Highest award for retiree who continues to volunteer

Tamil Murasu © SPH Media Limited. Permission required for reproduction.

Capt. Suresh Menon retired after 43 years as a pilot with Singapore Airlines. However, after retirement he continued to set aside time for under-privileged children. 

In 1997 he got the Airline Pilots Association Singapore to adopt the Singapore Children’s Society’s Convalescent Home (now known as Sunbeam Place) as a preferred charity. His main focus was in fundraising and organizing at least 2 functions a year for these underprivileged children.

Together with his colleagues in the Association, Capt Suresh even organized for the children to visit the Singapore Airlines Training Centre and gave the children the unique experience of “flying” on simulators. 

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Capt. Suresh said the Society was doing everything they could do to help the children in Sunbeam Place, where the children call ‘home,” to lessen the effects of the multiple restrictions in place for these children.

The children in this Home are mainly abandoned by their families or come from disadvantaged family backgrounds. While these restrictions have to be imposed as per government regulations, the Society is cognizant of addressing the childrens’ continued mental and physical well-being.

The Home also undertakes driving tours around Singapore for these children as an outlet.

One of the older children in the Home wanted to know what it takes to be a pilot. 67- year -old Capt. Suresh made the time for a video call to share with the boy his own experience and what it takes to become a pilot.

“Our long term wish is for these children to be reunited with their parents and live in a safe environment or to be nurtured by foster parents.’’

“I feel happy and fulfilled just doing my little bit so these kids can have a strong foundation in life” added Capt. Suresh.

He was awarded the Singapore Children’s Society’s highest service award, the ‘’Ruth Wong” Award. This award is given to volunteers who have made outstanding contributions for at least 10 years. Patron of the Society, President Halimah Yacob presented the award to Capt. Suresh Menon.

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