Safra membership doubles to over 600,000
Club will be turning 'smart' with help from technology to stay relevant
Safra's membership has almost doubled to over 600,000 this year, partly because of the one-year complimentary membership offered in 2017 as part of the NS50 Recognition Package.
Senior Minister of State for Defence and Safra deputy president Maliki Osman revealed the figures during the 14th Safra Awards yesterday. The dinner at Safra Mount Faber also marked Safra's 45th anniversary.
Dr Maliki said that by using the facilities and taking part in Safra events, NSmen can share their national service experiences with their families, thus allowing them to foster greater loyalty to Singapore.
"The realisation that they serve to defend their loved ones brings the whole family closer together with a deeper sense of shared conviction on the importance of NSmen's service to the nation," he said.
Dr Maliki added that Safra "has to constantly evolve and reinvent itself to stay relevant and be at the forefront of meeting NSmen's needs as their preferred lifestyle club".
To this end, Safra aims to transform into "smart clubs" through technology, making it easier for members to use its facilities and access information on the Internet.
Members have access to facilities such as the indoor water playground at Safra Punggol, and the NurtureStars Preschool centre present in all Safra clubs as well as events such as the Safra Singapore Bay Run and Army Half Marathon.
At yesterday's event, 77-year-old retiree Yip Hoi Kee received the long-service award for his 45 years of membership.
The founding member of the Safra Photographic Club, set up in 1972, joined Safra because of his passion for photography.
"I wanted to teach so others would have an easier time learning photography. So I joined as a photography instructor," said Mr Yip, who was a technical officer before retirement.
He stopped being an instructor around the year 2000.
It was also announced at the dinner that the We Salute Our NSmen campaign has surpassed its goal of 50,000 salutes.
The campaign, which began in June, encouraged the public to salute national servicemen they know or meet in their daily lives.
More than 250,000 salutes were garnered via social media and interactive photo kiosks set up across the island.
Defence Minister and chairman of the Safra Board of Governors, Dr Ng Eng Hen, was the guest of honour.