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30 Dec 2020
5 mins
Entering the year of SMOU’s Platinum Anniversary

As 2020 comes to a close, SMOU anticipates the ushering in of 2021 – a momentous year for the union to commemorate a key milestone. Got an idea of what it is?

Yes! SMOU turns 70 years in 2021 and it is Because of you!

SMOU 70 – Because of You

To end off an unprecedented year and to look ahead to SMOU’s 70th year, SMOU hosted the virtual Year End Get-Together with almost 900 SMOU members and their families. At the event, the theme of SMOU’s 70th Anniversary year was announced – Because of You. The tagline recognises that it is because of the support of our SMOU members and tripartite partners that the union has been able to reach out and impact the lives of our members and families. Therefore, we will commemorate SMOU’s seven decades of journey and history next year together with you.

Sister Mary Liew, SMOU General Secretary, added in her opening address that it is because of members that SMOU has been able to make a difference during the COVID-19 pandemic. She stated that ‘Because of You, SMOU joined our tripartite partners in representing seafarers by setting up the Crew Change Workgroup and contributed to the SG-STAR fund, which spearheaded crew change facilitation in Singapore and in the region. SMOU also worked with international organisation to push for the recognition of seafarers as key workers who have sacrificed much during the COVID-19 pandemic. Amid the crisis, seafarers kept the global supply chains moving so that vital goods like medical supplies and good can continue to be transported to nations around the world.

Even though the pandemic has changed the way we interact, and events may remain on virtual platforms in the new norm, SMOU will continue to commemorate its 70th Anniversary together with members’ health and safety in mind!

Sister Mary clued us in in her address some of the events that are in the pipelines for the new year ahead. Members can look forward to activities including the Annual Family Day, and the ‘Gift For You’ token of appreciation of vouchers for members.

SMOU will also be launching initiatives such as the “Sail Because Of You” fundraising which invites seafarers to partner with SMOU to raise funds for beneficiary institutions “Missions to Seafarers Singapore” and “NTUC Health”.

Sister Mary ended by reaffirming SMOU’s commitment to continue supporting members especially during this trying time of the COVID-19 pandemic. She also thanked and appreciated members and tripartite partners for their years of belief and contribution to SMOU.


Long Membership Award recipients

The evening’s programme featured a special live stream segment of SMOU officials paying a visit to the homes of Senior long membership award recipients. Due to the unprecedented pandemic situation, the Annual Long Membership Awards ceremony which sees members getting together and receiving the awards could not be held physically. Instead members were invited to join the SMOU Year End Get-Together event on the virtual platform.

SMOU President, Brother Rahim Jaffar and SMOU Executive Committee member and Chairman of Membership Committee, Brother Tan Hung Tat headed down to two members’ residences – Brother Loh Hong Kee and Brother Mohamed Taha Bin Mohamed Shariff – to deliver the awards and dinner for the evening to appreciate their long-standing support for the union.

This year, a total of more than 150 members received their SMOU long membership awards under the 10 to 40 years categories. Our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to our well deserving long service members. Congratulations and thank you!

Being an SMOU member, I appreciate what SMOU is doing for members. I always look forward to catching up with my friends who are also SMOU member every month at the Mariners Nite.” – Loh Hong Kee, SMOU Long Membership Award recipient of 40 years

“I enjoy the activities that SMOU organises and the benefits that are given to members. In particular, I appreciate SMOU’s support for my family and me through the SMOU bursary and scholarship awards that helped to encourage my children to work hard in their studies” – Mohamed Taha Bin Mohamed Shariff, SMOU Long Membership Award recipient of 40 years

A Memorable Evening

The evening also saw the launch of SMOU’s Mobile App – MYSMOU, interactive trivia games, a live band performance, and a much anticipated year end lucky draw where SMOU members could stand to win attractive prizes. Dinner was also delivered to the homes of members so that they could enjoy the virtual programme while tucking in to the sumptuous seafood spread in the safety of their own homes.

The evening ended on a positive note as SMOU and its members cast their eyes to the significant year ahead – a milestone telling of the strong support from members and stakeholders which makes up the sturdy foundation on which SMOU has built and will continue to build its good work upon.

It indeed is Because of You.