PM Lee launches book celebrating WEC's 50 years
A commemorative book was launched by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at a gala lunch on Saturday celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Women's Executive Committees (WEC).
Titled 50 Years Of Sugar, Spice & Selfless Sacrifice, it captures the key milestones of WECs over the decades and features heartwarming stories of the members' contributions.
Dr Amy Khor, adviser to the Women's Integration Network (WIN) Council, told about 1,000 WEC volunteers: "You have added 'sugar' and 'spice' to community life in the form of personal kindness to make life a little sweeter for the less-privileged residents and through the vibrancy and richness from the varied programmes and experiences WECs bring to the table."
The council is the coordinating body of all WECs.
In his speech, Mr Lee noted that the WECs have played a valuable role in building the community by promoting women's participation and leadership in society.
He said: "You embody the spirit of 'selfless sacrifice' that helps Singaporeans succeed, and that should inspire many others to help one another succeed."
The book was conceptualised, designed and produced by Think Inc (thinktnp.com) and The New Paper.
The first WEC was started in 1967 at Bukit Ho Swee Community Centre, and it was spearheaded by pioneer woman MP Chan Choy Siong. Today, there are 104 WECs with close to 2,500 members.
"We have come very, very far since then," said Dr Khor, who is Senior Minister of State for Health and Environment and Water Resources.
They now hope to groom more women community leaders for the future, and a new $1,000 WIN-WEC Scholarship was awarded to 10 female students from the Institute of Technical Education.
Ms Joanna Portilla, 45, chairman of the WIN Council, told reporters that the WECs have been working hard to attract more young women over the years.
"It is not easy, but we have seen our fruits of labour blossom, and we now have the Young Ladies Clubs for girls to see what WECs are about," she said.
Miss Rosepriya Chidambaram, who is the youngest volunteer featured in the book, has served at Zhenghua Community Centre since she was 15.
Now 23, she is the assistant secretary of her WEC, vice-chairman of her Youth Executive Committee and chairman of her WEC's Young Ladies Club.
The bank analyst told TNP: "I feel happy and proud to be featured. It is definitely a moment to cherish, as my late grandmother, my mother and I have all been a part of WEC's 50 years of journey."