PRESIDENT S. R. Nathan presented — for the first time — the President’s Award to eight members of The Boys’ Brigade (BB) at the Istana on July 12, 2005.
The highest award in the BB Programme, the President’s Award represents the epitome of the Primers’ training in the BB. It supersedes the Founder’s Badge as the highest award. This is the first time that the President’s Award has been given out and the eight boys represent the very best that the BB has produced through their years in the Brigade.
The award is given only to BB Primers who have completed the demanding requirements in leadership and service in the community, which would have spanned an average of six years.
The eight are Joseph Ang Chong Wee, Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) Primers Singapore Company; Chen Yi Cheng, HQ Primers Singapore Company; Alex Lee Ming Xiong, HQ Primers Singapore Company; Lee Zai Yong, Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) Primers Singapore Company; Gordon Oei Kian Tiong, HQ Primers Singapore Company; Danny Poh Han Wei, NYP Primers Singapore Company; Marcus Seng Ren Fu, HQ Primers Singapore Company; and Sunil Ebenezer Sutherson, HQ Primers Singapore Company.
BB Boys will no longer have to be “aimless” after they leave secondary school.
Joining the Primers programme affiliated to polytechnics, junior colleges or the HQ Primers is an avenue for them to continue their life-long relationship with the BB.
The President’s badge is their perfect target as they volunteer their time either to mentor those Boys who are younger or to lend their experience to organising Brigade events.
The stories of how these BB Boys were chosen are inspirational. The story about Joseph Ang, for example, highlights the quality of a President’s Award recipient. Joseph is now studying multimedia information communications at Nanyang Polytechnic. He initially did not qualify for studies at a polytechnic and went to Dover ITE. He retook his “O” level results whilst studying at the same time in ITE. He managed to achieve his ambition on the second chance and made it to the polytechnic of his choice.
He was one of the co-founders and a Vice- President (2003-2004) of the NYP Primers Singapore Company. He founded the Primers when he felt lonely initially upon enrolling at the polytechnic. His peers were all ahead of him and he felt out of place at the polytechnic. His fellow Primers regard him as a leader who is always around when they need help.
Joseph’s initiatives so impressed the NYP Students Affairs Office that he was one of four selected to represent NYP at a 25-day Outward Bound Australia Camp in Tharwa, Australian Capital Territory, in November 2004.
Daniel Chong is the Executive, Corporate Communications and Special Projects, of The Boys’ Brigade in Singapore.