Every year in November, friends and supporters of The Singapore Ireland Fund gather to enjoy the major annual fundraiser event, the Emerald Ball which took place on Saturday 7th November in the Grand Hyatt Hotel and was themed “Reflections” – Celebrating a Legacy between two Nations.The Ball this year attracted over 320 guests who came to support the TSIF nominated Singaporean causes, LASALLE College of the Art’s “Brother Joseph McNally Legacy” and the Alzheimer’s Disease Association “Family of Wisdom” project as well as enjoying what is now well established as a great night out for fun, friendship and fine fare.
“Brother Joe” as he is affectionately remembered, was an Irish Lasallian Brother from Mayo who became a Singaporean and who, as an artist and an educator, was a main driver for the development of the Arts in Singapore. He founded LASALLE College of the Arts in 1984 and this Legacy project in his name is designed to honour and celebrate his contribution to education and the arts. It will comprise a three-year project which will encompass the development of a short film, musical concerts, an art exhibition, artist residencies, student exchanges and the McNally Scholarship and Bursary which will help provide financial assistance to LASALLE students who come from low-income families.
TSIF is also supporting The Alzheimer’s Disease Association “Family of Wisdom” project which includes the fit out and equipping of a Day Care Respite Centre for persons with dementia and their caregivers.
Reckoned to be “the best yet” the excellent fare was complimented by entertainment provided by 36 students of the music programme in the college who enthralled the assembled with a medley of songs. The LASALLE Jazz Ensemble kept the tone mellow with some great jazz numbers throughout the evening and later accompanied TSIF Director, Noor Quek as she enthralled the guests with some classic jazz numbers.
Once again our guests rose to the challenge of the serious business of the evening – the live and silent auctions which this year set a new record of in excess of $220,000. Pride of place went to a beautiful sculpture “Victory” by Brother Joe which was kindly donated by ex-Irish Ambassador to Singapore, Brendan Lyons and which was bought in the face of serious bidding by Colin MacDonald, President of TSIF for the top amount of the evening. In total, the event is expected to top $620,000 in funds raised.
Special guests of Chairman Dr. Stanley Quek and his wife Bebe; Irish Ambassador Geoffrey Keating; President of LASALLE, Professor Steve Dixon and his wife Prue, Oliver Murray, Chairman of The Ireland Fund of Canada; Ms. Eunice Tan of the Alzheimer’s Disease Association who accepted the cheque on behalf of ADA; Emma Gordon, Vice President of the St. Patrick’s Society of Singapore and husband Brian and Mr. Jeffrey Lim, General Manager Etihad Airways and his partner, long time sponsors of TSIF. We were also honoured by the presence of President and CEO of The Worldwide Ireland Funds, Kieran McLoughlin.