Reunion lunch treat for seniors who live alone

Madam Goh Oh Keing (centre), 94, enjoying a reunion lunch treat on Monday. With her are Tanjong Pagar GRC MP Joan Pereira and Mr Raymond Goh, managing director of Tong Bee Construction and one of the sponsors of the event.
Madam Goh Oh Keing (centre), 94, enjoying a reunion lunch treat on Monday. With her are Tanjong Pagar GRC MP Joan Pereira and Mr Raymond Goh, managing director of Tong Bee Construction and one of the sponsors of the event.ST PHOTO: JASMINE CHOONG

It was a meal to remember for Madam Goh Oh Keing, 94, who was among 130 elderly residents who live alone, at a Chinese New Year Eve reunion lunch organised by the Henderson-Dawson Citizens Consultative Committee.

With her were Mr Raymond Goh, managing director of Tong Bee Construction and one of the sponsors of the event, and Tanjong Pagar GRC MP Joan Pereira.

Madam Goh, who gets around in a wheelchair and has no living relatives, said it was "good to see everyone coming together".

The reunion lunch was coordinated by a group of 30 volunteers, including students from Eunoia and St Andrew's junior colleges and members of the American Women's Association (AWA).

Ms Claire Fournier of the AWA said the volunteers wanted to help even though they did not speak the same language as the elderly.

Ms Pereira said the volunteers and the elderly "required no particular language to interact because they spoke the language of love".

Chinese New Year is about family togetherness, she said, adding that it was vital to provide this familial feeling for the lonely elderly.

Jev Akshay Jeevan

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 07, 2019, with the headline 'Reunion lunch treat for seniors who live alone'. Print Edition | Subscribe