singapore st andrew’s society e-news: april 2018

chieftain’s cheerio from the AGM

Arriving in Singapore nine years ago, one of the first things I did was join the St Andrew’s Society.  I joined the committee that year, but due to family circumstances I had to withdraw. However, the connections and friends I started to make back then and continued to make through the Society have subsequently become my family away from home. We all know the amazing opportunities living here, but it’s not without its challenges. Being remote from home, there have been times this family has been invaluable.
It really has been an honour to be a custodian of the Society and I cannot imagine anything in the future matching this last year. For me, it really kicked off with the 2017 Burns Supper, then many of us had a great time with the Rugby 7s. In July we had the full squad over for the international against Italy which they convincingly won. As the summer months drew in we had a fabulous wee shindig on the amazing Albatross cruise. 
Prior to the ball, Chilean ambassador James Sinclair hosted us at his beautiful residence. We entertained sponsors, supporters and committee members with partners as a thank you for all their contributions. The ball itself was a huge success, with tweaks here and there to enhance what has already become an institution on the Singapore social calendar. Attendance was over 400 and the atmosphere incomparable. 
The 2018 Burns supper also saw a few changes by moving to the Shangri-La and investing in some substantial new Burns décor. We danced to the winners of the Scottish traditional band awards, Trail West. We had over 300 in attendance, so once again utterly delighted to have such a turn out when so many expats are departing these shores. 
My final event was memorable and, fittingly for someone from Stornoway, the weather played its part in whether we’d sail or not. The weather gods and me willing the storms to shift to Malaysia paid off and 50 of us had a fantastic afternoon on the magnificent Eaglewings catamaran. A few off the lads from the Scotland rugby 7s squad joined us and thankfully remained in one piece despite throwing themselves 100% into the water sports on offer!
The golf outings have continued each month, their enjoyment only to be surpassed by the write ups. Thanks to the inimitable Colin McDonald for the entertainment and long may it continue so we see some new ideas for the golf section come to fruition. With Bridge and Scottish Country dancing being our other staples, thanks to all the convenors who give up their time and energy in organising these for our members and guests. 
We have already given annual donations of $1,000 to The Boy’s Brigade and $5,000 to The Gurkha Welfare Trust. Again this year we gave $2000 to Edringtons, for their charity cycle race for Kaohsiung Autism Foundation, a local non-profit organization based in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
Now that we’ve balanced the books, additional charitable donations of just over $12k are going to the following organisations: another $5k to the Gurkha Welfare Trust; $3k to Voices for Animals.; Guide Dogs for the Blind $2k and Assisi Hospice $2k
My thanks to our Tartan sponsors British Airways; IFS, Asian Tigers Mobility, The British Club, Eastern Carpets and Highlander Bar as well as Thistle Sponsors Grant Property and Edrington’s.
Most of all I wish to thank the committee and past chieftains for support and guidance given across the last 12 months. It's been truly appreciated and could not have been done without you all. 
Of course, none of this would mean anything without the participation of our membership – your support has been phenomenal, so thank you. 
Slainte mhath 

Chieftain – Stephen Fulton
Co Vice Chieftains – Jamie McMichael-Phillps and Mary Macdonald
Honorary Secretary – Steve Ward
Honorary Treasurer – Alison Robb
Membership Secretary – Mary Macdonald (interim)
Immediate Past Chieftain – Marietta Nicholson
Communications Director – Elaine Young
Sponsorship Director – Elaine Cameron
Ordinary Member – Gordon Inkson (Legal Counsel)
Ordinary Member – Claire Lawrie (Events)
Ordinary Member – Stacey Geddes
Ordinary Member – Ally Garland
The Scottish Rugby Sevens squad graciously allowed us to watch one of their training sessions and play a game of Touch Rugby with the kids...
Sunday, 29rd April / meet and greet 
The Highlander Bar, Block 3B The Foundry #01-11 Clarke Quay 
After a weekend of rugby, come and (hopefully) celebrate the Scottish squad's success! Enjoy a welcome drink (choice of beer, wine or soft drink) and snacks plus an extended happy hour until 10.00pm. 

We will be have a section inside the bar, so if any children want to come along, they'll have to stay in the outside area. To have an idea of numbers and how much food to order, could you reserve your FREE place on peatix...

If you want to sit with us during the Sevens this weekend, we will be going for the category 1/level 3 seating options ( and sitting in the starred section below...

The time is March, the location Zao Onsen, Japan. Sitting at the bottom of a ski slope firmly clasping a snowball I wait patiently for my brother to appear. Although posed and ready I can’t help but notice the texture of this cold ball. Peering closer, I notice it consists of microbead-like snow flakes, nothing like one would see in the Alps. This is a distinguishing factor of Japanese snow and is increasingly why Japan is so famous for its powder snow, aptly marketed as “Japow”.
The moisture originates from the cold desert lands of Siberia. Upon reaching Japan snow forms with little to no liquid water content making for light, dry snow whereby the ratio of air pockets to snow flakes is much greater. This distinct compositional difference makes for the infamous powder, and snow forms only found here in Japan. Whilst Hokkaido is generally the most famous ski region, we were encouraged off the beaten track to Zao Onsen to experience this phenomena.
The promotor and advocate for our trip off the beaten track? Zao Onsen’s infamous kilt-wearing resident, Carl. Upon endeavouring to move to Japan, the difficulties of finding a house led Carl and his wife, Wakana to a unique alternative… running a pension. Pension’s are the Japanese answer to ski lodges whereby owners run the lodge for a living and was a true luxury. From cakes to mochi, shabu shabu to beef stew and an English breakfast to a Japanese fish breakfast, it was a culinary adventure. Whilst the hot baths and typical Japanese singing toilet made for a homely alternative.
Japan sits on the edge of the ring of fire shaping the distinctive landscape. Flat plains border mountain chains dotted with explosive, beautifully symmetrical conical volcanoes. This volatile landscape gives rise to one of the most ferocious forms of energy, geothermal, which fuels the infamous baths otherwise known as Onsen.
It was this that we were in search for as the sun set bathing the valley and mountains in an orange glow. Walking along the tiny streets steam abounded from little manholes, the setting was truly mystical. Onsen are typical Japanese baths, notorious for their health benefits where bathing is expected to be done naked. This makes for an interesting experience when the waters sit at a toasty 40 degrees Celsius, a mix of geothermal and cooler waters.

Upon leaving the Onsen we re-emerged into the town where the mixture of a starlit sky and air shrouded with mist made for an enchanting aura. Wandering down the street an inviting glow lead us into a doll shop. Here the most delicately painted and carved wooden statutes lined the shelves. We soon pursued onto the Sake museum. From dry to sweet, hot to cold the variety was incredible. Who knew rice was so incredibly versatile.
A culture so distinct in an age of globalisation and homogenisation Japan continues to stand out as a true enigma. Long may it continue to remain true to itself.

Review by Siobhan Hartnoll
Pension Brown:
Tel: +81 (0) 23-679-2970


These days, there are only a few needing to park by the ladies tee each month.

If you have a set of clubs and daren’t go out to play with the husband, then come and play with us! Every level is welcome, so sign up for the next outing!

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Contact Alison at to join.
All abilities are welcome and you don’t need a partner to play!
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Singapore St. Andrew's Society · C/- British Club · 73 Bukit Tinggi Rd · Singapore 289761 · Singapore

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