Held on 2 August 2013 at the Conrad Centennial Singapore, the gala fundraise evening, and was a success in many ways. Every one of the 31 tables was filled to the brim and there was a heady buzz in the air with much mingling amongst friends, casual acquaintances and people in the orchid business.
OSSEA is honoured to have the Minster for National Development Mr. Khaw Boon Wan as our Guest-of-Honour. He not only went on stage to congratulate the Master Hybridisers and successful auction bidders of naming rights hybrids, but also subsequently walked over to several tables to speak with the guests, especially the orchid growers.
It was also a night to honour our unsung heroes – the Master Hybridisers who, together with their compatriots, have over several decades created a hugely diverse number of excellent orchid, many of them winning accolades not just at home but overseas.
Many of these orchids have made our horticulture exports what it is today. Each of the gentlemen went on stage to receive the Tan Hoon Siang Award Trophy from Tan Jiew Hoe, son of OSSEA’s former President Tan Hoon Siang and the man credited with putting Singapore on the world orchid map with the incomparable Vanda Tan Chay Yan, which won a Gold Award at the Chelsea Flower Show in 1954.
A major feature of the evening was an auction for naming rights to four exquisite hybrids donated by top breeders How Wai Ron, Neo Tuan Hong, Toh Gardens and Law Moi Hwa (Gardens by the Bay), together with an auction of one-of-a-kind exclusive evening shawl specially created by Shelley Siu the founder of the Singapore Shawl, conducted by past president John Eillott who has lost none of his commendably persuasive skills, proceeds from the auctions will go to help run the society’s many programmes and meet other operating expenses.
Like most galas, we have received substantial gifts for lucky draw prizes, with the top prizes being complimentary free-stays at two Banyan Tree Hotel & Resorts. Many well-wishes also contributed items ranging from orchid plants to chocolate treats, and these items went into ‘goody bags’ for each guest to take home.
Members who have not sat in our numerous meetings over the last few months have no idea of the untold number of hours spent on a multitude of tasks and nail-biting moments that go towards organising such a complex event. But I am glad that the evening’s programme went without a hitch, and only have my organising committee to thank for this. I am very appreciative of the goodwill generated amongst guests, friends and well-wishers, and with this level of support, we can look forward to another 85 years of generating, encouraging and maintain interest in orchids in Singapore and beyond our shores.