Singapore, 4 March 2015 – At the Chinese New Year Celebration on 3 March 2015, SingPost paid tribute to senior residents in Kolam Ayer. Many of them toiled during their younger years performing hard labour. Among them were Samsui women Madam Wong Ah Woon and Madam Chee Wan Heong, carpenter Mr Sum Kin Nar and refuse collection worker Mr Othman Bin Elias.
- Madam Wong, 88, worked as a welder for two years before becoming a Samsui woman at 24. Even when she was heavily pregnant, she continued to work at the construction sites. Brick by brick, she contributed to nation building as she helped construct buildings such as hospitals, hotels and HDB flats for 34 years.
- Madam Chee, 86, was a stay-at-home housewife for 21 years before she returned to the workforce at 40. Her stint as a Samsui woman was short lived as she was not paid her wages. She found another job and worked as an office helper for 18 years before she retired at 60.
- Mr Sum, 75, started working at a young age of 16 as an apprentice and became a carpenter three years later. He held on to the same profession for close to 50 years and fondly remembers making wooden doors for then Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong at his house near Turf Club.
- Mr Othman, 78, was a road sweeper with the then City Council of Singapore. He then became a refuse collection worker for close to 40 years, and received Long Service medal from the Ministry of the Environment when he turned 60.
Over 30 staff volunteers including Pioneer Generation postmen were on hand at the festive event to mingle with some 120 senior residents. Gracing the occasion was Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information, and Member of Parliament for Moulmein-Kallang GRC.
Read more at singpost.com