Safra membership doubles to more than 600,000

Participants of the 14th Safra Awards and 45th Anniversary celebrating the success of the We Salute Our NSmen campaign by saluting together at Safra Mount Faber on Oct 12, 2017.
Participants of the 14th Safra Awards and 45th Anniversary celebrating the success of the We Salute Our NSmen campaign by saluting together at Safra Mount Faber on Oct 12, 2017. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

SINGAPORE - Safra's membership has almost doubled to more than 600,000 this year.

This is partly because of the one-year complimentary Safra membership offered in 2017 as part of the NS50 Recognition Package.

Members can look forward to a range of facilities and events for themselves and the family.

They include the indoor water playground at Safra Punggol, the NurtureStars Preschool centre present in all Safra clubs, and events like the Safra Singapore Bay Run and Army Half Marathon.

Senior Minister of State for Defence and Safra deputy president Maliki Osman revealed the figures during the 14th Safra Awards on Thursday (Oct 12) evening. The dinner at Safra Mount Faber also marked Safra's 45th anniversary.

In his speech, Dr Maliki said that by using the facilities and taking part in Safra events, NSmen can share their national service (NS) experiences with their families, thus allowing them to foster greater loyalty to Singapore.

"The realisation that they serve to defend their loved ones brings the whole family closer together with a deeper sense of shared conviction on the importance of NSmen's service to the nation," he said.

Dr Maliki added that Safra "has to constantly evolve and reinvent itself to stay relevant and be at the forefront of meeting NSmen's needs as their preferred lifestyle club".

To this end, Safra aims to transform into 'smart clubs' through technology, making it easier for members to use its facilities and access information on the Internet.

At the event, 77-year-old retiree Yip Hoi Kee received the long service award for his 45 years of membership. The founding member of the Safra Photographic Club joined Safra because of his passion for photography.

"Learning how to take photos with film on my own was quite difficult, and I wanted to teach so others would have an easier time learning photography. So I joined as a photography instructor," said Mr Yip, who was a technical officer before his retirement.

He said he remained a member because of his passion for photography, and for the Photographic Club he helped to set up in 1972. He stopped being an instructor around the year 2000.

It was also announced at the dinner that the We Salute Our NSmen campaign has surpassed its goal of 50,000 salutes.

The campaign, which began in June, encouraged the public to salute national servicemen they know or meet in their daily lives.

More than 250,000 salutes were garnered via social media and interactive photo kiosks set up at various locations across the island.

Defence Minister and chairman of the Safra Board of Governors, Dr Ng Eng Hen, was the guest-of-honour and presented awards at the event.

Correction note: A previous version of this story said that the Safra Photographic Club was formed in 1987. This is incorrect. It was formed in 1972.