On 16 November 2022, SMOU hosted their annual Long Membership Awards Presentation at InterContinental Hotel Singapore for the first time ever.
Due to the growing membership of our members, SMOU decided to have the awards presentation outside of Lighthouse Bistro. The event saw close to 90 award recipients with close to 30 members receiving their 45 years LMA. The union recognises that not only are the strength of the members growing, but that the union should prepare for the ageing membership as well. As such, SMOU launched a new 45 years category for this niched profile of members. Apart from receiving their award, recipients were also treated to a buffet spread that was prepared for them. Many members were happily greeting one another and catching up after the two year hiatus due to the pandemic.
SMOU Treasurer Mr Yong Soon Huat welcomed members and thanked them for believing in SMOU and staying loyal to the union. He also expressed his thanks for their support all these years and shared on the Intermediate and Long-Term Care (ILTC) scheme aimed to assist members who are in financial difficulty and encouraged members to come forward should they require any assistance. As SMOU progresses on, the union has but one goal in mind – how can we do more and do better for our members? With members playing a pivotal role in the union, it is imperative to ensure that their well-being is well taken care of and thought of. Therefore, providing them with an avenue to look for help financially is one of the many things SMOU thought to do.
Two-piece band, Joyce and Adi sang hit songs and members were seen grooving to the beat and singing along. SMOU General Secretary Ms Mary Liew, Chairman of SMOU Membership Committee Mr Tan Hung Tat, and Treasurer Mr Yong Soon Huat presented the Long Membership Award certificate to recipients. They congratulated and thanked recipients for their loyalty – “you are the backbone of SMOU. Without you, SMOU would not exist today”, could be heard being said by the officials.
Members were treated to a sumptuous international buffet spread and enjoyed catching up with other fellow members at the event. This event was monumental in showing how the strength of SMOU has increased through the years, and that the union is humbled by the trust members have in the union. When SeaVoices caught up with some of the recipients, they had much to share.
SMOU member of 10 years Sakaran Jayakumar praised the union for always being there for him whenever he encountered any difficulty. “I’m touched to know that SMOU recognises us and this event was testimony of that. Thank you SMOU, for making us feel special and working hard for the seafarers behind the scenes. Their actions really made me see the importance of the union and I’m very grateful”.
Hermant Berry, SMOU member of 10 years said he appreciated the work that SMOU has done. “The union has really fought for us and advocated for our rights. I witnessed how they rallied for us, with our best interests at heart. The union has always made me feel like a priority and I’m so proud to tell people that I’m a SMOU member.”
SMOU member of 10 years Kilparthi Maduri Sojanya exclaimed how proud she was to be a recipient for the award. “I have been in the ship management line for the past 20 years and SMOU has been there for me through everything. I also enjoy bringing my family to Lighthouse Bistro and celebrating my birthday there.” Ms Kilparthi praised the union for not only caring about the members, but for caring for their families as well – such as by having long-term awards, providing support for children’s education, and organising family events to bring the whole family together. She (Ms Kilparthi) has felt that the union has helped in more ways than one and she enjoys how the Bistro hosts as a meeting space for her to meet with other seafarers and members.