I am honoured and pleased to announce that I have been given the Community in Bloom (CIB) Ambassador Award by the National Parks Board (NParks). The Award was presented to me and five others by Singapore Prime Minister Mr Lee Hsien Loong at the opening of the Marina Barrage and the launch of the Clean and Green Singapore 2008 yesterday evening.
Water gushes out that created a strong current when one of the gates at the Marina Barrage was open.
The Marina Barrage is a dam in Singapore built across the Marina Channel between Marina East and Marina South. This multi-million dollar project converts Marina Bay and Kallang Basin into a new downtown freshwater Marina Reservoir, which provides water supply, flood control and a new lifestyle attraction.
Profiles of the six CIB Ambassadors (Courtesy of NParks).
The CIB Ambassador Award was presented to six individuals for the first time this year. It recognises individuals who have contributed through various means and channels to foster the love for gardening to the people in Singapore. CIB Ambassadors are volunteers with passion, who go the extra mile to spread the gardening bug and help others enjoy gardening. They contribute time, effort and/or resources regularly and actively engage with the community to facilitate the community’s gardening-based initiatives.
The CIB Ambassadors on stage, posing for a picture with Prime Minister Lee (Courtesy of NParks).
At the presentation ceremony, I was the last person on the queue to go up on stage to receive the Award from Prime Minister Lee. I felt so nervous that I almost forgot to say “thank you” to him. I did in the end but those were the two words I muttered to PM Lee on stage. Nothing else!
Click on the above to view the video.
Many thanks to Richmond, a member from the Green Culture Singapore discussion forum, who was there to help me take some photographs, as well as, a short video of the ceremony (thankfully!). As you can observe from the video, the anxiety in me was very evident. After thanking PM Lee and then getting the Award from his hands, I hurriedly walked off and descended down the steps of the stage!
When I had the Award trophy in my hands, I was quite surprised to know that it was so heavy. It was not made from acrylic but solid lead crystal with words and the CIB logo etched inside it using laser. The design is a very simple but elegant one and I am very touched by the sincerity of NParks via their choice of the award trophy. It require much effort to carry around and the gift box that was given to house it gave way by the time I reached home! From the Award’s weight, several CIB Ambassadors jokingly said that a ‘heavy responsibility’ of promoting gardening lies ahead of us!
The CIB Ambassador Award made from lead crystal.
I am very happy that my efforts to promote gardening among Singaporeans via the Green Culture Singapore website and discussion forum have been recognised. I started to garden when I was very young and its promotion as a hobby on the national level only started about four years ago. All these have now become part of me and my everyday life. I think my life would have been very different if they never occurred or are taken away from me.
Finally, I would like to express my sincere thanks to my good friend Chong Ren, my RC Chairperson Mdm Claire Ng and Aljunied Town Council’s Serangoon North Branch Manager Mr Joseph Wee for their nominations, Lady McNeice who called on Saturday morning to congratulate me, NParks and CIB for conferring to me this Award and my friends and members from the Green Culture Singapore discussion forum and the Singapore gardening fraternity who conveyed their well wishes.