The highlight event of the year has got to be the SMOU 70th Anniversary Year End Gathering (Virtual), which took place on 27 November 2021. The event was joined by SMOU President Mr Rahim Bin Jaffar, General Secretary Ms Mary Liew, Treasurer Yong Soon Huat, Emeritus General Secretary Brother Thomas Tay, Exco and General Council members, and more than 1,700 SMOU members and families.
In celebration of SMOU’s 70th year, the union pulled out all the stops to organise a memorable and heartwarming party that connected everyone at all levels in a special way.
Before the live stream channel opened, specially arranged dinners, goodie bags and party packs found their way into the homes of members and guests. A sumptuous dinner spread for the whole family, consisting of a lavish seafood bag of crabs, prawns and more – was a delightful surprise. There were even party packs to usher the celebratory mood with joyful sounds. All this set the tone for the party to begin.
SMOU General Secretary Mary Liew kickstarted the celebrations with her opening address. She recounted that the previous year-end get-together event was the first one done virtually, and recalled counting down to this year’s 70th Anniversary. But, given that Singapore is still on the road to recovery from the pandemic, placing the safety of members is of top priority, thus the virtual setting.
Ms Liew pointed out, “SMOU has come a long way throughout these 70 years, we have gone through many crises, and today we enjoy good maritime tripartite relationships and have a building of our own. It is Because of You, the support of our Exco and members, that we were able to overcome these obstacles together. 2020 and 2021 were difficult years for our members and seafarers, having to deal with the pandemic whilst keeping the global supply chain going. SMOU thanks all seafaring members for their hard work, and applaud your resilience and strength. Without you, many families would be unable to celebrate the festive holiday including giving gifts to their loved ones.”
Among the highlights of the event was the acknowledgement of Long Membership Award (LMA) recipients. The event also introduced the new categories of 45 and 50 years to recognise the longstanding support of members and their loyalty to the Union. SMOU thanks members for the continued support that they give – without whom the Union will not be able to be where it is and do what it does today. A total of 214 members received their LMA awards that evening. SMOU congratulates all LMA award recipients for this milestone!
Performance by singers Shili & Adi brought much entertainment to both young and old. The Zoom gallery view captured a few families; young and old, dancing to the tunes of hit songs.
The Lucky Draw segment proved to be the highly anticipated draw with 70 prizes to be won. During the Mystery Grand Draw portion, everyone was eyeing the top 5 Mystery Grand Draw prizes; consisting of OSIM uDivine massage chairs sponsored by Pacific International Lines and PACC Ship Managers Pte Ltd, Apple iPad Air sponsored by Wallenius Marine Singapore, Dyson vacuum cleaner sponsored by CMA Ships Singapore Pte Ltd, and $700 Mapletree shopping vouchers sponsored by Hafnia – BW Fleet Management. Congratulations to the winners of all the lucky draw and grand draw prizes.
Throughout the event, members were firing away well wishes into the Zoom chatbox. Noting a few that wished SMOU happy birthday, while others thanked SMOU for organising and delivering such a feast to them.
“We thoroughly enjoyed the show and especially the sumptuous dinner. We enjoyed the wonderful evening at home.” – Sim Bock Seng
“Thank you SMOU for arranging this event. Food is yummy!” – Wan Fei Fei
“Fantastic and superbly organized – a great show! Shili & Adi were just too good. It was great message from Ms Mary Liew, full of positivity.” – Upendra Dubey
It could be said, after such a celebration online, that the SMOU 70th Anniversary Year End Gathering went beyond virtual and was truly a special family gathering to commemorate this momentous milestone.