Thousands of co-operators come together as one in Singapore

14 Jun 2012

 

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Thousands of co-operators and families danced, walked and read together as part of the Co-opaliciouz event in Singapore.
 
In celebration of the International Year of Co-operatives, the Singapore National Co-operative Federation (SNCF), held the largest gathering of co-operative members in Singapore’s history.
 
Co-opaliciouz took place on 9 June and was launched by the President of Singapore, Tony Tan Keng Yam.
 
The theme of the event was ‘Coming together as One’ and around 15,000 people took part. It was set up to raise awareness of the Singapore co-operative movement of which one out of three Singapore residents are members.
 
Ms Dolly Goh, SNCF Chief Executive Officer, said they were proud to bring so many people together, she added: “Through this milestone celebration of the IYC, we hope to raise public awareness of the spirit and value of co-operative social enterprises, as a regulated model of self-help and a viable layer in Singapore’s multi-layered social safety net.”
 
Co-opaliciouz started with 6,000 co-operators and their families from 42 co-operatives participating in a family fun walk. The walk started at Tanjong Rhu and finished at Marina Barrage, where representatives proceeded on stage to place flags and of logos of their co-operatives.
 
The event was also the launch of Singapore’s first-ever co-operative stamps, which celebrate 86 years of co-operatives in the country.
 
Five limited edition stamps were commissioned by SNCF and issued by SingPost, which trace the legacy of the co-operative movement, focusing on milestones from the founding of the co-op principles in Rochdale, 1844, to the birth of the Singapore National Co-operative Federation in 1980 and finishing with the 2012 IYC.
 
“We are delighted to have partnered SingPost to produce Singapore’s first-ever set of legal tender stamp series, as this gives sterling recognition to the significance of the co-operative movement’s impact on society,” said Mr Chan Tee Seng, SNCF Chairman.
 
The event also saw the release of the second of four books on co-operative values published by SNCF and written by award winning author, Emily Lim called “Little Otter Goes Fishing”.
 
The first of the series of books, “A Very Big Storm”, was read out in a chorus reading with the 15,000 participants, lead by Minister of State, Halimah Yacob. Both books are available for download on the iPhone, iPad and Android platforms from Apple App Store and Android Marketplace.
 
The event finished with a spectacular choreographed dance and song locally composed for Co-opaliciouz, where all 15,000 people waved light sticks and danced together to celebrate the IYC. The dance culminated in a three minute firework extravaganza that played in symphony with the Co-opaliciouz music theme.
 
SNCF was founded in 1980 with the aim of changing Singapore’s co-operative movement, it represents 99 percent of co-op members through its 67 affiliated co-operatives. It has a base of over one million members.
 
Picture: Singapore President Tony Tan Keng Yam with Mr Chan Tee Seng, SNCF Chairman.