The annual Gala Ball of The Singapore Ireland Fund (TSIF) was held on Saturday 13th November at the St. Regis Hotel, Singapore. Fast becoming a key event in the Singapore social calendar this year’s ball was attended by some 370 guests, including the Guest of Honour, Singaporean Senior Minister Prof. S. Jayakumar.
Other special guests included Minister in the Prime Minister’s office, Ms. Lim Hwee Hua and the recently arrived Irish Ambassador to Singapore, HE Joseph Hayes.
TSIF were also delighted to welcome Kingsley Aikins who came back to Singapore for the second year in a row and acted as MC for the evening’s events.
To match the ball’s them of “A Night Of Irish Culture, Music and Arts” the TSIF treated guests to great performances, including pre-dinner music by 12-year-old harpist Brianna David and local Irish traditional music group Cran.
The musical highlight of the evening was undoubtedly a special performance by Mr. John Kelly, CEO of the Irish Chamber Orchestra who was in Singapore especially for the event – and to pursue further discussions about linking Singapore and Ireland through innovative music education programmes offered at the University of Limerick.
The night, of course, was not just about music. This year’s beneficiary was the Delta Senior School, which provides vocational education to young adults in Singapore with mild intellectual disabilities. The training provided by the school equips these young adults with life-confidence and skills so they can find employment in fast-growing sectors such as hospitality and the services sector.
Armed with attractive lots such as a painting by renowned Irish artist Mr. John Kingerlee, and an exclusive trip to Trinity College Dublin, TSIF board members Mr. Colin McDonald and Ms. Noor Quek took to the stage to conduct a spirited charity auction.
Thanks to this auction – plus a barn-storming charity raffle – TSIF raised nearly S$500,000 on the night. A cheque for S$280,000 was presented to the Principal of Delta Senior School Ms. Soh Mee Choo by the Guest of Honour and the Chairperson of TSIF, Dr. Stanley Quek.
Speaking after the event, Dr. Quek thanked all sponsors and volunteers who helped make the 2010 ball possible, in particular board member Sheila Lim who worked tirelessly in the weeks leading up to the event. Dr Quek finished by promising that 2011 will bring even more activities from TSIF.