11th June 2012CROSSROADSRotary Club of Singapore                                                         Vol. 48 / 45     ...
Introductory remarks                                ToastPresident Tapan welcomed members to the 45th        Toastmaster, ...
Welcome of visiting                  Following is an extract from the     Assists at Meet People Sessions                 ...
Essay : from Eugene Lim, Koh Liang Ping, Amanda Choo, 2nd winner ofthe NGS 5th Essay competitionInteraction between the el...
It is clear that the expanding generation gap stems fundamentally from increasing segregation between the twogenerations a...
CLUB HISTORYPresident Tapan advised the significance of 6th June to the Club – he read the following excerpt from the “80Y...
The Guide to Daily LivingMARK YOUR DIARY                Before doing the things we        COMING ROTARY EVENTSBirthday cel...
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Bulletin 48 45

  1. 1. 11th June 2012CROSSROADSRotary Club of Singapore Vol. 48 / 45 “Good Samaritan Award” to Chew Chia Shao Wei Lunch meeting of the 6th June 2012 - 2nd winner essay for NGS Find your bulletin on the Facebook page of “Rotary Club of Singapore” 1
  2. 2. Introductory remarks ToastPresident Tapan welcomed members to the 45th Toastmaster, Rtn. Jeremy Han invited visitingmeeting of the Rotary year and the first meeting Rotarian Graham Wilcox, who is a priest, toof Rotary Fellowship Month celebrated by address the Club. Rtn. Graham advised thatRotarians in the month of June. Stratford Upon Avon was the home town of thePresident Tapan extended a warm welcome to famous playwright, William Shakespeare. Heour Guests for the Good Samaritan Award 2012, advised that there were about 4 million visitors toMiss Chew Chia Shao Wei, who was accompanied Stratford Upon Avon each year, visiting the famousby her mother, Mrs. Chia Kwok Ying. sites and enjoying the theatre. Rtn. Graham added that there were many visitors to his club as well and he was pleased to bring his club’s greetings.Installation dinner Happy birthdayPE Jimmy Ooi reminded members not to miss the President Tapan sent best wishes to all birthdayInstallation Dinner on Saturday, 30th June to be celebrants for the week including PP Stan Low whoheld at: Joyden Hall 7th floor would celebrate his birthday on 8th June. HeBUGIS+ (formerly known as Iluma) invited PP Stan to come forward to cut thePE Jimmy added that the Organizing Committee birthday cake. Sergeant-at-Arms, Rtn. Geraldhas put in a great deal of effort towards the Abeyawardena called on members to join him inInstallation Dinner to ensure a good start to the wishing President Tapan a “Happy Anniversary” fornew Rotary year. Do get your tickets! 10th June. 2
  3. 3. Welcome of visiting Following is an extract from the Assists at Meet People Sessions Good Samaritan Award 2012 every Monday from 7.15-9.30pmRotarians and guests Citation: and related programmes (i.e. Winner: Chew Chia Shao Wei Paya Lebar Community SupportRtn. Robert Craiu welcomed our Why is this person deserving of home visits for needsguests and visiting Rotarians the award ? assessments). Shao Wei is 16 years old and may Youths for a Future of Social- Guests : not have money to give at such a Entrepreneurship, of which she isMrs. Jyoti Dilip Vora young age, but she gives what on the Executive Committee.Mr. Ziad Jabri she has and what is even more Rtn. Bock Seng called uponMr. Nick Teo precious- her time. An amazing President Tapan to present to theMr. Janus Yeo role model for other teens! Plus Good Samaritan winner, Miss she does amazing in school. Shes Chew Chia Shao Wei the Award’s Visiting Rotarians : in the gifted program at Raffles Certificate, pewter plaque, RotaryPDG Kenneth Chew – Pandan and won global literary awards! paraphernalia and cheque, whichValley She is most deserving of this was for the use of Shao Wei’sPP & District Officer, Dilip Vora – award at such a young age community work.Bombay Hills South, India juggling so many activities andBown Heiko – Munchen 100, exceling in them all!Germany Community serviceGraham Wilcox – Stratford Upon Rtn. Bock Seng invited Miss ChewAvon, England Chia Shao Wei to address the project Club. Shao Wei gave a briefGood samaritan award summary of her schedule of President Tapan called upon Rtn. activities as follows: Noshir Mistri who called on all members to participate in thePresident Tapan invited Lions Befrienders - home visits to visit to the Singapore GardenHonorary Secretary, Rtn. Goh isolated elderly in Chinatown Festival with the residents of theBock Seng to conduct the Award every Saturday Sree Narayana Home for thePresentation on behalf of Heartware Network Tuition Aged. He advised that this wasCommunity Service Committee Programme - student leader the third such visit to the FestivalDirector, Xavier Sanjiman. Rtn. (coordinator) and volunteer for organized by the Club for theBock Seng advised that this year, programme to tutor primary elderly and wheel-chair bound.the committee received school kids 2 hours every week Details of the visit are as follows:numerous nominations, and the whose parent(s) are incarcerated; Date & Time: Thursday, July 12,selection committee had the particular school she tutors at 2012 at 2.30pmdifficulty in deciding the winner. is Chua Chu Kang Primary School. Meeting Place: Main entrance ofHowever, Rtn. Bock Seng added Glory Centre - before-and-after- Suntec to escort and assist thethat the committee were school childcare in Hougang for elderly and wheelchair bound. Iftouched by this year’s winner – underprivileged primary school you are able to participate anda straight ‘A’s student, who plays children, which she visits once a assist, please contact Rtn. Noshirfootball at the national school week. Mistri at emaillevel and contributes so much of nmistri71@gmail.comher precious time to communitywork. 3
  4. 4. Essay : from Eugene Lim, Koh Liang Ping, Amanda Choo, 2nd winner ofthe NGS 5th Essay competitionInteraction between the elderly and the youth in modern Singapore : The challenges and solutions.A seventeen-year-old student saunters into the MRT, enclosed by his soundscape of the latest Top-40slasting through tiny silver earphones. Like a well-instilled drill, he wordlessly gestures towards a seat as anold man hobbles in. The old guy must be arranging another gambling session, the teenager thinks, unable tohear much besides his iPod, for the elderly passenger hurriedly picks up his bulky mobile phone and beginsspeaking in a loud, exaggerated manner.A seventy-six-year-old retiree enters the MRT, and is shocked to see a fresh-faced youth almost like hisgrandson. But the boy remains plugged into his device, noiseless and expressionless – a countenance nodifferent from his own grandson’s. His favourite Cantonese ballad begins to play – it is his daughter-in-law.Hard of hearing, he struggles to hear precious scraps of dialect on the other line, and tries his best toanswer. Silently he wishes his adolescent descendants could speak his language.Two generations, two worlds, deaf and mute to each other. This is the state of interaction between theelderly and youth today. With proportion of those 65 years and above expected to increase to a record 19percent by 2030, a “silver tsunami” looms over Singapore. Yet, the two generations are largelydisconnected, separated by a “generation gap” brought about by differences in language, use of technologyand lack of face-to-face interaction. Despite a focus on filial piety and respect for the elderly via an “Asian values” drive in the 1990s, as well asthe creation of a task force aimed specifically at intergenerational bonding by the Ministry of CommunityDevelopment, Youth and Sports in 2002, the fact is that Singaporean youths and elderly lack regular andquality interaction.One reason is changing household and social patterns that physically separate the elderly and youth.Nuclear households have become the norm in modern Singapore, and the percentage of households withonly elderly residents has jumped by 70 percent. This means lesser youths are living with theirgrandparents, leaving fewer opportunities for interaction. The hectic lifestyles of today mean thatgrandchildren may be unable or unwilling to leave the confines of their nuclear home to pay theirgrandparents a visit.Physical barriers inevitably lead to another kind of separation—a language barrier. With only 3.3 percent ofsecondary school students speaking dialects in 2005, it is no wonder that many youths struggle tocommunicate with the dialect-speaking elderly. The inability to speak a common language makes for anuncomfortable (or even non-existent) dialogue, and reduces a family reunion to an exchange of not wordsbut red packets.Even when both generations are living under the same roof, a sense of disconnect is still possible. With theinflux of technology and the media, the youth’s lifestyle is unfathomable to the elderly. Grandparents seetheir grandchildren constantly glued to their computer screens; grandchildren assume their grandparents’only preoccupation is the Japanese Occupation. Hence, the possibility of regular and quality interactionremains distant in their view. 4
  5. 5. It is clear that the expanding generation gap stems fundamentally from increasing segregation between the twogenerations and a lack of meaningful opportunities for them to interact. Thus, the most important solutions wouldfocus on creating opportunities for sustained communication and bonding between the generations.Towards this end, social projects initiated by both generations with the purpose of promoting better understandingand sharing of experience among the two is crucial. These activities help create cross-generational friendship anddeconstruct stereotypes that both generations have of each other by creating an opportunity for them to connectand also to comprehend each other. A success story was the SPHERE project; short for “Students, Singapore Poolsand HDB Enriching and Reaching out to the Elderly”, an ongoing community project since 2002. Students were sent ingroups to organize community activities for older residents residing in selected HDB rental apartments and studioapartment blocks. Dr Leng Leng Thang from the National University of Singapore observed a group of 14 – 15 yearolds. She described the initial meeting between the elderly and the youth as awkward, with attempts atcommunication stymied by a language and cultural barrier. However, over subsequent sessions, as students plannedrecreational activities for the elderly and kept in frequent contact with them, friendship developed even thoughcommunication was still difficult. This amply demonstrates the effectiveness of service projects spanning the twogenerations in promoting cross-generational companionship, even in the face of daunting cultural and languagebarriers.But beyond activities specifically geared towards providing opportunities for intergenerational interaction, theconcept of creating “intergenerational interactive spaces” in the public domain is also worth exploring. By consciouslycreating public spaces where the two generations are placed in close proximity, intergenerational interaction can beintegrated into everyday community life, bringing the two parallel worlds of the two generations together. Forexample, children’s playgrounds could be constructed right next to exercising grounds for elderly, and this offerschances for the two generations to communicate as they each engage in their daily routines.Also, spaces catered to either generation can be integrated and can provide incentives to attract each other into itscompound. Children’s libraries could be built inside retirement communities, and elderly could be encouraged to readto children, thus facilitating the process of intergenerational sharing and bonding. All these work towards creating aseamless environment where generations become increasingly integrated and not separated.However, communication is not just about speaking and sharing, it is also about adopting and adapting.Communication between the generations could be greatly enhanced if both generations were taught and equippedwith the skills to better communicate with each other. Teenagers could be provided with dialect courses, whileelderly could be taught on the use of social media. This way, instead of existing in two different spheres, the twogroups could communicate in a manner which they are comfortable with.No doubt, the need to promote interaction between the youth and the elderly may well be a statistical one, withthose aged 65 and above expected to grow to 20 percent of the population by 2020. However, we should not only bemotivated by practical concerns, but also a genuine empathy for the elderly, who in their twilight years may requireeven more support and companionship. Furthermore, such interaction is mutually beneficial for both the youth andthe elderly by allowing them to connect on an emotional level with others, regardless of age.In conclusion, while the “generation gap” may appear insurmountable in the face of an increasingly fast-paced andchanging world, sometimes all it takes is for one side to talk – and the other to listen. Whether done online, in serviceprojects, or as part of a daily routine, genuine interaction between the youth and elderly is the best way to promotecross-generational understanding and friendship. And as the proportion of the elderly grows in Singapore, the needhas become even greater than ever.Eugene Lim, Koh Liang Ping, Amanda Choo (RIJC Interact Club– Years 5 to 6) 5
  6. 6. CLUB HISTORYPresident Tapan advised the significance of 6th June to the Club – he read the following excerpt from the “80Years & Beyond…Service Above Self” book:“The year 1930 saw the Rotary flame kindle in Singapore. On June 6, 75 leading members of the communityrepresenting 20 different nationalities met at Raffles Hotel to inaugurate the first Rotary Club in Singapore.The flame was fanned by the visions of men like James W. Davidson, Lim Bock Kee and the foundingPresident, Dato (Sir) Roland Braddell. The Board of Directors immediately set high standards for futureBoards by organizing the first Malayan Rotary Clubs Conference in December 1930. Six months after itsinauguration, the Club received its Charter under which it operates as Club No. 3360 on the roll of RotaryInternational.”President Tapan noted with interest that in 1930 there were 20 different nationalities in the Club andcurrently there were 22 nationalities. 6
  7. 7. 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. Askcelebrants this week: ourselves these 4 questions JuneJune 15th – Sirish Kumar and act upon them: Rotary Fellowships Month First: Have I spent some time in self-examination? June 19thAnniversary Celebrants Second: Have I spent quality Rewa Merpuri talk on “Humour”RC sends best wishes to time with my family? RC of Jurong on Tuesday 19th JuneWedding Anniversary Third: Have I given my best to 12 at Tangling clunbcelebrants this week my work? Fourth: Have I given some June 27thJune 13th – S Malaiappan & Meeting Cancelled in view of the time to someone near andLakshimi Installation Dinner on June 30th far?June 14th – Rudi & Fides The Guide, in fact,Ackermann encompasses the 4 parts of June 30thJune 15th – Jasbir & Koh Kok the Object of Rotary. Installation DinnerKeong July Next week July 4thThis week 1st Club Assembly for Rotary Year June 20th 2012June 13th 2012 2012/2013 Reception Desk duty: Atul July 12thReception Desk duty: Colin Visit to the Singapore Merchant, Jim PollockMiles, Jamshid Medora Garden Festival with the residents Sunshine Box duty: KavitaSunshine Box duty: Louis Lim, of the Sree Narayana Home for the Singh, Garry Taylor AgedNoshir Mistri, Michael Boegli Last Weekly Meeting to beSpeaker: Mr. Girija Pande chaired by President Tapan The Four-Way Test Of the Things we think, sayChairman – Asia Pacific, who will give a brief message or do:Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. to round off his year of * Is it the truth?Singapore Presidency. * Is it fair to all concerned? * Will it build goodwill andTopic: “Leadership in an New Generations Service better friendship?Interconnected World” Date: Friday, 15th June * Will it be beneficial to all Time: 7.30pm concerned?Vocational Service Venue: 34 Merryn Road, Queries, comments andDate: Wednesday, 13th June S298483 articles request can beTime: 7.30pm Host: PP Dr. Yap Lip Kee sent toVenue: Tandoori Corner, 5 Jean-Philippe LionnetBoon Tat Street, S069613 bulletin@rotary.org.sg 7