Girls' Brigade Singapore marks 90th anniversary

(From far left) Mrs Joy Balakrishnan, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Ms Hee Piang Chin, Mrs Tay Poh Luan, Girls' Brigade (GB) Singapore president Sally Chew, GB Singapore chaplain Reverend Lilian Ang and GB international president Vivienne Aitchison, with G
(From far left) Mrs Joy Balakrishnan, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Ms Hee Piang Chin, Mrs Tay Poh Luan, Girls' Brigade (GB) Singapore president Sally Chew, GB Singapore chaplain Reverend Lilian Ang and GB international president Vivienne Aitchison, with GB members at yesterday's event.ST PHOTO: JONATHAN CHOO

The Girls' Brigade (GB) Singapore, one of the oldest uniformed groups here, celebrated its 90th anniversary yesterday.

About 1,000 people - including local members of the brigade, school principals, church leaders as well as GB leaders from other countries - attended the celebration dinner at the Shangri-La Hotel.

A hybrid orchid named the Papilionanda The Girls' Brigade Singapore was also unveiled. It has dark purple petals and upright flowering sprays, and was selected for its characteristics that represent the aspirational values for the group's members.

The orchid's roots represent the value of being rooted in heritage; its drought-resistant leaves represent the value of resilience; and its flowers represent the aspiration that members will be "blossoming as responsible servant leaders".

The group is a recognised school co-curricular activity and is based in 82 primary and secondary schools here, with more than 4,000 members.

Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan was the guest of honour at the anniversary dinner.

He presented distinguished service awards to Ms Hee Piang Chin, 71, and Mrs Tay Poh Luan, 93, for 50 years and 45 years of service respectively. Both had joined GB when they were in the then Fairfield Girls' School and held leadership positions in GB, while also holding key positions in the Education Ministry.

Ms Hee, who joined GB in 1959 and was commissioned as a lieutenant in 1967, said: "I remember the camps - you live and plan activities with people, and you see the impact of what you planned.

"Camps and other GB activities gave me lots of opportunities to pick up leadership skills. GB has made me a leader."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 04, 2017, with the headline 'Girls' Brigade Singapore marks 90th anniversary'. Print Edition | Subscribe