Bouquets: Zoo makes kid's dream come true

Zoo makes kid's dream come true

I recently contacted Mr Sean from Wildlife Reserves Singapore to help a boy with Down syndrome fulfil his dream of being a Singapore Zoo tour guide.

Mr Sean obliged and arranged for this special occasion.

The boy was given a tour around the zoo by a guide named Shawal. This tour was very interesting and educational, and helped to prepare the boy for his own tour.

Later in the day, the boy conducted his own tour around the zoo with his friends, while wearing a special badge given to him by Shawal. His friends received gifts, too.

Throughout his tour, the boy had a smile on his face and mentioned a couple of times that his dream had been fulfilled.

I thank Mr Sean and Shawal for helping the boy fulfil his dream.

Jeffrey Tay Yoong Kwang

Honest cabby returns lost phone

An incident that I recently experienced fully shows the kindness of Singaporeans.

Mr Toh, a taxi driver, was driving my family and me to our destination. Minutes after we alighted from the taxi, my father realised that his mobile phone was missing.

We realised that my father had dropped it in the taxi and thought we would never see it again, as it was the latest model and the cabby had no obligation to return it to us.

However, thanks to Mr Toh, we managed to get the phone back swiftly. Despite my father's efforts to give Mr Toh some money in gratitude, the cabby refused it and left.

This incident has allowed me to realise the importance of helping one another.

Without Mr Toh's willingness to help, my father would have lost his mobile phone, along with its important contents.

Jamie Yeng Jia Wen

SIA staff soar amid Indian airport crisis

I was one of the people stranded at India's Chennai airport when it was closed on Dec 1 due to torrential rain.

The experience was harrowing, but I was so glad that I was booked on a Singapore Airlines flight.

While passengers of most other airlines were left without much information or assistance, all the SIA staff in Chennai airport were incredibly helpful, always present and keeping us updated on the situation.

SIA passengers were served hot, high-quality food and a free flow of refreshments, while I saw other airline passengers clamouring for a bottle of water.

We, the SIA passengers, were later taken to a nearby five-star hotel by shuttle bus.

There were no rooms for us to stay in, but we were provided with a banquet hall with sufficient facilities, such as washrooms, and food, water and refreshments. The entire team of SIA staff stayed overnight and provided assistance to us the whole time.

As the situation worsened the next day, SIA's management decided to transport all passengers to Bangalore to reduce any further risk to us.

While on our way to Bangalore, our bus met with a serious accident, which required an immense level of leadership, strategic planning, coordination and decision-making by the SIA staff to ensure our safety.

After a 14-hour nightmare, we were checked into another five-star hotel in Bangalore, with the SIA staff travelling with us, having left their families back in Chennai.

It was very clear that the staff had not slept and could not establish contact with their family members during those few days. But they still performed their duties with sincere smiles on their faces, cared for us and made some life-saving decisions on our behalf.

Arrangements were made the following day to ensure every passenger was flown to Singapore and that their connecting flights were taken care of, too.

I thank the management and staff of SIA in Chennai. This experience has only reinforced my strong belief that SIA is the best, even when not in the air.

Venkataramani Srinivasan

Kudos to SCDF, police for lift rescue

I found myself stuck in my condominium's lift one recent evening when it suddenly stopped between the third and fourth floors.

I managed to call the police and asked them to inform the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF). I also called the lift maintenance hotline.

About 20 minutes after my first call, the lift door opened, and I was relieved to see three SCDF officers and the lift technician.

The SCDF officers responded very quickly and were professional and reassuring in doing their job.

Although I thanked them, I forgot to ask for their names.

I thank the police officers who took my call and the SCDF officers who came to my rescue.

Andrew Koh

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 25, 2015, with the headline 'Bouquets: Zoo makes kid's dream come true'. Print Edition | Subscribe