Bethany Methodist Nursing Home celebrates first anniversary
BETHANY Methodist Nursing Home marked its first year of operation with a party on Sept 19, 2002. The 220 residents and 120 members of the Home shared the occasion with its many volunteers — their partners in service.
The Methodist Home for the Aged Sick at St George’s Lane shut its gates on Sept 22, 2001 after 20 years of operation. The 36 residents were then moved into the 282-bed Bethany Home at Choa Chu Kang Avenue 4. During the first two weeks, some settled in quickly. Others were disoriented and some cried as they wanted to go home.
It has been a year since that memorable day. Time has passed by so quickly.
Everyone in the Home was excited over the celebrations. At every corner of the Home, staff and residents were practising their items amidst frequent outbursts of laughter over the little mistakes they made, such as making the wrong dance turns or singing off-key.
Wheelchair-bound Mr Chiang Kok Weng, 65, was so excited over his song performance with the staff that anyone who happened to pass by him will be stopped abruptly and serenaded to. He worked so hard at memorising the lyrics that the song sheet was in shreds.
Another group of staff busied themselves with the decorations and floral arrangements.
The Chairman of the Home, Mrs Woo Chu Sin, noted that the Home had come a long way. A number of years were devoted to raising funds for the Home’s construction and fitting it out to make the Home a special place for the residents, care-receivers and care-givers.
She commended the staff, doctors, volunteers and the Chaplain on their dedication, and spoke of how their services, when put together, made Bethany Home a special place for the residents.
The President of ETAC, the Rev Dr Vinson Samuel, gave thanks and urged the management and staff of the Home to continue serving God in the years ahead.
The guests, comprising volunteers, well-wishers and colleagues from other Methodist Welfare Services (MWS) centres, were treated to an hour of songs and dances by the staff and residents.
Ninety-three-year-old Madam Leong Yu Heng floored everyone with her “Ah-Go-Go” dance item. Kok Weng, overcome by shyness, sang, blushing like a beetroot.
Senior Nursing Aid Madam Theresa Tan, whose 19 years of service ranked her the longest serving MWS employee, shared her experiences in the Home.
Mrs June Cheong of Barker Road Methodist Church, who does volunteer work at the Home every Thursday morning with her Ladies’ Group, told the gathering how much they enjoyed their time with the residents. She also had a kind work of encouragement for the staff.
The celebrations ended with a lunch hosted by Covenant Community Methodist Church.
The occasion was a stark contrast to the same day a year ago. A spirit of easy comradeship and love have since replaced the feelings of anxiety and uncertainty. Through the year, we learnt to work with each other in setting up the Home. We were able to celebrate and rejoice because we have witnessed how blessed we were by God’s abundant grace and love.
We are excited by the challenges in the new year ahead. As we press on, we want to remember the words of Mother Teresa:
“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But if that drop was not there, I think the ocean would be less by that missing drop. We don’t have to think in numbers. We can only love one person at a time. We can only serve one person at a time.”
Helen Choo is the Assistant Manager (Administration) of Bethany Methodist Nursing Home.