Joelle and Peter say “Thank you Toddycats!” – for the awesome effort at the Festival of Biodiversity!

As the dust settles over the Festival of Biodiversity and we huddle over debriefs and enjoy the photos, all of us want to congratulate the priceless contribution and enthusiastic performance of the volunteers from various groups who were there.

Debby Ng of Pulau Hantu, who is veteran guide at such festivals, tweeted that she teared over the spirit of enthusiasm and joy which greeted the public there.

In Toddycats, many of the young team served on recent exhibitions at NUS Open House and Faculty of Science Alumni Day. Those smaller events were a warm up to this very large Festival on 14-14 Jul 2013 @ Vivocity by NParks and the Biodiversity Roundtable, which was so much larger, it threatened to overwhelm us at some point.

In the end, several thousand members of public were provided an insight to biodiversity from the comfort of a shopping centre each day. Mission accomplished, and this is just the beginning!

Festival of Biodiversity 2013 Day 2 (14 July 2013) - a set on Flickr

As we reflect on the many people who helped, Toddycats coordinator Dr Joelle Lai who worked tirelessly over two days, wrote to the Toddycats:

“Hello Toddycats!

It has been a hectic weekend, but what a weekend! Thank you all for coming forward and putting yourselves out there to promote Singapore’s wonderful natural heritage to visitors at the Festival of Biodiversity!

Right now, I have a list of special mentions here. Thanks go out to:

The Transport & Logistics team for coming ahead and staying behind each day of the festival to help us set up and pack! Desmond and his awesome Hiace van kept our specimens safe and dry, especially on Sunday when it rained on the way to and back from Vivocity. Marcus Chua drove the the department pick up truck. Between the two vehicles we had plenty of room to transport everything we needed!

Chee Kong, Bin Qi from TMSI happened to drop by to show support for FoB and were arrowed on the spot to help with the show and tell trolley. 🙂 Thanks for being the “Last-minute-kena-nominated” guides. It was much appreciated!

Toddy cats who turned up unannounced to help out – Christopher, Benjamin, November, Airani, Wei Han, and most (if not all) of you for staying way beyond your allocated shifts to help when we were overwhelmed by visitors.

I never thought I’d see the day but Ivan and David talked till their voices were hoarse!

Maxine and Jonathan for anchoring the Microscope Station! It was quite a huge hit with everyone! They just loved peering down the microscope and seeing little copepods zipping about in the petri dishes. Hooray for plankton!

Photographers Marcus Ng, Kenneth Pinto and Andy Dinesh for capturing the action at the festival. Our flickr sets (Day 1 & Day 2) comprises almost a thousand photos.

If you have pictures and want to contribute to the set, please send them to me via

Chay Hoon, Weiting and Tze Kwan for anchoring the workshops at Kopsia corner. It was very popular with the little ones!

Ria Tan for having generously supplied us with the fun and furry festival mascots which added lots of colour and good cheer!

Siva, Weiting and Tze Kwan for helping out with the planning and logistics involved. The festival would not be possible without you.

You guys did the museum proud and were shining ambassadors for RMBR. We couldn’t have asked for a better bunch of people to represent us. There were plenty of compliments from members of the public who noted the Toddycats made the difference by guiding them through the various specimens on display. The positive energy emanating from you was infectious!

Thanks everyone!”


And Museum director Professor Peter Ng immediately responded,

“Hi Joelle

Please send my thanks and regards to your whole team! They have done a FANTASTIC job … From what I saw, and from what various folks have been giving me feedback – the museum team has had an extraordinarily successful outing. So congrats and a job very very well done!!!!!



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