THE SALOME DE DECKER AWARD

This award in her name is presented each year to an FOM volunteer who has quietly and positively given time and skills to the Society and who "models" the values to which we all aspire-teamwork, respect, giving freely, growing through service to others. Salome provided the criteria for nominating and selecting each recipient. She respected all volunteerism and recognised that the majority of volunteers work quietly, without seeking status or recognition. The recipients should be FOM volunteers who: have volunteered within FOM for a minimum of 12 months; whose contributions have been valuable in terms of quantity and quality; who have volunteered within the 'spirit' of FOM team work, respecting others, giving freely, growing through volunteering; and volunteers who do not hold key positions in the Society and who do not seek status or recognition at the time the award is presented. She believed each recipient receives the award on their own merit and would represent the many others who contribute in the same way. The award would be made annually over a 10-year period.
An FOM award be presented each year to a "quiet, high-contributing" volunteer.

In 2004 Salome was honoured for her volunteer contributions by the National Volunteer Centre. The year she received this honour, a number of the awardees received sculptures created by artist Victor Tan. Salome loved his work and following her death, Victor Tan was invited to design a sculpture inspired by Salome's life. Originally an oil painter, Victor Tan has sculpted with wire since losing his eyesight in his mid-20s. For him, creating sculpture is "about healing, about seeking happiness, about contemplation, about finding meanings in life."

RECIPIENTS OF THE SALOME DE DECKER AWARD

Ann Mehrman has been the FOM Flash Coordinator for the past 2.5 years. Working tirelessly in the background, Ann has ensured that the FOM Flash goes out on a timely basis every fortnight (irrespective of where she is in the world!), and is up-to-date so members do not miss out any key information. Her proactive efforts have led to many improvements in the FOM Flash production and delivery process.

As the managing editor of PASSAGE since 2011, Andra Leo’s ceaseless efforts have ensured that FOM’s bi-monthly magazine appears on time and offers a wide variety of topics from current exhibitions to broad-based scholarly essays, plus all the FOM internal news that members like to read. The beautifully designed magazine with quality content, run entirely by volunteers, is a testament to Andra’s dedication to professionalism in publishing. Thanks to Andra’s keen focus, this exciting and engrossing magazine could hold its own among international publications of the same nature.

Ellen Rosenkranz joined FOM shortly after arriving in Singapore in 2004, volunteered in the FOM office for three years, and trained to guide at SAM in 2007.  She has been a regular participant in the blockbuster exhibitions at the National Museum of Singapore, where Ellen made her mark in the often-thankless job of docent scheduler, patiently cajoling docents to sign up for their tours and record their post-tour statistics; and when a tour went unfilled, Ellen could be counted on to guide the tour herself.

During her 12 years in Singapore, Mandy Bailey made a point to explore the many layers of Singapore’s culture and to share this knowledge with FOM’s members, both Singaporean and expatriate.  As the leader of the Explore Singapore! team, she has been a reliable and diligent volunteer, enhancing the community’s knowledge of Singapore’s history, culture and art.

Guide, mentor, and teacher, Helen Khoo has spent countless hours supporting the docents in the Asian Civilisations Museum. Ever humble, Helen said she would only accept the award on behalf of all the other hardworking FOM docents.

Maureen Hellspong has been the glue that has held the SAM docents together since the museum’s opening in 1996.  From serving on various committees to mentoring, lecturing and always being willing to contribute to a new project, Maureen is the epitome of the high-contributing volunteer.

For 25 years, Vatsala Mohandas has embodied FOM’s mission to enhance the community’s knowledge of Asian history, culture and art through her work to programme the Monday Morning Lectures. In addition to her leadership of the Monday Lectures, Vatsala has led Study Groups, Explore Singapore! visits to Indian temples, Study Tours to Kerala, India, and presented various docent training lectures.

Mae Chong and Constance Ong met each other during their ACM docent training in 2003, when Salome de Decker served on their training team. Since then, they have both been dedicated guides at the ACM, NMS and TPM. They have led numerous study and research groups, worked on children’s' programmes, guided special exhibitions, and chaired countless initiatives.

Liesel Strauss was a constant presence in the Asian Civilisations Museum as well as a guide outside the museum, who introduced members to such sites as Fort Canning Hill and to such people as the Sam Sui women who helped build Singapore.  Merrily Chiam, in the challenging role of editor, quietly and diligently produced the FOM newsletter from 2004 to 2008 and published the weekly FOM Flash e-newsletter from 2005 to 2013.

A dedicated and intrepid volunteer in FOM’s library, Teresa ensured that FOM members had access to many out-of-print and hard to find books and was always able to offer insightful assistance to members doing research for upcoming exhibitions or overseas tours

A long-time SAM docent, Birgita Sherman was also a devoted guide in the Children’s Discovery Gallery in the old Singapore History Museum, introducing Singapore’s history and culture to very young children with entertaining and engaging tours.

The original textile enthusiast, Jan Thompson opened countless eyes to the magic and wonder contained in woven art. Whether through her museum tours or her insightful lectures, Jan’s love of Asian fabrics was infectious.