Board members honoured for contributions to Hindu community
In his early years serving the Hindu community here, Mr Bala Subramanion would go from door to door, soliciting funds for the refurbishment of the Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple in Serangoon Road.
The 102-year-old Mr Bala, who was Singapore's first Asian postmaster-general, also devoted his free time to other community projects such as the renovation of the Sri Sivan Temple at its former location in Orchard Road.
Yesterday, he was among those recognised for their contributions at a dinner to mark the 50th anniversary of the Hindu Endowments Board.
The dinner, at the Marina Mandarin, was part of a series of initiatives to celebrate the board's golden jubilee this year. More than 80 former and current members of the board, as well as the Hindu Advisory Board, were honoured for laying the groundwork for the vibrant growth of the community here.
The community has come a long way, said Mr Bala, who used to sit on the advisory board, which was established in 1985 to advise the Government and the endowments board on matters of the Hindu religion and customs.
"I am proud of what we have done over the years for those in need."
Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, who presented tokens of appreciation to these members at the event, said many have worked hard "to make things better than what you saw and to elevate the lives of Hindus".
"It is an intense type of volunteering, frequent and often in the forefront," he added.
He added that the two boards have provided "quiet, steady and critically important leadership in the Hindu community" over the years.
Mr Tharman also commended the Hindu community leaders for playing an active role in promoting inter-faith harmony, including nurturing strong networks with their other faith counterparts.
"Inter-ethnic and inter-faith tensions are a heightened feature of today's world.
"For us in Singapore, that must mean that we put even more effort into cultivating peace and harmony and building social trust," he said.