Singapore Government Press Release

Media Division, Ministry of Information and The Arts

36th Storey, PSA Building, 460 Alexandra Road, Singapore 119963.

Tel: 3757794/5

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SPEECH BY MR CHAN SOO SEN, PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY (PRIME MINISTERíS OFFICE & MINISTRY OF COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT), AT THE ST JOHN AMBULANCE BRIGADE ANNUAL PRESENTATION CUM BANQUET DINNER ON SUNDAY, 12 JULY 1998, 8.00 PM AT MAPLE GARDEN SEAFOOD RESTAURANT, AMARA HOTEL, LEVEL 2

 

I am very happy to join you at the Annual Dinner and Presentation of the St John Ambulance Brigade.

 

Since your formation in 1935, St John Ambulance Brigade has been teaching First Aid to the community so that people can help one another in times of need. For more than 40 years, the Brigade has been providing First Aid support in school and public functions, from School Sports Day to National Day Parade. So for most of us, we know St John Ambulance Brigade since school days. Indeed St John Ambulance Brigade has been one of the mainstream ECA uniform groups in many schools.

 

Although there is no war or natural calamities in Singapore, accidents and sometimes disaster do happen. We come across people who suddenly need help at home, on the road, and in public places. We can expect even more of these as our population ages. To have more in the community trained in First Aid is important. Good First Aid can be a matter of life and death for some of these victims. St John Ambulance Brigade has quietly done a lot of important work in preparing our community for such difficult situations.

 

In major Civil Defence incidents such as Hotel New World, St John Ambulance Brigade has been a valuable partner with the Singapore Civil Defence Force. Hence the Brigade has an important role to play in Total Defence. Many grassroots organisations have Civil Defence Executive Committees (CDECs) to co-ordinate local Civil Defence activities. At the same time, the Brigade is established locally in many schools. There is a potential for the CDECs to work closely with St John Ambulance Brigade through the schools. This can add much capabilities to local Civil Defence programmes, and bring St John Ambulance Brigade even closer to the local

communities. Through the CDECs, St John Ambulance Brigade can also bring First Aid skills to more residents.

 

Like other uniform groups, St John Ambulance Brigade instill discipline, pride and teamwork. Through activities like camping and hiking, our students discover themselves, build self-confidence and perseverance. They also learn to trust one other, be team players, and develop leadership qualities. In short, uniform group activities offer character building to our teenagers. This is much better than loitering around, and mixing with wrong companies.

 

St John Ambulance Brigade has been a successful voluntary organisation also because of dedication of the many volunteers, and pride of its members. Please keep up your good work and enjoy many fruitful years ahead.

 

Thank you

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