Greeting to one & all.
In January 2017 I had the deep privilege of becoming your new Chairman, following four years of service on our Board of Directors. I stepped into the extra-large shoes vacated by Dr. Francis Seow and Mr Amos Miller, two inspirational past leaders – this was an act that gave me equal measures of energy, trepidation and humility.
After 15 years of ophthalmic practice at Tan Tock Seng Hospital, I had become accustomed to the task of preserving and improving vision in my patients.
But it is now clear to me that helping visually impaired people preserve and improve their quality of life is an equally (if not even more) complex undertaking.
Yet, on GDS’s journey, we have been blessed with so much: guidance from our past Chairmen; unwavering patronage from Professor Tommy Koh; the collective passion of our Board of Directors the unflagging energy of our wonderful GM Vanessa Loh and her team; the rock-solid professionalism of our Guide Dog Mobility Instructor Zara Lineman and our lead Orientation & Mobility instructor Simone Oh; love & inspiration from the public, sponsors, donors, volunteers, clients and of course, our guide dog teams.
All these ingredients have helped us grow stronger with each passing year, and 2016/17 saw some major milestones: we graduated our fifth guide dog team (Ms Lau Loo & Ria); we welcomed two sterling additions to our Board of Directors (Mr Gary Cox and Ms Trina Tan); we flew in our sixth guide dog in training (Clare); and we also recorded on of our strongest fund-raising years.
Looking ahead, we will work hard in 2017/18 to sponsor the training for our first Singaporean Guide Dog Mobility Instructor and continue to recruit more Orientation & Mobility instructors and a Case Manager. More capability and more bandwidth = more awareness and more guide dog teams!
We can all also look forward to a new logo, new slogan and a new name for the association. But rest assured that our mission, goals and values will remain unchanged. What will also never change is how your continuing support and generosity keeps us energised and committed to our cause.
Thank you all.