EEEAA 16th Annual General Meeting at Gardens by the Bay on 15 September 2012
It was a beautiful and sunny Saturday afternoon on 15 September 2012. NTU EEE Alumni Association (EEEAA) held its 16th Annual General Meeting (AGM) under the towering supertrees at the picturesque Gardens by the Bay. It was another very successful AGM as members gathered in the Hill Street Coffee Shop @ SuperTree Dining in the spirit of fun, friendship, family and shared memories. The venue for this year’s AGM attracted huge interest and participation, with 103 adults and children (yet not counting many more bubbly babies present). At the same time, it was a bold undertaking for the EEEAA Executive Committee (Exco) given some of the physical constraints. The meeting took place in the cosy air-conditioned in-door coffee shop with old-town themed interior. However, being a coffee shop after all and one without audio systems or projector facilities, it was almost the last place anyone would think of for a large scale formal meeting.
Yet the talented Exco did it again and accomplished another impossible mission; they demonstrated their creativity and highly executional competency by crafting the AGM in the form of a “silent meeting”. Booklets covering the agenda of the AGM with detailed contents and instructions were printed and distributed to meeting attendees. Table representatives were appointed to display flashcards to mediate the flow of the meeting. The items were duly passed and the proceedings went as smooth as silk which was truly amazing. Not to forget, concurrently there were lovely children running about chasing EEEAA balloons while sumptuous dim sum dishes were being served. Even the VIP, Prof Kam Chan Hin, who took time to grace the event, was impressed by the stunt.
The formal part of day ended briskly. After all, not everyone is a fan for long meetings. The Exco, so far, designed all of its recent AGMs with that in mind as they strived to provide relevance to all its members. It is the same spirit that will be passed along to the newly elected 16th Executive Committee led by the President, Hendri Zhang.
With great food comes the responsibility of great work-outs and with the completion of the AGM responsibilities, the new Exco showed that they not only work hard but they play hard too. After all participants mingled and posed for photo-takings, tickets to visit the famous “domes” - the conservatories were being distributed. Frontier by the open nature of the AGM, people quickly formed themselves into groups amongst newly formed friends and table buddies at the AGM. The informal settings allowed participants to explore the recently launched cite with excitement and interaction with fellow EEEAA members and their family. All participants proceeded with a leisure stroll to the conservatories for the free-and-easy tour. The Exco did not lag too far behind. After clearing all post-AGM issues, they quickly joined the participants.
The route began at the Supertree grove as they walked towards the Cloud Forest. The group got excited to learn that 11 Supertrees were embedded with photovoltaic cells to harvest solar energy. For a minute they were transported back to the lecture theatres in NTU before their family got them back to appreciate the natural beauty of the place!
The short walk led us to the real adventure at the Cloud Forest. The entrance enthralled us with the world’s tallest indoor waterfall at the entrance giving a jungle forest type of ambience to the whole place. We knew that a treat awaited us that evening! The place portrayed a 35 metre tall mountain covered in lush vegetation and plants groom tropical highlands upto 2000 metres above sea level. It was even more fantastic to notice the newly developed camaraderie amongst EEEAA members as they walked side by side to take notice of exotic plants and helping each other and their families to capture scenic pictures. As we ascended the “mountain”, we saw various plants, orchids, bromeliads and even carnivorous pitcher plants! From the peak we walked down in awe to be fascinated by a stunning display of Stalactites and Stalagmites. The makers knew the constituents of a good hill station and left no stone unturned to recreate important elements with impressive attention to detail. The place ended with a model of the Gardens by the Bay and interesting facts showing how the discarded plant matter is being regenerated as fuel for biomass furnace which generates energy to cool the air in both conservatories. This is what EEEAA called Clean Energy!
Following the refreshing tour from the cool-moist environment, the group proceeded to the next aspect of the tour – the Flower Dome. It is probably one of the most romantic settings and definitely a place where the ladies enjoyed their most! The place enthralled members with colourful flowers from the Mediterranean regions, South Africa, California, Spain and Italy. This dome is also home to plants from deserts all over the world. The highlight is its flower field which reflects seasons, festivals and themes. A number of photography enthusiasts amongst EEEAA members got busy clicking and the big group slowly separated as each spent different time focusing on subjects of their interest and appreciation. There is a flower that touches every heart and it was difficult to stay focussed at one particular place as the contrast and sheer number of flowers kept the eyes wavering. What makes the place even more spectacular was the backdrop of the Singapore Flyer and the Marina skyline! It was as if Singapore had transformed itself into a Mediterranean paradise!
To watch the sun set and stars glimmer with the view of the Singapore skyline at night, the place justified itself as the right choice for the EEEAA AGM. The group slowly bid farewell to friends, colleagues and Exco members, and many were anticipating for future events. The Exco quickly huddled for debrief of the day’s event and collate feedbacks from the participants before leaving for a group dinner. Whilst everyone was exhausted from the day’s activities, all members have one common feeling amongst them. It was that this event, like every other EEEAA AGMs, was a grand success and a feather in the committee’s cap!
Written by: Zheng Yongmian and Raman Bhadhri Prasad
Edited by: May Lim