Celebrating 66 years of restoration
In late August, Prison Fellowship Singapore celebrated our 66th anniversary with a Gala Dinner at the iconic Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel, where more than 400 of our donors, volunteers, church leaders, key partners and beneficiaries took time on a weeknight to celebrate our anniversary with us, with renowned homegrown comedian Gurmit Singh as the emcee.
Mr Desmond Lee, Minister for Social and Family Development and Second Minister in the Ministry of National Development, joined us as the Guest-of-Honour and shared his personal experience of reaching out to ex-offenders in the community with us. He also stayed behind for the entire evening and interacted with many of our partners and ex-offenders at the dinner.
Our Chairman, Dr William Wan, recapped the roots of Prison Fellowship Singapore, highlighting the impact of Reverend Khoo Siaw Hua’s ministry to the death row inmates who killed three prison officers during a riot at the Pulau Senang Penal Settlement in the 1960s.
Over the years, the Prison Ministry resulted in many inmates having been given a second shot at life, being restored and taking their place back in society with a renewed zest and zeal. Take for instance Joseph Tan and Miki Lim, a couple who used to be imprisoned multiple times with a tumultuous marriage. Joseph and Miki shared their testimony onstage at the dinner (a video on Joseph’s transformation can be viewed here).
We are also grateful for the support of Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs & Ministry of Health Mr Amrin Amin, who shared that he has “had a number of opportunities to speak to PFS volunteers, including the PFS leadership team. [He is] struck by their level of passion, deep sense of service, and resilience and perseverance in reaching out to and engaging the offenders. Their commitment to the mission is commendable. Rain or shine, they never fail to turn up at the prisons to help and guide offenders towards turning their lives around.” We are immensely grateful for these committed volunteers.
Likewise, Commissioner of Prisons, Singapore Prison Service, Mr Desmond Chin also expressed the Prison Service’s steadfast support of our prison work and close collaboration over the years.
Many of our dinner guests participated in the silent auction, where 20 pieces of painting and pottery were sold to the highest bidders. Three of the paintings were donated by Ms Teo Boon Guat, a watercolour artist whose paintings have been exhibited multiple times. There were also paintings by the children and youth at our Care Club programme, and the pottery pieces were handcrafted by the inmates under the Yellow Ribbon Project.
Guests were also treated to a moving song item by Breakthrough Missions’ singers. Breakthrough Missions provides a gospel-based drug rehabilitation residential programme for former drug abusers.
All in all, the evening was a warm get-together of friends, old and new, and most importantly, a reminder of God’s grace that has seen the prison ministry grow through the years, turning many battled lives into trophies of grace.
Prison Fellowship Singapore’s work is made possible only with the steadfast support of volunteers and donors.