Sat 12 Nov 2011 – Raffles Museum Toddycats engaged almost 1,000 members of the public at Yishun Pond Rejuvenated in the grounds of the Khoo Teck Puat hospital! It was a wonderfully exciting day for all of us as we showcased some of Singapore’s amazing natural heritage through museum specimens.
As usual, while setting up, passer-bys were intrigued by the specimens and a few even asked if the specimens were on sale. Sorry, no, these are not alternative medicinal products!!
Though it was the re-launch of the freshwater Yishun Pond, we inserted a mangrove and marine theme – after all, it still aquatic and we have lovely stories! And we sold some of Junuis’ native wildlife paper crafts which families loved!
There was a constant stream of people so we were busy, busy, busy! The many new volunteers in our midst received their baptism of fire – and they were enthusiastic. They actively engaged the public and found that they were intrigued and surprised that Singapore still had such a diversity of animals. Yes, happiness! Our mission to educate and enthuse met once again!
Light, mid-day showers threatened so we switched to an indoor venue with volunteers ensuring none of the precious specimens got wet. We have an important responsibility to ensure these specimens last longer than we will on this planet, and indeed many are older than us!
Rain did not dampen the guides’ spirits nor the crowds. We took a brief respite then continued with renewed passion, taking specimens out for people to have a closer look!
We must have talked to almost 1,000 people over a period of 6 hours, phew! Guides were actively interacting with the public, exciting many children and adults about the biodiversity of Singapore with the brave ones touching the specimens.
Thanks to the team of enthusiastic volunteers who ranged from high school to undergrads and graduate students, alumni and working adults, the new guides who came for their training in the evening after work and school and prepared well for this event – Pang Wei Han, David Tan, Jocelyne Sze, Lim Kim Yong, Junius Soh, Chong Jun Hien, Chia Pei Ying, Foo Fang Fang, Eileen Lim, Kong Ching Wan, Ng Qi Qi, Sarah Seo, Germaine Leng, Nandini Srinivasan, Teo Kah Ming, Robert Lasley, Maxine Mowe and Seok Teng.
Thanks to Junius and Jun Hien who gladly transported the specimens from NUS to Khoo Teck Puat hospital – real early mind you, because we were ready for show time at 8am! And thanks to Kelvin Lim from the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, for the support with the specimen preparation as always!
For more photos of this event, see the facebook album of photos here.
Passionate about nature and the environment? Join us at Geylang East Library next, on 10 December 2011. And we are recruiting volunteers, always!