The Amer­i­can As­so­ci­a­tion of Sin­ga­pore ( AAS) turns 100 this year. We asked Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Man­ager MELINDA MUR­PHY for some in­sights into the or­gan­i­sa­tion and its cel­e­bra­tion plans.

Expat Living (Singapore) - - Life & Family -

One hun­dred years ago, in 1917, Sin­ga­pore wasn’t yet a coun­try. Much of the globe was em­broiled in World War I. Ma­hatma Gandhi led his first act of mass civil dis­obe­di­ence. Al­bert Ein­stein pub­lished his first pa­per on the ori­gin of the uni­verse. And the Amer­i­can As­so­ci­a­tion of Sin­ga­pore was formed! AAS has been more than just a so­cial club for its mem­bers these past ten decades, weath­er­ing events such as WWII and Sin­ga­pore’s sep­a­ra­tion from Malaysia. Through it all, the non-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion has been a home away from home for Amer­i­cans liv­ing in the Lion City. Its mis­sion is to en­hance, pro­mote and cel­e­brate Amer­i­can cul­ture among ex­pats from all coun­tries, and the Sin­ga­porean com­mu­nity. The as­so­ci­a­tion does that through so­cial events, char­i­ta­ble ac­tiv­i­ties and more.

Since its in­cep­tion, AAS has launched most of the Amer­i­can or­gan­i­sa­tions in Sin­ga­pore, be­gin­ning with the Amer­i­can Women’s As­so­ci­a­tion in 1935, among the first or­gan­i­sa­tions to ad­dress the needs of trail­ing spouses here. Next came the Amer­i­can Club (opened 1948), the Sin­ga­pore Amer­i­can School (1956), the Amer­i­can Cham­ber of Com­merce (1969) and, as a re­sponse to the world’s grow­ing drug prob­lem, the Sin­ga­pore Amer­i­can Com­mu­nity Ac­tion Coun­cil (1975). More was to fol­low, in­clud­ing the Boy Scout Troop 07 (1986) and a dragon boat team, the Amer­i­can Dragons (2005).

The com­mu­nity’s news­pa­per, the Sin­ga­pore Amer­i­can, has been in print since 1958, while AAS’S Liv­ing in Sin­ga­pore Ref­er­ence Guide is now in its 14th edi­tion. The Ca­reer Re­source Cen­ter of Ex­cel­lence was launched in 1998, to sup­port mem­bers in Sin­ga­pore’s chang­ing pro­fes­sional land­scape.

Over the past hun­dred years, AAS has been play­ing a role one way or the other in the lives of most Amer­i­cans liv­ing here.

A mile­stone like this calls for a ma­jor cel­e­bra­tion, so AAS will be tak­ing its com­mu­nity on a trip down mem­ory lane in the com­ing months. The cen­ten­nial year kicked off on 21 Jan­uary aboard a tall ship, the Royal Al­ba­tross, a nod to how most Amer­i­cans first ar­rived in Sin­ga­pore in the early days. In March, the Ge­orge Wash­ing­ton Cen­ten­nial Ball will have a 1920s and 30s feel with a Red, White & Ritz theme, cel­e­brat­ing the meet­ing of two cul­tures. (Ladies, don those flap­per dresses and cheongsams; gents, choose from vested tuxes and Tang suits – then cut a rug to the tunes of Johnny James!)

The Am­bas­sador’s Cup Golf Tour­na­ment will be held in the style of 1940s Sin­ga­pore, with play­ers sip­ping G&TS and play­ing a hole or two with wooden clubs. In­de­pen­dence Day will harken back to the 1950s, with ap­ple pie con­tests and bar­ber­shop quar­tets. Welcome Back will be a kid-friendly Wood­stock with a Sin­ga­pore twist, while Turkey Trot will have you dig­ging out your 80s track­suit, sweat bands and Walk­mans. Fi­nally, at Toys for Tots, chil­dren will make their own dec­o­ra­tions and try their hand at games from yes­ter­year.

Per­haps the most ex­cit­ing part of the cen­ten­nial cel­e­bra­tion is an AAS ini­tia­tive called “100 Acts of Char­ity”, a salute to the tra­di­tion of Amer­i­can char­ity work in Sin­ga­pore. The As­so­ci­a­tion is ask­ing com­mu­nity mem­bers, part­ners and friends to con­trib­ute to this ef­fort, which will be tracked on the AAS web­site and a spe­cial Face­book page. AAS wants peo­ple to know just how much the com­mu­nity has al­ways given back to Sin­ga­pore, their sec­ond home.

To get in­volved with these events and char­ity projects, log on to aasin­ga­pore.com.

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