04 August 2011

An evening with the Toddycats!

Last night, I spent a delightful evening at the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research with Siva and the Toddycats, volunteers of the Museum.
Siva has invited us to celebrate the launch of the new Singapore Biodiversity Encyclopedia!

I came very early and had a great time catching up with Oi Yee (in the background) and Junius who has developed an awesome series of cut out and fold up animals so that kids can learn more about our wildlife!
Junius has made a series of three dinosaurs for Prof Peter Ng! I love dinosaurs! More about the dinos at the New Natural History Museum.
I was very hungry so I forced the early start of the makan. The food was delicious and the company was great!
Adrian brought his son for a night at the museum even though the young one had a test the next morning. Adrian later shared his thoughts about how he felt it was important for his son to 'toss the homework and learn something' at the Museum instead. Bravo!
Siva is taking photos of us on his Toddycat phone thingy.
We of course have Marcus Chua to thank for writing and putting together the Encyclopedia. Here he is sharing another one of his amusing stories with us.
After the dinner, Siva gave key volunteers each a copy of the Encyclopedia, as a token of appreciation of their many years of support and service. As each person stepped up, Siva shared stories about how he met them, and their many contributions. It was wonderful to hear about how so many people from all walks of life were brought together, to make a difference for our biodiversity.
The Toddycats have been hard at work for many years. In the meanwhile, many have already started families!
It was great to see so many young ones full of energy for the work we do. Siva shared about the many projects he initiated with these volunteers. From those involved in the Pasir Panjang Heritage walk to Pedal Ubin, the many leaders at the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore now in its 20th year. Also teaching assistants, volunteers involved in Museum outreach and Open House events and lots lots more!
The most exuberant of us is Oi Yee! Who started guiding before even I was born. I hope when I grow up, I will have half her energy and enthusiasm!
It was fascinating listening to all the stories. Soon, all the books had been given out. It was great to meet so many familiar faces and meet new ones.
Of course, behind every great man is a woman. And for Siva, it's Airani!
Like many others at the event, Siva played a large role in getting me started in marine conservation. Here's more about how I met Siva and how he influenced me. Siva is indeed a keystone in the community of diverse but like-hearted people who work for our biodiversity!

Thank you Siva and friends for a great evening!

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