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APEC Appreciation Dinner For Volunteers

This year, Singapore took over from Peru to be the APEC host economy for 2009. Out of 3,000 over volunteers from all walks of life, only half were selected to play host to the international delegates. These ambassadors were deployed at the airport, Suntec City & major hotels etc, tending to the World Leaders & delegates.
APEC Singapore 2009 is a collective ‘Whole-of-Singapore’ effort involving close to 20,000 personnel from 40 government agencies & 330 Singapore & Singapore-based companies. All with one purpose – to make APEC 2009 a memorable Singapore experience!
The APEC Appreciation Dinner, held at S’pore Expo on 11 Dec, lasted 2 hours. With Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong gracing the occasion, an appreciation speech was delivered to the group of volunteers.

It was a night that I will never forget. Although I’ve served numerous VIPs during my “flying” career, including members of the royal families, Minister Mentor Lee Kwan Yew (then the PM of Singapore), I’ve never dreamt that I would get up close & personal with these groups of elite after I left the airline. But………
At the APEC Appreciation Dinner, not only I got to shake hands with our Singapore Prime Minister, I even got a photo shot with him! It was no easy task at all with his strong entourage of body guards around him. Plus, there were probably hundreds of volunteers in the ballroom trying to get close to him.

I was the lucky few who got a handshake from PM Lee & gosh, it was such a nippy affair that I couldn’t even give a proper smile. It's already past 3am as I'm writing this post & I'm still thrilled just to think about it. Besides receiving certificates for our efforts, the guests at the dinner also got a goodie bag & a heavy one too. In this Minister’s bag.......
(L-R): the Merlion stuff toy, a note pad with a pen engraved APEC Singapore 2009, a thumb drive, DVDs & the Leaders Week Meeting Handbook.
There’s also a A4 folder containing brochures & postcards of Singapore;
First Day Cover of APEC 2009 &
A polo-shirt with APEC “Spark” logo, which depicts the 21 APEC Member Economies coming together to convene at one single point, working towards unity, cooperation & synergy to advance common interests. Indeed, the spirit was still flying high at the dinner with the cheerful crowd. Volunteers of all races gathering at one common place, getting to know one another. I left the dinner happily, with the fondest memories, waiting for the next opportunity to volunteer……… May the spirit of volunteerism never dies!


  1. Wow! This is certainly worth remembering about.

  2. That's sure such an awesome event to remember and be excited about for days. You are sure one lucky one. At least you managed a sweet smile. I would look lost...LOL

  3. Yeap, Im back! You look great in that photo. So.... did you wash your hand after that? hahaha.... I still remember when the last time I shake hand with the Perak Stae Raja Muda (consider as Prince!) and also Sultan. A little excitement in the beginning but totally forgotten everything afterward. I did wash my hand though! haha....

  4. D. Simplicity, couldn't sleep all nite. LOL!

    Mary, I looked like I was out of breath. Hahaha@

    Little Space, my teenage son quickly held my hand when I told him about it :) Guess it's been a long time since I last got so close to a World Leader.

  5. Oh! That must be so exciting. I have never even been near a world leader. What a great experience.

  6. Wow, what an experience! You look great. Have a wonderful week, my dear :)


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