HMCS Winnipeg furthers community relations in Singapore

MS Kevin Simons joins in a sports activity at the Ang Mo Kio Training and Development Centre.

MS Kevin Simons joins in a sports activity at the Ang Mo Kio Training and Development Centre.

Padre Matthew Squires, HMCS Winnipeg ~

Eighteen members of HMCS Winnipeg shared the June 2 morning with residents and staff of the Ang Mo Kio Training and Development Centre (AMK TDC) as a community relations initiative in support of Poseidon Cutlass 17.

Ang Mo Kio is one of six training and development centres run by an organization in Singapore named the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled (MINDS). It is the mission of MINDS to provide care, improve well-being, and facilitate the cognitive development of Singaporeans in need.

This is not the first time the Royal Canadian Navy has been involved in supporting MINDS. In January 2016, 17 members of Winnipeg visited the Fernvale Gardens School during Operation Reassurance, and during WESTPLOY 2016 HMCS Vancouver visited the Eunos Training and Development Centre.

The morning began with a briefing by Isaac Loh, AMK TDC Training Officer. Loh’s brief raised awareness of the Centre’s work and provided situational awareness in preparation for the sailor’s morning with the clients. Half of the crew volunteered their time conducting much-needed maintenance on the facility, while the other half joined the clients in a nature walk coupled with sports activities.

Upon completion of the morning, the crew distributed goodie bags prepared by Swee Leng Ng, Public Affairs Officer of the High Commission of Canada in Singapore. Each goodie bag was distributed with pride, testifying to Canadian generosity while displaying a Canada 150 logo.

When reflecting on his time with the residents of the Centre Leading Seaman Kyle Pillar said, “As members of the CAF we have the ability to provide aid and care to those in need, whether the need be big or small. Spending the morning with the kids at the Ang Mo Kio Training and Development Centre was a fantastic opportunity to provide assistance and care where it was needed, while hopefully bringing joy to at least one of the kids that day.”

The actions and attitudes of sailors such as LS Pillar speak to a greater tone seemingly evident throughout Winnipeg’s visit to Singapore.

During a reception hosted by Winnipeg that included attendees representing the Southeast Asian Young Leaders’ Programme, guests had the privilege of hearing an address by Canada’s Chief of Defence Staff, General Jonathan Vance. Gen Vance set the tone by reminding every individual on the flight deck that evening of the need for more values-based leaders within Canada and throughout world.

A significant aspect of Poseidon Cutlass 17 is about shaping Royal Canadian Navy leaders of all ranks, while further deepening international relationships among prominent leaders within a global climate that is desperate for ­values-based leaders. Each community relation event contributes to that mission.

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