International Women's Day

Marching to Our Own Beat

Singapore Women’s Hall of Fame 2016 Inductees together with Mrs Mary Tan and Malathi Das.

18th March 2016 was the day we inducted another 14 outstanding women into the Singapore Women’s Hall of Fame (SWHF) at our International Women’s Day Celebration.

With the 2016 theme, “Marching to Our Own Beat” being such an appropriate theme to honour these 14 Inspiring Women comprising two Supreme Court Judges, six Sportswomen, two Food Personalities, a Diplomat, an Activist/Advocate, a Medical Aid Worker and a Community/Social Worker. These women truly exemplified the evening’s theme.

The Celebration started with The MINDS Taiko Drum Troupe rousing welcome performance for our Guest of Honour, Mrs Mary Tan, Patron of SCWO, and a little later on, The Singapore Symphony Children’s Choir gave a delightful performance.

From left to right: Eleanor Clunies-Ross, Malathi Das, Mrs Mary Tan, Mary Beatrice Klass, Janet Jesudason,Claudine Rodriguez (representing Gloria Beck)

For the honourees, it was an evening of reunion. Three of the four pioneering runners, Eleanor Clunies-Ross, Janet Jesudason, and Mary Klass, who ran together with Gloria Beck in the 1950s were delighted to reunite with each other after so long, especially since Janet and Eleanor now live overseas. Sadly, Gloria passed away recently in November 2015. We were very fortunate to unearth an old photograph from the 50s of the 4 amazing athletes together and we tried to recreate that same moment on stage – 60 years later, and for me, this was a very heart-warming and memorable moment. The months and days leading up to this wonderful event were tiring and at times, trying. But seeing the event come together and watching this heartfelt reunion moment on stage, made it all worthwhile.

The other 2016 honourees were: Alice Pennefather, Ang Swee Chai, Aziza Ali, Jayalekshmi Mohideen, Judith Prakash, Lai Siu Chiu, May Wong, Tan Cheng Hiong, Tan Yoon Yin, Violet Oon.

Denise Balhetchet
SCWO Programme Executive


“My experience as a volunteer at the SCWO International Women’s Day Gala Dinner 2016 was both interesting and rewarding. For me, one of the best parts of the evening was being able to meet and work with fellow SCWO volunteers who come from such diverse backgrounds in terms of culture, age group and occupation. It was gratifying to see the event coming together with each person playing their respective roles, be it as ushers, raffle ticket sellers or photographers. As a designated Raffle Girl, I made my way around the ballroom selling raffle tickets and encountered several interesting people. There was the well-dressed gentleman who jovially persuaded his entire table to purchase raffle tickets after making his own purchase. There was the husband of one of the SWHF inductees, who was so immensely proud of his wife and just could not stop talking about her. And there were the many visitors from abroad who were so clearly pleased to be at the event and keen to show their support in any way possible. My interactions with the guests as well as fellow volunteers and staff, made me realise that it truly does take the support of an entire community to achieve gender equality and empower individuals, both men and women, to continuously pursue excellence in their fields.”

Isabelle Oh

SWHF Heritage Walk


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