster, Rtn. Suman Aggarwal invited visitingBruno Wildermuth addressed the Club on the Rtn. Zoran Zic to address the Club. Rtn. Zoransubject entitled “Rail Public Transport in advised that the Rotary Club of Zagreb-Sljeme wasSingapore”. a young club formed 5 years ago with only 30 members. He added that his club was striving to increase its membership. Rtn. Zoran advised thatAudited Financial statements he recently moved to Singapore to cover his company’s S.E.A. business, and was not often at hisPresident Tapan reminded members that the club, as he was more an ambassador for his club.Club’s audited financial statements for year ended Rtn. Zoran thanked members for the hospitable30th June 2011 were circulated on 11th May 2012 welcome and invited members to visit his club,for members’ review. He added that no comments even if he was not there, he would ensure thaton the financial statements were received and members receive a warm welcome!called for a formal adoption of the statements.Members adopted the financial statements aspresented by a show of hands. 2
  3. 3. Welcome of visiting Mr. Wildermuth’s talk gave an President Tapan called upon PP Stan insightful look into the urban rail Low who stated that he wasRotarians and guests system for Singapore, studies of honoured to be able to propose a which took place in earnest in vote of thanks to Mr. Wildermuth,Rtn. Dr. Ekkehard Wiek welcomed 1972. In his talk, Mr. Wildermuth whom he has known for many years.our guests and visiting Rotarians noted that the decision to go PP Stan also took the opportunity to highlight and clarify a few pertinent ahead with the MRT was a- Guests : points mentioned by Mr. difficult one and highly debated. Wildermuth in his talk.Rotaractor Hans Markus He recounted some of hisLuehmann – Rotaract Club of meetings and exchanges whichMunchen-Residenz took place. He advised that theMr. Edmund Ooi initial system was completed in 1990 ahead of schedule and Visiting Rotarians : below its original budget of S$5PP Terry Ng – Queenstown billion.President G. Balasubrahmanyan –Madras Coromandel, He noted that Singapore clearlyS. C. Bose – Trivandrum City, faced up early in its developmentRamesh Daswani – Bombay to the eventual traffic problemsCentral, India unlike some neighbouringFederico Vasoli – Milano Manzoni countries which until today stillStudium, Italy struggled with such investments.PE James Young – Richmond, USA Nevertheless, Mr. Wildermuth,Zoran Zic – Zagreb-Sljeme, noted that Singapore today, wasCroatia in a very different situation and the amount of money beingSpeaker of the week spent on new rail lines was staggering when compared to the original budget. Yet, Mr.PP Dr. Oliver Hennedige was Wildermuth added, Singaporepleased to introduce the was facing increasing problemsSpeaker, Mr. Bruno Wildermuth, with the capacity of its railwhom he heard speak a few systems, and he highlighted somemonths ago. He added that Mr. of causes.Wildermuth was very much Mr. Wildermuth also spoke brieflyinvolved with the MRT system about the rail systems in otherand well qualified to speak on countries in Asia and ended hismass transportation. talk by graciously answering questions posed to him. 3
  4. 4. Essay : from Sneha Gupta, winner of the NGS 5th Essay competitionInteraction between the elderly and the youth in modern Singapore : The challenges and solutions.His 72 year-old body slumped solitary on an even older chair, just as every other day,in the alleyway outside his roomof an HDB complex on Marine Parade Road,overlooking the tranquil yet ever changing seaside. The sea brought to hismind manyideas revolving around human life. He recalled reading somewhere (probably his son’s geography textbook, as he helped him learn his lessons years back) how the sand on the beach has been created by erosion of oncesturdy rocks. Always, however strong or powerful you are, you are always vulnerable and are destined to get erodedaway, he reflected. The jarring sound that emanated from the waves crashing against that stretch of a rocky shore(sound that was like lullaby to his ears, the only sound that always kept him company) represented for him theconstant conflict and turmoil in man’s life. After a few disconnected thoughts that he engaged in, he stopped thinkingentirely and stared blankly ahead; ahead at an even lonelier, more isolated tomorrow. His only son had left home tostudy and then work in the USA, his wife had died years ago and he had no purpose to live on. He was too proud toask his son to be taken to live with him, too proud to seek companionship of the always-on-therun neighbours. Heknew survival in modern day society was not without constant battling against time. He did not expect much but evenless did he receive at a time when his body, along with society, had decided to discard him. He still remembered theline of Willy Loman in the Arthur Miller play he had seen long ago at the Esplanade, "You cant eat the orange andthrow the peel away - a man is not a piece of fruit.” Although, not all old people living in our society have such tragic,lonely lives, to a very large extent they are mostly neglected and regarded as burdens who need to be taken specialcare of. They are more often than not viewed as non-contributing members of society, ones who are of no use toeither the family or society, rather a load who needs to be supported by social institutions. Today, when we broachthe subject of fostering effective interaction between the youth and the elderly, this very gross misinterpretationneeds to be addressed first. The misconception that the elderly are a burden to be borne by the young is theforemost impediment obstructing the path of the two generations forging a symbiotic relationship: a fruitful,productive communication between the youth of today’s Singapore and the elderly, the very menand women to whom we owe the shaping of our Singapore. The present day elderly were the very spirited andmotivated individuals who shared with the pioneering leaders the common vision of shaping Singapore into Asia’sbiggest (size does not matter!) and wealthiest of metropolises. The ones who envisioned today’s thriving society werethe futuristic planners while the ones who brought the plans to fruition, were the mighty executioners. What we, theyouth enjoy today is thanks to the older generation’s relentless hard work. The lamentable part is that not only doestoday’s youth fail to acknowledge this fact but has even forgotten the unselfish, untiring and dogged effort andsacrifice that they have expended to give them the present that they live in. This, in my view, poses as the first majorchallenge in the interaction between the youth and the elderly. The denigration of the elderly is an unforgivable evilof modern day society. It is symptomatic of today’s apathetic generation.There are two barriers that often prevent communication between the young and their elders. The first is middle-agedforgetfulness of the fact that they themselves are no longer young. The second is youthful ignorance of the fact thatthe middle-aged are still alive. Jessamyn WestThe youth has to be presented with the reality that they have much to gain from their grandparents’ stories, theirexperiences, and their choices, as the elderly are a primary source of valuable information of past experiences thatshall help them shape their future choices. We must not forget that they have lived our lives and more and aretherefore in the best position to guide us through the difficult stages in our lives andaid us in every step of our lives. 4
  5. 5. Sharing their past experiences and talking to the younger generation makes the older generations feel recharged,excited to play a part in shaping the future generation of this country. The youth must be informed that the elderlyhave not lost their worth; they may not be physically active but it would begravely wrong to assume that physical inaction is necessarily a reflection of mental inaction. They need to understandand appreciate that most old folks have a very vibrant memory, active imagination and even if there has been awaning of intellectual prowess, the residual is rich enough for the youth to soak themselves in.Many of these old folk whom we pass by without a thought or care, must have crushed their own dreams, workedceaselessly to give their sons and daughters a better future. So, is it asking for too much to give them a betterpresent? In fact, it’s a sorrowful comment on human nature that today we perceive the necessity to ask the youth toreach out to the elderly. It is well to give when asked, but it is better to give unasked, through understanding;– KhalilGibranHowever, this is not an easy task. Today’s youth live detached from their environment, in self-created islands. Theirattitude is defined by an ‘I, me, my’ philosophy. Pathos, the most defining human attribute, perhaps more importantthan logos, is ruefully lacking in today’s generation. Armed with their iPhone, iPad, PSP, they live in a fortress not easyto impregnate. This situation necessitates, firstly, a drawing out of the young and then to imbue in them the spirit ofempathy. From an early age children are taught to care for the elderly based on the sentiment of sympathy evokedfor their old age and resultant helplessness. However, this is a very insufficient and weak basis for a thrivingrelationship, as it has to be more of an endearing, sustainable and mutually benefiting one. A relationship cannot beconstructive and lasting if its foundation is sympathy. One of the solutions is making children empathize with theelderly as empathy would help the youth evaluate and understand the elderly, appreciate their contributions, want tobefriend them, get to know them, their lives, their tastes better and take the extra effort to do something for them asit then it will no longer be perceived by the youth as a duty thrust upon them. What needs to be eliminated is theartificiality inextricably linked with the term ‘duty’. What needs to replace ‘duty’ is a voluntary desire to reach out.The advent of nuclear families, the sad reality of both parents working late hours, of kids being left at day carecenters and the old, at old age homes have led to estranged inter-family relationships worsening the gap between thegenerations, leading to lesser appreciation and tolerance for one another. Building relationships may pose as a hardtask but it is not insurmountable. What we need to understand is that this empathic relationship cannot start at alater age but must be ingrained into children from a very young age. All toddlers love listening to stories and the bestway to win the hearts of children and establish a life longrelationship of love and mutual appreciation can be achieved by making the elderly dip into their storehouses ofstories and dole out handfuls of these to the children at day care centers, kindergarten schools, club-houses ofcondos, void decks of HDBs. There can be weekly sessions organized by the National Library Board in theneighborhood libraries. The tales of these raconteurs are no less than those containedin the books on the racks. In fact, they are more pertinent to the place and society that the children are growing upin. As these children grow up in the next few decades we may look forward to a future where many of them maycome forward to adopt a grandparent and reverse the process of adopting a child. What we need now is a reversal ofconventions- of always the older taking care of the younger. When the young are capable, they can assume charge ofthe elders. What is most important to understand is that the adoption is purely an emotional and psychological one.The growing migrant society of Singapore has children who are deprived of the company of grandparents. ‘Adopt aGrandparent’ programme would be welcome to all factions of multi-racial Singapore. It will help the migrants to makethis adopted home a real one and will help in better understanding of the immigrants amongst the locals. What theyoung, riding high on their youth and rush of adrenalin, need to open their blinded eyes and awaken to is the truththat Time does not stand still. Too soon will their youth be done and, god forbid, that they need await the kindcompany of a friend like my 72 year old friendless friend outside his room in an HDB flat on Marine Parade Road.Sneha GuptaIB Year 1Global Indian International School, Queenstown 5
  6. 6. The Guide to Daily LivingMARK YOUR DIARY Before doing the things we COMING ROTARY EVENTSBirthday celebrants want to do, consider first, theRC wishes Happy Birthday to precept of the guide. Ask Maycelebrants this week: ourselves these 4 questions Community Service MonthJune 1st – Gary Goh, Jasbir and act upon them: First: Have I spent some time JuneKoh, Zahidi Abd Rahman in self-examination? Rotary Fellowships MonthJune 4th – Honorary Member, Second: Have I spent qualityPP Tan Boon Chiang time with my family? June 2nd – 1300 to 1730hrsAnniversary Celebrants Third: Have I given my best to District Vocational ServiceRC sends best wishes to my work? Seminar at Rotary FamilyWedding Anniversary Fourth: Have I given some time to someone near and Service Centrecelebrants this week far?May 29th – PP Peter & Shirley June 27th The Guide, in fact,Tan encompasses the 4 parts of Meeting Cancelled in view ofMay 30th – Edward &Deirdre the Object of Rotary. the Installation Dinner onLoy, Ronil & Reshma Sujan June 30th Next week June 30thThis week June 6th 2012 Installation DinnerMay 30th 2012 JulyReception Desk duty: PP Dr. Reception Desk duty: PP Stan July 4thOliver Hennedige, Kannan Low, Bharat Mandloi 1st Club Assembly for RotaryKrishnan Sunshine Box duty: Roland Year 2012/2013Sunshine Box duty: Erich Jossi, Michael Boegli The Four-Way TestVosshage, Philip Kwan Speaker: Our own member, Of the Things we think, sayThe Good Samaritan Award Rtn. Rewa Mirpuri or do: * Is it the truth?2012 Presentation Topic: “The 4-Way Test – Is it * Is it fair to all concerned? Fool Proof?” * Will it build goodwill andCommunity Service better friendship?Meeting cancelled. Vocational Service * Will it be beneficial to all Date: Thursday, 14th June concerned? Time: 7.30pm Venue: Tandoori Corner, 5 Queries, comments and Boon Tat Street, S069613 articles request can be Hosts: Shamin Vaswani, Alan sent to Tan, Dr. Irina Francken Jean-Philippe Lionnet bulletin@rotary.org.sg 6

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