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“Precious Gems 20″ – Reflections
27 December 2017

We celebrated HCA’s 2017 long service awards on 8th December with a mini year end party, right within our premises in our HCA auditorium. 12 HCA staff who have together dedicated nearly a century of service to HCA – a total of 90 years to be exact, received long service awards. The longest service award was for 15 years of service. It was a joyous occasion, with plenty of food, drinks, laughter and merry making. However, the joy was short lived.

Just five days later, we lost our staff who received the longest service award. He had passed away suddenly. Some of us were shocked, many of us in tears, as we tried to absorb his sudden passing. I am glad we gave him the opportunity to say a few words at the award ceremony, which included a poignant farewell to all of us, as he was due to retire at the end of December. But I am sad that he did not get the chance to enjoy his retirement – he was so looking forward to a well deserved break and to spend time with his wife, with his grandson.

We held a simple memorial service the following Monday, observing a minute of silence for our dear colleague. Some of us shared past memories, anecdotes and cherished thoughts of our time with him. Tears continued to flow during the memorial service. We wrote notes and pinned them onto a heart made of pink strings. We recorded the entire service, so that we could hand it to the family.

Life can hand us rude shocks and we may be gone in a wink. Death is inevitable and no one is spared. I am reminded to do what I need to do today and to say “I love you” to my loved ones today. Here is a gentle reminder to each of you – do the same as me, do not wait till tomorrow. Live life to the fullest! Although it is a sad event, we rejoice that our colleague is now in a better place! May he rest in peace!

I give thanks to God everyday for everything, for such a wonderful team to work with at HCA, for our donors, volunteers and friends, and most importantly, for the opportunity to help our beneficiaries. Mother Teresa said this: Give your hands to Serve and your hearts to Love. To the 12 special people who received their long service awards – thank you for making our patients’ lives better, our workplace more fun and for inspiring us to do the same.

I take this opportunity to thank everyone for all your hard work and your relentless spirit of dedication. Wishing you in advance, a happy and healthy 2018!