SAFVL Management Committee visit to Singapore Discovery Centre, 'Through Lens of Time' Gallery.
The SAF Veterans' League Management Committee experienced one of Singapore Discovery Centre's latest Total Defence permanent galleries when they visited 'Through the Lens of Time' on 22 April 2021, as they travelled through Singapore's early history, key milestones and events. The exhibits showcases Singapore's beginnings and the tumultuous moments of past events such as the Japanese Occupation, Konfrontasi and the Sentosa Cable Car Tragedy and Rescue Mission.
A reminder not to take the peace we enjoy for granted
The ‘Konfrontasi’ Memorial Ceremony is an opportunity to remind this generation and the coming generations not to take peace for granted, said Guest-of-Honour Lieutenant-General (Retired) Winston Choo at the event held at Dhoby Ghaut Green opposite MacDonald House on Orchard Road on 10 March 2021.
LG (RET) Winston Choo, who was the first Singapore Armed Forces Chief of Defence Force from 1974 to 1992, said “standing up in the defence of our home and loved ones is the ultimate sacrifice we can give to our Nation.”
SAF Veterans’ League (SAFVL) President, Brigadier-General (Retired) Winston Toh, in his opening address, said the memorial service was to remember those who lost their lives and suffered.
It is also to honour those who fought valiantly for the survival of our nation during Konfrontasi,” he added.
Held outdoors on 10 March each year since the inaugural one in 2014, this year’s ‘Konfrontasi’ event was attended by some 50 people, with COVID-19 safe management measures in place.
The annual ceremony remembers those who lost their lives and suffered during Konfrontasi, particularly the dark day on 10 March, 1965, when a bomb planted by saboteurs at MacDonald House killed three persons and injured 33 others, all innocent civilians.
BG (RET) Winston Toh urged Singaporeans not to forget the impact of Konfrontasi. “Konfrontasi has reminded us to never take our peace and security for granted. In our ongoing fight against terrorism, there is no room for complacency. We need to strengthen our Total Defence pillars and brace ourselves to respond to an attack on our sovereignty.”
(From top left) Wreath and flowers laid at the Konfrontasi Memorial Ceremony. LG (RET) Winston Chew and BG (RET) Winston Toh giving an opening speech to never forget this fateful incident and may this be a lesson for us to remember those who have lost their lives during these times and never to take peace for granted. (From bottom left) BG (RET) Winston Toh and the SAFVL veterans who were mobilised during Konfrontasi, giving respect to the civilian victims and also soldiers who had fought and died during Konfrontasi.
Our pioneers have taught us that there is no trouble we cannot endure; no calamity we cannot overcome as a people
These were the sobering words from Mr Lawrence Wong, Minister for Education, at the 54th War Memorial Service in commemoration of the civilian victims of the Japanese Occupation, and Total Defence Day Commemoration, held on 15 February 2021 at the Civilian War Memorial on Beach Road.
The theme for this year's Total Defence campaign is "Together We Keep Singapore Strong". It focuses on the many ways we can put Total Defence into action in our daily life.
Our strongest response to any challenge facing Singapore is a collective one, where we stand together as one united people, Mr Lawrence Wong said.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, this year's event was attended by only 50 representatives from Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SCCCI), MINDEF, inter-religious organisations, SAF Veterans' League, and the families of the war victims.
The annual event, co-organised by SCCCI and Central National Education Office of MINDEF (NEXUS), with SAF Veterans' League as strategic partner for the event's military proceedings, reminds us of what could happen to us if we cannot ourselves defend Singapore.
(From left) Mr Lawrence Wong and representative from SCCCI and SAFVL observe 1 minute of silence in memory of civilian victims of the Japanese Occupation. (Middle to right photo) Followed by the wreath laying ceremony at the Civilian War Memorial.
See below for the Total Defence Video.
For more details on the Civilian War Memorial event:
Lest We Forget: To remember and to honour those who have fought and died for freedom.
This year, the British High Commission, in partnership with SAF Veterans' League, organised the Virtual Remembrance Sunday Service which will be held online on Sunday, 8 Nov 2020 at 10.40am.
Watch a replay of the pre-recorded ceremony below.
SAFVL launches 30th Anniversary commemorative book
SAF Veterans’ League launched its 30th Anniversary commemorative book when SAFVL President BG (RET) Winston Toh presented a personal copy of the book to Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen at MINDEF on 7 October 2020.
Personal copies were also presented to Senior Minister of State (Defence) Mr Zaqy Mohamad who is also President of SAFRA, and Chief of Defence Force LTG Melvyn Ong.
BG(RET) Winston Toh also visited LTG(RET) Winston Choo at his residence to present a personal copy to him. Gen Choo was the SAF’s Chief of Defence Force from 1974 to 1992.
SAFVL President BG (RET) Winston Toh presenting the SAFVL book to (from left) Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen, Senior Minister of State (Defence) Mr Zaqy Mohamad, Chief of Defence Force LTG Melvyn Ong, and LTG (RET) Winston Choo.