The Samaritans of Singapore (SOS) marked its 50th anniversary with a charity gala dinner last night that included a silent auction. President Halimah Yacob is seen here admiring one of the items put up for bidding - a pair of Prosperity For Generation porcelain vases, commissioned by the late president S R Nathan in 2015 and bearing his signature. With President Halimah is the patron of SOS, National Development Minister and Second Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong, while standing behind them are SOS chairman Lee Sook Fung (right) and vice-chairman Chinnatamby Nandakumar. The dinner was held at ONE°15 Marina Sentosa Cove and attended by more than 250 people.
Since its establishment on Dec 1, 1969, SOS has provided a listening ear to countless individuals facing crises who are thinking about or affected by suicide. In his speech at the dinner, Mr Wong said the work SOS does "has become more important today because suicide has become a very real and serious health problem". He noted that Singapore, reflecting global trends, has seen a rise in suicide cases. SOS, too, is handling more cases of individuals seeking emotional support. Its work is rarely in the public eye but what it does to support the vulnerable is invaluable, he added. Addressing its staff and volunteers in the audience, Mr Wong said they were "truly Samaritans of Singapore".