It was a typical Saturday in Singapore, hot and humid, and the trains packed with commuters. But then you noticed something not so typical: everyone is wearing red, and then you realized: oh its Chinese New Year National Day!

The day started fairly quiet, the old folks having their lunch and the repairman fixing some wheelchairs. Rico was the 1st to arrive with her loads of food and the all important national day cake, with some help from her aunt. At the same time 3 big boxes of tapioca kueh were delivered by 2 generous sponsors. A big thank you! FYI the sponsors have a stall near Sharon place, so please support when you are in the area.

As more angels started arriving at the home, the preparation was well under way. Poh Yan was sighted fiddling with some foreign looking objects. He was acting rather mysteriously and decline to comment on his action. It was 20 minutes later then we realized what he was really up to. In a flash, he was transformed into Ironman (some would say dustbin-man but I digress) in his shiny new armor! I.am.really.impressed. You have my vote for the best dressed stall IC, Poh Yan.

After the fishing pool was filled up with water, it had to be moved due to bad feng shui, according to our feng shui master SK. It took the better of 6 angels to move the super heavy pool to like eh, 2 meters away?! After some spilling, slipping and adjusting, our feng shui master SK, finally looking satisfied, then proceeded with the fish freeing ceremony. However the fishes took some time to warm up as the pump was being fixed. It took a while but in the end our feng shui master SK magically fixed the pump and the fishes were by then happily chasing after one another.

Rico and Ming Yuet were overwhelmed with tons of food, but luckily help was readily available from the many volunteers who form a factory line churning out boxes of delicious snacks.

Hui Quan and Fiona faced some problems trying to put all the barang barang on display. Even the biggest table at Moral Home appeared tiny when loaded with the mountain of daily items. An additional table had to be added to display everything on sales.

In contrast the other stalls were setup without much fanfare, and all the stalls IC were raring to go. The time was 220pm and the dining area was filled with a sea of red shirts. There must be like over 40 volunteers? What a great turnout! There was a sense of excitement and anticipation in the air as the elderly took their seats. Each elderly was given 10 angel dollars and immediately their sights were set on the Mama shop, all ready to flaunt their new found wealth.

We began the carnival with the birthday cake. August babies (uncles in this case) were invited to share the limelight with our nation. I have no idea how the baker did it but the cake was yummy delicious! I’m sure I was not the only who ate more than my fair share.

After everyone had their fill, it was party time. Most elderly dashed (literally) for the Mama shop, not only to get their hands on the items, but also to catch a glimpse of our dashing Hui Quan in his sarong. Together with Fiona, they were doing some brisk business. In fact business was so good they had to restock! They elderly were really enjoying themselves, bargaining and filling up their shopping bags. Maybe we should set up a permanent Mama shop?

Other elderly were eager to explore the game stalls and grab some snacks at the food stall. I was really impressed by the quality and the variety of the snacks on offer. There were pastries, home made kueh kueh, and home made sandwiches. Thank you Ming Yuet and Rico. You should start a catering business for the monthly kopi roti corner.

Right beside the Mama shop is the Fishing Pool. It is similar to the fishing game the elderly play every week, but with a twist: added water and moving fish. The elderly seems to enjoy it but maybe the moving fishes made their dizzy. Xiao Xuan can be heard shouting from miles away to save her dwindling business.

The Casino was buzzing with elderly eager to try their luck. Although the elderly are well into their 70s and 80s, their mind are still as sharp and easily put most angels to shame. As hard as the gambling bosses (Molly, Loi, Ping Sing) tried, they stood no chance against the seasoned pro. Luckily we have a powerful backer (uncle Meng Huat) to inject much needed fresh funds into the near bankrupt business.

Located beside the Casino is the Steady Hand. Even though Alex tried his best touting for customers, few took the bait. Brandon was recruited as the PR guy but it made no difference. Maybe the elderly scare kenna electrocuted?!? Despair not Alex, we shall reduce the voltage next time, haha.

The Golf station was located in the dining hall. The elderly were lining up to be the next Nicklaus or Norman or somebody old and good at golf. Sharon the tigress was nowhere to be found so it was left to Rusty the cub to run the show, and boy did she run the show. Elderly were getting hole-in-one like nobody business and Rusty was happily handing out the dough. Hey I think we have some hidden talent at the home.

Poh Yan was attracting lots of attention to his Ball Throwing station with his superhero Ironman costume. Alex we will make you one next year, Batman? Despite his superhero power, Poh Yan couldn’t stop the cans from falling all over the place. The elderly were simply too powerful even for Ironman to handle. In the end Ironman had to transform into a rubbish can and hide in one corner, as the elderly continued their rampage. Don’t worry Poh Yan, even though your power sucks, your costume still looks awesome. And we still love you.

At 4pm, with their energy expended, the elderly were resting in the dining hall happily inspecting their handful of shopping bags. Sensing their moment, the MH entertainers sprang into actions and took over the stage. Our MH idol Yong (aka Huang Pingyuan) belted out oldies favorites and transformed the home instantly into 7th month Getai. Our lovely Xiao Xuan joined her male counterpart on stage, and charmed her way into the elderly heart. Not to be outdone by the young pretenders, veteran Loi turned out a masterful performance and captured the imagination of the audience.

The carnival reached its climax during the singing of the national day songs. All the elderly and volunteers joined in the singing and waved the Singapore flags to show their love for the country. It was a fitting finale to a wonderful day.

I’d like to thank everyone individually but there were simply too many of you! Luckily a picture says a thousand words, and so I’d like to thank everyone in this photo:

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I counted 51 of us, correct? Here’s the candid version:

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Afterthoughts:

  • Almost every elderly participated in the carnival. Its one of those rare occasions that you see all the Moral Home elderly up and running around. Okay maybe not exactly running but you get the point.
  • I am really touched by the large turnout of volunteers. Its a public holiday and by turning up at the home says it all. We couldn’t have done it without you. Keep up the moral angel spirit!
  • We should have more carnivals!

Many thanks to the generous sponsors, Moral Home staffs, stall ICs, decor crews, talented signboard designers, coordinators, entertainers, crazy angels, even crazier organizing committee, and all the volunteers! Happy National Day!